Sunday, May 31, 2009

Russian Actor Vyacheslav Nevinny Dies at 75

The famous Russian actor and People's Artist of the USSR (1986) Vyacheslav Nevinny/Вячеслав Михайлович Невинный died of diabetes in Moscow on Sunday, May 31, 2009. He was 75 years old. The time and place of his funeral will be announced on June 1.

Various Russian press accounts at (5-31-09) report that Vyacheslav Mikailovich Nevinny had been in declining health. Doctors had amputated his left leg in 2005 due to gangrene. His right leg was amputated in 2006. He was living on a small pension and died at his apartment at #8 Tver Street.

Vyacheslav Mikailovich [Google search] acted in more than 60 Russian movies and in the theater. He also did the voices for Russian cartoons. His distinctive voice was known to every Russian. Vyacheslav Mikailovich worked for many years at Moscow's Small Theater/Maly Theater.

Vyacheslav Mikailovich, who was born on November 30, 1934, began his acting career at a pioneer palace in his hometown of Tula while he was still a secondary school student. He later studied acting at Moscow's MXAT, a drama school affiliated with Moscow's MXT, Moscow Artists' Theater. He was not accepted the first time he tried out, but he was accepted the following year in 1955.

Vyacheslav Mikailovich's wife, the actress Nina Gulyaeva was with him in his final minutes.

Watch clips from Vyacheslav Nevinny's films and news accounts about his life here. Nevinny narrates the part of the bear cub in the famous cartoon The Hedgehog in the Fog.

Nevinny appears in the role of Sobakevich, a "strong, silent, economical man, square and bearlike," in the 1984 television series [described] based on Nikolai Gogol's famous novel Dead Souls/Мертвые души [Text of the novel].

Saturday, May 30, 2009

West Germany Probes Stasi Infiltration

"Former West German policeman and Stasi agent Karl-Heinz Kurras in Berlin on May 27, 2009"---Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (5-29-09)

See also "Spy Fired Shot That Changed West Germany," NYT (5-26-09)

Bernd Volkert of RFE/RL (5-29-09) writes:

Twenty years after the fall of the Third Reich, a single event led many living in 1960s West Germany to conclude their country had yet to outgrow the tactics of its National Socialist past.

On June 2, 1967, a visit to West Berlin by the leader of Iran, Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, sparked large street protests against German involvement in the brutalities of Tehran's authoritarian regime.

German police and members of the shah's secret service responded with force, beating protesters and attempting to break up the demonstration.

In the course of the fracas, a German police officer drew his gun and shot an unarmed protester, 26-year-old Benno Ohnesorg, in the back of the head, killing him instantly and burning an indelible image in the public psyche.

Radicalized Witnesses

German historian Gerd Koenen says the nature of the crackdown was controversial from the start. "The setting was a police operation titled Hunting Foxes, headed by a commanding officer with experience in antiguerrilla warfare in the German Wehrmacht during World War II," Koenen says. "This was the lineup."

"Ohnesorg's killing sparked a radicalization of the German protest movement of the 1960s, with some activists founding armed guerrilla groups that engaged in the kidnapping and murder of politicians and other representatives of what they called "fascist Germany."

One such group even dubbed itself the June 2 Movement, establishing the day of Ohnesorg's killing as a turning point in Germany's postwar history.

The stark shift in the protest movement is now credited with helping to banish the remaining traces of national socialism and create the liberal social system that marks contemporary, post-unification Germany.

But now, more than 40 years since the shooting, Germans have reason to examine their postwar history once again.

Upending Long-Held Notions

Researchers have discovered that Karl-Heinz Kurras, the West German police officer who shot Ohnesorg, was in fact a paid agent for East Germany's Stasi secret police, and had been a member of SED, the East German socialist state party, since 1955.

The revelation has stunned detractors and supporters of Kurras alike. Koenen, who as a student activist in the 1960s was trailed by Stasi agents, suggests the story is even more complicated.

"It's a fact that it was not only the West German police, as we know now, who were deeply infiltrated from the East by the Stasi, but also the student movement," Koenen says. "The Stasi watched us professionally, and took advantage of both our student radicals and our state security bodies."

German commentators across the political spectrum have seized on the peculiar irony of the latest discovery -- the incident long seen as responsible for radicalizing the protest movement and liberalizing German society was sparked by the gunshot of a communist agent working within the ranks of the anticommunist West German police.

Reinhard Mueller, writing in "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung," asks: "Are we in need of another rewriting of German history?"

Germans, he suggests, may be forced to abandon past notions about the entwined histories of the German Democratic Republic in the East and the Federal Republic of Germany in the West.

Probing Deeper...

Many accepted truths, Mueller writes, were in fact "co-molded by the GDR and its intelligence services, without many of the people in the West suspecting it."

Mueller is among the Germans now demanding a more thorough investigation into the East's infiltration of politics and events in the West. [Full text]

Friday, May 29, 2009

Judge Naves to Rule on Ward Churchill Reinstatement on July 1

"[Judge Larry] Naves will decide whether [ex-professor Ward] Churchill, 61, gets his job back at CU or whether he should be paid a lump sum of money instead. The judge could also choose to award the former professor nothing."---Daily Camera (5-27-09)

See Ward Churchill's Motion for Reinstatement.

See The University of Colorado's Brief in Opposition to Motion for Reinstatement.

Boulder Colorado's Daily Camera (5-27-09) reports:

Former University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill will make his case for getting his job back during a one-day hearing to be held July 1, a Denver District Court clerk said Wednesday.

Chief Denver District Court Judge Larry Naves will preside over the hearing, during which both Churchill and the University of Colorado will argue for and against reinstatement of the former controversial ethnic studies professor.

Churchill was fired nearly two years ago by the CU regents after the school claimed he had committed widespread and systematic academic fraud.

He sued CU in civil court and won his case during a jury trial earlier this year after he argued that the university had unlawfully terminated him for expressing his political beliefs in a controversial essay he wrote concerning the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.

The Denver jury awarded him $1 in damages.

Naves will decide whether Churchill, 61, gets his job back at CU or whether he should be paid a lump sum of money instead. The judge could also choose to award the former professor nothing.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

"Rethink Before You Reset" by Daniel Kimmage

In March 2009, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov a "reset button" to represent the new administration's desire for improved relations. Ironically, the word "reset" was mistranslated as "overcharge."

"The Obama administration thinks it can work more productively with Russia on the countries' mutual interests. Unfortunately, these interests don't exist."--Daniel Kimmage

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (5-26-09) notes:

This article is adapted from a longer essay to appear in "Undermining Democracy: 21st Century Authoritarians," a special report to be published in June by Freedom House, RFE/RL, and Radio Free Asia.

Rethink Before You Reset - By Daniel Kimmage

For almost a century, American conventional wisdom on Russia has been consistently, and sometimes catastrophically, wrong.

You can look back to as far as 1920, when Walter Lippmann and Charles Merz of The New Republic picked through the New York Times' coverage of the Russian Revolution and found articles riddled with ludicrous predictions of the Bolshevik regime's imminent collapse. "The news about Russia is a case of seeing not what was, but what men wished to see," they concluded.

As the century wore on, the wishful thinking got worse. For a time, even mass murderer Joseph Stalin improbably morphed into the jovial, pipe-smoking Uncle Joe. When the American establishment finally reversed course and accepted that the Bolsheviks were there to stay, it clung to that belief so adamantly that the collapse of the Soviet Union took the CIA by surprise. In the 1990s, foreign-policy hands were celebrating Russia's "transition" to free market democracy under the buffoonish but supposedly well-meaning Boris Yeltsin and his merry band of "reformers."

The latest Washington consensus holds that Vladimir Putin has presided over a period of Russian restoration amid flowing oil and ebbing civil liberties. In a July 8, 2008 op-ed in the Washington Post, Henry Kissinger hailed "one of the most promising periods in Russian history" and described Russia's foreign policy under Vladimir Putin as "driven by a quest for a reliable strategic partner, with America being the preferred choice." A March 2009 report by the blue-ribbon Commission on U.S. Policy toward Russia developed this thinking further, concluding that "both countries' strategic interests require making a genuine effort at putting the U.S.-Russia relationship on a new high ground of cooperation, based on today's geopolitical, economic, and security realities and our many common goals." In other words, Russia is back, a force to be reckoned with, and intent on reclaiming its lost share of import and influence among nations. We might not like everything we see in Moscow, but the United States should try to engage the Kremlin, build trust, and work together.

This new conventional wisdom is as muddled as its predecessors, and the policies it inspires are just as flawed. To see why, we need a Russian reality check. We need to critically examine our notions about Russia's recent history so that we understand exactly who we are dealing with in Moscow.

A transition did take place in Russia in the 1990s, but it was not toward liberal democracy, a free-market economy, and the rule of law. Instead, the doddering bureaucratic authoritarianism of the late-Soviet period evolved into a flashier, more sophisticated authoritarianism whose defining characteristic I call "selectively capitalist kleptocracy." Russia today has a market economy subject to the whims of an elite that would be ripe for criminal prosecution in a free-market society with a functioning legal system and genuinely independent judiciary. Embezzlement of budgetary funds, graft and kickbacks, tax-evasion schemes, and grossly unfair business practices are not aberrations. They are the essence of the system.

This system began to take shape under Boris Yeltsin in the 1990s, matured under Vladimir Putin in the 2000s, and went on steroids as oil prices soared. But despite its muscle-bound exterior, the system lacks a coherent model of governance and is loath to acknowledge that it stands on feet of clay...[See full text.]

Bill Ayers Has Normal Hearing!

"Have you drunk the Kool-Aid or do you actually have a mind of your own?"--Dr. Billy Ayers [See also here]

When he is interviewed, the Weather Underground terrorist Dr. Billy Ayers sometimes acts as if setting off all those bombs has affected his hearing. During a recent interview at a Baltimore book-signing, Dr. Billy repeated a Washington Times online editor's questions as if he were not sure he had heard them correctly. The foggy old fogie repeatedly asked the editor if she had a mind of her own and chuckled at his own joke. I thought Ayers' question was funny, because the young Billy never had a mind of his own. I think he chose the psychopathic mass-murderer Mao as his spiritual father because they share the same December 26 birthday.

But when Washington Times online editor Kerry Picket suggested that Dr. Billy might have collaborated with President Obama on Dreams from My Father, the old goat heard well enough and didn't repeat the question. His whole demeanor changed. The condescending smirk vanished from his face. He looked scared and answered immediately. According to Dr. Billy, the theory that he had a hand in the President's book Dreams from My Father is a "myth." Ayers said, "I never had a That's a myth."

Watch the Washington Times video on FOX (5-19-09) or Youtube.

The writer Dr. Jack Cashill has written a series of articles that make the case that William Ayers had a hand in writing President Obama's book Dreams from My Father. Dr. Cashill writes about Dr. Ayers' run-in with the intrepid Ms. Picket at World Net Daily (5-28-09). [See the article and video on Cashill's own site, too.] At first I thought Dr. Cashill's theory was nonsense, but then I read Dreams and Bill Ayers' memoir Fugitive Days.

Ohio State University Professor Bruce Heiden has also questioned Obama's authorship of Dreams:

[President Obama] doesn't say how these memories turned into the book Dreams from My Father. In particular, he doesn't say he wrote the book. He says that Dreams 'found its way onto these pages'[xvi]...Obama's whole Introduction to Dreams has the odd rhetorical project of persuading the reader that Barack Obama, the author of Dreams from My Father, actually had nothing to do with writing his book and couldn't have written it.---Dr. Bruce Heiden describing the Introduction of President Obama's Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance, 2004 paperback edition.

Maybe next time, Ms. Picket of the Washington Times should ask Dr. Ayers if he knows who killed Brian V. McDonnell.

Readers can scroll through my posts about the authorship of President Obama's autobiography by searching Cashill on this blog.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Affidavit of John LaVelle

"By injecting deliberate falsehoods and distortions into the stream of scholarship that feeds the increasingly interrelated fields of Indian studies, Indian history, and Indian law and policy, Churchill’s writings compromise the work of genuine scholars within these disciplines who unwittingly rely on Churchill’s fabrications and falsifications."---Dr. John LaVelle

University of New Mexico Law Professor Dr. John P. LaVelle, a Sioux Indian, has demonstrated in professional literature published in 1996 and 1999 that Ward Churchill is a very dishonest scholar.

Dr. LaVelle's Affidavit [Hat/Tip Mr. Paine of PirateBallerina] is included in the University of Colorado's Brief in Opposition to Motion for Reinstatement of Ward Churchill as a professor of Ethnic Studies. The Brief was submitted to Denver District Court on May 20, 2009.

The Affiant, John P. LaVelle, deposes and states:

1. I am over 18 years of age and understand the obligations of oath when I provide a sworn affidavit.

2. I have personal knowledge of the matters I will describe in this affidavit. Patrick T. O’Rourke of the Office of University Counsel assisted me in preparing the form of the affidavit, but it expresses my opinions, not the University of Colorado’s opinions. I have not been compensated in any way for providing my affidavit.

3. I am a professor of law and director of the Indian Law Program at the University of New Mexico School of Law. I am personally familiar with the field of Indian law and policy, and have taught and published in the field. I am a member of the executive editorial board for the current edition of Cohen’s Handbook of Federal Indian Law, the preeminent legal treatise in the field of Indian law. I occasionally have taught adjunct college courses, including tribal community college courses, in the area of Indian studies, and have published in academic journals in Indian studies. My publications have addressed the sovereign rights of Indian nations and the impact of federal law on Indian tribes and Indian people. I am deeply motivated to maintain the integrity of scholarship related to indigenous people.

4. In 1996 and 1999, I published a review essay and an article, respectively, in prominent Indian studies academic journals exhibiting numerous instances of serious research misconduct in the writings of Ward Churchill, including instances of plagiarism and the fabrication and falsification of provisions of important acts of Congress and federal regulations impacting the sovereign rights and property interests of Indian tribes. Both my 1996 review essay and my 1999 article were examined and consulted by the University of Colorado investigative committee in the course of its inquiry into allegations of research misconduct against Ward Churchill, an inquiry that resulted in unanimous determinations by the investigative committee, the standing committee on research misconduct, and the privilege and tenure committee that Churchill had engaged in patterns of serious research misconduct warranting disciplinary action.

5. The instances and patterns of plagiarism, fabrications, and falsifications in Churchill’s writings have inflicted serious harm on the fields of Indian studies, Indian history, and Indian law and policy. One of the most important developments in these academic fields has been a steady rise in contributions by American Indian scholars in recent times, scholars whose uniquely situated sensitivity to the sovereign rights of Indian nations and the particular, often oppressive historic experiences of Native people has challenged, balanced, and augmented conventional narratives, thereby benefiting all students and scholars within these disciplines. By injecting deliberate falsehoods and distortions into the stream of scholarship that feeds the increasingly interrelated fields of Indian studies, Indian history, and Indian law and policy, Churchill’s writings compromise the work of genuine scholars within these disciplines who unwittingly rely on Churchill’s fabrications and falsifications. Moreover, as Churchill’s falsehoods and distortions become more widely known and recognized as such, they collaterally discredit and undermine the entire fields within which Churchill writes, and they burden the innovative contributions of Native scholars, in particular, by fomenting public suspicion about the integrity of those contributions.

6. The harm Churchill’s plagiarism, fabrications, and falsifications pose to Indian studies, Indian history, and Indian law and policy is not merely theoretical. In my 1999 article in Wicazo Sa Review, for example, I list numerous books and law review articles wherein scholars unsuspectingly rely on an especially damaging fabrication of Churchill’s, namely, that Indian blood quantum requirements in tribes’ enrollment criteria are modeled after a federally imposed eligibility standard of “one-half or more degree of Indian blood” for tribal members seeking land parcels under the General Allotment Act of 1887. In truth, the General Allotment Act did not limit eligibility for allotments to tribal members who were “one-half or more degree of Indian blood”; rather, Churchill fabricated that standard, initially deploying it in a controversial essay he wrote that strategically concealed his own misconduct by falsely attributing the essay’s authorship to M. Annette Jaimes, Churchill’s then-wife. Scholars who rely on Churchill’s General Allotment Act eligibility fabrication thus are effectively deceived into propagating false information that casts aspersions on Indian tribes’ sovereign enrollment criteria.

7. The problem of scholars’ unsuspecting reliance on Churchill’s fabrications and falsifications has continued and can be expected to continue in the future. A recent example came to light during the course of the University of Colorado’s disciplinary proceedings in the Churchill affair, when a small group of Churchill supporters led by Professor Eric Cheyfitz publicly denounced the CU investigative committee’s report for (among other proffered reasons) failing to note that Churchill’s assertion of an eligibility standard of “one-half or more degree of Indian blood” in the General Allotment Act had been corroborated by an independent third-party scholar, Professor Circe Sturm, noted author of the 2002 book Blood Politics. What the Cheyfitz group did not disclose, however, is that Sturm in fact had relied solely on fabrications about the General Allotment Act planted by Churchill in the essay he authored under the name of M. Annette Jaimes, a concealment of authorship Sturm could not have known about when she wrote Blood Politics. When interviewed by news reporters, Sturm expressed dismay at having been misled into relying on false information about the General Allotment Act, exclaiming, “What a tangled web. I wish I wasn’t in it.” Sadly, Churchill’s web of deception likely will ensnare more scholars of Indian studies, Indian history, and Indian law and policy in the future, through unsuspecting reliance on Churchill’s fabrications and falsifications like that of Sturm, and through deliberate, strategic use of Churchill’s deceit like that of the Cheyfitz group.

Because Churchill continues to defy the University of Colorado’s multiple findings of plagiarism, fabrications, and falsifications in his scholarly writings, he can be expected to continue engaging in research misconduct in the future, to the continuing detriment of the fields of Indian studies, Indian history, and Indian law and policy. If he is reinstated to his former teaching position, the additional harm Churchill will do to these academic disciplines will be magnified, since his misconduct will appear to have CU’s endorsement by virtue of Churchill’s continuing official affiliation with the University, an affiliation Churchill can be expected to emphasize. Moreover, Churchill’s attacks on Native scholarship through falsehoods and distortions that disparage Indian tribes will continue to tarnish the reputation of CU and its community of affiliated scholars. Because Churchill’s reinstatement would further jeopardize the fields of Indian studies, Indian history, and Indian law and policy, and because it would further undermine CU’s reputation for scholarly integrity, Churchill’s motion for reinstatement should be denied.

Coal Miner's Daughter Susan Boyle Sings "I Dreamed a Dream"

Scottish phenomenon Susan Boyle sings "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Misérables.

Susan told the host of Britain's Got Talent that she wants to be like the famous singer Elaine Page. Even though Susan was born with brain damage and struggled in school, she has managed to achieve her dream and has rocked the world with her remarkable talent.

In the semi-final round, Susan sang "Memory" from the musical Cats. If Susan wins the final round in the Britain's Got Talent competition, she will be invited to sing for Queen Elizabeth.

The Examiner (4-20-09) writes:

Britain’s Got Talent’s Susan Boyle, who has stunned viewers with her performance and her story is a phenomenon around the world, thanks to You Tube and stars like Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher who have posted on Twitter how moved they are by her performance and story. SEE VIDEO>>>

Susan Boyle was brain damaged at birth

The 48 year old never-married Susan Boyle who lives alone with her cat Pebbles and would practice for Britain's Got Talent by holding a hairbrush in front of the mirror in the room she has lived in since childhood, spent the last 2 years grieving after spending her adult life caring for her aged Mother. Boyle, who was born with minor brain damage from being starved of oxygen at birth, suffered with learning difficulties and bullying as a child (they called her Susie Simple), has admitted that she has never been kissed. And has only one dream – to sing- and now it seems her dream has been realized.

Dr. Robert Canfield writes in his piece called Susan Boyle And The Power Of The Moral Imagination:

"It was easy to regard this woman as tragically unaware of her own limitations, with aspirations that surpassed her ability...Here was a disaster in the making. This would be difficult to watch....Her first note changed everything. The audience was electrified. As she sang they began to cheer. One of the judges, a gorgeous blond, folded her hands and held them up to her face, as if hoping desperately, praying, for this woman not to stumble...Some people wept."

If only we could only be like Susan Boyle in our best moments

A coal-miner’s daughter, Susan Boyle has lived in the same village in Scotland her entire life is an inspiration to us all. Let us not be the cynical, all-knowing and judgmental lot we often are but give others and more importantly ourselves a chance at success, at happiness. Sure, there is a lot to be depressed about, but when you listen to this woman, one Susan Boyle, sing her heart out and put herself on the line, it is like the weight is instantly lifted and we suddenly remember what it is like to have a dream and see that dream come true.

Here are the lyrics of “I Dream a Dream” from Les Misérables (AKA Les Mis or Les Miz):

There was a time when men were kind
When their voices were soft
And their words inviting
There was a time when love was blind
And the world was a song
And the song was exciting
There was a time
Then it all went wrong.
I dreamed a dream in time gone by
When hope was high
And life worth living.

I dreamed that love would never die
I dreamed that God would be forgiving
Then I was young and unafraid
When dreams were made and used and wasted
There was no ransom to be paid
No song unsung, no wine untasted.
But the tigers come at night
With their voices soft as thunder
As they tear your hopes apart
And they turn your dream to shame.

He slept a summer by my side
He filled my days with endless wonder
He took my childhood in his stride
But he was gone when autumn came.
And still I dream he’ll come to me
That we will live the years together
But there are dreams that cannot be
And there are storms we cannot weather.

I had a dream my life would be
So different from this hell I’m living
So different now from what it seems
Now life has killed the dream I dreamed.

Dr. Robert Canfield writes:

"Always it is something outside ourselves that touches us, somehow, where we feel most deeply. At such moments we remember that we are humans - not merely creatures, but human beings, profoundly and deeply shaped by a moral sensibility so powerful that it breaks through our inhibitors; it can burst out, explode into public view, to our own astonishment."

Simon Cowell is reportedly offering her a BMG deal, according to the Daily Mail. We are all thrilled for Susan and some of us are happy to be living vicariously through this unexpected hero.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Affidavit of Thomas Brown

"[Ward] Churchill fabricated all of the central details of his [Mandan Indian] genocide story. Churchill also falsified the sources he cites in support of his genocide charges, sources which say the opposite of what Churchill attributes to them. Moreover, we must conclude that falsification and fabrication are habitual with Churchill. This essay has analyzed not much more than three cumulative pages of Churchill’s writing, drawn from across six different essays. (Since Churchill published his second version at least twice, this adds up to at least seven different publications.) Within those few pages, Churchill has committed multiple counts of research misconduct—specifically, fabrication and falsification."---Professor Thomas Brown

Professor Thomas Brown, who is currently a professor of sociology at Northeast Lakeview College in Live Oak, Texas, exposed the former University of Colorado (Boulder) professor Ward Churchill in a 2006 article published in Plagiary titled "Did the U.S. Army Distribute Smallpox Blankets to Indians? Fabrication and Falsification in Ward Churchill’s Genocide Rhetoric."

Professor Brown observes in a recent article titled "Truthiness v. Scholarship: Ward Churchill’s Day in Court" (4-6-09):

Churchill has since abandoned all of the fabricated aspects of his [Mandan genocide] story, while simultaneously claming that he did not fabricate it, because he still feels in his gut that the story is correct.

Now Professor Brown's affidavit about Ward Churchill's dishonest scholarship accompanies the University of Colorado's May 20, 2009 Brief in opposition to Ward Churchill's Motion for Reinstatement [Hat/Tip Mr. Paine of PirateBallerina]:

The Affiant, Thomas Brown, deposes and states:

1. I am over 18 years of age and understand the obligations of oath. I have personal knowledge of the matters I will describe in this affidavit.

2. I was assisted by Patrick O’Rourke of the Office of University Counsel in preparing the form only of this affidavit. The statements it contains, however, are my own; and I have given them voluntarily. I have not been pressured by the University to state any opinions that I do not honestly hold.

3. Reinstating Ward Churchill to his position at CU would have a “chilling effect” on academic freedom of speech. I know from personal experience that Mr. Churchill is a staunch opponent of other people’s free speech rights.

4. Mr. Churchill has a long history of aggressive, anti-collegial behavior towards academics who dare disagree with his opinions. Mr. Churchill has repeatedly attacked scholars who dare disagree with him by filing spurious misconduct complaints, by labeling them as “Nazis”, and by other types of ad hominem attacks, threats and intimidation.

5. If you decide to reinstate Churchill to his former position at CU, many people will mistakenly assume that your court has exonerated Churchill on the charges of research misconduct. This will give Churchill increased stature in the research community. Based on Churchill’s past habits, the results are predictable -- Churchill will use the bully pulpit you give him to intimidate and silence scholars who disagree with him.

6. After I posted a brief expose of Churchill’s fabrications surrounding the 1837 smallpox epidemic on my web page, he filed a spurious research misconduct complaint with my university. He concluded his complaint by demanding that my university formally reprimand me, require me to retract my research and apologize to Churchill, and remove my essay from my faculty web page. Thus Churchill launched an unabashed assault on my academic freedom of speech, and attempted to exercise prior restraint on my unpublished research.

7. Should you decide to return Mr. Churchill to his former position, CU will be restrained from sanctioning him for future misconduct, given Mr. Lane’s promise to file a retaliation lawsuit. In reinstating Churchill, you will give him free rein to continue his habits of fabricating and falsifying the scholarly record, and of attacking the free speech rights of junior scholars.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Vice President Cheney Tells It Like It Is!

"This week, President Obama decided to line himself up against former vice president Dick Cheney, who had been invited to speak on counterterrorism at the American Enterprise Institute.

Obama spoke first Thursday (at the National Archives), outlining his decisions--closing the prison at Guantanamo, banning enhanced interrogations, releasing "torture memos." He said that Gitmo has "weakened American national security" by diminishing our "moral authority," and that prisoners released into the U.S. could be secured in maximum security prisons.

The speech--long and defensive--lingered on the burdens of decision-making and the morality of our nation. But it presented few solutions: Where are those Gitmo prisoners going? Why were reports on detainee recidivism suppressed? Why do enemy combatants have constitutional rights?

In contrast, Cheney laid out a spirited defense of leadership in time of war, and within the constraints of the Constitution. Cheney said lives have been saved by enhanced interrogation. If not, he asked, why not declassify the results of those interrogations? Americans will not be protected by a decision to relabel "war" and "terrorism," or to relegate our nation's defense to the crime lab and the jury."

Mr. President, war is hell. Presidents and prime ministers have bombed Dresden, dropped nuclear weapons and suspended the writ of habeas corpus. Ultimately, as Cheney made clear: "No moral value held dear by the American people obliges public servants ever to sacrifice innocent lives to spare a captured terrorist from unpleasant things."---Danielle Pletka, American Enterprise Institute

On May 21, 2009, Vice President Cheney defended the Bush Administration's policies in the War on Terror in a speech at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington D.C.

William Kristol posted an advance copy of Cheney's speech at the Weekly Standard (5-21-09). Here is an excerpt:

Even before the interrogation program began, and throughout its operation, it was closely reviewed to ensure that every method used was in full compliance with the Constitution, statutes, and treaty obligations. On numerous occasions, leading members of Congress, including the current speaker of the House, were briefed on the program and on the methods.

Yet for all these exacting efforts to do a hard and necessary job and to do it right, we hear from some quarters nothing but feigned outrage based on a false narrative. In my long experience in Washington, few matters have inspired so much contrived indignation and phony moralizing as the interrogation methods applied to a few captured terrorists.

I might add that people who consistently distort the truth in this way are in no position to lecture anyone about “values.” Intelligence officers of the United States were not trying to rough up some terrorists simply to avenge the dead of 9/11. We know the difference in this country between justice and vengeance. Intelligence officers were not trying to get terrorists to confess to past killings; they were trying to prevent future killings. From the beginning of the program, there was only one focused and all-important purpose. We sought, and we in fact obtained, specific information on terrorist plans.

Those are the basic facts on enhanced interrogations. And to call this a program of torture is to libel the dedicated professionals who have saved American lives, and to cast terrorists and murderers as innocent victims. What’s more, to completely rule out enhanced interrogation methods in the future is unwise in the extreme. It is recklessness cloaked in righteousness, and would make the American people less safe.

The administration seems to pride itself on searching for some kind of middle ground in policies addressing terrorism. They may take comfort in hearing disagreement from opposite ends of the spectrum. If liberals are unhappy about some decisions, and conservatives are unhappy about other decisions, then it may seem to them that the President is on the path of sensible compromise. But in the fight against terrorism, there is no middle ground, and half-measures keep you half exposed. You cannot keep just some nuclear-armed terrorists out of the United States, you must keep every nuclear-armed terrorist out of the United States.

...The administration has found that it’s easy to receive applause in Europe for closing Guantanamo. But it’s tricky to come up with an alternative that will serve the interests of justice and America’s national security. Keep in mind that these are hardened terrorists picked up overseas since 9/11. The ones that were considered low-risk were released a long time ago. And among these, it turns out that many were treated too leniently, because they cut a straight path back to their prior line of work and have conducted murderous attacks in the Middle East. I think the President will find, upon reflection, that to bring the worst of the worst terrorists inside the United States would be cause for great danger and regret in the years to come.

In the category of euphemism, the prizewinning entry would be a recent editorial in a familiar newspaper that referred to terrorists we’ve captured as, quote, “abducted.” Here we have ruthless enemies of this country, stopped in their tracks by brave operatives in the service of America, and a major editorial page makes them sound like they were kidnap victims, picked up at random on their way to the movies.

It’s one thing to adopt the euphemisms that suggest we’re no longer engaged in a war. These are just words, and in the end it’s the policies that matter most. You don’t want to call them enemy combatants? Fine. Call them what you want – just don’t bring them into the United States. Tired of calling it a war? Use any term you prefer. Just remember it is a serious step to begin unraveling some of the very policies that have kept our people safe since 9/11.

Another term out there that slipped into the discussion is the notion that American interrogation practices were a “recruitment tool” for the enemy. On this theory, by the tough questioning of killers, we have supposedly fallen short of our own values. This recruitment-tool theory has become something of a mantra lately, including from the President himself. And after a familiar fashion, it excuses the violent and blames America for the evil that others do. It’s another version of that same old refrain from the Left, “We brought it on ourselves.”

It is much closer to the truth that terrorists hate this country precisely because of the values we profess and seek to live by, not by some alleged failure to do so. Nor are terrorists or those who see them as victims exactly the best judges of America’s moral standards, one way or the other.

Critics of our policies are given to lecturing on the theme of being consistent with American values. But no moral value held dear by the American people obliges public servants ever to sacrifice innocent lives to spare a captured terrorist from unpleasant things. And when an entire population is targeted by a terror network, nothing is more consistent with American values than to stop them.

As a practical matter, too, terrorists may lack much, but they have never lacked for grievances against the United States. Our belief in freedom of speech and religion … our belief in equal rights for women … our support for Israel … our cultural and political influence in the world – these are the true sources of resentment, all mixed in with the lies and conspiracy theories of the radical clerics. These recruitment tools were in vigorous use throughout the 1990s, and they were sufficient to motivate the 19 recruits who boarded those planes on September 11th, 2001.

The United States of America was a good country before 9/11, just as we are today. List all the things that make us a force for good in the world – for liberty, for human rights, for the rational, peaceful resolution of differences – and what you end up with is a list of the reasons why the terrorists hate America. If fine speech-making, appeals to reason, or pleas for compassion had the power to move them, the terrorists would long ago have abandoned the field. And when they see the American government caught up in arguments about interrogations, or whether foreign terrorists have constitutional rights, they don’t stand back in awe of our legal system and wonder whether they had misjudged us all along. Instead the terrorists see just what they were hoping for – our unity gone, our resolve shaken, our leaders distracted. In short, they see weakness and opportunity.

What is equally certain is this: The broad-based strategy set in motion by President Bush obviously had nothing to do with causing the events of 9/11. But the serious way we dealt with terrorists from then on, and all the intelligence we gathered in that time, had everything to do with preventing another 9/11 on our watch. The enhanced interrogations of high-value detainees and the terrorist surveillance program have without question made our country safer. Every senior official who has been briefed on these classified matters knows of specific attacks that were in the planning stages and were stopped by the programs we put in place.

This might explain why President Obama has reserved unto himself the right to order the use of enhanced interrogation should he deem it appropriate. What value remains to that authority is debatable, given that the enemy now knows exactly what interrogation methods to train against, and which ones not to worry about. Yet having reserved for himself the authority to order enhanced interrogation after an emergency, you would think that President Obama would be less disdainful of what his predecessor authorized after 9/11. It’s almost gone unnoticed that the president has retained the power to order the same methods in the same circumstances. When they talk about interrogations, he and his administration speak as if they have resolved some great moral dilemma in how to extract critical information from terrorists. Instead they have put the decision off, while assigning a presumption of moral superiority to any decision they make in the future.

Releasing the interrogation memos was flatly contrary to the national security interest of the United States. The harm done only begins with top secret information now in the hands of the terrorists, who have just received a lengthy insert for their training manual. Across the world, governments that have helped us capture terrorists will fear that sensitive joint operations will be compromised. And at the CIA, operatives are left to wonder if they can depend on the White House or Congress to back them up when the going gets tough. Why should any agency employee take on a difficult assignment when, even though they act lawfully and in good faith, years down the road the press and Congress will treat everything they do with suspicion, outright hostility, and second-guessing? Some members of Congress are notorious for demanding they be briefed into the most sensitive intelligence programs. They support them in private, and then head for the hills at the first sign of controversy.

As far as the interrogations are concerned, all that remains an official secret is the information we gained as a result. Some of his defenders say the unseen memos are inconclusive, which only raises the question why they won’t let the American people decide that for themselves. I saw that information as vice president, and I reviewed some of it again at the National Archives last month. I’ve formally asked that it be declassified so the American people can see the intelligence we obtained, the things we learned, and the consequences for national security. And as you may have heard, last week that request was formally rejected. It’s worth recalling that ultimate power of declassification belongs to the President himself. President Obama has used his declassification power to reveal what happened in the interrogation of terrorists. Now let him use that same power to show Americans what did not happen, thanks to the good work of our intelligence officials.

I believe this information will confirm the value of interrogations – and I am not alone. President Obama’s own Director of National Intelligence, Admiral Blair, has put it this way: “High value information came from interrogations in which those methods were used and provided a deeper understanding of the al-Qaeda organization that was attacking this country.” End quote. Admiral Blair put that conclusion in writing, only to see it mysteriously deleted in a later version released by the administration – the missing 26 words that tell an inconvenient truth. But they couldn’t change the words of George Tenet, the CIA Director under Presidents Clinton and Bush, who bluntly said: “I know that this program has saved lives. I know we’ve disrupted plots. I know this program alone is worth more than the FBI, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the National Security Agency put together have been able to tell us.” End of quote.

If Americans do get the chance to learn what our country was spared, it’ll do more than clarify the urgency and the rightness of enhanced interrogations in the years after 9/11. It may help us to stay focused on dangers that have not gone away. Instead of idly debating which political opponents to prosecute and punish, our attention will return to where it belongs – on the continuing threat of terrorist violence, and on stopping the men who are planning it.

...To the very end of our administration, we kept al-Qaeda terrorists busy with other problems. We focused on getting their secrets, instead of sharing ours with them. And on our watch, they never hit this country again. After the most lethal and devastating terrorist attack ever, seven and a half years without a repeat is not a record to be rebuked and scorned, much less criminalized. It is a record to be continued until the danger has passed.

...For all that we’ve lost in this conflict, the United States has never lost its moral bearings. And when the moral reckoning turns to the men known as high-value terrorists, I can assure you they were neither innocent nor victims. As for those who asked them questions and got answers: they did the right thing, they made our country safer, and a lot of Americans are alive today because of them.

Like so many others who serve America, they are not the kind to insist on a thank-you. But I will always be grateful to each one of them, and proud to have served with them for a time in the same cause. They, and so many others, have given honorable service to our country through all the difficulties and all the dangers. I will always admire them and wish them well. And I am confident that this nation will never take their work, their dedication, or their achievements, for granted. [Full text]

Friday, May 22, 2009

Affidavit of Rhonda Lynne Kelly

"Churchill strongly insinuates that my father sexually abused [my late sister] Leah, an outrageous allegation that is completely and utterly false. My father did not abuse Leah, me, or any of my siblings, either sexually or physically."--Rhonda Lynne Kelly

UPDATE: The Affidavit of Rhonda Lynne Kelly has been added to the end of this post. [H/T Mr. Paine of PirateBallerina.]

This is a picture of the Canadian Indian Leah Kelly. She was married to the dishonest scholar Ward Churchill. Leah died on June 1, 2000, when she was run over by a motorist late at night as she lay in the middle of Arapahoe Road.

According to the Denver Post (2-13-05):

Churchill's third wife, 25-year-old Leah Kelly, was killed May 31, 2000, when hit by a car outside Boulder, and Churchill's biography of her continues to stir bad feelings with her family. Kelly had a blood-alcohol content of 0.35 percent when a motorist came upon her outside of town. He said she was lying in the road and he had no time to stop.

Leah's big sister Rhonda [scroll through these posts for more information] has written that Ward Churchill exploited Leah's memory and defamed the reputation of her family and Indian community.

Rhonda's heartbreaking story appears in an Affidavit at the end of a 131-page legal brief dated May 20, 2009 and filed by the University of Colorado in Denver District Court.

Ward Churchill published a book after Leah was killed called In My Own Voice. According to Rhonda, this book contains many essays that Ward Churchill falsely attributes to Leah. According to Rhonda, the defamatory "Preface" denigrates Leah and her late father John Kelly. Rhonda writes that Ward Churchill even falsely insinutes that Leah was sexually abused by her father.

I think that some day what Rhonda wrote will be a famous historical document of Indian history. Read Rhonda's words at the end of the brief or below [H/T Mr. Paine at Pirate Ballerina]:

The Affiant, Rhonda Lynne Kelly, deposes and states:

1. I am over 18 years of age and understand the obligations of oath when I provide a sworn affidavit.

2. I have personal knowledge of the matters I will describe in this affidavit. Patrick T. O’Rourke of the Office of University Counsel assisted me in preparing the form of the affidavit, but it expresses my opinions, not the University of Colorado’s opinions. I have not been compensated in any way for providing my affidavit.

3. I am a member of the Ojibways of Onegaming First Nation in Canada. I have a Bachelor of Social Work Degree and a Bachelor of Laws Degree from the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg. I serve as a justice coordinator and policy analyst for Grand Council Treaty #3, a First Nations political organization representing 28 First Nations of the Treaty #3 nation located in Northwestern Ontario. My responsibilities with the Grand Council Treaty #3 organization pertain to human rights, policing, and justice-related issues that impact the Treaty #3 members. I am deeply motivated to maintain the integrity of scholarship related to indigenous people.

4. I strongly oppose the reinstatement of Ward Churchill as a professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder. My opposition stems from painful personal knowledge I have of the harm Churchill’s published writings have done, and will continue to do, to Native communities and families. In particular, I testify about the hurtful ways Churchill has exploited the death of my sister, the late Leah Renae Kelly (“Leah”), who died tragically and unexpectedly on June 1, 2000, after being struck by a vehicle near the house in Boulder, Colorado, she shared with Churchill, her husband at the time of her death.

5. More than a year after Leah’s death, Churchill published a book entitled In My Own Voice. This book, which contains numerous essays Churchill falsely attributes to Leah, has caused enormous grief to my family, not only for its misrepresentations of the details of Leah’s life and death, of my family’s history, and of our Ojibway culture, but especially for the false and defamatory allegations and depictions Churchill fabricates in the book’s “Preface,” denigrating Leah and my father, the late John Kelly.

6. After Leah’s death, Churchill informed my parents that he was writing a biography about Leah, but did not ask my parents any questions about their histories or Leah’s life. Around November 2001, Churchill provided copies of In My Own Voice to my parents. My father was devastated when he read the book and would not speak about what was troubling him.

7. I read the book In My Own Voice and felt angry toward Churchill for the inaccuracies and false information he wrote about Leah and my father. In particular, Churchill strongly insinuates that my father sexually abused Leah, an outrageous allegation that is completely and utterly false. My father did not abuse Leah, me, or any of my siblings, either sexually or physically.

8. In his book In My Own Voice, Churchill speaks to the pain and suffering First Nation children suffered in the Canadian residential schools. Yet Churchill’s outrageous fabrications in In My Own Voice inflicted the same pain and suffering upon my father, making false and cruel allegations that my father could not defend himself against. Leah was deceased when In My Own Voice was published, and could not counter Churchill’s false accusations against my father. In the book, Churchill acknowledges that Leah never disclosed to him she had been sexually abused; yet Churchill makes these allegations anyway.

9. In July 2004, the Assembly of First Nations, the political organization representing more than a half million First Nation people across Canada, issued a resolution denouncing Churchill’s book In My Own Voice for its “false allegations and insinuations” against Leah and my family. The resolution further explains that an attempt to inform the publisher that there were many inaccuracies in the book was “met with threats” by Churchill. While my family and I are grateful for the Assembly’s courageous resolution denouncing Churchill’s book In My Own Voice (and a related screenplay Churchill was planning), we continue to suffer emotional harm and reputational injury as a result of the book’s continuing publication and circulation.

10. I shudder when I think about my children, and my children’s children, being victimized over and over, far into the future, when they read the defamatory fabrications and falsehoods about Leah, our family, and our First Nation history and culture in Churchill’s book In My Own Voice. I implore the Denver District Court not to allow Churchill to regain a position on the faculty of the University of Colorado, where he will continue to use his prestigious academic appointment to inflict cruel pain on Native families and communities by publishing his hurtful and damaging lies.

University of Colorado Says Not to Reinstate or Compensate Ward Churchill

Peter Schmidt at The Chronicle of Higher Education and John Aguilar of The Daily Camera (5-21-09) report that the University of Colorado has filed a strongly-worded 131-page Brief in Opposition to Motion for Reinstatement in Denver District Court on May 20, 2009, that argues that the dishonest scholar Ward Churchill should not be reinstated as a professor or given financial compensation.

At the end of the brief is the Affidavit of Rhonda Lynne Kelly, the big sister of Ward Churchill's late wife Leah Kelly, who was the topic of my second post. To me, Rhonda's testimony is the best part of the brief.

Aguilar reports:

Former ethnic studies professor Ward Churchill not only shouldn't get his job back but doesn't deserves any financial compensation as a result of his termination by the school two years ago, the University of Colorado contends in a legal brief filed in Denver District Court.

In the 31-page document opposing Churchill's motion for reinstatement, which was made available Thursday, CU attorney Patrick O'Rourke argued that a Denver jury's decision last month to award the former professor $1 was a clear indication it felt Churchill had not suffered damages despite its ruling he was removed unlawfully from his teaching post.

"The jury determined that Professor Churchill's constitutional injury was nominal, and a nominal injury should not serve as a basis for reinstatement or any other equitable relief," O'Rourke wrote. "The Court should not contravene the jury's implied finding that Professor Churchill suffered no actual damages."

...A jury of six decided on April 2 that Churchill was wrongly fired for exercising his First Amendment rights but awarded him only $1 in damages.

Chief Denver District Judge Larry Naves will decide whether Churchill gets his job back at CU, receives a monetary settlement, or gets nothing at all.

A date for a reinstatement hearing will likely be announced next week.

...Churchill has 10 days to reply to CU's filing.

In the university's brief, O'Rourke wrote that the jury's verdict in no way absolved Churchill of academic fraud charges.

If it believed that Churchill had not engaged in misconduct, the attorney wrote, the jury would have compensated him for damage to his reputation.

"Instead, the jury did not award Professor Churchill a single penny for reputational injury or emotional distress, which can only be read as the jurors' unanimous conclusion that Professor Churchill destroyed his own reputation through his academic misconduct," O'Rourke said in the brief.

And Churchill's claim that he never asked for money is belied by the fact that his attorney, David Lane, repeatedly told the jury during closing arguments that the best way to send CU a message and provide justice was to award his client monetary damages, O'Rourke wrote.

He warned the court that reinstating Churchill on the Boulder campus would invite future litigation and ill will between both parties, especially given the fact that many of Churchill's former colleagues believe he engaged in academic fraud.

He also wrote that allowing Churchill back into a CU classroom would mean he could operate without fear of being held accountable for his behavior and scholarship.

"Reinstatement under these circumstances places the university in the no-win position of either facing another lawsuit or effectively immunizing Professor Churchill from complying with the standards of professional scholarship," he stated. [See full text.]

Update on Anna Mae Aquash Murder Trial

Murder Suspect John Graham
Murder Suspect Richard Marshall
KTIV News (5-20-09) in Sioux Falls, South Dakota reports:
Two appeals pending over the 1975 killing of a Canadian woman on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation will move forward as a combined case.
John Graham and Richard Marshall were set to stand trial last week in Rapid City on charges they committed or aided and abetted the murder of Annie Mae Aquash (AH'-kwash).
But the judge delayed it until the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rules on whether 1 of the counts against Graham should have been dismissed.
U.S. Attorney Marty Jackley [U.S. Department of Justice, District of South Dakota] appealed the dismissal of that charge that is similar to a count that was thrown out from an earlier indictment, which he also appealed.
Instead of handling both appeals separately, the 8th Circuit filed an order Tuesday granting a request to consolidate them.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

President Flip-Flop

Karl Rove writes in the Wall Street Journal (5-21-09):

Barack Obama inherited a set of national-security policies that he rejected during the campaign but now embraces as president. This is a stunning and welcome about-face.

For example, President Obama kept George W. Bush's military tribunals for terror detainees after calling them an "enormous failure" and a "legal black hole." His campaign claimed last summer that "court systems . . . are capable of convicting terrorists." Upon entering office, he found out they aren't.

He insisted in an interview with NBC in 2007 that Congress mandate "consequences" for "a failure to meet various benchmarks and milestones" on aid to Iraq. Earlier this month he fought off legislatively mandated benchmarks in the $97 billion funding bill for Iraq and Afghanistan.

Mr. Obama agreed on April 23 to American Civil Liberties Union demands to release investigative photos of detainee abuse. Now's he reversed himself. Pentagon officials apparently convinced him that releasing the photos would increase the risk to U.S. troops and civilian personnel.

Throughout his presidential campaign, Mr. Obama excoriated Mr. Bush's counterinsurgency strategy in Iraq, insisting it could not succeed. Earlier this year, facing increasing violence in Afghanistan, Mr. Obama rejected warnings of a "quagmire" and ordered more troops to that country. He isn't calling it a "surge" but that's what it is. He is applying in Afghanistan the counterinsurgency strategy Mr. Bush used in Iraq.

As a candidate, Mr. Obama promised to end the Iraq war by withdrawing all troops by March 2009. As president, he set a slower pace of drawdown. He has also said he will leave as many as 50,000 Americans troops there.

These reversals are both praiseworthy and evidence that, when it comes to national security, being briefed on terror threats as president is a lot different than placating and Code Pink activists as a candidate. The realities of governing trump the realities of campaigning.

We are also seeing Mr. Obama reverse himself on the domestic front, but this time in a manner that will do more harm than good...[Full Text]

Feds Foil Muslim Terrorists

The New York Daily News (5-21-09) reports:

The FBI and NYPD busted a four-man homegrown terror cell Wednesday night that was plotting to blow up two Bronx synagogues while simultaneously shooting a plane out of the sky, sources told the Daily News.

The idea was to create a "fireball that would make the country gasp," one law enforcement said.

Little did they know the plastic explosives packed into their car bombs and the plane-downing Stinger missile in their backseat were all phony - supplied by undercover agents posing as Pakistani militants linked to Al Qaeda...

The suspects - three U.S.-born citizens and one Haitian immigrant - at least three of whom were said to be jailhouse converts to Islam, were angry about the deaths of Muslims in Afghanistan, sources told The News.

"They wanted to make a statement," a law enforcement source said. "They were filled with rage and wanted to take it out on what they considered the source of all problems in America - the Jews."

The group's alleged ringleader, James Cromitie, according to the complaint, discussed targets with an undercover agent. "The best target [the World Trade Center] was hit already," he allegedly told the agent. Later, he rejoiced in a terrorist attack on a synagogue.

"I hate those motherf-----s, those f---ing Jewish bastards. . . . I would like to get [destroy] a synagogue."

The men allegedly parked car bombs wired to cell phones outside the Riverdale Temple and nearby Riverdale Jewish Center. They were also heading to Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh, Orange County, when the law swooped in on them.

Sources said their plan was to shoot down a cargo plane headed to Iraq or Afghanistan with a surface-to-air guided missile while simultaneously calling the cell phones and blowing up the Riverdale synagogues.

Sources said the four men were arrested after a year-long investigation that began when an informant connected to a mosque in Newburgh said he knew men who wanted to buy explosives.

FBI agents supplied them with what they billed as C-4 plastic explosives and a Stinger missile.

The weaponry was all phony.

"The bombs had been made by FBI technicians," said Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly. "They were totally inert."

Witnesses said an NYPD 18-wheeler blocked a black SUV on Independence Ave. in Riverdale and then officers broke in the darkened windows and yanked out the four men from inside the car. [See full text]