Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Norfolk Constabulary Continues Its Investigations into the Data Breach at the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit (CRU)

"There have been indications that the hackers could have been based in Russia, and some experts believe they may have been hired by sceptics based in the US."---The Financial Times (4-15-10)

I wrote to the Norfolk Constabulary to ask them about about their investigation into the theft of the e-mails from the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit (CRU). This scandal precipitated the so-called "Climategate" scandal.

According to The Financial Times (4-15-10):

There have been indications that the hackers could have been based in Russia, and some experts believe they may have been hired by sceptics based in the US.

Here is what the Norfolk Constabulary felt they could say:

Please find below our latest statement regarding the UEA investigation.

Detective Superintendent Julian Gregory who is leading the investigation said:

“This is a complex investigation and as a consequence will take some time to conclude. As with any investigation we will interview anyone who may have information which is of relevance to the enquiry but it would inappropriate to comment on any specific lines of enquiry.”

“Norfolk Constabulary continues its investigations into criminal offences in relation to a data breach at the University of East Anglia. During the enquiry officers have been working in liaison with the Office of the Information Commissioner and with officers from the National Domestic Extremism Team [See NETCU]. The UEA continues to co-operate with the enquiry; however, major investigations of this nature are of necessity very detailed and as a consequence can take time to reach a conclusion. It would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage."

Sunday, April 25, 2010

AIM Myth Busters: Marshall Trial, Part II--Winners and Losers

"[M]uch of the testimony revolved around whether or not Dick [Marshall] and his then-wife, Cleo, took possession of the murder note, 'Take care of the baggage.'

...From the start, government prosecutors had their hands tied, sort of like the victim’s, just before Arlo and John Boy Graham (to be tried in July) dragged [Anna Mae Aquash] to a cliff near Wanblee, South Dakota and ended her life."---AIM Myth Busters (4-23-10)

The AIM Myth Busters (4-23-10) have posted a second article about the trial of Dick Marshall for the December 1975 murder of Anna Mae Aquash. The most authoritative account of her murder appears in American Indian Mafia by the former FBI Agent-in-Charge Joseph Trimbach and his son John. [See the AIM Myth Busters' first article about Dick Marshall's trial, "Tales From the Courtroom: Arlo Takes the Fall, Once Again" (4-18-10).]

Marshall Trial, Part II--Winners and Losers

It took the jury less than two hours to conclude that there was insufficient evidence to find Dick Marshall guilty of aiding and abetting the 1975 murder of Anna Mae Pictou Aquash. Marshall stood accused of providing the never-recovered .38 special used to shoot the victim in the head, an increasingly difficult charge to prove once defense counselor Dana Hanna raised the possibility that any one of the three alleged killers, Theda, Arlo, or John Boy, could have been packing their own heat. Indeed, much of the testimony revolved around whether or not Dick and his then-wife, Cleo, took possession of the murder note, “Take care of the baggage.” Given the many shortcomings in this second courtroom attempt to bring justice to Anna Mae, the easily-confused jury might have been more convinced that the Marshalls kept note paper rather than guns, let alone the gun.

When the trial moved to the deliberation room on Thursday, it was clear that things were not going as well as hoped in a controversy that pitted one tribal clan against another. In a case where the word of one convicted killer, Arlo Looking Cloud, challenged the word of another convicted killer, Dick Marshall, identifying the good guy and the bad guy was admittedly problematic. The jury's body language said it all: they just weren’t getting it. Even if the facts had been presented in a meaningful and clear manner, it would have been an uphill battle to “prove it” to jury members who said they spend their free time watching CSI shows on TV.

For the casual observer, it seemed unfair that virtually all the evidence that would have made the case a slam-dunk was deemed prejudicial and was thrown out. Short of a major turnaround - a surprise witness or an effective closing statement, both equally unlikely - the odds were against the government overcoming the threshold of reasonable doubt and reasonable conclusions. Interminable cross examinations involving testimony having little or nothing to do with the case, and a strategy tied to a pile of hearsay evidence, all pointed to a hung jury as the best possible outcome.

From the start, government prosecutors had their hands tied, sort of like the victim’s, just before Arlo and John Boy Graham (to be tried in July) dragged her to a cliff near Wanblee, South Dakota and ended her life. Not only did the government need to show evidence that Dick and his ex-wife kept guns in their house, prosecutors needed to convert the only person convicted of aiding and abetting the murder, Arlo, into a credible star-witness. This was a hurdle made even higher by the sweeping evidence the jury was not allowed to hear. For openers, there was the unmentioned minor cache of weaponry taken from the Marshall household when Dick went on trial for the 1975 murder of Martin Montileaux. In fact, Dick was awaiting trial in that case when he briefly held Anna Mae against her will in his living room. The jury was not allowed to hear how Dick had put a gun to Montileaux’s neck, a few months earlier, and had pulled the trigger as AIM leader Russell Means stood by and watched. The jury was not allowed to hear how Dick later confessed to the crime, or about possible reasons Dick was bound to do Russell’s bidding as body guard and enforcer. How about first-hand evidence of the state of fear that still exists on the reservation should anyone publicly mention several AIM murders yet to be adjudicated, or even investigated?

Understandably, the jury had trouble believing Arlo’s testimony that he is not as afraid of prison gangs as he is of Russell’s people, and of what they might do to any one of hundreds of Arlo’s family members. The all-white jury had no concept of having approximately 500 relatives on the reservation, as Arlo truthfully testified, or the threat from those who may yet seek revenge from anyone testifying against an aging but still menacing AIM crime machine, with a long history of preying on reservation Indians.

Still, there were small signs of progress in the hunt for Anna Mae’s killers. One of the key government witnesses, journalist Serle Chapman, provided emotional and compelling testimony about how AIM lawyers Ken Tilsen and Bruce Ellison tried to con him into believing that anyone who viewed photographs of the victim could have easily recognized the face as Anna Mae’s. Eventually, Chapman saw through the ruse and demanded to see the photographs. This was when, as he recalled on the witness stand, Chapman sensed that not only were AIM lawyers misleading him, they were doing so to shield their own involvement in the murder conspiracy.

For over thirty years, Ellison has led efforts to cover up his questioning of Anna Mae as she sat tied up in his Rapid City office a few days before his friends conspired against her. In 2001, Ellison famously decried reservation murders, such as Anna Mae’s, in front of a UN Human Rights Commission in another farce where AIM lawyers alleged FBI involvement in AIM murders. Ellison’s claim that Anna Mae’s badly decomposed body was easily identifiable is also one of several planted stories passed on to Peter Matthiessen, author of the highly falsified yet critically acclaimed, In the Spirit of Crazy Horse. Matthiessen has been stuck defending a long series of lies designed to exonerate his book’s main subject, Leonard Peltier, another convicted AIM killer. In both the Anna Mae murder and the Peltier murders of FBI Agents Jack Coler and Ron Williams, Matthiessen’s story attempts to implicate and blame the FBI in a vast conspiracy of shady characters and mining company executives. Today it seems almost comical that Matthiessen credits Ellison and Peltier for helping him write a book the media once described as “meticulously researched.”

Although Marshall got off, his trial revealed a bit more of the truth in a growing movement of outrage against AIM lawyers and a hoped-for backlash. Arlo’s testimony, you may recall, outed Rapid City counselor Charlie Abourezk for his role in the murder. Senator James Abourezk’s son rounds out the trifecta of legal expertise that still provides pro bono cover-up and explains why achieving justice for Anna Mae has been long in coming. As was the case in the razing of Wounded Knee village in 1973 and the legal defense that followed, when the lawyers are involved in the crime, it becomes that much more difficult to win the courtroom battle. The rules are designed to protect the innocent, not highlight guilty officers of the court who manipulate rules of evidence to help themselves avoid jail time.

Still, there is hope. Justice seekers look forward to future trials and the possibility of testimony regarding attorney Ken Tilsen, who says his office records from the period of Anna Mae’s interrogations and death have mysteriously disappeared, and who claims a mild stroke prevents him from remembering much else from those days. In a remarkable irony, Tilsen was recently given a lifetime achievement award by the Minnesota chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). I am sure his family members are proud of his achievements in the area of “lifetime” accomplishments and defending people’s “civil liberties.” But I doubt Anna Mae’s daughter Denise, who spent much of the trial in tears, believes Tilsen is deserving of anything but swift justice with regard to her mother’s civil liberties.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Dealing in Doubt: The Climate Denial Industry and Climate Science

The Lorax
Dr. Seuss
I am the Lorax
I speak for the trees.
I speak for the trees,
for the trees have no tongues.
(Parts 1, 2, 3)
According to Wikipedia, "Maurice Noble (May 1, 1911–May 18, 2001) was an American animation background artist and layout designer whose contributions to the industry spanned more than 60 years." Noble worked with the children's author Dr. Seuss on the 1972 animated film The Lorax, which is based on Seuss' 1971 book by the same name.
Wikipedia observes:
The book is commonly recognized as a fable concerning industrialized society, using the literary element of personification to give life to industry as the Once-ler (whose face is never shown in any of the story's illustrations or in the television special) and to the environment as the Lorax. It has become a popular metaphor for those concerned about the environment.
Greenpeace has published an article titled "Dealing in Doubt: The Climate Denial Industry and climate Science." Greenpeace describes the paper as "A Brief History of Attacks on Climate Science, Climate Scientists and the IPCC."
The global warming denialists on the blogs remind me of the villain in The Lorax called the Once-ler, who never shown throughout the book except for his arms, legs, and eyes. (Watch The Lorax, Parts 1, 2, 3)
"Dealing in Doubt" (p. 4) notes that the denialist lobby has affiliations with coal, oil, and car companies, as well as with foreign governments:
In the early 1990s a number of lobby groups were set up to stave off the prospect of political action to prevent climate change. These included the Global Climate Coalition (GCC), the Climate Council and the Information Council on the Environment (ICE).
The GCC called itself an ‘organisation of business trade associations and private companies established in 1989 to coordinate business participation in the scientific and policy debate on global climate change’ (6).
Its membership was a list of the largest coal, oil and car companies in the US.
The Climate Council worked with lobbyist heavyweight Don Pearlman, who became the right hand man of the Saudi, Kuwait and Russian governments (7).
ICE was formed by a group of utility and coal companies: the National Coal Association, Western Fuels and the Edison Electric Institute (8). In 1991, according to journalist Ross Gelbspan, ICE ‘launched a blatantly misleading campaign on climate change that had been designed by a public relations firm…[that] clearly stated that the aim of the campaign was to ‘reposition global warming as theory rather than fact’. Its plan specified that three of the so-called greenhouse sceptics – Robert Balling, Pat Michaels and S Fred Singer – should be placed in broadcast appearances, op-ed pages and newspaper interviews.’ (9)
This report describes 20 years of organised attacks on climate science, scientists and the IPCC. It sets out some of the key moments in this campaign of denial started by the fossil fuel industry, and traces them to their sources.
The tobacco industry’s misinformation and PR campaign against regulation reached a peak just as laws controlling it were about to be introduced. Similarly, the campaign against climate science has intensified as global action on climate change has become more likely.
This time, though, there is a difference. In recent years the corporate PR campaign has gone viral, spawning a denial movement that is distributed, decentralised and largely immune to reasoned response.
For example, prominent UK sceptic Lord Christopher Monckton (3) is not known to be funded by big business. He is not a scientist, yet, as a key denier, his challenges to climate science have made him the darling of the industry-funded, US based conservative think tanks such as the Heartland Institute. He has challenged Al Gore to debates, turned up at climate negotiations in Bali, Poznan and Copenhagen, and more recently, conducted a paid speaking tour of Australia. There are many more like him who repeat the denier message for no other reason than because they believe it.
The hysteria that greeted the release of the hacked emails from the University of East Anglia on the eve of the Copenhagen Climate Summit showed the depth of this movement and the willingness of the media to facilitate it, despite its lack of evidence or scientific support. The last peak in the climate denial campaign was in 1997 following the IPCC’s Second Assessment Report (SAR). At the time it was accompanied by none of the populist venom that emerged in late 2009, perhaps because the internet was still in its infancy.
Still, the majority of the conservative front groups or conservative think tanks running campaigns against climate science continue to receive funding from big oil and energy interests – not just ExxonMobil, but a raft of other companies and foundations whose profits are driven by the products that cause global warming. [Read the full text.]

Secure American Future: a Program of the American Security Project

"Scientists have been able to reconstruct several millennia worth of atmospheric records by examining ice cores drawn from miles-deep ice sheets.1 These records show a constant fluctuation of CO2 levels, ranging from roughly 200 parts per million (PPM) to roughly 300 PPM. Over an ice core record of 800,000 years, scientists have never found any levels significantly higher than 300 (PPM) -- until now. In the 1950s, CO2 levels were recorded above 300 PPM. They have risen consistently since, and are now approaching 400 PPM.2"--Climate Change and Consequences

Secure American Future is a program of the American Security Project.

Secure American Future describes its mission this way:

We believe that global warming is a real and growing threat to our national security – and we are committed to taking action before it's too late.

In order to raise public awareness of this threat and create a movement to take action, we are building an active, bipartisan coalition of scientists, foreign policy analysts, diplomats, military experts, retired generals, elected officials – and concerned Americans.

Continued inaction could result in the destruction of agricultural production and water supplies, dramatic political and military upheaval, and the dislocation of huge segments of the world's population.

What could that mean for America? Less secure borders. Failed states in regions of the world where terrorism flourishes. New and broader interventions by our military.

We resolve to face unafraid this dangerous threat, and to take the necessary action to protect American security interests. We deal in facts and scientific analysis, not political rhetoric.

Check out their link on climate change and its consequences. The Pentagon also views climate change as a threat to our national security.

In the U.K., special NETCU police are probably closing in on the culprits who hacked into the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit (CRU) in order to discredit the scientists.

Some scientists believe that dinosaurs may have fallen victim to climate change, although James Inhofe is still ranting away in the Senate about the "great hoax of global warming." This arrogant moron thinks that he knows more than the scientists.

Stonyfield Farm Says Adding Flax to Their Cows' Diet Reduces the Production of the Greenhouse Gas Methane

My grandfather was a veterinarian who built a small mill in the 1920s that manufactured scientifically-formulated feed for livestock, so this story on CNN about feeding cows interested me.

According to the dairy farmers at Stonyfield Farm in Vermont, the greenhouse gas methane comes mainly from the silent burps of cows and not, as most of us would suppose, from the other end! According to the New York Times (6-4-09), "the average cow expels — through burps mostly, but some flatulence — 200 to 400 pounds of methane a year." [See this informative NYT article, "Greening the Herds: A New Diet to Cap Gas"]

The Stonyfield farmers say that giving the cows cooked flax in their diet reduces the methane they burp. The milk is also richer in omega-3.

CNN (4-23/24-10) has been airing this story during its "Green Solutions in Focus," segment [See video and story here], but the story is published on the internet at Lexis-Nexis News:

PHILLIPS: We've all heard the environmental talk about man's carbon foot print, but did you know that cows leave a pretty big hoof print of their own? It comes in the form of gas, methane gas.

Photojournalist Bob Foley (ph) found a farm in Vermont where all they want out of their cows is the milk and the moos.


NANCY HIRSCHBERG, STONEYFIELD FARM: Vermont has a long history of being a huge milk state. My name's Nancy Hirschberg (ph). I'm the vice president of natural resources for Stoneyfield Farm. We make organic yogurt and dairy products.

The Fourniers are one of about 180 organic dairy farms in the state of Vermont.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We can milk up to eight a time.

HIRSCHBERG: He's one of the 1,400 members of Organic Valley Crop Cooperative. The Stoneyfield Farm greener cow project was an effort on our behalf to find a way to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from milk production.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on girl. Go. Come on.

HIRSCHBERG: We thought our factory was going to be the biggest part of our contribution to climate change and lo and behold it was actually the milk production. The cows themselves and their burps.

Cows release methane which is a very potent greenhouse gas. A lot of people think when they hear gas from cows that is coming from the rear end and it's actually coming from the mouths in silent burps.

This is a cooked flax. We're adding just a few pounds a day to their diet and what it does is it rebalances their stomach, so they actually produce less methane.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The numbers that we've got so far on this farm somewhere in the range of 12 percent to 15 percent improvement reducing methane emissions from the cows.

HIRSCHBERG: There's been a huge health benefit as well. We were able to increase the omega-3 in the milk by almost a third.

EARL FOURNIER, DAIRY FARMER: I want to do my share. This is part of the reason why we farm in a sustainable manner and this just makes it better.

HIRSCHBERG: The benefits are not only for the greenhouse gas emission, but it's for the animals' health, for our human health as well as the planet.


PHILLIPS: You can tune in tomorrow afternoon for Green Solutions in Focus. CNN's award-winning photojournalists look at the people behind this global environmental movement and the positive impact they've made in their neighborhood and beyond. That's "Green Solutions in Focus", tomorrow, 3:00 p.m. Eastern.

Climate Literacy: "The Essential Principles of Climate Sciences"

Thirteen departments and agencies participate in the United States Global Change Research Program (USGCRP). Check out the thirteen departments or agencies by clicking here, and follow the links to learn more about their research into climate change.

The United States Global Change Research Program has a brochure on their Resources link about climate science that can be downloaded (high resolution or low resolution brochure):

"The Essential Principles of Climate Science" presents important information for individuals and communities to understand Earth's climate, impacts of climate change, and approaches for adapting and mitigating change. Principles in the guide can serve as discussion starters or launching points for scientific inquiry. The guide can also serve educators who teach climate science as part of their science curricula.
Development of the guide began at a workshop sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
(NOAA) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Multiple science agencies, non-governmental organizations, and numerous individuals also contributed through extensive review and comment periods. Discussion at the National Science Foundation (NSF) and NOAA-sponsored Atmospheric Sciences and Climate Literacy workshop contributed substantially to the refinement of the document.

How Will Climate Change Affect the Great Plains?

This publication by the Global Change Research Program explains how climate change is projected to affect America's Great Plains in the next 90 years. Click on the picture to view the projections for global warming in the Great Plains.

Click on globalchange.gov to learn how scientists project that climate change will affect your region of America.

U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP)

"Global Change: Changes in the global environment (including alterations in climate, land productivity, oceans or other water resources, atmospheric chemistry, and ecological systems) that may alter the capacity of the Earth to sustain life."---The Global Change Research Act of 1990

The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) reports:

The most comprehensive, authoritative report on Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States was released on Tuesday June 16th, 2009. This report presents, in plain language, the science and impacts of climate change on the United States, now and in the future. It focuses on climate change impacts on U.S. regions and various aspects of society and the economy such as energy, water, agriculture, and health. A comprehensive series of web-pages were developed that highlight the findings and major conclusions of the report and contain complete downloadable files of the report, as well as a host of additional content on climate change impacts on the U.S.

The "About Us" page of the U.S. Global Change Research Program explains:

The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) coordinates and integrates federal research on changes in the global environment and their implications for society. The USGCRP began as a presidential initiative in 1989 and was mandated by Congress in the Global Change Research Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-606), which called for "a comprehensive and integrated United States research program which will assist the Nation and the world to understand, assess, predict, and respond to human-induced and natural processes of global change."

Thirteen departments and agencies participate in the USGCRP, which was known as the U.S. Climate Change Science Program from 2002 through 2008. The program is steered by the Subcommittee on Global Change Research under the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, overseen by the Executive Office of the President, and facilitated by an Integration and Coordination Office.

During the past two decades, the United States, through the USGCRP, has made the world's largest scientific investment in the areas of climate change and global change research. Since its inception, the USGCRP has supported research and observational activities in collaboration with several other national and international science programs.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Richard Marshall, Russell Means' Enforcer, Found Not Guilty of Aiding and Abetting in the Murder of Anna Mae Aquash

"The verdict 'was a toss, we knew that,' [Denise Pictou Maloney] said Thursday. 'But it is what it is. And in our territory, the fact that [Dick Marshall] saw my mother [Anna Mae Aquash (pictured above)] at his house with those people, and did nothing to help her, makes him an accessory in our eyes. And he will never be forgiven for that in our territory.'"--Rapid City Journal (4-22-10)

Paul Demain of News from Indian Country reports on Native News Update (4-22-10) that Russell Means' enforcer and bodyguard Richard Marshall has been acquitted [See Dave Kolpack, AP (4-22-10) and Heidi Bell Gease, Rapid City Journal (4-22-10)] on the charge of aiding and abetting in the 1975 murder of Anna Mae Aquash (pictured above). Marshall was found not guilty today, April 22, 2010.

Russell Means's former enforcer and bodyguard is a previously convicted killer who served time for the murder of Martin Montileaux in the men's room of a Scenic, South Dakota, bar.

AIM Myth Busters (4-18-10) reports:

Rumor has it that Montileaux was threatening to go public with information about secret AIM murders [more here] dating back to the Wounded Knee takeover in 1973. Standing next to Marshall when he shot Montileaux in the neck was his boss, Russell Means. Tried separately, Means was found not guilty.

If He Only Had a Brain: Crime Boss Russell Means Says He Promised Not to Tell Who Ordered the Anna Mae Aquash Murder

"Even in the Rapid City courtroom where Pictou Maloney has attended the trials of two men charged in her mother's murder, she said none of her mother's fellow American Indian Movement members have come over to say hello.

'My mother was abandoned in her life by those people," Pictou Maloney said, 'so why would that change in death?'"---"Aquash daughter speaks out, says trial confirms AIM members killed her mother," by Heidi Bell Gease, Rapid City Journal (4-22-10)

News from Indian Country has posted an amazing video (4-21-2010). [See their twitters and newspaper.]

Denise Pictou Maloney, one of the two adult daughters of murder victim Anna Mae Aquash, was interviewed by reporters about the trial of Richard Marshall, who is accused of providing the gun that was used in the 1975 murder of Anna Mae.

In the News from Indian Country video (4-21-10), Denise Pictou Maloney revealed that she had recently spoken with Dick Marshall's former crime boss Russell Means and that Means told her that he knew who ordered her mother's murder but that he had promised not to tell until that person was dead.

According to News from Indian Country, however, in 1999 Russell Means and former University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill called a press conference in Denver to make a statement about the involvement of Clyde and Vernon Bellecourt in ordering the execution of Aquash. Russell Means claimed that Clyde Bellecourt took a phone call from his brother, the late Vernon Bellecourt, and then issued an order for her murder.

Russell Means said:

The reason I called for this press conference for my participation is to tell the world, about the leadership of the American Indian Movement at that time, was well aware of what happened to Anna Mae, and two of the leaders ordered her death. Vernon Bellecourt made the phone call to the house on Rosebud, which.....[Means gets emotional]...is my brother’s house...and Clyde Bellecourt took the call from Vernon and then issued the order for her death, for her murder...

...[I]t was Vernon Bellecourt who ordered her death.

One of the three that took Anna Mae to her death has told me that it was Vernon Bellecourt and that’s why I’m coming forth, now up until April of this year, I was out of that loop about what went down with Anna Mae and I do not know why, except the fact, they knew I would do something to clear AIM’s name. [See The Denver Press Conference: Russell Means fingers Bellecourts - November 3, 1999]

Isn't it a little disingenuous of Russell Means to say he “promised not to tell” who ordered Anna Mae's execution if he already told in the 1999 press conference?

The former FBI Special Agent in Charge Joseph Trimbach and his son John Trimbach describe the 1999 press conference in front of the Denver federal court building in their book Amerian Indian Mafia:

Means stood next to Ward Churchill, while the former professor of Indian Studies accused the FBI of conspiring to murder Anna Mae Aquash. They also accused their former ally, Vernon Bellecourt, of being a government spy. As Churchill spewed his usual hate-inspiring venom, Means nodded approvingly, and at the key moment provided the wayward teacher with another appropriately misleading proclamation. "They know who the murderers are," Means whispered in his friend's ear. Churchill immediately barked the words out loud for the cameras, hoping the crowd of onlookers would be fooled by the word "they," as if to suggest, one more time, that the FBI had engaged in a murder cover up.

The plain truth is that Russell Means has known for a long time the identities of the guilty...(American Indian Mafia, p. 469).

Denise Pictou Maloney, a very articulate, dignified woman, sums up what we have learned from Dick Marshall's trial and says that some people need to step up and take responsibility for her mother's murder. I think that Denise must take after her mother Anna Mae. Certainly her moving, dignified, and bitter-sweet perspective is a beautiful tribute to her mother's memory.

Today, Heidi Bell Gease of the Rapid City Journal (4-22-10) also captured Denise Pictou Maloney's perspective on the trial in a very poignant and beautifully-written article. This account is based on an interview with Bell Gease:

Aquash daughter speaks out, says trial confirms AIM members killed her mother

In a way, Denise Pictou Maloney said, she isn't surprised that people who claim to have been friends of her late mother, Annie Mae Aquash, have never contacted her family.

Even in the Rapid City courtroom where Pictou Maloney has attended the trials of two men charged in her mother's murder, she said none of her mother's fellow American Indian Movement members have come over to say hello.

"My mother was abandoned in her life by those people," Pictou Maloney said, so why would that change in death?

It's ironic that the only person Pictou Maloney said has ever contacted Aquash's family is also the only person convicted of her murder.

"(Arlo Looking Cloud) was the only one in 28 years that ever bothered to contact Annie Mae Aquash's family," Pictou Maloney said, noting that she has spoken to his relatives in court.

As for AIM leaders and members, "their silence speaks volumes to our family and our (Mi'kmaq) Territory."

Pictou Maloney said her mother believed strongly in AIM and its ideals at the movement's inception -- so strongly that she left two young daughters she loved with family and traveled from her native Nova Scotia, Canada, to South Dakota to take part in the 1973 Wounded Knee occupation.

"It was always about the truth for her," she said. "She stood up for them. She protested."

Pictou Maloney said it is painful to find that some in AIM have been more concerned about protecting the organization than about finding justice for Aquash.

"What became very apparent to me was the fear factor" involved, she said. "We are so grateful to those that have had the courage to stand up and come forward and speak the truth."

Regardless of the verdict in this week's trial of Vine Richard "Dickie" Marshall, Pictou Maloney said her family feels that the trial has been a step toward justice for her mother. For one thing, she said it has reaffirmed evidence that AIM members -- not federal authorities -- were the ones that killed her mother. "That negates all the conspiracy theorists," she said.

Meanwhile, Pictou Maloney said she clings fiercely to memories of the mother she lost when she was just 11 years old. Aquash was a good mother who instilled her daughters with strong morals and values, Pictou Maloney said.

She vividly remembers her mother telling her, "Don't ever lie. She said to always tell the truth."

Pictou Maloney said she also remembers her mother's last visit home to Canada. At that time, Pictou Maloney said, Aquash had already been interrogated by AIM members who suspected her of being a government informant. Federal officials said she was not an informant.

"I think she knew things weren't going to go well," Pictou Maloney said. "She asked me to look after my younger sister."

More than 35 years have passed since then. But Pictou Maloney said she still holds out hope that the truth about her mother -- who in life put so much emphasis on truth -- will eventually catch up with those responsible for Aquash's death.

"I guess they underestimated my mother's abilities ... and her spirit," she said.

"Because it will come full circle, as so it should."

Contact Heidi Bell Gease at 394-8419 or heidi.bell@rapidcityjournal.com

Monday, April 19, 2010

Tales from the Courtroom: Arlo Takes the Fall, Once Again

American Indian Mafia: An FBI Agent's True Story About Wounded Knee, Leonard Peltier, and the American Indian Movement (AIM) by Joseph H. Trimbach and John M. Trimbach

"Arlo [Looking Cloud] wants the jury to believe that anyone powerful and closely associated with Russell Means could be viewed as a very serious threat. He might be right about that. For the fellow who I spied in the courtroom, the one who gave the nod to Russell [Means] in 2004, was the same man Arlo says he fears. And his name is Charlie Abourezk."---AIM Myth Busters (4-18-10)

The AIM Myth Busters are attending the Rapid City, South Dakota trial of Richard Marshall, who is charged with the December 1975 murder of Anna Mae Aquash. The Myth Busters report on what is happening in the courtroom in their 4-18-10 post:

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Tales From the Courtroom: Arlo Takes the Fall, Once Again

It has been several years since I last entered the mahogany-lined courtroom on the third floor of the Federal Court Building in Rapid City, South Dakota. That trial, in February 2004, ended in door-opening justice. Despite a hazy murder timeline and a sometimes confused jury, Arlo Looking Cloud was found guilty of aiding and abetting the 1975 execution murder of Anna Mae Pictou Aquash. American Indian Movement (AIM) leaders mistakenly believed that Anna Mae was an FBI informant. Her punishment, allegedly sanctioned by AIM founder Dennis Banks, was death. Arlo’s conviction shed light on a murder conspiracy that involved at least 20 people, several of whom had testified in an effort to remove themselves from the line of fire. I remember seeing AIM leader Russell Means, sitting about four rows back on the right half of the courtroom. When Judge Piersol called for a recess, I watched a tall white man with a ponytail stand up and look around towards Russell. Figuring him for an Indian wannabe, I followed his eyes. He looked right at Russell, rolled his eyes and half-smiled as if to say, so far so good, pal. As it turned out, it was a good outcome for some, judging by the six-year lag in courtroom trials.

Now, in the year 2010, we’re back in the same courtroom with the same judge. Judge Piersol walks softly (and is sometimes difficult to hear) but carries a big gavel, as when he threatened to clear the courtroom if he hears another cell phone. One notable difference this time around: the big fish are nowhere to be found. However, the same AIM underlings are testifying, and once again demonstrating an acquired skill of prevarication under oath. And getting away with it quite nicely. There was Candy Hamilton [more here], gaunt and stern-looking, staring intently, telling the same old story of being surrounded by Anna Mae’s killers but not having a clue as to what was about to happen. Same for Troy Lynn Yellow Wood, still unable to summon any remorse for hosting Anna Mae’s abduction party. And Cleo Gates, the ex-wife of the accused, Richard Vine Marshall, saying they never kept a gun in their house during the most violent period in AIM history. The defendant sits expressionless next to his baldheaded defender, Dana Hanna, who is ready to pounce on any perceived inequity shown towards his client. At issue is whether or not Marshall, Russell Means’s former bodyguard, provided the murder weapon used to shoot Anna Mae in the head at close range. Marshall had already served time and admitted guilt for doing one [murder] for Russ, a fact the jury was not supposed to hear. Marshall’s 1977 murder sentence was commuted after he admitted fatally shooting Martin Montileaux in a barroom bathroom in 1975, the same year the AIM leadership condemned Anna Mae. Rumor has it that Montileaux was threatening to go public with information about secret AIM murders [more here] dating back to the Wounded Knee takeover in 1973. Standing next to Marshall when he shot Montileaux in the neck was his boss, Russell Means. Tried separately, Means was found not guilty.

Unlike many victims from the 1970s, the legacy of AIM leaders getting away with it is alive and well. Even at the time of the first trial, we knew Arlo’s conviction would become a hollow victory if the others did not follow him. You see, he was supposed to take the fall for his AIM leaders and their lying enablers. So far, so good. As is usually the case when adjudicating AIM violence, the real culprits slip through their escape hatch, to the waiting arms of semi-ignorant supporters, political opportunists, and Hollywood Lefties.

So now we’re faced with a similar dilemma in the courtroom: a confused jury, several co-conspirators committing perjury, and another uncertain outcome. And to make matters worse for the prosecution, Arlo has now become their star witness. Worse because Arlo had to explain changes to his story, twists that have kept the jurors awake. One was Arlo’s justification for previously not mentioning the stop at the Marshall residence for fear of what Russell’s hit man might have done to Arlo’s many reservation relatives. It was not until 2008 that Arlo changed his story to include the stop in Allen, South Dakota, and the house where Cleo said her husband did not keep a gun of any description. Unfortunately, I think the jury buys it. If they only knew how poorly Arlo has been served by previous defense counsel, that is, until a conscientious attorney by the name of Barry Bachrach decided to help Arlo, rather than help him roll over. Bachrach used to be Leonard Peltier’s attorney, until he saw the light and was bothered by a conscience that would not let him represent an unrepentant killer who has bilked millions of dollars from well-intentioned supporters egged on by the media. (But that’s a whole’ nother story!) At least Arlo shows true remorse, although it is difficult for the jury to see. Bachrach hopes the judge will allow him to violate his attorney-client privilege so he can testify on behalf of his client. Somebody needs to resuscitate Arlo’s story and credibility, and it might as well be his own lawyer. The judge will announce his ruling on the matter first thing Monday morning, despite Hanna’s calling it “extremely irregular.” Hanna was calm compared to when he loudly objected to Arlo blurting out that Marshall was “Russell Means’s enforcer.” “Objection!” thundered Hannah. “I move for an immediate mistrial… this has poisoned any chance for a fair trial for my client.” It did not seem fair that Arlo was forbidden from explaining why he feared Dick Marshall and had left out the part about being in Dick’s bedroom on the night of the murder. That was when Dick was allegedly handed a note with the instructions, “take care of the baggage” a quote Cleo changed to “take care of the luggage” when she was under oath. Hanna protests that Arlo’s new version is simply an attempt to have his life sentence reduced. The judge ruled that the show must go on.

Arlo’s other alteration came as an even bigger shock. 2008 was also the first time he mentioned the name of the man who greeted him at the door at Bill Means’s house, the second-to-last stop on Anna Mae’s final ride into the wilderness. When Arlo needed to use the bathroom, he temporarily left his prisoner in the back of the Pinto hatchback. When Arlo knocked on Russell's brother's door, he says he was greeted by Charlie Abourezk, Russell’s other main AIM buddy at the time. Today, Charlie is known as a well-placed lawyer in Rapid City and the son of South Dakota’s former Senator, James Abourezk. Arlo wants the jury to believe that anyone powerful and closely associated with Russell Means could be viewed as a very serious threat. He might be right about that. For the fellow who I spied in the courtroom, the one who gave the nod to Russell in 2004, was the same man Arlo says he fears. And his name is Charlie Abourezk [more here].

Taking Up the Security Challenge of Climate Change

"Climate change over the next 20 years could result in a global catastrophe costing millions of lives in wars and natural disasters.

A secret report, suppressed by US defence chiefs and obtained by The Observer, warns that major European cities will be sunk beneath rising seas as Britain is plunged into a 'Siberian' climate by 2020. Nuclear conflict, mega-droughts, famine and widespread rioting will erupt across the world.

The document predicts that abrupt climate change could bring the planet to the edge of anarchy as countries develop a nuclear threat to defend and secure dwindling food, water and energy supplies. The threat to global stability vastly eclipses that of terrorism, say the few experts privy to its contents.

'Disruption and conflict will be endemic features of life,' concludes the Pentagon analysis. 'Once again, warfare would define human life'...

The report was commissioned by influential Pentagon defence adviser Andrew Marshall, who has held considerable sway on US military thinking over the past three decades. He was the man behind a sweeping recent review aimed at transforming the American military under Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Climate change 'should be elevated beyond a scientific debate to a US national security concern', say the authors, Peter Schwartz, CIA consultant and former head of planning at Royal Dutch/Shell Group, and Doug Randall of the California-based Global Business Network.

...[Andrew W.] Marshall, 82, is a Pentagon legend who heads a secretive think-tank dedicated to weighing risks to national security called the Office of Net Assessment. Dubbed 'Yoda' by Pentagon insiders who respect his vast experience, he is credited with being behind the Department of Defence's push on ballistic-missile defence. "--The Observer (2-22-04)

The pessimistic, classified 2004 Pentagon study commissioned by "futurist-in-chief" Andrew W. Marshall, the Director of the Office of Net Assessment, and cited in The Observer (2-22-04) evidently argues that global warming and the possibility of abrupt climate change are a threat to America's national security.

Now an unclassified study has been published by The Strategic Studies Institute of the United States Army War College.

Authored by Rymn J. Parsons, the study is titled Taking Up the Security Challenge of Climate Change [Download it Now]:

Brief Synopsis

Climate change, in which man-made global warming is a major factor, will likely have dramatic and long lasting consequences with profound security implications, making it a challenge the United States must urgently take up. The security implications will be most pronounced in places where the effects of climate change are greatest, particularly affecting weak states already especially vulnerable to environmental destabilization. Two things are vitally important: stemming the tide of climate change and adapting to its far-reaching consequences. This project examines the destabilizing effects of climate change and how the military could be used to mitigate global warming and to assist at-risk peoples and states to adapt to climate change, thereby promoting stability and sustainable security. Recommendations are made on the importance of U.S. leadership on the critical issue of global warming, on defining and dealing with the strategic dimensions of climate change, and, as a case in point, on how Sino-American cooperation in Africa would not only benefit areas where climate change effects are already pronounced, but also strengthen a crucial bilateral relationship. [Taking Up the Security Challenge of Climate Change]

The introduction to the study states:

The views expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government. Authors of Strategic Studies Institute (SSI) publications enjoy full academic freedom, provided they do not disclose classified information, jeopardize operations security, or misrepresent official U.S. policy. Such academic freedom empowers them to offer new and sometimes controversial perspectives in the interest of furthering debate on key issues. [Download it Now]

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Great Pretender: Lord Christopher Monckton

"A character that seems to leap right out of a Monte Python skit, Lord Monckton is the darling of those who wish desperately to believe the fantasy of climate denial. There’s way more than one video can possibly contain, so a two part series was necessary to even begin to deal with the fountain of disinformation that is Lord Christopher Monckton."--Peter Sinclair. debunking Lord Monckton, Part II (Description)

Climate TV has posted links to Peter Sinclair's Climate Denial Crock of the Week series. These videos are about the British climate change denialist Lord Monckton. See Part I, Part II, and a follow-up interview with Peter Sinclair.

Lord Monckton is a classics major and a journalist; he's not a scientist. The disingenuous Lord Monckton has never been a member of the U.K. Parliament (See part II), although he tries to give credulous Americans that impression. When he testified in Congress, Lord Monckton said, "I bring fraternal greetings from the Mother of Parliaments to the Congress of your athletic democracy." (See Part II.)

Monckton gives the impression that he was a science advisor to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, although Peter Sinclair says this is misleading. In Part II, we can see Prime Minister Thatcher giving a speech that confirms that global warming is happening.

Here is a passage on global warming from a text of a 9-27-88 speech Prime Minister thatcher gave before the Royal Society:

In studying the system of the earth and its atmosphere we have no laboratory in which to carry out controlled experiments. We have to rely on observations of natural systems. We need to identify particular areas of research which will help to establish cause and effect. We need to consider in more detail the likely effects of change within precise timescales. And to consider the wider implications for policy—for energy production, for fuel efficiency, for reforestation. This is no small task, for the annual increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide alone is of the order of three billion tonnes. And half the carbon emitted since the Industrial Revolution remains in the atmosphere. We have an extensive research programme at our meteorological office and we provide one of the world's four centres for the study of climatic change. We must ensure that what we do is founded on good science to establish cause and effect.

Sinclair's videos demonstrate how Monckton mischaracterizes scientific papers in order to mislead people. Sinclair characterizes Monckton as a snake oil salesman. He seems to me to be an upper-class British version of the discredited "scholar" Ward Churchill who brings his gullible audience greetings from an Indian tribe as if he were a member.

Sea-Level Changes Drive Variability in Volcanism

"Sea-level changes, which are a result of climate change, are what drive variability in volcanism. They do this by changing the over-pressure on the lithosphere."--Ben Lawson of "Wott's Up With That?" (4-17-10)

Ben Lawson has a site called "Wotts Up With That?" His site debunks the pseudo-scientific posts of the global warming denialist blogger Anthony Watts who has a blog called Watt's Up With That?

The global warming denialist Anthony Watts (4-16-10) is ridiculing Scientific American (4-16-10) for explaining that melting ice may contribute to volcanic eruptions in the future.

Wott's Up (4-16-10) comments:

We knew, it was only a matter of time…“. Anthony Watts sneers at Scientific American, with a side dish of Goreophobia, for suggesting that thawing ice caps in Iceland many trigger future volcanic eruptions.

I suggest Anthony and his pseudo-geologist friends Google “isostatic rebound” [see here]. It’s not likely to be a big factor, but it’s also not just theoretical.

Wikipedia explains:

Post-glacial rebound (sometimes called continental rebound, isostatic rebound, isostatic adjustment or post-ice-age isostatic recovery) is the rise of land masses that were depressed by the huge weight of ice sheets during the last glacial period, through a process known as isostasy. It affects northern Europe (especially Scotland, Fennoscandia and northern Denmark), Siberia, Canada, and the Great Lakes of Canada and the United States.

Scientific American (4-16-10) notes:

A thaw of Iceland's ice caps in coming decades caused by climate change may trigger more volcanic eruptions by removing a vast weight and freeing magma from deep below ground, scientists said on Friday.

They said there was no sign that the current eruption from below the Eyjafjallajokull glacier that has paralysed flights over northern Europe was linked to global warming. The glacier is too small and light to affect local geology.

"Our work suggests that eventually there will be either somewhat larger eruptions or more frequent eruptions in Iceland in coming decades," said Freysteinn Sigmundsson, a vulcanologist at the University of Iceland.

"Global warming melts ice and this can influence magmatic systems," he told Reuters. The end of the Ice Age 10,000 years ago coincided with a surge in volcanic activity in Iceland, apparently because huge ice caps thinned and the land rose.

"We believe the reduction of ice has not been important in triggering this latest eruption," he said of Eyjafjallajokull. "The eruption is happening under a relatively small ice cap."

Carolina Pagli, a geophysicist at the University of Leeds in England, said there were risks that climate change could also trigger volcanic eruptions or earthquakes in places such as Mount Erebus in Antarctica, the Aleutian islands of Alaska or Patagonia in South America.

"The effects would be biggest with ice-capped volcanoes," she said. "If you remove a load that is big enough you will also have an effect at depths on magma production."

...At high pressures such as under an ice cap, they reckon that rocks cannot expand to turn into liquid magma even if they are hot enough. "As the ice melts the rock can melt because the pressure decreases," she said.

Sigmundsson said that monitoring of the Vatnajokull volcano since 2008 suggested that the 2008 estimate for magma generation was "probably a minimum estimate. It can be somewhat larger."

He said that melting ice seemed the main way in which climate change, blamed mainly on use of fossil fuels, could have knock-on effects on geology.

The science journal Nature (9-17-09) also has published an article titled "Volcanoes stirred by climate change."

Friday, April 16, 2010

Climatic Research Unit (CRU) Cleared of Any Scientific Impropriety and Dishonesty; Suggestions Made for Improvement

Carleton House Terrace, the Present home of the Royal Society

The University of East Angia has posted a press release (4-14-10) in response to the report of the Science Assessment Panel that examined important elements of the published science of the University's Climatic Research Unit (CRU).

A former chair of the Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology, Lord Oxburgh, is the chair of the independent Scientific Assessment Panel.

Lord Oxburgh's appointment was made on the recommendation of the Royal Society, which was also been consulted on the choice of the six distinguished scientists who have been invited to be members of the panel.

Response by the University of East Anglia to the Report by Lord Oxburgh’s Science Assessment Panel

Wed, 14 Apr 2010

UEA welcomes the Report by the Lord Oxburgh’s Independent Panel, both in respect of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) being cleared of any scientific impropriety and dishonesty, and the suggestions made for improvement in some other areas.

The Oxburgh findings are the result of the latest scrutiny of CRU’s research. The first was the original peer review which led to publication in some of the world’s leading international science journals; the second was the Inquiry by the Parliamentary Science and Technology Committee. Taken together, these must represent one of the most searching examinations of any body of scientific research. The veracity of CRU’s research remains intact after this examination.

It is gratifying to us that the Oxburgh Report points out that CRU has done a public service of great value by carrying out meticulous work on temperature records when it was unfashionable and attracted little scientific interest, and that the Unit has been amongst the leaders in international efforts to determine the overall uncertainty in the derived temperature records. Similarly, the Report emphasises that all of CRU’s published research on the global land-based instrumental temperature record included detailed descriptions of uncertainties and appropriate caveats. We also welcome the confirmation that, although some have accused CRU of trying to mislead, the Unit’s published research emphasises the late 20th Century discrepancy between tree-based proxy reconstructions of temperature and instrumental observations.

The Report points out where things might have been done better. One is to engage more with professional statisticians in the analysis of data. Another, related, point is that more efficacious statistical techniques might have been employed in some instances (although it was pointed out that different methods may not have produced different results). Specialists in many areas of research acquire and develop the statistical skills pertinent to their own particular data analysis requirements. However, we do see the sense in engaging more fully with the wider statistics community to ensure that the most effective and up-to-date statistical techniques are adopted and will now consider further how best to achieve this.

Another area for suggested improvement is in the archiving of data and algorithms, and in recording exactly what was done. Although no-one predicted the import of this pioneering research when it started in the mid-1980’s, it is now clear that more effort needs to be put into this activity. CRU, and other parts of the climate science community, are already making improvements in these regards, and the University will continue to ensure that these imperatives are maintained.

The Independent Climate Change E-mail Review investigation [here] is underway, and therefore some important issues are still under active consideration. This document is our immediate written response to the Oxburgh Report. In the coming weeks we shall be considering precisely how we act upon the detailed findings of the Oxburgh Report, together with the findings of the parliamentary select committee and, in due course, the Independent Muir Russell review report.

We are grateful to Lord Oxburgh, and his international expert team, for the fair, efficient and prompt way in which they conducted their Assessment.

Use this link to read the Science Assessment Panel Report.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Richard "Dick" Marshall Goes on Trial for Aiding and Abetting the 1975 Murder of Anna Mae Aquash

"[Richard] Marshall, the bodyguard of American Indian Movement (AIM) leader Russell Means in 1975, has been accused by federal witnesses close to the case of having provided the gun for which Aquash was killed."---Paul DeMain, News From Indian Country

UPDATE: See "AIM Slaying: Trial Set In 1975 Killing Of Activist" (Dave Kolpack, AP 4-12-10); See also "Aquash murder trial for Richard Marshall opens April 14" (Dave Kolpack, News from Indian Country via AP 4-13-10).

Richard Marshall, the former bodyguard of Russell Means, finally goes on trial on Tuesday, April 13, 2010, for the December 1975 murder of the Canadian Indian Anna Mae Aquash.

Marshall---a previously convicted killer who served time for the murder of Martin Mountileaux in the men's room of a Scenic, South Dakota, bar---allegedly provided the Canadian Indian triggerman John Graham with the gun that was used to execute the Canadian Indian Anna Mae Aquash in December 1975 on the Pine Ridge Indian reservation.

Search Aquash on my site for more articles. See especially my post "Former FBI Agent in Charge Joe Trimbach: 'Justice for Anna Mae Might Finally Become a Reality'" (9-16-09). Mr. Trimbach and his son John have written about Anna Mae's murder in their book, American Indian Mafia.

The Trimbachs' book was recently reviewed this April by Adrian L. Jawort in Native Sun News, and the review was reprinted in News from Indian Country. The NFIC Editor's Note that prefaces the article observes:

Many of our readers will remember the 20+ or so years of support NFIC gave to Leonard Peltier and other AIM myths before our investigative work with the late Richard LaCourse and other Native journalists turned up numerous changing alibis, evidence of additional murders, and convincing recorded interviews about Peltier interrogating Annie Mae Pictou Aquash by putting a gun in her mouth and bragging about shooting FBI agent Ron Williams. In recent years Peltier has also chosen to utilize his lobbying efforts in support of attempts to keep John Boy Patton Graham from going to trial in the alleged execution of Annie Mae, writing to Denise and Debbie Pictou Maloney to tell them that he would not “lift a finger” to assist in finding justice for their mother if it meant “another brother would go to jail.”

Part of the result of those revelations led to our endorsement for reading purposes and fact checking reality of the other side of the story -- that one written by former FBI agent Joe Trimbach and his son John. [See the full text.]