Thursday, February 28, 2008

Freudian slip?

McCain almost calls himself a liberal...
Republican presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain almost called himself a liberal on Thursday, getting ahead of himself as he contrasted himself with the Democratic candidates.

“I’m a proud, conservative, liberal Republi- Hello! Easy there,” McCain said, laughing along with his audience at Texas Instruments Inc.

He corrected himself immediately. “Let me say this: I am a proud, conservative Republican, and both of my possible or likely opponents today are liberal Democrats.”


The Impeccable Timing of the DFL

Due to a sluggish economy, the Minnesota Department of Finance is forecasting a $936 million budget deficit for the upcoming year, if present levels of spending are maintained.

Now, aren't you glad that the Minnesota DFL raised our taxes to stimulate our economy?

I thought so.

An evening with the guv...

I attended a fundraiser for Governor Pawlenty tonight in Sartell; which was attended, by my estimate, by around 150-200 people. It was a great affair, attended by a number of successful local businessmen, political luminaries, and just plain folks, like myself and Gary, who shot the moon and plunked down the $100 donation to spend the evening with one who could potentially be the second most powerful man on the globe.

During the course of the evening I was able to have the Governor's ear for a few minutes. During the conversation, he downplayed his chances of being the Veep selection for John McCain, saying, "Why would someone select a governor from Minnesota to be a V.P. selection?"

(Ever hear of Walter Mondale? Or for that matter of the fact that Jimmy Carter was from Plains, Georgia, and that Bill Clinton (and Mike Huckabee) are from Hope, Arkansas.)

During the course of the conversation, I was also able to subtly voice my displeasure with Tim Pawlenty's venture into the dark side of global warming. While I was able to get him to see the possibility that anthroprogenic global warming was a hoax, Pawlenty stated that he was for environmental measures that would not harm the economy. Pawlenty acknowledged that the production of corn- and soy-based ethanol was having unintended consequences, and that there has been a huge move away from food-product ethanol and toward ethanol created via corn-based by-products, animal waste and other "refuse-to-energy" alternatives. While the governor and myself are still far apart regarding his level of buying into and legitimizing the whole MMGW, he at least is recognizing the fact that much of the policy initiatives called for by the enviro-whackos are. in fact, economy-killers.

The governor did give a good speech tonight; recognizing that once-stalwart Minnesota businesses like 3-M are looking to expand not in Minnesota, but in neighboring states in large part due to the high corporate tax burden that Minnesota imposes. The governor called for a tax climate that invites businesses and jobs, not driving them to neighboring states.

The governor also articulated his vision for the future of education in Minnesota. While he praised the current educational structure, citing the fact that Minnesota consistently scores at the top for ACT scores and graduation rates, Governor Pawlenty also stressed the need to meet the technology and other demands that the upcoming world will exact on our youths in the coming century. He stressed the need to develop computer-based curricula, that would allow high-flying students to progress at their own pace in their studies, and leave teachers freer to give more individual attention to struggling students.

Other highlights of my evening included talking with St. Cloud's mayor Dave Kleis. Kleis gave us the scoop that the City of St. Cloud, following the State of Minnesota's lead, would impose a freeze on new hires until further notice. Kleis stated that the current climate is such that a tax increase would be unconscionable. Kleis was extremely disappointed at the DFL's decision to override Governor Pawlenty's veto the other day. Kleis, a small businessman himself who operates an area driving school, stated that the gas tax will significantly increase the costs of his business which he will have to pass on to families who utilize his company's services. Additionally, the taxpayers of St. Cloud, who currently foot the gas for police and fire vehicles, snow plows, city trucks and the likes will have to absorb the increased gas tax that the city pays to run its vehicles (yes, municipalities pay as much gas tax per gallon as do its citizens).

Good going, DFL-- way to sock it to the taxpayers. Again. But I digress.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Time to put the myth to bed, once and for all.

The more that the leftists try to perpetuate the myth, and the more that supposed conservatives buy into it, the more pathetic it becomes.
Over the past year, anecdotal evidence for a cooling planet has exploded. China has its coldest winter in 100 years. Baghdad sees its first snow in all recorded history. North America has the most snowcover in 50 years, with places like Wisconsin the highest since record-keeping began. Record levels of Antarctic sea ice, record cold in Minnesota, Texas, Florida, Mexico, Australia, Iran, Greece, South Africa, Greenland, Argentina, Chile -- the list goes on and on.

No more than anecdotal evidence, to be sure. But now, that evidence has been supplanted by hard scientific fact. All four major global temperature tracking outlets (Hadley, NASA's GISS, UAH, RSS) have released updated data. All show that over the past year, global temperatures have dropped precipitously.

A compiled list of all the sources can be seen
here. The total amount of cooling ranges from 0.65C up to 0.75C -- a value large enough to wipe out nearly all the warming recorded over the past 100 years. All in one year's time. For all four sources, it's the single fastest temperature change ever recorded, either up or down.
Word to Governor Pawlenty and John McCain: Time to distance yourself from the MMGW B.S. Really, it's getting to be very unbecoming of you.

H/T American Thinker via Kermit.

Wednesday Hero Blogburst, 2-27-08

Navy Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL) Michael E. Koch
Navy Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL) Michael E. Koch
29 years old from State College, Pennsylvania
East Coast-based SEAL team
February 4, 2008

"There are only approximately 2,500 SEALs in the Navy and they really are a brotherhood," said Naval Special Warfare spokesman Lt. David Luckett. "This is another unfortunate reminder of the risks and sacrifices these amazing warriors and their families make on a daily basis."

Koch leaves behind his parents and a fiancee. He enlisted in July 1998 and entered SEAL training in January 1999, according to The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk. He received the Bronze Star, Joint Service Commendation Medal and three Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals.

Navy SEAL Michael E. Koch died Feb. 4 after being wounded by small-arms fire during combat operations in Iraq alongside fellow SEAL Nathan Hardy, who was profiled last week.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

Harry Reid--playing chicken with the troops. Again.

Evans-Novak Reports:
As Congress reconvened, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) walked into a trap. He permitted anti-war Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) to bring up two Iraq troop-withdrawal amendments to the Defense bill, assuming Republicans would filibuster by blocking cloture. But Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) did the opposite, forcing an unwanted war debate and sending Reid's Senate schedule into chaos.
Harry Reid has the ability to screw up a one-car funeral, while simultaneously being able to stick his foot up his own arse.

If he weren't so incompetent he'd be dangerous.

NBC: firing opening propaganda salvo at John McCain?

Reader Sid draws our attention to the NBC series, Medium. This Monday, the series will reportedly feature an episode in which a US Senator (from Arizona) hides a dark secret about his actions at a POW Camp during Vietnam (video preview here). Reader Sid states
while in the show the Senator might be a Democrat, come on the show is set in Phoenix. Most likely they aren't going to emphasize that the character is a Democrat though in the past I believe they mentioned that the DA is so if he is surely his top supporter would be as well.

But the main characteristics of the character (Arizona US Senator, former Vietnam prisoner of war) sure points to McCain. (And like I said he is practically a Democrat).

This is obviously NBC again using its dramas for political motives. Just like they did with their so called "Green Week".
Look for this as possibly the first salvo for the attempted propaganda-inspired de-inflation of John McCain.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Just in case you thought the feeding frenzy has ceased...

It's only the beginning, folks.

Representative Larry Haws was on St. Cloud's 1450 KNSI Hot Talk this morning; Dan Ochsner asked Haws point blank if now that they have their behemoth tax increase that they obtained with yesterday's veto override, would all our transportation problems be fixed?

Larry Haws DFL, SD 15b, replied, "no, there's still a lot more to be done."

This is only the beginning, folks.

Welcome to Minnesota, the new "werker's paradise."

Your prayers, please...

My former co-blogger and Protest-Warrior friends Brad and Jennifer Carlson have some bad news; Jennifer's father passed away this morning after a long bout with cancer.

My thoughts and prayers go out to Brad and Jen and their families; eternal rest grant unto Howard Yerger, O Lord, and may Perpetual Light shine upon him. Amen.

Steve Gottwalt's message to MN SD-15...

After the raping the Minnesota taxpayer received yesterday at the hands of the Minnesota Democrat Party (DFL), one of the stalwarts trying to hold the line is our own SD 15 Minnesota Representative Steve Gottwalt. He had this to say regarding the vote yesterday that passed the largest tax increase in Minnesota history:
It's only two weeks into the 2008 legislative session and the liberals in St. Paul have already pushed through two huge tax increases. The latest was a $6.6 billion transportation bill representing the largest tax hike in Minnesota history.

Governor Tim Pawlenty vetoed the bill late last week, but the liberal majorities in both the House and the Senate voted to override the veto Monday. In addition to an 8.5-cent per gallon gas tax increase, Minnesotans will all pay large increases in vehicle registration and license tab fees. The bill enacts a quarter-percent sales tax increase for the metro area – without a referendum - and provides massive new spending for Twin Cities area mass transit.

Instead of looking at the state’s budget and re-prioritizing spending within existing revenues, the liberals chose to foist the entire burden onto the backs of hard working Minnesotans facing the toughest economic times in a decade. The vast majority of my constituents do not support massive new tax increases for transportation. This bill hurts those who can least afford it, including seniors, low income residents, middle-class families, and those living on fixed incomes.

With the new increase, Minnesota’s gas tax jumps from the 28th highest nationally to seventh. It puts us further behind in terms of overall tax climate.

A last-minute amendment to the bill also makes it uncertain there will be equity in funding between rural Minnesota and the metro area. This bill is not fair for the taxpayers of Minnesota and, with a growing budget deficit still looming, it also is ill-timed.

The transportation bill was rushed through the House and the Senate. One reason for this is both obvious and irresponsible: The state’s budget forecast is scheduled to be released Thursday, and is expected to project Minnesota’s budget nearly $1 billion in deficit.

Although proponents claimed the bill represented “compromise,” it was more than a billion dollars larger than the transportation package Gov. Pawlenty vetoed last year. And this time there wasn't any dialogue with Republican leaders or the Governor’s office.

We owed it to Minnesotans to do better. There was certainly common sense, middle ground available, based much less on tax increases and including state general fund dollars. This new law sells out Minnesota taxpayers.

Just for comparison, Missouri is replacing 800 bridges and Indiana is quadrupling transportation spending – all without raising taxes. Instead, the liberals in charge of Minnesota’s Legislature resorted to a quick fix that was easy to enact but will be hard for Minnesotans to swallow.

That's it for now. I'm sure there will be more to report after the February budget forecast is announced. In the mean time, let me know how I can help!

Sincerely in service,

Rep. Steve Gottwalt

DFL Spending Orgy: Real Consequences.

Yesterday's DFL rape of Minnesota's taxpaying public is starting a public groundswell of resentment toward the audacity of the people elected to represent them.

The following writer makes a great point. She, who is required to "brown bag" her lunch every day, is forced to "pay for a better Minnesota" by those who have happily raised their own unaccountable per diems to $95 per day!
Today is not a day that I am proud to call myself a Minnesotan. As the economy in this state already in dire straits, it greatly saddens me that as a taxpayer in this state that I am forced to stretch my already thin budget even further. Over the past 5 years or so, due to the cost of housing increasing exponentially, many people moved out of the city, howeverin order for a decent paying job we must commute into the city for work.

I live near Princeton, but work in Minnetonka. Like those who need to commute in orderto survive, we are the ones who are going to feel even more pain with this bill. For instance, my monthly gas costs are about $340/month, I drive a very small economy car and have pretty much cut out any unnecessary driving. This includes going home to my mother’s for holidays. With this vote, I will need to fork out yet another $100 per month just for gas. I’ll have to update my bankruptcy attorney with this new fact. Yes, bankruptcy attorney. Have you looked at your local newspaper and counted how many foreclosures are listed?? Elk River paper has 10 pages plus of foreclosures. My development alone has had 3 foreclosures and 4 near or impending foreclosures in the last 3 years – the humbling fact is that there are only 18 homes in my development.

As workers, we have already started to “brown bag” lunch everyday, because we simply cannot afford to eat out anymore. Fact: You have voted to increase your lunch expenditures to $95/day! How many times do you eat every day? That is my grocery bill for the entire month for my family!

Also, where did the money go that was generated by the last transportation bill? Many people now wish that they hadn’t voted “yes” to that one now that another has been forced into existence.

MN is one of the most heavily taxed states in the nation (as I’m still paying last year’s tax bill, despite the thousands I’ve already paid out). With this bill, MN will also be proud to boast that it is one of the highest gas tax states as well. The taxpayers would be happy to pay more IF and only IF there wasn’t so much wasteful
spending being done by our “leaders.”

From the arguments for this bill:

1) It will create 33,000 jobs. Question: What about all the people that will loose their jobs or will not get a reasonable raise this year (one that would not even keep up with the cost of living in the first place) due to increased overhead of already suffering businesses? Won’t the money end up in the construction company’s
pockets instead of the worker due to the increased overhead costs??

2) A million people will be coming to MN in the next year.

Question: Are these going to be taxpayers or tax suckers? Taxpaying as in working, paying state income tax, not being on any government assistance (welfare, food stamps, daycare assistance, health care)?

With the rising costs of running a company; small businesses have already cut many benefits to their workers including health care. These workers are either uninsured or insured by PMAP or GAMC. As an individual who works in the health insurance industry and has worked in the metro area hospitals, I see the incredible amount of waste that the general person who is on state health insurance causes. An example:
Going to the ER for pink eye! Who takes the cut? The hospitals - who then pass on the loss to the paying people. Some ways to cut expenses of the welfare system in this state is to: 1) Every able-bodied person will not automatically receive welfare benefits – Get a Job! The system has made it more beneficial to stay on welfare than to get a job.

2) Only people who actually live in this state full-time are eligible to receive benefits, there are many people that drive to MN to pick up their check, committing crimes while they are here. Check the paper.

3) Many workers need to take a drug test in order to have a job, why not require drug testing for a welfare paycheck? That would eliminate a lot of money that goes out the door.

4) As workers, we need to drive to work and complete our job in order to collect a paycheck. Why don’t welfare recipients have to expend some time and energy in receiving their monthly stipend? Go stand in line - you’re not doing anything anyway (this would cut down unnecessary MD visits). Let’s make these people put some effort in receiving their handout.

Unfortunately, I have personal experience (through a friend) with several drug dealers in the Minneapolis area, they drive nicer cars, have more toys and do nothing all day for their effort, BUT they get a free ride from our state who is not willing to stand up against these thugs and even prosecute them effectively for their crimes which costs mthe taxpayers about $10,000 each time they are arrested.

In light of the tragedy in Cottonwood, how many illegals are getting my tax money directly or indirectly? Get them out of the state, prosecute them and send the bill to the country in which they came from. This needs to stop. I’ve even considered leaving my own country over this.

I believe that part of the “yes” vote was in order to preserve your own status as well as your friends that are in the ancillary government offices. I am tempted to run for office myself so that at least one more person would stand up for the citizens of MN. I do want to thank each person who did such thing, including both of my representatives who did not bend to meet their own needs.

The sum of it is, if you going to force MN taxpayers, who are already in extreme financial distress, pay more daily just to be able to live in this beautiful state then first cut the wasteful spending that is being done. We fly coach (if we can even afford that) because we can’t afford otherwise, so as leaders, you should also fly coach and pay for your own trips if you have made your own choice to go somewhere. If we have to “tighten up our boot straps” then you should be required to
as well. That is what the general public’s plea to you is. Our health care benefits, retirement funds, and income are going down while everything we pay for is going up (premiums, cost of living in every way).

If you force us to pay even more in taxes, then do as you say! We want to see actual results of our hard-earned money that is being taken without being asked. It seems that every other “temporary” tax has never gone away, the question is: Is this ever going to go away or do I have to leave my home state in order to be able to afford to

This is not only my views, but of many Minnesotans. Just open your ears and listen to the public's outcry.
Are you hearing this, Tarryl Clark? Are you listening, Larry Haws, Larry Hosch and Bud Heidgerken; while you sit in your smugness, proud of the fact that you've "duped" the Minnesota taxpaying public into having to re-prioritize their own expenses, so that you yourselves are freer to move our state closer to your version of "the werker's paradise?"

Personally, my esteemed elected representatives, I was going to buy two new cars this spring. But with the extra grand and a half or so you've now tacked on for the privilege of buying a new car, I've decided to go with a couple of used vehicles. Guess what. You've just taken $40,000 out of the marketplace; and there's a local dealership in St. Cloud who's going to be stuck with two new cars he would otherwise have been able to sell to me; multiply that by how many countless others who have made that same decision based on your dunderheaded decision to raise our taxes.

Some "job creating" bill ya got there.

Any other bright ideas, nimrods?

Monday, February 25, 2008

As the Minnesota DFL steps up to the trough...

Now that they've saddled us with the largest single tax increase in our state's history, the Minnesota DFL has decided to celebrate their profligate raping of the taxpayers and newfound largesse with a night on the town at a fine St Paul restaurant:

Don't forget the bucket.

Oh, and pay special attention to the ending. Cause that's what's about to happen to Minnesota's economy.

Highway Robbery

With a day job with little opportunity for interaction with the outside world, you can unfortunately miss some important events that happen in a given day. To say that I missed an important event today would be a gross understatement.

After reading Andy's post about the woodshedding that was going on with respective Repbulican candidates and their delegate conventions, I held out a ray of hope that the economic homicide that the Minnesota democrat delegation was about to commit would be put on hold, in favor of cooler heads, and common sense.

I was wrong. The Minnesota DFL (D-Tax-N-Spend), along with 8 RINOs, voted to override what little protection that was left for Minnesota's already-beleaguered taxpayers. There were even two Republican senators who voted to override the veto, even though all that was needed was a party-line vote.

Congratulations, democrats and ex-Republicans. You just gave Minnesota's taxpayers the biggest state tax increase in the history of our lives; in the history of Minnesota, all in one feld swoop, without batting an eyelash.

Full of pork and empty promises, this "anything but transportation bill" will saddle Minnesotans with over $7 BILLION DOLLARS in NEW TAXES. At a time when the price of gas is near an ALL TIME HIGH; at a time when Minnesota is teetering on the brink of RECESSION, if not already in it.

Senator Tarryl Clark and Representative Larry Haws, and Representative Larry Hosch will all have some 'splainin' to do to St. Cloud area voters as to why they didn't feel the need to prioritize any spending before reaching their grubby little fingers into their constituents' wallets.

The 6 EX-REPUBLICAN house members, and 2 EX-REPUBLICAN senate members should be duly placed on notice that their seats are NOT SAFE, and they will be from now on known as personna non grata to their Republican constituents, as well as to the State Republican party as turncoats who couldn't be counted on to support their party leader as he tried to protect Minnesota taxpayers from this confiscatory, bloated, spending orgy.

This tax and spending orgy party created by the Minnesota DFL should be proof positive that they are genetically, and aphrodisiastically-addicted to spending other people's money like drunken prostitutes with an unlimited ATM card.


No tax increases in DFL budget plan

by Tom Scheck, Minnesota Public Radio
March 8, 2007

Despite their criticism that Gov. Pawlenty hasn't proposed spending enough on programs like education and health care, DFL leaders of the Minnesota Senate have come up with a budget plan of their own that doesn't raise general taxes. The proposal disappoints several committee chairs who were hoping for more money to follow through on some of the campaign promises they made last year.

Senate DFLers have been leading the charge in recent years to increase taxes. This year, DFL Sen. Tarryl Clark of St. Cloud says their spending plan will be more in line with Gov. Pawlenty's $34.4 billion two year budget proposal. (MPR Photo/Tom Scheck)

Gee... me thinks thou speakest with a forked tongue, Tarryl.

Pendleton 8 Part II

More on the story from Tim Harrington:

Open letter to Cong Delahunt (D) Mass

Tim Harrington, Sgt HMM-165, has been personally involved with the families of the accused Marines of the Hamdania Case, (PENDLETON 8 ) and Haditha.
During this time, Tim has been in constant contact with his state rep, William Delahunt, D-MA 10th district. Mr Delahunt is the representative of Sgt Hutchins who was found guilty in his court martial for the charge of murdering a civilian in Iraq.
This issue is important because it has shown a level of corruption and perjury in the NCIS system and specifically 2 individuals that are common to the Hamadania and Haditha cases. It also shows a pattern of the government using evidence to prosecute but denying access to that evidence for the defense. ( Un-Manned aerial footage taken by drones over the combat area )
As we sit here, a documentary is being made to expose this. Also, some high ranking individuals involved with the JAG corp are aware of these incidents and are offering to testify before congress. These officers are above the O-5 grade.
Below is Tim’s open letter to Rep Delahunt. Fell free to copy and paste this letter. Please include my notes so people can understand why it was written.

Congressman William Delahunt
2454 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-2110

Congressman Delahunt:

I have been in contact with you through your staff for over fifteen months. I, with other Veterans and retired officers from around the country have asked for your intervention on behalf of Sgt. Laurence Hutchins III, now in a prison camp within the gates of Marine Corps base Camp Pendleton.

I have had several conversations with your staff attorney Mr. Kivlan, and also on two separate occasions with Mr. Mark Forrest, who we are led to believe is your chief of staff. In my conversations with Mr. Kivlan, he has acknowledged the facts of the case as I have expressed to him against this fine young Marine who is from our 10th district and your home in the Cape and Islands. He has also acknowledged the facts that surround this case and sat for two weeks in the courts-martial proceedings in Camp Pendleton with our understanding he directly represented your seat in the house.

Sir, knowing you are on the House committee for “Foreign Affairs” and Chairman on International Organizations, “Human Rights” and “Oversight” and also the House “Judiciary committee”, we are confused as to your lack of action with the knowledge of the criminal activity that now has one of your Marines in uniform imprisoned at Camp Pendleton.

Mr. Kivlan sat in the court room during the trial of Sgt Hutchins with full knowledge of the outcome of Trent Thomas’s trial and the ongoing trial of Marshal Maginicalda. Because of the fact that all material evidence that was said to be gathered by the government and the special agents involved with the investigations were thrown out as inadmissible, and with your representative knowing that these evidences were thrown out as inadmissible; to include the identification of the body, DNA evidence, photos and testimony of alleged family members and or Iraqi citizens who now have no evidence relating them to the deceased Iraqi and who also cannot be located for cross examination; it leaves us to believe that for someone in your position to show a complete lack of a diligent response to this situation, you therefore show that the Constitution of the United states and how you claim to directly represent the people of your district and also nationally in your several positions to include your seat in the house, in actuality stands for nothing.

We also have made you and your representative at the trial aware of the amount of exculpatory evidence that could have been used in the defense of this young Marine that was withheld; to include formal copies of orders that were delivered that night and available video footage taken by un-manned aircraft that were present at the scene. The result of withholding evidence from the court-martial of Sgt. Hutchins is inexcusable in that it denied him the ability to clear his name. To have a prosecution witness, an Intelligence Officer, state it would be a National Security issue to release video footage from the un-manned vehicle to assist in the defense of Sgt. Hutchins, but that the video footage from the same aircraft and mission was being used as evidence in the prosecution of the case is criminal, but you sat quiet in complicity.

Through out my interaction with your direct representatives over the last fifteen months, the only consistent course of action spoken by these direct representatives was to focus on the sentencing phase. Why? This was the case from the very beginning, and you, yourself, talked to the members of Kilo 3/5 ( Pendleton 8) on your trip to California and spoke the same words showing only a concern about sentencing and not their defense against the accusation? You told them there might be there only one choice in the matter? You were then told that Sgt. Larry Hutchins would not do this and would go to court-martial because he believes no crime was committed. We also know and understand that you were instrumental in raising money through your web site for this young Sgt. and how your staff attorneys helped with the defense fund that was created to help with legal defense bills. This is all great and honorable, but why not do what your job privileges and job description entitles you to do under the Constitution and expose the criminal actions of NCIS; to include criminal perjury under oath, withholding of evidence, coercion and false official statements in regards to the case and how it was conducted, and then demand the release of intelligence that could and should be used for the defense of these young warriors and not just in their prosecution?

We know some one died that fateful day. We know that this UN-Identified Man was part of an insurgent circle that the Marines were trying to neutralize. We know that orders were given, either written or verbal, we know that the use of a dead check is and remains standard operating procedure, we know through sworn testimony that Sgt. Hutchins did not give orders or orchestrate the taking of this fictitious person, and these facts are your staff attorney’s own words. If this was in a State or Federal court, it would never make it to trial and would be thrown out and/or reinvestigated. This sad tragedy of events can only happen in Military courts, and that is exactly why they are kept there.

The military courts-martial as it is known today is broken. Historical events surrounding its very existence and function have proven this and so have the fights about it since 1918-2001, you can’t re-write history Sir.

No Matter what your view, Sir, on the war, (which is documented), these views have nothing or little to do with the constitutional protections that Sgt Hutchins deserved; you took an oath to uphold your office, and these men and women in uniform have done the same! The difference, as you should remember from your short time in the military is they have sworn to die to declare their oath, what are you willing to do for them?

We have asked for hearings with the evidence of years of criminal actions that have taken place under the UCMJ, command influence, and unlawful prosecutions. When will we get an answer and when will you act on this young Marine’s behalf as his congressional representative?

Please remind Mr. Kennedy we have a copy of his letter to the Hutchins; basically it states he cannot help do to conflict of interest because he sits on the U.S. Judiciary. How is the U. S. Judiciary a conflict of interest to the actions of Military Courts and the UCMJ? The U. S. Judiciary has no oversight of the military, so how can there be any conflict?

Both houses need to do what we as citizens expect, you have a chance to take action with some of the folks we have reached over a period of time to include: Con. Dix (w) Kennedy (m), J. Inslee, Pat Murry, Maria Kantwell, Shadegg, Adam Smith, John Duncan, Slade Gordon, and Sen. McCain just to name a few. We have Sr. JAG’s in uniform who wish to attend and testify at these hearings and about the documentation that you and your staff have had access to. Please respond with your thoughts and answers so the others involved can look forward to help expose and put an end to these problems.

Dwight D. Eisenhower said there is a time when the military turns a blind eye to the constitution and inflicts its self on the citizens of this Great United States. This is under way through the LINX program. If NCIS, CID and the rest of the military investigating organizations are allowed to run over the constitution and inflict itself on the citizenry with no oversight and nothing in place as is now to hold them accountable, we as citizens and those in uniform are in trouble.

In closing, I would like to ask one more question for all concerned. When was there ever a constitutional convention where precedence was set that men and women in uniform lose their basic rights under these important writings, especially concerning a capital murder case or war crimes case?? If you or any one in Washington has the answer, please share that with us.

I tried to explain how it is different law than how civilian law works, but Tim said that was the point. Due to necessity to hold to Military discipline in time of war, the needs to be harsher and more direct make some of these differences necessary, in my opinion, yet Tim has pointed out how these differences are just what hung these guys of the Pendleton 8.

Capt. Greenlaw:

This is a recap of the conversation I had with you two nights ago. As you and I and others are very aware of, there are many discrepancies with NCIS, the investigation in general and how the UCMJ has been applied throughout these hearings and previous hearings and court martials. The only breath of fresh air is the decisions mad by Lt Col. Ware. The history of infighting between the military’s interpretation of LAW and the constitutionally guaranteed rights under the law show great discrepancies between the two. In every case that the military has recently made public with the help of the media, the UCMJ has been documented in its failings. You have JAG’s, who’s only concern is working with each other, whether it is defense or prosecution, to obtain results that have already been pre-determined. These are merely ceremonies put into play for all concerned. This has been documented, reported, and reviewed without consequence or oversight by any authority and is apparently just a tool of the DOD and the politicians within those ranks and some within the ranks of the military.

We can supply many examples of how the system works, whom it preys upon and who is exempt from the reach of this system. Recent events along with years of research show what can only be described as a criminal element with a working above the LAW attitude, specifically those yielding the power of prosecution, judgment, and sentencing in a system that works outside and independently of the Constitution of the United States.

DOD and this system work as independent and separate Government entities within the borders every one has sworn to defend, to include the defense of the constitution of the United States. In the case of Sgt. Hutchins and his squad, the basic rights of the UCMJ and that of their guaranteed rights under the 4th, 5th, and 6th amendments have been crushed with no concern for the accused, to include the rights guaranteed them under the UCMJ. Command influence has to be part of the problem for these procedures happening the way it operates today, while under the laws provided by the UCMJ, it is in fact a crime to do some of the things mentioned here.

Under the UCMJ it is up to the Convening authority to make this decision, but in doing so the UCMJ/MCM states specific reasons for Confinement;

RCM 304 (a)(4) Confinement. Pretrial confinement is physical restraint, imposed by order of competent authority, depriving a person of freedom pending disposition of offenses. See R.C.M. 305.

This refers to the physical confinement of Unit 3/1’s return and treatment from Iraq (Haditha) compared to 3/5’s treatment as being a flight risk, (Hamdania, The Pendleton 8). We know these assumed risks had no valid reason or circumstance to warrant confinement as these Marines experienced. These Marines, (Hamdania, The Pendleton 8), knew what was in store as they were sent home after INTERROGATION by NCIS and knew full well why they were returning, who then upon returning had 24 hours of unsupervised liberty which was uneventful.

RCM 305 (H)(2)(b) states: (B) Requirements for confinement. The commander shall direct the prisoner’s release from pretrial confinement unless the commander believes upon probable cause, that is , up on reasonable grounds, that: (i) An offense triable by a court-martial has been committed; (ii) The prisoner committed it; and (iii) Confinement is necessary because it is foreseeable that: (a) The prisoner will not appear at trial, pretrial hearing, or investigation, or (b) The prisoner will engage in serious criminal misconduct; and (iv) Less severe forms of restraint are inadequate. Serious criminal misconduct includes intimidation of witnesses or other obstruction of justice, serious injury of others, or other offenses which pose a serious threat to the safety of the community or to the effectiveness, morale, discipline, readiness, or safety of the command, or to the national security of the United States. As used in this rule, “national security” means the national defense and foreign relations of the United States and specifically includes: a military or defense advantage over any foreign nation or group of nations; a favorable foreign relations position; or a defense posture capable of successfully resisting hostile or destructive action from within or without, overt or covert.

Discussion A person should not be confined as a mere matter of convenience or expedience. Some of the factors which should be considered under this subsection are: (1) The nature and circumstances of the offenses charged or suspected, including extenuating circumstances; (2) The weight of the evidence against the accused; (3) The accused’s ties to the locale, including family, off-duty employment, financial resources, and length of residence;(4) The accused’s character and mental condition;(5) The accused’s service record, including any record of previous misconduct;(6) The accused’s record of appearance at or flight from other pretrial investigations, trials, and similar proceedings; and(7) The likelihood that the accused can and will commit further serious criminal misconduct if allowed to remain at liberty. Although the Military Rules of Evidence are not applicable, the commander should judge the reliability of the information available. Before relying on the reports of others, the commander must have a reasonable belief that the information is believable and has a factual basis. The information may be received orally or in writing. Information need not be received under oath, but an oath may add to its reliability. A commander may examine the prisoner’s personnel records, police records, and may consider the recommendations of others. Less serious forms of restraint must always be considered before pretrial confinement may be approved. Thus the commander should consider whether the prisoner could be safely returned to the prisoner’s unit, at liberty or under restriction, arrest, or conditions on liberty. See R.C.M. 304.

It must be noted that the conditions spoken of in the discussion section above, points 1-7, should have given the commanders of the Pendleton 8 accused no legitimate reason to keep these Marines confined in the manner in which they were held.

RCM 305(d) provides for further interpretation, mainly reasons for incarceration.
1) Flight risk, there was none.
2) Likely to engage in criminal activities or misconduct, like witness intimidation, threatening the safety of others, with no record of that either.

Knowing what we know now regarding evidences brought forth in pre-trial statements, sworn testimony by the defendants and the failure of the prosecution to prove that the deceased was identified correctly and that witness statements were authentic concerning events of the incident, I would like to hear the explanations for RCM 305 (h)(2)(b) where it is stated that, Confinement should not be ordered simply because the charged offense is a serious one. The reason these Marines were SHACKLED, HANDCUFED, and put in solitary was in re-action to the media, politicians and those in congress and DOD who demanded it for foreign policy, These young men paid a price for ABU GRAHIB, Guantanamo Bay and the events of HADITHA, that our press and those who would rather blame and use these young heroes and the military as scapegoats for not having their own backbone. I find this disheartening that our Marine leaders’ CO’s and commanders would allow this to ring true in the Corps.

Further examples of recent criminal acts rest solely on the shoulders of NCIS and the JAG corps, They, as far as NCIS is concerned, committed perjury, lied under oath and created evidence that simply does not exist, Why? There is and has been no oversight, none by the government, none by the congress or the senate and unfortunately none by the only branch of Gov. set in power to do so, the FBI.

NCIS and all the other acronyms of criminal investigative services for other branches of the military have no oversight and have no reason to worry about prosecution, as there is no one to prosecute. You have civilians working within the active military, thus the military cannot prosecute a civilian under the law, as far as the U.S. judiciary, It has no power to oversee or prosecute because they work within the comfort zone of the military. This leaves the barn door wide open for the criminal prosecution of the lower ranking personnel of the military who can and do not act on their own accord, The background and evidence of these Marines and there service speaks for itself. The UCMJ speaks of what is known to be a ”quitter” (appendix) RCM 305(h). This describes these individuals as being a determent or having adverse affects on unit moral and has problems with discipline; this holds no water with any of the accused Marines either 3/1 or 3/5.

More evidence of the violations of these young Marines rights are the facts that stand behind the plea deals that took place. This directly and indirectly reflects on both the defense and prosecution. You have young men who have been promised by their accusers and their interrogators that they will spend the rest of their life in prison if they did not cooperate. They pound on the weakest link and build a case of Marines testifying against themselves and fellow Marines through coerced evidence and guided confessions by both NCIS and prosecution. This started in Iraq. First came the allegations, followed by accusations, and followed by officers protecting their positions and political well being for their careers. It was found through the tainted testimony by NCIS, especially James Connolly, That there was in fact no PHYSICAL evidence, no CHAIN of CUSTODY of evidence acquired, no DNA of the deceased that would be comparable to alleged family members of the alleged Iraqi man, and other evidence the NCIS and its investigators said existed in the Gov. case against these young men.

To use this information and then have it summarily thrown out in the first courts-martial speaks for itself; for the Gov. to continue with these scripted trials is a travesty of justice, for JAG to continue to prosecute is a CRIME. To change the formal charges to read innocent Iraqi man during courts-martial mid stream is not only a crime, it conflicts with the parameters of the UCMJ. The Gov. may make minor changes to the charges and specifications unilaterally BEFORE the arraignment (see RCM 603), Major changes may not be made if the accused objects (see RCM 603(D)). Who was allowed to object and where were the defense JAGS in representing their clients?

Rule 603. Changes to charges and Specifications ( a ) Minor changes defined . Minor changes in charges and specifications are any except those which add a party, offenses, or substantial matter not fairly included in those previously preferred , or which are likely to mislead the accused as to the offenses charged.

Minor changes include those necessary to correct in artfully drafted or redundant specifications; to correct a misnaming of the accused; to allege the proper article; or to correct other slight errors. Minor charges also include those which reduce the seriousness of an offense, as when thXevalXue of an allegedly stolen item in a larceny specification is reduced, or when a desertion specification is amended to allege only unauthorized absence. (b) Minor changes before arraignment. Any person forwarding, acting upon, or prosecuting charges on behalf of the United States except an investigating officer appointed under R.C.M. 405 may make min minor changes to charges or specifications before arraignment.

Charges forwarded or referred for trial should be free from defects of form and substance. Minor errors may be corrected and the charge may be redrafted without being sworn anew by the accuser. Other changes should be signed and sworn to be an accuser. All changes in the charges should be initialed by the person who makes them. A trial counsel acting under this provision ordinarily should consult with the convening authority before making any changes which, even though minor, change the nature or seriousness of the offense. (c) Minor changes after arraignment. After arraignment the military judge may, upon motion, permit minor changes in the charges and specifications at any time before findings are announced if no substantial right of the accused is prejudiced. ( d ) Major changes . Changes or amendments to charges or specifications other than minor changes may not be made over the objection of the accused unless the charge or specification affected is preferred anew. Discussion If there has been a major change or amendment over the accused’s objection to a charge already referred, a new referral is necessary. Similarly, in the case of a general court-martial, a new investigation under R.C.M. 405 will be necessary if the charge as amended or changed was not covered in the prior investigation. If the substance of the charge or specification as amended or changed has not been referred or, in the case of a general court martial, investigated, a new referral and, if appropriate, investigation are necessary. When charges are re-referred, they must be served anew under R.C.M. 602.

How is it that the name AWAD was introduced by NCIS in their reports, and that name supplied while guiding statements from Marines who thought they had followed orders and achieved the objective directed by there OIC, 2nd Lt. Phan? This finding of the Court Martial, that the identity of the deceased alleged Iraqi was no longer known, means that all previous murder charges were void due to sworn statements presented by the prosecution when referenced to a named person. Once the court recognized that they did not know who this person was, all previous references to the alleged Iraqi man’s family witness statements were now invalid for evidence. The changing of the charges in mid trial is a direct violation of the rules for courts martial as shown in the section cited above.

All this is achieved by way of NCIS but does not reduce the culpability of the prosecution by following and prosecuting false information, or for the week at heart, tainted at the very least.

Now lets add “no physical body”:
1. You have no body of any proven identification that is traceable to any known, real person,
2. No DNA collected or compared to alleged family members who came forth during the investigation to prove their family relation and thus, proof of identity of the deceased,
3. No physical evidence connecting the actions of the Marines to the deceased,
4. False testimony,
5. No unbroken chain of custody,
6. No forensic evidence,
7. No ballistic evidence,
8. No taped confession,
9. A sealed autopsy report and exculpatory evidence that will not be declassified in the defense of the accused,
10. A computer “flash drive” destroyed by the Co. Commander with the Co. Jag and no charges of impeding or blocking an on going investigation,

…you can add the rest to that in charges, even the Marines were charged with blocking an investigation and making false official statements, WHO goes after the investigators and what price is paid there?????

The rights I referred to in the previous paragraphs speak for themselves, If they were followed under the constitution of the United States and used in context and applied to these young Marines and Soldiers, none of these courts-martial (ceremony’s) would or could have taken place. The rights referred to in the warning are the Fifth Amendment right against self incrimination and the Supreme Court has ruled on the fact of this and stated, you have the right to counsel during custodial interrogation. This is contained in the Bill of Rights and this is part of the constitution. In the grand hierarchy of laws, the constitution ranks as number one and cannot be over ruled by the UCMJ. Couple this with the Fourth Amendment on search and seizures and the add the Sixth Amendment right to counsel. These are here to be the backbone to every service member’s rights to due process. Now, there are going to be people who say this does not apply; these are service men and women. This is garbage, this is DOD working as a state within a state, Show us folks where there has been a Legal Ruling of Sorts, or any Constitutional Convention that would contradict these basic rights that have been withheld from the very people who protect it. It cannot be done.

Don, I could write for days, I will save it for the documentary that is now under way. With the amount of Gov. documents of past courts-martial and in house memos it will be easy to explain how out of control this system is. They have fought within the system for more than 100 years on the lack of constitutionality of the UCMJ, Articles of war; You have for study; the Ansel Crowder debates, COMA revolt, COX commission as it stood for a 50th report card on the system, We could go on and on, but now being directly involved with these proceedings and with the families and the connections of the internet, it is easier to explain research and get this information out for those to read and look at for themselves.

You will not find it written by Mark Walker, too worried about access to write the truth, same with Watkins of AP, and besides, the agendas conflict with the truth. As far as our great leaders in the house, you know how many I have dealt with; they are all-spineless and lead these families on as if they would do something. They could, expose it, bring it to the floor, they can’t, or they would be exposed. I have had several arguments with one staff attorney for a Congressman, He has admitted to the truth of these words to include the word “attainder”. Lt. Col. Riggs will understand that word, congress does not have that right, but yet, 3/5 is just but one more example, holding a class of young NCO’s to watch the proceedings of the GCM is nothing more than the USMC using these fine young men as a training tool.

You can take all the hearings and courts-martial I have been involved in and all are more of the same, then we can talk about the civilian attorneys, most who have come from the military. They have either left or retired, I do not paint them all with the same brush nor am I a conspiracy theorist, but two and two will always equal four, just no way around it.

The only branch that has grown over the past five years by over 5% is the JAG CORPS, with almost over the last years with a 100% conviction rate, Must be some outstanding folks, corporate America needs to seize this opportunity of the finest military minds. Sorry, just disenfranchised with the flagrant beating of the Jr. Enlisted and Jr. Officers and the cottage industry that has blossomed through out the JAG. NCIS and the rest are no more than a tool for DOD and the house of mirrors called the Sate Department. Either side of the isle you stand they say they are for the troops. They couldn’t care less for these men and women.

Now more than ever, the leadership in the military needs to forget their political agendas and lead, more folks like Gen. Mattis and a good house cleaning would be going on, maybe he is a key. Sempers always Sir. I do not posses the accolades of you or those who serve today, but I earned the right of a Marine and I will not stand behind these men and women if I can’t stand and fight beside them. These courts-martial are void on fact alone and constitutionality.

Tim Harrington: former active and reserve Marine

Time for the truth to come out. The time for justice to prevail is long overdue.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Pendleton 8 Documentary coming soon....(BUMPED AND UPDATED)

The following is long, but should be read by every American concerned with the fair and Constitutional treatment of our men in uniform:

From an inside source that has spent months and months investigating the facts of the case:
My friends, this is the documentary I was telling you about. It is still on the cutting room floor. This is the story of the 7 Marines and 1 Corpsman who were accused of murder of a single man where his identity was always in question along with so-called witness statements. It also includes falsified information from NCIS that they tried to use against these Marines.

video part 2

What I have below is a compilation of mine to try to make a timeline of events and consequences according to private interviews with the members of the Pendleton 8 and their families.

On April 26, 2006, in Hamdania, Iraq, at about 0230 ( local ), Sgt Hutchins was on patrol with his Marines to find an insurgent named GOWAD, a person who was on a terrorist watch list and was held previously 3 times.

Sgt Hutchins and his squad received an intelligence briefing to apprehend or kill a known terrorist, GOWAD in this nightime operation.

Their intelligence briefing was given by his senior officer, Lt Phan, who had the pertinent information of this intelligence on a flash drive for his computer.

These guys were ordered on a mission by their Lt, found an insurgent, engaged him, and within a day had a 'family' member claim their parent was missing.

At the scene, when the Marines were processing the body for travel to the body dump, NO ONE in the adjacent house at the scene identified the body or had any clue who it was.

After someone claiming to be family came forward, the claims of the man being dragged from the house kicking and screaming came out from the same people who claimed on the scene they didn't know who it was.

As they approached the known location of GOWAD, the only person they observed initially was an elderly woman outside of house of AWAD, the cousin of an Iraqi named GOWAD.

When the patrol arrived at AWAD'S house, they observed AWAD standing aside the street near a hole. AWAD then turned and fired upon the Marines.

AWAD turned and ran inside the nearest house, owned by GOWAD. The Marines followed and did a combat entry into the house to catch the person who just shot at them.

AWAD turned and fired and the Marines returned fire and killed AWAD. All members of the squad fired upon this man. Sgt Hutchins performed the 'dead check', firing his weapon 3 times into the insurgent to ensure he was dead. Trent Thomas fired 7 to 10 times into the torso of AWAD.

The dead body of AWAD was brought to the Iraqi police station after Sgt Hutchins called back to his headquarters to inform them of the engagement.
The Iraqi police did not venture outside at this time of the day due to the dangers they would encounter.

Sgt Hutchins returned to his base camp and filled out his after action report was submitted to his officers.

Sgt Hutchins was later relieved of his normal duties for the night only to be woken up and brought to Col Looney.

The Iraqi police had received a report of a murder and filed a complaint to the American authorities that AWAD was murdered by these Marines.

Marine representatives and Iraqi police returned to the location of the short firefight and observed the body of AWAD inside the hole he was near.

The body was duct taped at the hands and feet and had bullet wounds in the head and torso.

Sgt Hutchins was interviewed by NCIS. He referred to his after action report to detail his side of the story.

The Iraqi police claimed they received a complaint from the family of AWAD that he was murdered.

After the Marines arrived in the United States, the body of the dead Iraqi identified as AWAD was exhumed and found to have been tampered with or had body parts missing, including it's head. The body was then given a full autopsy in the United States.

Physical descriptions of AWAD did not agree, especially how he was identified and what the autopsy showed.

The family claimed that AWAD was a grandfather with 10 decendants and that he was a police officer under Saddam Hussien and a Baath party member. He is alleged to have injuries from 3 unrelated sources, all which contradict each other, to include a rod in his leg from breaking it falling out of a tree as a child, an injury from the Iran/Iraq war, and injuries received as a police officer in the line of duty.

This is the greatest case of the unbroken chain of evidence, there is no way they knew who they had at that point from body descriptions, no forensic evidence that was saved, no ballistic evidence taken, and viola; the family members who once came forward to 'identify' the body had disappeared, also.

Yet, the body did not have the rod in its leg as the family insisted, nor did the body style match, or the hair pattern on the body, Nor could they match a head because when they shipped the body back home, it had no head.

In short, the body did not match the description given by the family which was paid $25,000; $2,500.00 per family member, nor was the defense allowed to use video from the UAV's overhead in their defense although the prosecution was allowed to claim the UAV's showed then hiding the man before killing him.

The Govt didn't know who was actually killed and had zero forensic evidence to support them, including a body that didn't match the description given by alleged family members.

The NCIS claimed that UAV's overhead showed the Marines hiding the man in the hole with their own bodies, lying on top of him so the UAV would not see him:

Question? How in the world did those Marines hear a UAV circling at 10,000 or even 5000 feet or even 1000 feet or lower and how did they know where the camera was pointed to know when to hide the man when it was near?

Question? Why did the NCIS present this UAV footage as evidence in only statement form, NOT show any video, and NOT release the UAV video to the defense so they could use any video in their own defense? If the video was so damning to the Marines, why not show it to prove all accounts of their story are false and refuse plea bargains and go for convictions?

You do NOT go from MURDER charges and plea bargain down to assault if you have evidence of MURDER!

Knowing the body did not match the description given by the family which was paid $25,000, $2,500.00 per family member; where is due process when you realize you don't have the body you thought you did but still insist that your men killed him?

The family claimed that AWAD was confronted by the Marines after failing to find GOWAD. The Marines were then said to have beaten AWAD, dragged him
around the small neighborhood to avoid being seen by the observation aircraft overhead after he was duct taped by his hands and feet and then placed in the hole near the house and shot to death. AWAD was supposed to have been forced to walk on his own according to accounts written by several Marines who took plea bargains and was dragged around while duct taped according to other accounts by these Marines. None of the accounts agreed.

The identity of the dead Iraqi is PARAMOUNT to their innocence or guilt.

The NCIS case is that they failed to find Gowad, broke into a house and pulled out Awad and killed him and faked the killing zone.

The identity of who Awad is and his physical description is an essential point here, along with whether they actually have AWAD's body at all..

Awad was supposed to have severe injuries from several different sources, none which agree: Iran/Iraq war, falling out of a tree, 25 years as an Iraqi Policeman in the Baath party

The autopsy showed NONE of those injuries. That means right from the get go the story about whom he was is phony, the so-called "family" lied, the NCIS lied or made a major error.

The entire origin of the murder charge was based on the family claiming that Awad was found in a hole, dead after being taken out in the middle of the night and killed.

People who lived in that house and adjacent homes DID NOT know who the person was. It was only 2 days later that a so-called 'family' member identified the body as Awad, and the story of who he was and his family relations began.

These same people who claimed to be family and agreed to testify against the Marines in trial all DISAPPEARED when the time came to testify.

If he is NOT family, and the autopsy proved the alleged family lied about injuries of who Awad is supposed to have, and he WASNT family, then the first part of the accusation is false and these MArines story should have been considered true.

You never heard the media report that families of civilians who are accidentally killed get approx $2.5K, but someone came forward and claimed to be family, gave descriptions of the man who was supposed to be murdered that never matched the body, and you only heard a short blurb on the Thomas Trial that they could no longer call the dead Iraqi AWAD because NCIS was forced to admit they NEVER had ANY forensic evidence on this person: no ballistics, no identification, no matching prints, no proven family ties, all so-called family member disappeared and refused to testify in the US.

Sgt Hutchins and his squad were then detained by NCIS in CONEX box type confinement areas with no rest, food, bathroom facilities or water for periods up to 18 hours a day during their interrogation by NCIS.

This continued for 2 weeks until all signed statements incriminating themselves in these accusations, except for Magincalda, who refused to give a statement to NCIS.

Sgt Hutchins was told that if he requested a lawyer or legal counsel his interrogation and treatment by NCIS would be more severe.

Most of the statements given by these Marines were to allow water and bathroom privileges. Only a few of the statements given agreed with the government's position.

All were later released to be flown home under their own recognisense, taking a commercial flight which had a 24 hour stopover in Baltimore. They had no security detail watching them.

They reported to Camp Pendleton for duty and were immediately arrested and taken to the brig in shackles on their hands and feet and placed in solitary.

During this time in the brig, NCIS continued their acts of sleep deprivation in their interrogation of these Marines, and also used solitary confinement and lack of contact with the outside world to include the failure to inform the families of these MArines that they were being held, in an effort to get these Marines to confess to the apparent crime against AWAD.

Due to the lack of contact from these Marines while being held, the families tried calling the base to find out about their sons, only to not be placed in touch with them.

Sgt Hutchins was finally able to contact his family after 30 days in the brig. The families have never received any formal communication from any Marine Corps source or the Red Cross concerning their sons. At this point, phone calls were made and the families contacted civilian lawyers.

While held in the brig, a Col Navarre (sp?) entered the solitary confinement area and tried to coerce these Marines into making statements against their case without any legal counsel present. Col Navarre tried to get these Marines to admit their guilt and advised them to plead guilty in order to save themselves from severe punishment under court martial. The Col. claimed he was present on a health and safety inspection.

It must be recalled that while held in solitary, these MArines were told they would not be allowed civilian attornies as a natural course of action and that if their families arranged for attornies for them that they would be treated more harshly.

These Marines were held in shackles in their cells for 30 days in solitary confinement, and afterward released into separate cells on separate floors of the brig.

While being held in these separate cells, they were lied to by investigators to get them to confess to these crimes or incriminate others by telling them that others were already cooperating with the prosecution.

The phone system in the brig was not adequate for regular phone calls. All phone calls must be made as a collect call, costing over $800 a month in phone bills for the Hutchins family.

As time continued, the Marins and Corpsman involved started to take plea bargains to get themselves out of jail.

Remember, they all faced murder charges at the start.

HM3 Bacos, the Corpsman took the first plea bargain and was released from the brig and then stationed in Miramar, California. Bacos was said to have been pressured by his wife and the prosecutor. It is unknown if he had an exemplary record or a questionable one.

Jodka took the plea deal under pressure from his family and prosecutors. It allowed for a General Under Honorable discharge from the Marine Corps. Remember, Jodka was originally charged with murder, how do you go from a murder charge to a plea bargain that allows a general under honorable discharge?

Shumate took a plea bargain and received a general discharge.

Jackson took a plea bargain and received a general discharge.

Rob Pennington took a plea bargain and received a suspended 8 year sentence and a dishonorable discharge.

Magincalda's plea agreement he almost took was going to have him in shackles
touring Marine bases telling people how evil he was while wearing shackles to the 'audience', but he refused, and thankfully he is out of the brig now.

While in the brig, Sgt Hutchins was allowed to marry. His escort to the chapel where the ceremony was to be held was kept under watch with snipers in case he tried to escape. During the ceremony, he was kept in shackles and hand cuffs.

The following points must be addressed concerning this case:

The statements they held against Hutchins were coerced under duress and 2 of his fellow Marines testified to just that in their trial.

Evidence that they were following orders was destroyed and Lt Phan testified to that. Why did Lt Phan testify an order existed? Where is due process when their Lt testifies that he issued the orders? When the Corps releases the copy of the order that Lt Phan had and that several members of that squad testified to under oath after they were released from the brig, then I will believe the Corps.

While all this is going on, the orders issued by Lt Phan were on a thumb drive. This thumb drive was handed over to NCIS. It since disappeared. These orders were the proof that they were on a snatch and grab mission with permission to kill or capture a known terrorist. This evidence disappeared, evidence that would exonerate these Marines, yet NO ONE was written up for this loss of key evidence.

Due to the classified nature of the orders, the command would NOT re release a copy of the orders given to Lt Phan! ( This all was part of testimony given in the
court martials ) At the trial of Sgt Hutchins, the former JAG lawyer for Hutchins refused to press questions of Lt Phan and let him off the stand with no detailed questions on the thumb drive.

The isolation of these Marines, the coerced statements made under duress violated their rights to avoid self incrimination.

In addition, each of them had a former JAG atty working for them after the 1st month of confinement in Pendleton. EACH atty suggested they PLEA bargain, not one said they would fight to the end for their innocence. One family was strung along for almost a full year, holding charities to raise money for their legal defense of their son, to be told one day or two before the Art 32 hearing that if the lawyer didn't get a 6 figure sum, he would be unable to continue the case and that the Marine must plea out.

At the trial of Sgt Larry Hutchins, the following statements were made by other Marines in the case:2 of the Marines previously who had taken plea bargains in the Hamdania Case, (pendleton 8), testified yesterday, under oath, that they were coerced into making false statements under penalty of life in prison.

Concerning LCpl Jodka, Pfc Jackson, they were commanded by NCIS to make the self incriminating statements as a part of their plea bargain, and they testified to this in the trial of Sgt Hutchins!

This is HUGE, it proves they were set up from the start

They testified that their orders were to capture or kill the insurgent, and when they did, the NCIS agent ORDERED them to write down the mans name, not even knowing who he was!

They testified that NCIS ignored the truth and hung them intentionally and that they took the plea bargains because they were facing life in prison

They started saying they were guilty when they were told to, as 19 year old LCpl's , that they would be facing life in prison despite the fact that the Govt didn't know who was actually killed and had zero forensic evidence to support them, including a body that didn't match the description given by alleged family members.

Nor was the defense allowed to use video from the UAV's overhead in their defense although the prosecution was allowed to claim the UAV's showed then hiding the man before killing him... the body did not match the description given by the family which was paid $25,000, $2,500.00 per family member

Why did all the Marines in their initial statements tell about the order to apprehend the known terrorist suspect?

Where is due process when you cannot confront your accuser?

Where is due process when you are considered guilty before you are considered innocent?

Where is due process when you realize you don't have the body you thought you did but still insist that your men killed him?

Where is due process when you hold Marines in CONEX boxes for 18 hours a day with no water or head calls or food until they sign confessions?

Where is due process when NCIS is forced to admit they falsified statements about Marines distributing leaflets concerning apprehending insurgents to
only later realize that LCpl's cannot have access to KINKOS in Iraq...but Battalion does, and then STILL uses it against the Marines?

Each Marine and Sailor was charged with MURDER at first and all except Hutchins were allowed to plea bargain, leading any intelligent person to believe that they were looking for a political scapegoat.

The failure of any single officer to ask the men to plead innocent if they were?

NOT ONE JAG lawyer ever went for an innocent plea because they all went for pleas, yet they tell their families they are innocent?

There is most certainly a legal order to kill an insurgent who shot at you

There is most certainly an order that releases you when your orders were to apprehend a known terrorist who was previously held on several occasions and who was suspected of exploding an IED the day before killing Marines and if he resisted the use of deadly force was authorized. This is a WAR, not a drug bust

There is most certainly legal protection when ordered to shoot back when someone tried to kill you

You have never heard that from the media because the NCIS destroyed the orders to do just that, to apprehend a known terrorist who was suspected in
the previous days IED explosion and when they went to the address, someone
was digging a hole and held up a weapon and shot at them.

The families could not comment publicly during the trials, and also, much
information could not be revealed during the trial because it would possibly be illegal to reveal things during the case.

So, what information that was cleared through the lawyers was released and made public when we could.

In short, my story is not complete, these Marines were denied the presumption
of innocence by their own country, denied access to evidence that would exonerate them, the testimony of people who disappeared when trial time came was given more weight than the testimony of the Marines, their statements were coerced and that has been confirmed by each Marine who has been released from the Brig in public statements, actual evidence submitted had to be thrown out yet the charges were re-applied as the murder of an unknown man; that in itself is criminal and against the rules of court martial as I posted, and it also makes all statements of the alleged family members inadmissible, the prosecutions timeline and claim that the alleged Iraqi was taken from his house was now inadmissible due to the lack of knowledge of just who was killed and BY who due to the broken chain of evidence of a body that came to the US missing it's head.
The one unanswered question yet to come out of this whole fiasco, is why? Why would our military go so far to crucify these soldiers, when the evidence so clearly proves no wrongdoing? In short, what was the payoff for the perps here (and I don't mean the Pendleton 8 when I use the term, perps)

When the Pendleton 8 finally do receive a modicum of justice, as is my hope, there will still be many more questions to answer, with many more fingers of accountability yet to be pointed.

****UPDATE**** 9:49pm, 2/24/08

A message from a higher-echelon friend of mine who has done two tours of Iraq and a tour of Afghanistan:

...let me get this straight. A LEA of the US government tortured US Marines until they confessed to a crime that they didn't commit nor could that same LEA of the US government even prove the crime occurred. Sounds to me like the US govt. is stroking a Baath big time at the expense of a few Marines. One could only wonder what the payoff is. There is a lot of missing information that we'll never know about this one. How some people can sleep with themselves I'll never know.

I'll update you with more reactions from other military friends as I obtain them.

Below is a video of the situation:

Now's the time for all good moonbats to vote their conscience...

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Ya Hungry?

Try this:
SOUTHGATE, Mich. — A Detroit area restaurant owner believes he broke the Guiness World Record for "largest hamburger commercially available."

After 12 hours of preparation and baking, the 134-pound burger emerged at Mallie's Sports Bar and Grill on Saturday.

The Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press report the "Absolutely Ridiculous Burger" made with beef, bacon and cheese was delivered on a 50-pound bun. It sells for $350. Orders require 24 hours notice.

Flipping the burger required three men using two steel sheets.

Owner Steve Mallie tells The News he wanted to show he has the biggest and best burgers.

Mallie's unofficial record outweighs the 123-pound burger made last year by Denny's Beer Barrel Pub, of Clearfield, Pa. Authenticating Mallie's claim could take a few weeks.
Southgate, Michigan, eh? Well, at least Mallie's is following a cardinal rule of marketing: Before you create a product, make sure there's a market for it.

Yep. They got it covered.

The Empty Suit: Commander in Chief?

(click for full size)

He has the credentials to lead this nation's military like I have the credentials to lead Boston General Hospital.

Gateway Pundit has the whole sordid story.

Folks, if you vote this buffoon in, we will truly get the nation we deserve.

Nikolae Carpathia, Professor Harold Hill, and The Candy Man, rolled up into a ball of nothingness.

How statesmanship is done.

'Nuff Said.

h/t Chief.

On bribing people with their own money...

Governor Pawlenty's veto of the pork-laden, tax-increase laden behemoth 6.6 billion dollar Transportation bill is in danger of not being able to sustain itself.

A smaller version of the bill was beaten down last year due to a team effort by Governor Pawlenty and Minnesota House Republicans, but apparently some RINOs in the mix are now willing to jump ship to pass the largest tax increase in Minnesota history. Ever. And that's only the transportation bill. Can you imagine what's in store for the rest of this session?

One of our heroes in St. Paul, St. Cloud's own Steve Gottwalt, is leading the charge in trying to keep this three-ring circus train from making the connection to our back pockets, as he recognizes that the entire $6.6 billion dollar behemoth tax increase, devoid of any prioritization of current spending, is going to be financed totally on the backs of all Minnesota taxpayers (including the poor) in the form of NEW TAXES.

In a conversation with him, Gottwalt stated that he's not sure if the governor's veto will be sufficient to keep this travesty from passing. I call on all Conservative Minnesotans not to give one thin dime (nor one second of time) to any of the buffoons who choose to override the veto that would lead this onerous albatross to its nefarious fruition.

Furthermore, I call on all Conservative citizens in Minnesota to immediately devote their full measures of time, talent and treasure to those candidates that have the balls to declare this farce for what it is, and vote to sustain the veto.

When will our elected spendthrift officials (and our citizenry) finally come to realize that they are picking our own pockets to give us goodies that WE ARE PAYING FOR, and advertising it as easy, free money? We may be getting pork from the treasury, but just whose money is it in the treasury? And pork at what price?

Folks, in the words of Governor Pawlenty, it's time to put the fork down, stand away from the table, and think about what we're doing as a society! Have we been reduced to a society that has, in the prescience of Alexis de Toqueville, allowed ourselves to be bribed with our own money? Are we in Minnesota willing to re-enact the woes set forth by the socialist robber-barons of California and Michigan? I can guran-damn-tee you that's exactly where we're headed with a liberal majority in power in Minnesota.

Enjoy the ride.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Murtha's Tentacles of Corruption run deep in PA-12

"Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it"

-William Pitt the Younger, The Earl of Chatham and British Prime Minister from 1766 to 1778

Nowhere does this phrase ring with more clarity and truth than in PA-12, and in no heart more so than the soul-less Jack P. Murtha. After making this post, I took the liberty to telephone Lt. Col. (ret) William T. Russell and get his take on the slimy she-nanigans afoot to remove him from the ballot to challenge the perennial political boss of PA-12. What I found was nothing less than nauseating.

As the Johnstown Democrat stated,
The challenge was filed by two local Republicans: Former Johnstown Mayor Don Zucco and attorney Jeanne McKelvey.
In what was an ominous statement that could have otherwise been uttered by a Stepford wife,
Zucco said only, “There are lots of ways to support the congressman.”
Aside from being totally non-sensical, what could drive a former Republican mayor, one who actually signed the petition to put Russell on the ballot, to initiate a petition to recall the ballot? Zucco reportedly lives across the street from Murtha. What kind of quid pro quo would make Zucco turn tail and not only run away from Russell, but attempt to derail the nomination of a viable candidate from his own party?

The answer, my dear readers, is found in the climate of fear created over three decades of immoral, corrupt, political powerbroking in PA-12 that would make the likes of Don Vito Corleone seem like Albert Schweitzer in comparison.

The history of corruption that has been Murtha's decades-long tenure in the U.S. House of Representatives, time and time-again chronicled on this blog, has resulted not in a constituency representative of a free people, but rather a fiefdom of serfs afraid that any action against their liege would turn into certain repercussions by a nefarious network that could easily be labeled the Murtha Crime Syndicate.

Rather than utilizing his office in a manner befitting a public servant, Jack Murtha has displayed a clear pattern of abuses that has allowed him to cleave onto power just as surely as the legendary hydra clung onto a sinking ship as its hapless captives drowned.

It just so happens that Murtha's corruption has bought the allegiance of nearly half of the Republican party structure in PA-12, not to mention countless professionals who are afraid to sign a public petition, or be on a list of contributors to a contender, lest they face retribution at a workplace in which Murtha's largesse has been a benefactor. William Russell recounted a number of occasions of talking to professionals who would like nothing more than to see Murtha go, but at the same time are afraid to be publicly seen supporting an opponent.

PA-12's allegiance to Jack Murtha, while certainly bringing about a booty of baubles and beads, has at the same time left them captive to the whims and fancies of a bald-faced, ruthless tyrant.

The venerable Thomas Jefferson once acutely observed, “A government afraid of it’s citizens is a Democracy. Citizens afraid of government is tyranny!

It is time that the citizens of PA-12 renounce this travesty of government that has been the Murtha tenure in the U.S. Congress. It is time for men of character to stand up once and for all and declare that the emperor has no clothes, and once and for all break free of the fiefdom resultant of decades of greed and corruption.

Good citizens of PA-12. It is time to cast off the golden-fleeced shackles of servitude and to once again restore honor to your seat in the House of Representatives.

Good citizens of PA-12, Murtha Must Go!!