Tuesday, November 25, 2008

GEICO, good insurance or are they major shafters?


car crash file photo

[click here] for post containing GEICO customer complaints. Does GEICO use unfair business practices and a policy of holding out to pay as little as is possible, harming the economy, families and children, and the reputation of other insurance companies for their misdeeds? Should elected officials, attorney generals, and insurance commissioners be notified of GEICO's business misconduct?

Monday, November 17, 2008

"Pussy" Police Officer responsible for teen's death?


Captain William J. "Taco" Sullivan of the Connecticut State Police * Supreme Court Justice in Connecticut * White Boy Club

Sorry for the offensive title. White male police officers often call each other this "term". If they know they aren't being videoed or recorded, they use all sorts of racial, racist, inappropriate, and sexist terms. The below case started with police officers knowing they have immunity from civil and criminal liability and prosecution. That is on the job, and if any court case is made, police have "Qualified Immunity". They act accordingly, and do as, and when, they please, this should change.

It is okay for police to accidentally kill innocent citizens and children, and to be too much of a "pussy" to use deadly force when a "man" or any "policewoman" would have been able to do the job. A Connecticut White male police officer or State Trooper might not fit the bill when it comes down "to it". Read the all too typical police story below. When an officer could have made a difference, he let you, me, and the entire public down. Maybe it's typical Connecticut in the "White Boy Club", but it shouldn't be that way.

[This] should paint the proper picture of Connecticut State Police misconduct and brutality.

The below [found here]

MEDEIROS v O'CONNELL

UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS

FOR THE SECOND CIRCUIT

August Term, 1997

(Argued: November 25, 1997 Decided: July 15, 1998)

Docket No. 97-7355

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - x

JOANNE MEDEIROS, Individually and

as Administratrix of Estate

of Joshua Sawicki,

Plaintiff-Appellant ,

- v.-

SHAWN O'CONNELL, JACK DRUMM,

SAMUEL IZZARELLI, ROBERT HART,

DAVID BRUNDAGE, MICHAEL DEMAIO,

RONALD BASTURA, RICHARD WHEELER,

JOHN DULY, and JOHN REARICK,

Defendants-Appellees .

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - x

B e f o r e: WALKER and JACOBS, Circuit Judges and BRIEANT, District Judge . 1

Appeal by the administratrix of the estate of Joshua Sawicki--a teenage boy who was taken hostage by an armed robber and then wounded by a stray bullet fired by a state trooper seeking to free the hostages--from a Ruling and Order of the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut (Chatigny, J. ), dismissing this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claim on the grounds that (1) the trooper's accidental shooting of Joshua was not a "seizure" within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment; and (2) the defendants were entitled to qualified immunity from suit on plaintiff's Fourteenth Amendment claim. The district court therefore granted summary judgment in defendants' favor, dismissed the federal claims, and declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the remaining state law claims.We affirm.

KERIN MARGARET WOODS, Anderson & Ferdon, P.C., Norwich, CT for Plaintiff- Appellant .

STEPHEN R. SARNOSKI (Richard Blumenthal, Attorney General, Hartford, CT, of counsel) for Defendants-Appellees .

JACOBS, Circuit Judge :

Joshua Sawicki was a teenager riding in a school van that was commandeered by an armed robber who was being pursued by the state police. Joshua was held hostage, together with the driver and another schoolchild, until the robber was shot dead by a state trooper. One bullet, fired by the same trooper, ricocheted off a metal part of the van interior and injured Joshua. Joshua died fifteen months later, although the parties disagree as to whether his death is attributable to the stray bullet or other causes. Appellant Joanne Medeiros brought suit, in her individual capacity and as administratrix of Joshua's estate, against the police officers who rescued her son, seeking damages under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for violations of Joshua's Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights.

As to the Fourth Amendment claim, we affirm the grant of summary judgment in favor of defendants on the ground (stated by the district court) that Joshua had not been seized within the meaning of the Amendment. As to the Fourteenth Amendment claim, the district court dismissed on the ground that the defendants, all of whom are Connecticut state troopers, are entitled to qualified immunity. We affirm the dismissal of the Fourteenth Amendment claim, but in light of authority that post-dates the district court's opinion, we do so on other grounds.

BACKGROUND

On January 11, 1993, Dwight Pink visited a Ford dealership in East Lyme, Connecticut, and went with a salesman to test drive a 1990 Mustang. Pink shot and robbed the car salesman, who was found wandering along Interstate 95 by a passing motorist. The motorist notified the state police about the shooting and Pink's flight in the stolen Mustang.

A bulletin describing Pink and the stolen car was dispatched to all Connecticut state police. About an hour later, Trooper Jack Drumm (a defendant) saw the Mustang on Route 82 in East Haddam, Connecticut, and gave pursuit. Pink lost control of the car, ending up in a ditch near an intersection in East Haddam. Drumm emerged from his car and ordered Pink to throw down his gun and surrender. Pink responded by firing several shots at Drumm. Drumm took cover but did not return fire because he saw that a school van was approaching the intersection.

Pink also noticed the school van; he shoved his gun against the van's windshield and screamed, "I'll kill you, I'll kill you!" Pink then boarded the van and took hostage the driver and her two teenaged passengers. A gun to her head, the driver obeyed Pink's order to drive away.

Trooper Drumm followed and radioed for assistance; Pink repeatedly fired at him. Other state troopers, including the remaining defendants, joined a procession of vehicles that passed through several rural towns. Pink continued to fire on the troopers, repeatedly threatened to kill the hostages, and periodically held his gun to the driver's head. The troopers held their fire to avoid hurting hostages. Pleas to Pink to release the hostages were unsuccessful.

As ordered by radio, the troopers at first allowed the van to proceed unmolested; but as the van approached a more populated area, the troopers were ordered to halt the van at the intersection of Routes 66 and 17, a still-rural area where the road widened from two lanes to four with a grassy median. As the van neared the roadblock, Pink continued to shoot at the troopers and ordered the driver to evade the police cars. She obeyed by driving up the median and continuing westbound on Route 66.

The ranking officer on the scene, Sergeant Duley, then ordered the troopers to "take out" the van. This order meant that the troopers were to stop the van by blocking or ramming it and to arrest Dwight Pink, using force if necessary. As Pink continued to fire on his pursuers, the troopers received an order over the radio that, for the protection of the hostages, there was to be "[n]o indiscriminate shooting!"

Trooper Brundage managed to pin the van between his cruiser and the guard rail, and Trooper Drumm blocked it from the rear. From inside the van, Pink continued to shoot at the troopers. Trooper Drumm, with Trooper Izzarelli alongside, fired at Pink through the driver's side window of the van; Trooper Hart approached the front of the van as Trooper O'Connell approached from the rear. As all the officers fired at Pink, he fell; Sergeant Duley ordered the troopers to cease fire; and they immediately obeyed.

The troopers ascertained that Pink was dead and that Joshua, who had been in the right front passenger seat, had been struck once and wounded. The troopers gave Joshua first aid while awaiting the arrival of an ambulance.

Later investigation established that O'Connell had fired five times at Pink from his position at the rear of the van. Of the rounds that struck Pink, O'Connell had fired the fatal bullet. It was also O'Connell's bullet that passed through the rear passenger seat, was deflected off a metal support bar, and continued through the front passenger seat to strike Joshua, who was leaning forward with his head under the dashboard.

O'Connell undoubtedly knew that there were three hostages in the van at the time he fired. When he approached the van, he observed the driver in the front left seat, Joshua in the front passenger seat, and Pink crouching on the floor between them. O'Connell immediately identified Pink; at roll call that morning O'Connell was informed that Pink had said he would not be taken into custody again. In the moments before O'Connell killed him, Pink had pointed his gun at the driver, at Joshua, and at Trooper Drumm. O'Connell then hoisted himself up through the rear window of the van and shot at Pink. The investigation after the shooting revealed that Pink had two shots remaining in his gun and an empty 50-round ammunition box. 1

DISCUSSION

We review the grant of a motion for summary judgment de novo . See Aslanidis v. United States Lines, Inc. , 7 F.3d 1067, 1072 (2d Cir. 1993).

A. The Fourth Amendment Claim

The Fourth Amendment prohibits unreasonable seizures; it is not a general prohibition of all conduct that may be deemed unreasonable, unjustified or outrageous. See Carter v. Buscher , 973 F.2d 1328, 1332 (7th Cir. 1992). So the first step in any Fourth Amendment claim (or, as in this case, any section 1983 claim predicated on the Fourth Amendment) is to determine whether there has been a constitutionally cognizable seizure. See Michigan v. Summers , 452 U.S. 692, 696 , 101 S. Ct. 2587, 2590-91 (1981).

Seizure under the Fourth Amendment is purposeful conduct:

[A] [v]iolation of the Fourth Amendment requires an intentional acquisition of physical control. A seizure occurs even when an unintended person or thing is the object of the detention or taking, but the detention or taking itself must be willful. This is implicit in the word "seizure," which can hardly be applied to an unknowing act.

Brower v. County of Inyo , 489 U.S. 593, 596 , 109 S. Ct. 1378, 1381 (1989) (citations omitted). Appellant argues that Brower 's references to intention and wilfulness bear upon the deliberateness of the means employed, and that the troopers (particularly O'Connell) are liable to Joshua under the Fourth Amendment because they intentionally used their weapons. Defendants argue that the proper question is whether a claimant was the intended object of the officers' restraint or use of force, and that Joshua cannot state a claim under the Fourth Amendment because the troopers fully intended to seize Pink, but indisputably had no intention to curtail Joshua's freedom of movement.

We have not previously considered whether the accidental shooting of a hostage or innocent bystander can give rise to a claim under the Fourth Amendment, but other courts of appeal have had little trouble with the issue. In Landol-Rivera v. Cosme , 906 F.2d 791 (1st Cir. 1990), the First Circuit addressed the claim of a fast-food worker who was taken hostage by an armed robber and was shot in the jaw by a bullet intended for his captor. The court quoted Brower for the principle that:

a Fourth Amendment seizure does not occur whenever there is a governmentally caused termination of an individual's freedom of movement . . ., nor even whenever there is a governmentally caused and governmentally desired termination of an individual's freedom of movement . . ., but only when there is a governmental termination of freedom of movement through means intentionally applied .

Id. at 794 (quoting Brower , 489 U.S. at 596 -97, 109 S. Ct. at 1381) (emphasis and alterations in original). Applying that principle to the hostage situation, the court stated:

We reject the notion that the "intention" requirement is met by the deliberateness with which a given action is taken. A police officer's deliberate decision to shoot at a car containing a robber and a hostage for the purpose of stopping the robber's flight does not result in the sort of willful detention of the hostage that the Fourth Amendment was designed to govern.

Id. at 795 (emphasis in original). The court reversed the jury's finding of liability and award of damages to Landol-Rivera.

Similarly, in Rucker v. Harford County , 946 F.2d 278 (4th Cir. 1991), cert. denied , 502 U.S. 1097 , 112 S. Ct. 1175 (1992), the Fourth Circuit analyzed a Fourth Amendment claim brought by the father of a bystander who was killed by police officers attempting to "apprehend[] a madman run amok, threatening the lives of everyone in his way." Id. at 281. That particular madman, who was high on drugs, almost succeeded in killing several of the police officers who pursued him in a long chase. Officers who attempted to shoot out the tires of the fugitive's car apparently struck Rucker accidentally. Id. at 280.

The court found that Brower foreclosed Rucker's Fourth Amendment claim, rejecting the identical argument asserted here: "[ Brower ] does not mean, as Rucker contends, that a seizure occurs just so long as the act of restraint itself is intended (here the act of shooting) though it restrains one not intended to be restrained." Id. at 281.

We endorse the logic of these cases. Joshua was never seized within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. The Fourth Amendment "addresses misuse of power, . . . not the accidental effects of otherwise lawful government conduct." Landol-Rivera , 906 F.2d at 795 (quoting Brower , 489 U.S. at 596 , 109 S. Ct. at 1381) (internal quotation marks omitted) (alterations in original). The claim presented in this case vindicates no interest protected by the Fourth Amendment. So far from seeking to restrain Joshua's freedom, the troopers' every effort was bent on delivering all the hostages from deadly peril. See Medeiros v. Town of South Kingstown , 821 F. Supp. 823, 827 (D.R.I. 1993) (rejecting the Fourth Amendment claim of a passenger who asserted that he was imprisoned in the fleeing car by the police officers' high speed chase, stating that "the police did not intend to restrict the movement of the passenger by causing the driver to flee at high speeds. In fact, their intent was the exact opposite . . . .").

This case is easily distinguished from those in which the police shoot an innocent victim mistakenly believing that he is the suspect whom they are pursuing; in such cases, the victim was indeed the object of an intentional act of seizure, even if the police were mistaken as to the victim's identity. See, e.g. , Hill v. California , 401 U.S. 797, 802-05 , 91 S. Ct. 1106, 1110-11 (1971). But where the hostage is hit by a bullet intended for the hostage-taker, the mishap is the "unintended consequence[] of government action," and the governing principle is that such consequences cannot "form the basis for a fourth amendment violation." Ansley v. Heinrich , 925 F.2d 1339, 1344 (11th Cir. 1991). See also City of El Centro v. United States , 922 F.2d 816, 822 (Fed. Cir. 1990), cert. denied , 501 U.S. 1230 , 111 S. Ct. 2851 (1991).

We hold that no Fourth Amendment seizure occurred in the present case, because the police did not intend to restrain Joshua. The deflection of the bullet intended for Pink did not transform the troopers' rescue efforts on the hostages' behalf into a seizure.

B. The Fourteenth Amendment Claim

Medeiros also asserted a substantive due process claim under the Fourteenth Amendment, alleging that the shooting of Joshua worked a deprivation of his "life, liberty or property" without due process. The district court disposed of this claim by finding that the troopers were entitled to qualified immunity. However, subsequent to the district court's opinion, the Supreme Court expressed its preference that courts address first the merits of the constitutional claims presented before turning to an analysis of qualified immunity. See County of Sacramento v. Lewis , ___ U.S. ___, 118 S. Ct. 1708, 1714 n.5 (1998) ("[T]he better approach to resolving cases in which the defense of qualified immunity is raised is to determine first whether the plaintiff has alleged a deprivation of a constitutional right at all. Normally, it is only then that a court should ask whether the right allegedly implicated was clearly established at the time of the events in question.") The district court decided the case on what was then the most expeditious ground, qualified immunity. The Supreme Court's unambiguous preference is that we consider the merits first, and that is the ground on which we affirm.

The first inquiry bearing on the merits is whether this Fourteenth Amendment claim is foreclosed by the principle that "[w]here a particular Amendment provides an explicit textual source of constitutional protection against a particular sort of government behavior, that Amendment, not the more generalized notion of substantive due process, must be the guide for analyzing these claims." Albright v. Oliver , 510 U.S. 266, 273 , 114 S. Ct. 807, 813 (1994) (quoting Graham v. Connor , 490 U.S. 386, 395 , 109 S. Ct. 1865, 1871 (1989)) (internal quotation marks omitted). The troopers argue that in this case that principle means that Medeiros is confined to a Fourth Amendment claim and cannot bring a claim under the Fourteenth Amendment. In 1995, however, this Court construed Graham to permit a narrowly drawn Fourteenth Amendment claim only in the non-seizure, non- prisoner context. Rodriguez v. Phillips , 66 F.3d 470 (2d Cir. 1995). Moreover, in County of Sacramento , the Supreme Court indicated that where no seizure within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment has taken place, substantive due process analysis is appropriate. County of Sacramento , ___ U.S. at ___, 118 S. Ct. at 1715; see also United States v. Lanier , 520 U.S. 259 , ___ n.7, 117 S. Ct. 1219, 1228 n.7 (1997) ( Graham "does not hold that all constitutional claims relating to physically abusive government conduct must arise under either the Fourth or Eighth Amendments; rather, Graham simply requires that if a constitutional claim is covered by a specific constitutional provision, such as the Fourth or Eighth Amendment, the claim must be analyzed under the standard appropriate to that specific provision, not under the rubric of substantive due process."). Medeiros therefore can bring a Fourteenth Amendment claim, but for reasons discussed below, that claim is doomed to fail.

The core of the concept of due process has always been an individual's freedom from arbitrary interference by the government. See Hurtado v. California , 110 U.S. 516, 527 , 4 S. Ct. 111, 117 (1884) (citing Magna Carta). See also Wolff v. McDonnell , 418 U.S. 539, 558 , 94 S. Ct. 2963, 2976 (1974) ("The touchstone of due process is protection of the individual against arbitrary action of government."). Alleged abuses of the police power are sufficiently arbitrary to rise to constitutional magnitude only when the conduct at issue "shocks the conscience." County of Sacramento , ___ U.S. at ___, 118 S. Ct. at 1717; see also Collins v. City of Harker Heights , 503 U.S. 115, 128 , 112

S. Ct. 1061, 1070 (1992) (substantive due process is violated only when executive conduct "can properly be characterized as arbitrary, or conscience shocking, in a constitutional sense").

Substantive due process, enforced by section 1983, does not afford a cause of action for police negligence. See Daniels v. Williams , 474 U.S. 327, 328 , 106 S. Ct. 662, 663 (1986); Davidson v. Cannon , 474 U.S. 344, 348 , 106 S. Ct. 668, 670-71 (1986). Further, because the police must act in high- tension situations "in haste, under pressure, and frequently without the luxury of a second chance," Whitley v. Albers , 475 U.S. 312, 320 , 106 S. Ct. 1078, 1084 (1986), even an intermediate level of fault, such as recklessness, is not enough to impose constitutional liability. In the context of a high-speed chase, the Supreme Court recently ruled that where "the officer's instinct was to do his job as a law enforcement officer, not to induce . . . lawlessness, or to terrorize, cause harm, or kill," County of Sacramento , ___ U.S. at ___, 118 S. Ct. at 1721, the officer's conduct did not shock the conscience; he was therefore not liable under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

The heroic and selfless conduct of the troopers in this case is the very opposite of conduct that could be said to shock the conscience. As counsel for Medeiros conceded at oral argument, another person in her place might be moved to thank the people who risked their lives to save her son from an armed madman--rather than sue them for money damages. The conduct of the troopers was not merely constitutionally acceptable, it was objectively admirable. Appellant's Fourteenth Amendment claim must therefore fail.

CONCLUSION

The judgment of the district court is affirmed.

FOOTNOTES

--------------
[1]

Hon. Charles L. Brieant, of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, sitting by designation.

--------------
[1]

In support of the reasonableness of their actions, defendants submitted a report by retired Special Agent Lanceley of the F.B.I., a hostage negotiations specialist who now runs a private consulting firm that provides advice and instruction to law enforcement agencies. According to Lanceley, negotiations with Pink were a lost cause; Pink was bent on escalating the level of violence in order to commit "suicide-by- cop"; and the lives of the hostages were in the gravest danger throughout the crisis. Lanceley concludes that the troopers' actions were necessary to reasonably safeguard the lives of the public, the hostages aboard the van, and the troopers themselves.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Email just received

I get emails everyday from someone wanting me to help them cash a check for a million, or so, dollars. Just look at some of the emails copied in below:

georgewill@washpost.com, horgan@courant.com, commissioner.dcf@po.state.ct.us, cohencolumn@aol.com, leonard.boyle@po.state.ct.us, FalNields@aol.com, bransfield@comcast.net, vtsherr@comcast.net, mcneilel@aol.com, oca@po.state.ct.us, dand@resalehost.networksolutions.com, scott.murphy@po.state.ct.us, attorney.general@po.state.ct.us, randall.sanborn@usdoj.gov, patrick.clifford@jud.state.ct.us

Sunday, November 16, 2008 9:24 AM
From:
Add sender to Contacts
To:
undisclosed-recipients



--

--
BARNETT SOLICITORS,
6 Heathwood Road,
Cardiff CF4 4JP,
United Kingdom.
Email:barristergeorgebarnett@ymail.com

Dear Friend,

I need your assistance to transfer $15.5 million into
your bank account (country). Please get back to me
through the email listed above.

Friday, November 14, 2008

For this to exist

there had to be an overwhelming need ...

Connecticut Seal

Substitute House Bill No. 5933

Public Act No. 08-143

AN ACT CONCERNING THE COMPENSATION OF WRONGFULLY CONVICTED AND INCARCERATED PERSONS, THE DUTIES AND DURATION OF THE SENTENCING TASK FORCE AND THE PREPARATION OF RACIAL AND ETHNIC IMPACT STATEMENTS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2008) (a) A person is eligible to receive compensation for wrongful incarceration if:

(1) Such person has been convicted by this state of one or more crimes, of which the person was innocent, has been sentenced to a term of imprisonment for such crime or crimes and has served all or part of such sentence; and

(2) Such person's conviction was vacated or reversed and the complaint or information dismissed on grounds of innocence, or the complaint or information dismissed on a ground consistent with innocence.

(b) A person who meets the eligibility requirements of subsection (a) of this section may present a claim against the state for such compensation with the Claims Commissioner in accordance with the provisions of chapter 53 of the general statutes. The provisions of said chapter shall be applicable to the presentment, hearing and determination of such claim except as otherwise provided in this section.

(c) At the hearing on such claim, such person shall have the burden of establishing by a preponderance of the evidence that such person meets the eligibility requirements of subsection (a) of this section. In addition, such person shall present evidence as to the damages suffered by such person which may include, but are not limited to, claims for loss of liberty and enjoyment of life, loss of earnings, loss of earning capacity, loss of familial relationships, loss of reputation, physical pain and suffering, mental pain and suffering and attorney's fees and other expenses arising from or related to such person's arrest, prosecution, conviction and incarceration.

(d) If the Claims Commissioner determines that such person has established such person's eligibility under subsection (a) of this section by a preponderance of the evidence, the Claims Commissioner shall order the immediate payment to such person of compensation for such wrongful incarceration. In determining the amount of such compensation, the Claims Commissioner shall consider relevant factors including, but not limited to, the evidence presented by the person under subsection (c) of this section as to the damages suffered by such person and whether any negligence or misconduct by any officer, agent, employee or official of the state or any political subdivision of the state contributed to such person's arrest, prosecution, conviction or incarceration.

(e) In addition to the compensation paid under subsection (d) of this section, the Claims Commissioner may order payment for the expenses of employment training and counseling, tuition and fees at any constituent unit of the state system of higher education and any other services such person may need to facilitate such person's reintegration into the community.

(f) Any person claiming compensation under this section based on a pardon that was granted or the dismissal of a complaint or information that occurred before the effective date of this section shall file such claim not later than two years after the effective date of this section. Any person claiming compensation under this section based on a pardon that was granted or the dismissal of a complaint that occurred on or after the effective date of this section shall file such claim not later than two years after the date of such pardon or dismissal.

(g) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent such person from pursuing any other action or remedy at law or in equity that such person may have against the state and any political subdivision of the state and any officer, agent, employee or official thereof arising out of such wrongful conviction and incarceration.

Sec. 2. (Effective from passage) (a) The advisory commission on wrongful convictions established pursuant to section 54-102pp of the general statutes shall monitor and evaluate the implementation of (1) the procedure for the compensation of wrongfully incarcerated persons established under section 1 of this act, (2) the pilot program to electronically record the interrogations of arrested persons, and (3) eyewitness identification procedures that, when practicable, use a double-blind administration wherein the person conducting the identification procedure is not aware of which person in the photo lineup or live lineup is suspected as being the perpetrator of the crime.

(b) Not later than January 7, 2009, the advisory commission shall report its findings and recommendations to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly on judiciary in accordance with section 11-4a of the general statutes.

Sec. 3. Subsection (d) of section 6 of public act 06-193 is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(d) The task force shall:

(1) Identify overarching criminal justice and sentencing goals and policies;

(2) Define current sentencing models including sentencing guidelines, criteria, exemptions and enhancements;

(3) Analyze sentencing trends by offense types and offender characteristics;

(4) Review the actual versus intended impact of sentencing policies;

(5) Determine the direct and indirect costs associated with sentencing policies;

(6) Review the fines and terms of imprisonment specified for violations of criminal statutes that are classified or unclassified felonies or misdemeanors and make recommendations including, but not limited to: (A) Whether crimes that are currently unclassified should be classified; (B) whether certain classified crimes should be reclassified or the penalties for certain unclassified crimes should be revised in order to make the penalties for similar crimes more uniform; (C) whether the penalty or type of penalty for certain crimes should be revised or eliminated where such penalty or type of penalty is no longer deemed necessary or appropriate or is disproportionate to the severity of the crime; and (D) whether crimes that are obsolete should be repealed; [and]

(7) Make any recommendations for the revision of criminal justice and sentencing policies as deemed necessary; and

(8) Not later than January 7, 2009, make a recommendation as to whether a permanent sentencing commission should be established and, if so, make recommendations concerning the mission, duties, membership and procedures of such a commission.

Sec. 4. Subsection (g) of section 6 of public act 06-193 is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(g) The task force shall report its findings and recommendations to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly on the judiciary in accordance with section 11-4a of the general statutes not later than [December 1, 2008] July 1, 2009. The task force shall terminate upon the completion of its duties.

Sec. 5. (NEW) (Effective from passage) (a) Beginning with the session of the General Assembly commencing on January 7, 2009, a racial and ethnic impact statement shall be prepared with respect to certain bills and amendments that could, if passed, increase or decrease the pretrial or sentenced population of the correctional facilities in this state.

(b) Not later than January 1, 2009, the joint standing committee of the General Assembly on judiciary shall make recommendations for a provision to be included in the joint rules of the House of Representatives and the Senate concerning the procedure for the preparation of such racial and ethnic impact statements, the content of such statements and the types of bills and amendments with respect to which such statements should be prepared.

Approved June 5, 2008

Thursday, November 13, 2008

IAW

International Association of Whistleblowers

I attended the International Assembly of Whistleblowers this past May in Washington, DC.

I came away [with this and posted video].

* * * *
* * * *

The below is what I wish expose:

[my beef told by a witness] [This is the corruption I wish to expose to the world]
[and wish to expose this Judicial Misconduct in Connecticut]

I was paying for prostitutes I was not sleeping with, over $2000/month. They would move into my Stafford Springs, Connecticut, rental properties, change the locks, and expect me to pay all of their expenses, heat, lodging, electricity, and they could dump their trash out windows on me. The State Police, prosecutors, judges, and elected officials were complicit in not doing anything about this. So pissed off, I vented by writing George W. Bush a letter 9-15-01. On 10-11-01, I was attacked on my property by a police informant.

My pepper spraying that informant was used as an excuse to railroad me to prison. I have no home, no credit, no family, and because of my criminal record, the one "offense" has multiple dates and was tagged with as much as was possible by an alleged sociopath judge, Jonathan Kaplan, who has been complicit in other retaliation of those that expose public corruption and attorney, prosecutorial, judicial, and police misconduct in the State of Connecticut, I suffer the aftermath of the retaliation, daily.

So, if I even try to get a job, it looks like I am a habitual, violent criminal with a substance abusing past and a history of mental illness. For taking a beating on my own property, after the informant threatened by life, stalked, and terrorized me for weeks, I pepper sprayed him. For that I have a criminal record. Even though I have no alcohol or substance past, criminally and medically, I was sentenced to drug and alcohol classes. I had nothing in my blood at the time I was attacked, the felon sent to attack me by police did. The judge also sentence me to anger management and to see a mental health professional twice a week upon release, and to have an evaluation done to see if I was safe to be in public. All from being forced to defend myself on my own property, one incident!

I blame Bush, former Connecticut Governor John G. Rowland, and dishonest judges and police for this:

The Steven G. Erickson Mugshot

The above is the Steven G. Erickson Mugshot (taken Oct. 2001), former Political Prisoner, People's Republik of Corruptikut Inmate # 305662

I was so pissed off about being under seige by drug dealers, prostitutes, and other criminals on my property, I wrote the below to President Bush. Click on documents to make bigger.

Why am I upset with George W. Bush?:

I mailed a letter to President Bush on 9-15-01 discussing the problems I was having. I was then attacked on my property 10-11-01 by a police informant. I pepper sprayed my attacker in my dark driveway. Police were right there to arrest me. If the Bush administration was not so deceitful and arrogant, I think I and so many other citizens would not have been ripped off needlessly and abused. Our economy and national reputation would also be better. My letter to Bush:



If you click on it and save it, you can use a view to make it bigger.

The HUD response telling me Bush actually read my letter:


In the follow up report I am called the victim:


I was current on mortgage payments on 3 rental properties. Two of which I fixed up from a boarded up condition spending hundreds of thousands of dollars and years of my labor. I had also built up a contracting business over 2 decades. My reward was that a strong armed robber, a mugger, a felon, could threaten my life while demanding money in my own dark driveway, beat me, and he is not arrested, I am for using pepper spray and I go to prison.

A short video of my former properties [click]

My email:
stevengerickson@yahoo.com

My profile on Injusticebusters.com

[click here] for a post on Connecticut State Police recruits called, "Young, Armed, Dangerous, Horny"

* * * *

If US President George W. Bush has a past history of abusing hard drugs and improper relationships with prostitutes:



Then, what happens when you complain to Bush about prostitutes and drug dealers?

Complaining to George W. Bush about being under siege on my property by prostitutes, vandals, common criminal parasites, and heroin and crack cocaine dealer where police refused to help, caused me to be put on the Connecticut State Police secret "Enemies List", falsely arrested, and for me to be held as a political prisoner.

* * * *

My main blog:

http://starkravingviking.blogspot.com/

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Police Recruits: young, armed, dangerous, horny

New recruits figure out they can get away with almost anything as long as they don't break ranks. That feeling of "anything goes" lasts entire police careers.

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The State Police in many, or most, states are White and Male. Connecticut is no exception, and might just show what is most wrong with our nation's policing.



Connecticut State Police Academy Graduation


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If women are raped, especially in downtown area, officers can threaten the victims with arrest for making a "false statement", if officers are too lazy to do an actual investigation. When officers rape, assault, rob, murder, and are responsible for murders and mayhem, officers aren't even investigated. [video of hearing testimony]

Bill Collins, the former mayor of Norwalk, Connecticut, talks about officers wearing ski masks abducting citizens to beat them at waterfront warehouses, officers throwing beer bottles on his porch, vandalizing his house, and putting up police union stickers on his vehicles and house. [video of official testimony]

In Connecticut, the State Police have a "100 Club", where an officer belongs to the special club, and can go on golf outings, if he has more than 100 driving while drunk, or impaired, arrests (DUI, DWI, OUI). [info on 100 club]

A false arrest can land a citizen in prison. It can mean job, home, and family loss. Taxes being paid in by an individual stop, and he, or she, is now a burden on taxpayers based on a false report, false arrest, lies to be part of a club!

A prison sentence can mean a citizen is ruined for life, never trusting authorities again. Maybe the citizen will never support a family, be productive, or even pay taxes, ever again. All over "fun in a club".

If police will lie, falsify and manufacture evidence to arrest citizens for driving while drunk and for drugs, they will alter and fix ANY case. If police, police themselves, police aren't policed.

A campaign manager for the rival party's governor choice, can mean being placed on the secret police "Enemies List". Kenneth Krayeske, also a journalist was placed on "the list", and arrested on sight. [story]

Connecticut State Police Colonel Lynch was allegedly asked to change an official police report. The heirs of Neil Esposito, wanted the millions of Neil's money. Esposito and been died driving drunk and Heather Specyalski was allegedly performing oral sex on him at the time of the crash. I assume there was evidence of this as Heather was in coma for months following the accident. [story]

So, if an important doner to former Republican Connecticut Governor John G. Rowland requests an official State Police investigation be changed, orders from the top will see that it will. These "law enforcement" can't be trusted when they come up with DNA and other lab results when they can just alter official reports. They're willing to put an innocent woman in prison for manslaughter at the request of the rich and powerful.

If a police officer breaks ranks with other officers by actually protecting and serving the public, caring about the law, he can get felony arrested and his sons can be hauled out of his house to be beaten at the State Police HQ. For police to retaliate against police who break ranks, the courts ALSO, have to be rigged. [story]

Judicial Branch employees can blow the whistle on judges and judicial managers rigging cases, racketeering, obstructing justice, nepotism, bid rigging, the altering of court hard drives, retaliation, and felonies committed. The "public comment" will then be sealed and the "mouthy" employees will be retaliated against. [CT Judicial Branch whistle blower video]

Every citizen who I know who has proposed Civilian Oversight of Police has been terrorized out of the state, into silence, and/or is falsely arrested and imprisoned. Richard "Ritt" Goldstein proposed Civilian Oversight of Police to the Connecticut Judiciary Committee assembling international experts on the subject and victims of Connecticut State Police misconduct and brutality. Ritt fled to Sweden seeking political asylum, so terrorized by police after making [this video].

Police use state registered confidential informants to kill, beat up, and terrorize citizens making misconduct complaints. [video of an informant under oath]

The police misconduct only gets worse with each passing year. There is more technology, more money, more of them, and less and less oversight and accountability. We have "Black Water"-style policing inside the US. God help us all ...

My beefs can be found in "Faces of a Police State".

-Steven G. Erickson

[links to police, attorney, prosecutorial, and judicial misconduct stories]

[video, witness to the basics of police retaliation]

Take action -- click here to contact your local newspaper or congress people:
[pass Private Atty Gen. bill in US Judiciary Cmmt]

Click here to see the most recent messages sent to congressional reps and local newspapers

I am a freelance cameraman, documentary producer, screenwriter, sometimes journalist, and can and will travel anywhere if the terms are right.



The above re-posted [from here]
stevengerickson@yahoo.com
To share this post, click on white envelope below.

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Are Connecticut officers too busy sleeping with prostitutes, organizing criminal gangs, and breaking laws to protect and serve the public. The below video shows all too typical behavior of Connecticut Police Officers. Many continue to cover for each other, and less than 1% of police misconduct complaints in the state of Connecticut actually get investigated.

[CT] Officer Durgin abused database, other crimes - fired


Do you want to score heroin or crack cocaine, find a prostitute, do you want to have someone killed or beaten up? Well, in Connecticut, your needs are close and easy, just having cash on you, and knowing which cop to ask and there you go.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Do you want to score drugs?


Lt. William White (Photo: New Haven Register)

Well, Connecticut cops might have the strongest drugs at the best prices. Want to score "jail bait"? Again you might want to ask a Connecticut Police Officer. There are a greater percentage of good officers, why are they so often silent?

New Haven police officers arrested

[click here for piece]

(New Haven-WTNH) _ At least five people, including two New Haven police officers, were arrested Tuesday. The charges include conspiracy and theft of government funds, and bribery.

The officers are identified as Lt. Billy White, Sr., the head of the department's Narcotics Division, and Det. Justin Kasperzyk.

"I'm disguested, I'm upset, frustrated," New Haven Police Chief Francisco Ortiz said.

White is accused of theft of government funds and conspiracy. In an afternoon court appearance, the FBI said they have video and audio evidence of White that was taken during a sting operation.

The officers are accused in part of taking money from drug scenes. In one piece of evidence, prosecutors showed a picture of someone they say is White holding a bag that contained $27,000 in cash.

Kasperzyk was charged with a misdemeanor crime of stealing less than $1,000.

Authorities say their investigation also led them to Jacobs Bondsman, a New Haven bail bonds business.

The three bondsmen face bribery and conspiracy charges. They are identified as Robert Jacobs, Paul Jacobs, and Philip Jacobs. They are accused of bribing White and other police officers to recapture fugitives who disappeared while on bond.

Both officers were put on administrative leave by Chief Ortiz, and an internal affairs investigation has been launched.

"There's a presumption here of innocence, but from what I've seen and what I hear and my experience tells me, um, folks ought to have known better."

A federal magistrate judge ordered White to undergo a psychological exam after learning that White made statements to police after his arrest indicating he might harm himself.

White is due back in Hartford federal court tomorrow for a hearing on whether he should be detained.

FBI Spokeswoman Marybeth Miklos says White has been with the New Haven Police dept. for about 30 years. His home was searched as part of the investigation.

New Haven Mayor John DeStefano, who was in Washington D.C., said in a news release, "We are attempting to learn more about the charges, and will be fully cooperating with the investigation," said DeStefano.

DeStefano said he's been in contact with Ortiz, and will hold a news conference about the arrests at 9:30 tonight.


[click here] for above story told at CTnewsjunkie blog
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Raped?



[click here] for more

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[click here] for:

The Connecticut State Trooper Gene Pool?



keywords: Connecticut State Police misconduct brutality Judicial Peter Coukos Barbara Sattel Colonel Thomas "The Duck Davoren Attorney Michael H. Agranoff weasel Stafford Springs Enfield Somers Somersville Hartford Stamford Norwalk Wethersfield West East Judge Jonathan Kaplan Rockville Superior Court [more]

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[click here] for post called, "Taxpayer Paid Liars, Cheats, and Thugs"

[click here] for post called, "End of America"

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To be this brazen ...

one would have to suspect that cops running child prostitution and exploitation rings might be more common than can be imagined.

Pa. trooper protected child prostitution ring, feds say
Wednesday, March 12, 2008

HARRISBURG -- A former Pennsylvania state trooper tipped off pimps who ran a child prostitution ring in exchange for money and sex, federal prosecutors said today in announcing charges against him.

Kevin J. Coleman, 42, of Harrisburg, was accused of interfering with a nationwide investigation into a ring that used women and teenagers as prostitutes. He was accused of disclosing investigative details, wiretaps and police sweeps.

Prosecutors said Mr. Coleman was assigned to anti-prostitution patrols at the Gables Truck Stop near Harrisburg when pimps -- many from Toledo, Ohio -- were operating there.

The federal investigation known as Precious Cargo led to the conviction of 14 pimps and two lead prostitutes, all awaiting sentencing.

Mr. Coleman resigned as a state trooper after learning he was under investigation, prosecutors said. It could not immediately be determined if he has a lawyer.

The federal indictment in December 2005 that broke up the ring described it as a "loose confederacy" where pimps worked together to avoid police and run their business. The women and girls were moved from state to state and "sold" between pimps.

At least nine were under age 18 when they were forced into working as prostitutes, authorities said, and in one case a 12-year-old girl was forced to engage in prostitution to pay for her grandfather's crack cocaine.

The pimps were indicted in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Michigan, and the investigation was considered one of the largest coordinated efforts to break up child prostitution rings in the United States.

Investigators said they identified at least 125 women who worked as prostitutes for the ring in the Harrisburg area.

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the below [found here]

Connecticut, Proud Mafioso Hub



Is Henry Hill the Next Padma Lakshmi?

is%20henry%20hill%20the%20next%20padma%20lakshmi.jpgWatch out Top Chef, there's a new kitchen-centric reality show in the works featuring former mobster, Goodfellas muse, government witness, and chronic alcoholic Henry Hill (seen here displaying some of the "art" he's been selling on E-Bay). Several postings on Craigslist reveal that prospective line and prep cooks, bartenders, servers, hostesses, and chefs at Hill's "Wiseguy's" restaurant in New Haven must be, "willing to be part of a new reality show scheduled to start shooting during opening of restaurant." The show (and the restaurant) don't seem to be getting off to a great start since, as of August 10, they were still looking for an executive chef. Applicants were invited to visit the restaurant at their leisure, but the ad warned that the "location is under construction. So please come in, make your way to the back office." Perhaps Joe Pesci will come out of retirement to ask the staff if he "seems funny" to them.

The above [found here]

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Connecticut State Senators, Mafia trash haulers, and unexplained cash (bribes)
[more]
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This blogger's email: stevengerickson@yahoo.com
To share this post, click on white envelope below

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Added October 5, 2010:

[click here] for more about:

11 year old sodomized and set on fire


From left: Hayley, Michaela and parents Jennifer and Dr. William Petit.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Imagine having an unlimited budget

... and no oversight ...

The below found [here]

Inside Operation Highlander: the NSA's Wiretapping of Americans Abroad




A top secret NSA wiretapping facility in Georgia accused of spying on Americans illegally was hastily staffed with inexperienced reservists in the months following September 11, where they worked under conflicting orders and with little supervision, according to three former workers at the spy complex.

"Nobody knew exactly what the heck we were doing," said a former translator for the project, code named Highlander, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "We were figuring out the rules as we were going along."

Former Army Reserve linguist Adrienne Kinne, who worked at the facility at Fort Gordon, won new attention this week for her year-old claim that she and her group intercepted and transcribed satellite phone calls of American civilians in the Middle East for the National Security Agency. Senate intelligence committee chair Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) opened a probe into the alleged abuses after ABC News reported on them Thursday.

Threat Level spoke with Kinne extensively last year about the alleged systematic surveillance of Americans and others operating in the Middle East following the 9/11 attacks. She provided a number of details about some of the calls and how the operation was conducted.

Aid workers and journalists were specifically targeted in the program, and their phone numbers were added to a "priority list", Kinne said last year. Among those under surveillance were workers from nongovernmental organizations such as Doctors Without Borders, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and the United Nations Development Programme, as well as journalists staying in Baghdad at the time of the Iraq invasion. The intercepted calls included conversations among American, British, Australian and other civilian foreign nationals in the Middle East, as well as conversations between aid workers and journalists in the Middle East and their family members in the United States.

"If it was happening then I'm sure it's happening now, and who knows on what scale," Kinne said. "That's the thing that really bothers me."

But at the time we were unable to confirm her account of the spying. Two coworkers of Kinne's, who spoke with Threat Level on condition of anonymity, conceded that the group operated under ambiguous rules and with poor supervision, but insisted no deliberate eavesdropping on Americans occurred.

Now a second former Arabic linguist with the Navy has corroborated her claims to ABC, and to NSA expert James Bamford, who includes the story in his upcoming book Shadow Factory.

If the allegations are true, it would seem to indicate that warrantless spying of Americans approved by President Bush following 9/11 expanded rapidly beyond U.S. borders to citizens overseas, notwithstanding United States Signals Intelligence Directive 18, or USSID 18 -- an NSA rule that bars overseas surveillance of Americans without authorization and probable cause.

Kinne first raised her allegations in July 2007 to a blogger named David Swanson whom she'd encountered after an anti-war protest. Threat Level contacted her a couple of days later and spoke with her a number of times over several months.

Kinne, who is 31, served in the U.S. Army Reserves as a sergeant and an Arabic linguist from October 2001 to August 2003 at a U.S. Army Signal Center at Fort Gordon, Georgia, which operated as a listening post for the National Security Agency. Kinne had served active duty in the U.S. Army as an intelligence linguist with a top secret SCI security clearance from 1994 to 1998, and was in inactive reserves on September 11, 2001.

In desperate need of Arabic translators with classified clearances, the Army called Kinne's reserve battalion for active duty. Kinne served with the 201st Military Intelligence battalion, which is part of the 513th Military Intelligence brigade.

Kinne said that during the time she was at Fort Gordon, the government was intercepting and listening to phone calls made by American citizens and allies working for aid organizations and media outlets.

At first, Kinne didn't think they were doing anything wrong because in mid-2002, several months after the surveillance began, a supervisor told her group of linguists and analysts that they had received a "waiver" that allowed them to intercept and listen to the conversations of Americans. The waiver also gave them permission to spy on British, Canadian and Australian citizens Kinne said.

Under federal law, such a waiver would usually require special national security circumstances –- such as an imminent threat of death or attack. But Kinne said the people whose conversations she targeted didn't discuss information of a military or terrorist nature, and the interceptions occurred over the entire Middle East –- not just in war zones. The surveillance was still going on when Kinne left active reserve duty in August 2003.

Kinne's mission at Fort Gordon, which was given the name Highlander, intercepted only communication sent through satellite phones, which included faxes. This represented a change from her active duty in the 1990s when her group had intercepted only live radio transmissions involving military targets in the Middle East. The operation that began in 2001 involved region-wide interceptions, which meant that satellite calls of businessmen, journalists and other civilians were sometimes vacuumed up with everything else.

Generally, when incidental interception of Americans occurs, there are procedures for handling the intercepts. Under USSID 18, recordings of such calls are supposed to be abandoned and destroyed when a U.S. citizen is identified. The only exceptions to this rule are when the attorney general affirms that the surveillance target is believed to be an agent of a foreign power, or the purpose of the collection is to acquire "significant foreign intelligence information."

Kinne's description of the interceptions, however, indicated that U.S. aid workers and journalists were routinely targeted without cause.

To illustrate that contrast, Kinne recalled a conversation intercepted by her army intelligence unit in 1997, in which one of the parties to the call mentioned the name of a U.S. politician who was coming to the Middle East for a visit. Under USSID 18, the names of members of the U.S. legislative branch cannot appear in intelligence reports without special authorization, and Kinne said her group deleted every record they collected that mentioned the politician's name.

William Weaver, who worked in the U.S. Army signals intelligence for eight years in Berlin and Augsberg, Germany, concurred with her assessment of how seriously USSID 18 was regarded.

"The way USSID 18 was treated by us was that it came down from God and was sacrosanct," said Weaver, who is now an assistant professor of political science at the University of Texas, El Paso. "We were told at training and many times after that, that if you violated USSID 18 you could spend the rest of your life in prison. The mindset was that you do not intercept U.S. citizens. And the minute you recognized that you intercepted, you immediately reported up the chain of command."

Kinne said everything changed shortly after her unit intercepted a call in early to mid-2002 between British and U.S. aid workers. The two were discussing day-to-day work details when the British worker told the American, "You should be careful about what you're saying because the Americans are listening to us." The American responded that USSID 18 barred U.S. authorities from spying on the communication of Americans, so the British worker had nothing to worry about.

Kinne said her supervisor, Chief Warrant Officer John Berry, and others were livid.

"[They] acted as if he was betraying some hugely intense national secret to a foreigner," she said. "So that's when they were like, 'We need to be able to listen to them'."

Shortly thereafter, she said she was informed that her group had received a waiver from USSID 18. She said it was communicated verbally during one of her shifts."They never showed us anything in writing," said Kinne. "But we never expected to get anything in writing."

Threat Level contacted Berry, who now works as a reporter for the Press-Enterprise in Riverside, California, but he hung up the phone at the first mention of Kinne's name.

Kinne said that in the nearly two years she was monitoring conversations, her group received calls in numerous languages, including Farsi, Pashtu, Dari, Tagalog, Japanese, Chinese and Russian. Between 10-20 percent of the calls she monitored involved English-speakers, which included Americans, Canadians and British citizens. Nearly 99 percent of the calls she monitored were non-military related. Comparatively few of the calls she processed were in Arabic.

The calls were intercepted and digitally recorded by members of the Army's military intelligence unit in Kuwait then sent to Fort Gordon. The system would pick up conversations for whatever phone numbers the military programmed into its interception system, though Kinne assumed the system also randomly swept satellite calls for untargeted numbers, since so many calls were recorded for numbers whose owners were unknown.

For the first couple of months Kinne and her colleagues didn't know the identity of the people connected to the phone numbers they monitored.

"At that point in time, we were just given numbers and we ... were still sorting out who belonged to what," she said. "That's why we initially started collecting Americans and other nationals because we didn't know whose number belonged to whom."

Once they identified speakers, they typed the person's name or organization into the system, so that when a conversation involving that number was intercepted again, the name appeared on their computer screen. Although the system allowed them to block phone numbers identified as belonging to a nongovernmental organization or journalist, they never did so. Instead, she said, they added the numbers of humanitarian aid organizations and journalists to a priority list.

"They were 'priority five,' from what I remember," she said. "'Priority one' was terrorist organizations. 'Priority five' is middle of the road. 'Priority nine' was just unidentified numbers. Not only were we given the ability to listen to [NGOs and journalists], but it was programmed into our system to listen to them."

Periodically, they received a list of new numbers that had been programmed into the system.

"I don't know where the numbers were coming from," Kinne said. "We were just given raw materials and we had to identify what number belonged to what organization and prioritize and set up a list."

They wrote a report on each call, except those made to parties in the U.S. Kinne said they were just instructed to listen to those calls. She later said in another conversation that some people in her group did write reports involving conversations of Americans and Australians, but didn't reference the nationality of the speaker in their report.

"Americans 'in-country' were fair game as long as you didn't identify them as American," she said. "People wrote reports on what journalists said all the time."

Kinne's recollections of intercepted calls were vague on details, as one might expect of someone recalling four-year-old conversations that held no significance at the time. She was unable, for example, to recall the names of people whose calls were intercepted or the names of specific media outlets to which the monitored journalists belonged. The few call details she did remember stood out in her mind because of the nature of the calls or circumstances surrounding them.

For example, Kinne was reprimanded for listening to one call when she should have been focused on a fax that her unit intercepted purporting to identify the location of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

The fax arrived in the middle of the night, around the time of the Iraq invasion. Kinne was monitoring a call involving two English-speaking humanitarian aid workers who were in a vehicle frantically trying to reach their office to find cover before bombs began raining on the city.

"I just remember they were ... calling in their position [to their colleagues] every 10 to 15 minutes or so because they were worried about their safety," she said.

Kinne filed several reports about the aid workers and gave their location to her supervisor, believing that U.S. military personnel might help the aid workers, or at least refrain from shooting their vehicle. But while she was monitoring the workers, a fax arrived, several pages long and written in Arabic. Even though the fax was from a phone number with a higher priority, Kinne ignored it because she felt the lives of the aid workers were more important.

When another worker later read the fax and realized its significance, all of the workers were instructed to drop everything to translate it. Kinne said the fax purported to describe the location of chemical, biological and other weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

As soon as her group completed the translation, she said it was sent to the White House -– the only time information was sent directly in this manner.

After the information was on its way, Kinne looked at the source of the document and began to doubt its authenticity. She said it came from the Iraqi National Congress or Iraqi National Accord -- she couldn't remember which.

Kinne said she expressed doubts to her commanding officer, John Berry, about the authenticity of the information and was told that her job was to collect the information, not analyze it. "He said I didn't care about our mission or our country ... and I needed to stop asking questions," she said.

Kinne was written up in an incident report for having ignored the fax when it came in.

When she later read news reports confirming that an Iraqi group had fed the military intelligence false information about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, she suspected the fax had been deliberately sent through an open satellite network so that her unit would intercept it and give it to the White House.

The only other conversations Kinne recalled with any detail involved journalists staying at a hotel in Baghdad around the time of the U.S. invasion. The journalists revealed their location in calls to U.S. family members. Kinne said she'd been monitoring the conversations of journalists at the hotel for a while, when the name of the hotel appeared on a military list of targets for bombing. Kinne said she brought the information to Berry's attention.

"I told him, you realize there are journalists staying in that hotel and we have just said that we are going to bomb it," she said. "I assumed that ... whoever made the targeting list didn't know journalists were staying there."

She didn't know if the information was passed on to anyone, but in April 2003, a U.S. tank fired on The Palestine hotel, which was serving as a base for many journalists. Two journalists were killed. Two subsequent investigations by the army and the Committee to Protect Journalists concluded that the gunners had never been told journalists were at the hotel.

Two fellow linguists who had worked with Kinne at Fort Gordon disputed Kinne's story of illegal surveillance. They asked to remain anonymous because they were violating orders to not discuss their work at Fort Gordon.

Both linguists said they never violated USSID 18 and had never heard about a waiver, which one of them called implausible. They said USSID 18 was drummed into their heads and was posted everywhere at work as a constant reminder.

"There is just no breaking that rule," one linguist said. "There are a lot of other rules they can change and have changed, but they don't change that one. We don't want to have a Watergate experience."

The same linguist said if there had been any guidance from supervisors about violating USSID 18, it would have been along the lines of "if you hear something that meets this high criteria .. and there are words that are scaring you, tip it off to the head chief and they will decide if there is imminent risk. That is the only way we deviate ... So if [Kinne's] understanding is that all the rules got tossed, there is no way [that happened]."

The other linguist was just as emphatic. "[N]ever in my entire military career have I ever been told that it was okay to listen to U.S. citizens. [If] an intercept came in that had a citizen's conversation, I was never told I could report what came from Americans."

They were both angry with Kinne for discussing their work. One said if Kinne thought their mission had been illegal, she should have gone through internal processes or reported it to the FBI.

"If there was something going on, she had methods to handle it. To go outside and do it in this way indicates a need to make it fantastical. Or to get back at somebody."

The other translator noted that Kinne had conflicts with a number of people she worked with -- particularly her supervisor Berry -- and had a negative view of their team and its mission, which may have affected her perception of the operation. They described Berry as a problematic and hostile manager who didn't seem to know what he was doing. Adding to this was a pervasive sense of confusion around their mission, which was set up quickly on the fly and being run by reservists who had no experience intercepting phone calls.

The unit was overworked, understaffed and undertrained. They didn't have a standard of operation, or SOP, when they started the mission and had to cobble one together from other SOPs. Many conversations they had to translate were in dialects unfamiliar to them or languages, such as Pashtu, in which they had no proficiency.

In that confusion, there might have been times when people inadvertently listened to conversations they shouldn't have, but both linguists said the policy was clear that they were not to listen or report on U.S. citizens or allies.

"There was a lot of crazy stupidity going on, but [Berry] wasn't abusing USSID 18 because he didn't have the authority," one said.

The other linguist said, "[T]he entire way of using intelligence and the dissemination of information ... were changing, and as things were changing and we were trying to figure things out, I think there could have been a lot of gray lines that were walked instead of black and white."

Asked for an example of these gray lines, the linguist explained:

"[S]ometimes when you are searching for information ... things come across your way that are extraneous or not pertinent to what you should be doing, and if you come across that and you don't act on it, you don't report it, it's like it never happened. I can say there are times when that's possibly a gray area ... You hear a lot of things, you see a lot of things, but a lot of it is junk ... [and] some of it might be accidental. But the number one mandate [that] you are conscious of is, 'Is this something I should be listening to? Is this something I can report on?' If it doesn't meet those two criteria, you're going to discard it."

It's worth noting that Kinne began speaking about her surveillance activities only after becoming an anti-war activist, and working with groups calling for the impeachment of President Bush.

When Threat Level spoke with her last year, she was working as a research assistant for the Veterans Administration in Vermont and was becoming increasingly active politically. She had worked on get-out-the-vote campaigns for Moveon.org in November 2006, and in January 2007 began meeting with members of Iraq Veterans Against the War. She participated in a rally and a sit-in at the Vermont state house and went on a bus tour with anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan calling for the impeachment of President Bush.

Kinne said that after the White House announced a troop escalation in Iraq, she became very angry that the 2006 mid-term elections and subsequent changes in Congress hadn't led to pressure on the Administration to pull out of Iraq.

But it wasn't until details of the government's illegal domestic spying operation on Americans were revealed in late 2005, that she had reason to ponder her surveillance work, she said. Even then, her realization came slowly.

"I never really thought about how what we did related to [those news reports]," she said. "It took me quite a while to put the pieces together. I just figured we were one mission, and I never thought that probably military intelligence groups across the country were all being given waivers to listen to whomever they wanted."

It was another year and a half after the New York Times broke the story on the domestic surveillance program before Kinne uttered her first public words about the surveillance she had conducted on behalf of the NSA.

"I still felt like it was all classified and I wasn't supposed to talk about it," she said. "But the more I got involved in things, the more I started getting really angry that people in government were not telling the truth and that people who know what's going on [are] not speaking out. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I should tell people what I knew and hopefully that would encourage other people to say what they know."

She said she just wanted to pass the information to others who could determine whether the army and administration broke the law. To that end, she had submitted her allegations to Sen. Patrick Leahy's office (D-Vermont) in the hope that his staff would look into the matter to determine if laws had been broken. Leahy's staff sent her an e-mail indicating that they sent her letter to the Department of Defense Inspector General. But Kinne never heard anything after that.

Given her political activities and the delay in reporting the alleged abuse, the denials of her peers and the lack of corroborating evidence, Threat Level elected not to publish her claims last year. But in his upcoming book, The Shadow Factory, journalist James Bamford -- the leading civilian expert on the NSA -- reports that he confirmed the illegal surveillance with another linguist named David Murfee Faulk, who worked on the program through the Navy. One of Faulk's coworkers -- not Kinne -- asked a supervisor about USSID 18, and was ordered to disregard the directive, Bamford reports.

James Dempsey, policy director of the Center for Democracy and Technology, said last year that if Kinne's information was accurate, it would be a significant advancement to what we knew about the administration's warrantless surveillance.

"Up to now the administration has said that every single phone call that we intercepted we did so because we knew there was al-Qaida on the phone," Dempsey said. "Now you're saying that, at least overseas, they were targeting Americans when they had no reason to believe an al-Qaida member was on the other line. This is the first indication that the government was targeting not terrorists but Americans overseas on less than probable cause."

(Image courtesy the U.S. Army)

Turning scumbags into the law



I had informed former Connecticut Governor John G. Rowland [post] that prostitutes and drug dealers had overrun my rental properties, he had his only public corruption to hide, so the State Police were allegedly called in to shut my "Big Mouth", railroading me to prison for resisting being beaten up on my property by a police informant. Both Presidents Bush refer to Rowland as "Johnny", the former golden boy of the Republican Party destined to succeed George W. [post] as US President. That was before, I, and others turned Rowland in for Public Corruption to the FBI and US Department of Justice.

I contacted Fox News, and asked that Bill O'Reilly of the "O'Reilly Factor" be made aware of what John G. Rowland was up to. The below story (scroll down) then broke nationally. Did I have anything to do with that? I can only ponder.

Will I see George W. Bush face justice [for this]?

Will the [Private Attorney General bill], proposed by Congressman Keith Ellison, become law to see that George W. Bush is serving time in prison for murder?

stevengerickson@yahoo.com

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The below [found here]

Talking Points

The Death of Shame in America

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Hi. I'm Bill O'Reilly. Thank you for watching us tonight.

The death of shame in America, that is the subject of this evening's Talking Points Memo. Republican Governor John Rowland (search) of Connecticut got free home improvements from a company that did contract work with his state. And the governor lied about it. Now Rowland says he made a mistake and is humbled. But he won't resign.

So let's get this straight. The governor violates every ethical public policy rule, directly tries to deceive the citizens about that, and then says he's still entitled to keep his job.

This is so over the top, it's stunning. But not unusual. Bill Clinton (search) lied directly to the folks and didn't resign. [Ex-California Governor] Gray Davis (search) lied and was thrown out by the recall. And plenty of other politicians lie and haven't been caught.

Governor Rowland simply has no shame. This is not some small deal. He contrived to have his house fixed free and then flat out lied about it. The good people of Connecticut should march right on [the state capital] Hartford and toss the guy out on his butt. We simply cannot have this kind of thing in government.

Now the ideologues on both sides, the left and the right, can justify anything. When Clinton lied, it was just about sex. Now I expect to hear it's just about home improvements.

Well, baloney. We must have honest leaders in this country, period. The death of shame in America is causing all kinds of problems for the people. We have politicians who abuse their power. We have media who sell us out with vile music, degenerate movies and TV, and dishonest news analysis. And we have educators allowing the most outrageous student conduct. We have parents failing to discipline their children. We have religious people abusing children.

There's no shame anymore. All kinds of bad behavior is excused, justified and even glorified. If Governor Rowland had an ounce of dignity in his entire body, he would have already quit. What kind of example is this guy to the kids in Connecticut?

Same thing with Bill Clinton. He should have resigned, but no, these guys won't go. So we, the people, have to force them out. Talking Points predicts Rowland is a goner. What he did was shameful. Everybody knows it. Everybody that is, except the governor.

And that's The Memo .

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

Time now for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day."

Madonna has thrown her stilettos into the ring. Well, kind of. She is endorsing General Wesley Clark (search) for president, saying, quote, "I think he's good with people." Apparently, the singer met with General Clark for more than an hour. No word on whether the general got a smooch. We certainly hope he did. To not get one might be ridiculous. Good with people.

Before we get to the mail, [here are] the results of the billoreilly.com poll [which asked you] where Saddam should be tried. Ninety percent of Factor watchers and listeners say Iraq; 5 percent, USA; 5 percent, The Hague.

Now, by contrast, a Gallup poll shows the majority of Americans want Saddam tried at The Hague, which shows you how smart The Factor audience really is. No one has the authority to put Saddam on trial in Holland. No one. His fate is purely the responsibility of the Iraqis, and the other scenario is simply not right.

All right. Before we go to the mail, this is the poll question in play: Where

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