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Comments Prompted by the Post Immediately Below This One,

but that don't squarely answer the question -- "When a complainant in a criminal case (or some other kind of witness, in a criminal or civil case) is about to become unavailable because he is being recalled to active duty, how does the legal system treat the matter?" -- may go here.

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. Comments Prompted by the Post Immediately Below This One,
  2. Active Military Witnesses/Complainants in Criminal Cases:
John (mail):
According to the report, a lawyer vandalized a marine's car because the lawyer was anti-military. There is now a pending misdemeanor trial at which the marine is, of course, the key (I think only) witness, and his appearance will be difficult or impossible after he returns to active duty on Jan 2.

I wonder why the marine hasn't made a complaint to the local bar authorities. This might result in some form of appropriate punishment that the criminal justice system is unable to provide.
12.31.2007 9:19am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
There's a lot going on at Blackfive.
Mr. Grodny is going to have a rough week.

Perhaps he'll contract leprosy or something.
12.31.2007 9:28am
Swede:
There are enough haters on both sides of the aisle so please don't let this flame into some "all leftards" or "all rethuglicans" do this/support this kind of thread. That being said, it is especially disappointing when an attorney does something like what is alleged to have happened in the story. For many people, particularly non-lawyer types, I think the belief is that because he knows the system he'll probably skate. I know that's what I believe. So the most I think I can hope for is that guy is professionally and personally shamed. I hope his family, friends, peers, clients, former clients, and possible future clients read about what he's done and berate him accordingly.
12.31.2007 9:43am
Bored Lawyer:
Turning to the topic at hand:

Any reason why a deposition bene esse cannot be used? That is a deposition where both sides get to cross-examine the witness on the record to preserve his/her testimony in case he/she is unavailable at trial.

I once had a criminal case where two witnesses for the Govt. were quite elderly ladies. The Govt. was unsure whether they would make it to trial, so their depositions were taken just in case, with all counsel and parties present, and full opportunity for cross-examination.
12.31.2007 10:02am
Bored Lawyer:
"A party may move that a prospective witness be deposed in order to preserve testimony for trial. The court may grant the motion because of exceptional circumstances and in the interest of justice. If the court orders the deposition to be taken, it may also require the deponent to produce at the deposition any designated material that is not privileged, including any book, paper, document, record, recording, or data." Rule 15(a)(1) of the Fed.R.Crim.P.
12.31.2007 10:05am
TaxLawyer:
It seems to me that that a deposition de bene esse would solve the availability problem, if availability mattered. It seems plain from BlackFive's account that the decision not to pursue felony charges was an exercise of prosecutorial discretion based largely on considerations other than the victim's (un)availability.
12.31.2007 10:13am
Fury:
Interesting.

Although not for a criminal trial, I was subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury while I was on active duty. The Department of Justice? requested (directed, if memory serves) that I appear before a certain date and time. The Air Force then cut TDY orders for two days so I could testify. I still have the order from the Justice Department to the JAG at HQUSAF.
12.31.2007 10:29am
J. F. Thomas (mail):
There are enough haters on both sides of the aisle so please don't let this flame into some "all leftards" or "all rethuglicans" do this/support this kind of thread.

Can we say "all lawyers are total a-holes"? Because this Grodny character certainly appears to be exactly the kind of person that makes people hate lawyers.
12.31.2007 10:36am
Redlands (mail):
Speaking criminally, and having a lot of experience due to the proximity of Fort Irwin (Army) and the 29 Palms Air Ground Combat Center (Marines), the logistics of obtaining the testimony of a military victim or witness is often dependent on their role. My experience has been that the military is very cooperative. Make the right contact, explain the situation and work from there. Our expectations, and results, are usually proportional to the seriousness of the crime. We've dismissed many a misdemeanor, chalk it up to "that's life," and move on the the next case. But in more serious cases we've had individuals returned to our county from abroad.
12.31.2007 10:37am
alkali (mail):
Turning to the topic at hand ...

As EV noted above, this is the comment thread for off-topic comments. Your on-topic comment is therefore off-topic, and therefore appropriate for posting here.
12.31.2007 10:40am
DonBoy (mail) (www):
According to the report, a lawyer vandalized a marine's car because the lawyer was anti-military.

Well, maybe, maybe not. From the blog posting -- and not, I see, from the piece of the police report reproduced in that posting -- we have:
After caught in the process, the man told Mike, "you think you can do whatever you want with Department of Defense license plates and tags"
That "whatever you want" seems like it must refer to something in particular, and my guess is that the lawyer is one of those a-holes enforcing "parking etiquette" on his street. (The blog posting makes it seem like the marine's backing up down the street is relevant, and I suppose the a-hole could have been objecting to that, but that hasn't been established.) So the marine may have done something against the local "code of the street" -- bear in mind that he was visiting a friend, so there may be some informal system in play that he wasn't aware of -- and the a-hole's reference to DOD tags may have been just icing on the cake.
12.31.2007 11:04am
neurodoc:
Now he just wants some revenge.
Criminal activity is punishable under the law, and "retribution" is one of the purposes that punishments meted out by criminal justice systems are supposed to serve. "Revenge," while something like "retribution," is an extra-judicial matter, and by implication suspect. There is nothing in the least improper about a crime victim wanting to see retributive justice done. Indeed, societies have criminal justice systems to deliver retributive justice and discourage the pursuit of "revenge".
12.31.2007 11:10am
neurodoc:
Well, maybe, maybe not.
If the matter were prosecuted, we might know "did he do it," and if so, then "why did he do it," which would take in "what were the circumstances."
12.31.2007 11:18am
J. F. Thomas (mail):
That "whatever you want" seems like it must refer to something in particular, and my guess is that the lawyer is one of those a-holes enforcing "parking etiquette" on his street.

Was there snow on the ground. Because if there was, that is pretty serious business in Chicago. I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, and when I lived there not a year went by without at least a couple people getting shot over disputes over parking spaces on the street in the winter.
12.31.2007 11:18am
stanneus :
Answer to Prof. V’s specific question: In New York State, assuming an accusatory instrument [“complaint” for a misdemeanor; “indictment” for felony] has already been filed, the prosecution must announce its “readiness” for trial within certain periods of time [90 days for misdemeanor; 6 months for felony]. The statute that created these time limits also provides for a exclusions of time periods due, in the simplest generalized terms, to circumstances beyond the prosecution’s control. Obviously, when the complainant is unavailable for good reason [e.g., serious illness; intimidation by defendant; and, active duty in a combat zone] the period of unavailability is not counted against the prosecution’s readiness time. The statute [Crim.Proc.L. §30.30] is exceptionally complicated, but I’ve given you the simplified basics. There is even a case on point: People v. Williams, 293 A.D2d 557 (2 Dept.2002){complainant was deployed to Kosovo}.
12.31.2007 11:44am
Justin (mail):
EV is flat-out wrong that the facts (as alleged) are a hate crime. Under Illinois law, hate must be based on one of the folllowing factors: race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, gender, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, or national origin.

The federal hate crime statute has the following factors: race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, or sexual orientation.

Neither includes military service, job performance, or the like.

http://www.state.il.us/cdhc/stat.htm

Also, I would imagine prosecutorial discretion here would be HIGHLY called for in not prosecuting a car-keying as vandalism. It SHOULD be prosecuted - I've had a car keyed before, and its highly frustrating, regardless of whether its because you are military or whether you have a UofM sticker in Ohio - but there needs to be some semblence of proportionality to the crime. Mike is going about this as a publicity stunt, trying to raise people's outrage meter.

The lawyer, if he did the things so alleged, is a punk, and probably should be disbarred, btw. None of this should be seen as defending him.
12.31.2007 11:53am
Justin (mail):
Edit above: substitute "a felony" for "vandalism"
12.31.2007 11:54am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
There are hate crime laws regarding the military. Strikes me the first time I heard about that was a U of Arizona regulation about harassment which included military veteran status.
Sounds like a good idea to expand things. Grodny didn't do anything others aren't thinking.
12.31.2007 12:12pm
Kazinski:
The marine should just take the $100.00 and submit a claim for the balance to the insurance company. Most insurance companies would hound the lawyer to the ends of the earth to collect the balance, especially with a police report and an admission of guilt (the 100.00 check) to back them up. The prosecutors may be worms, but the insurance company wouldn't be intimidated if because he is a lawyer.
12.31.2007 12:24pm
Eugene Volokh (www):
Justin: I simply mean "hate crime" to refer to a crime motivated by hostility to a person's attributes (in this context, military status), not a violation of a particular hate crime statute. Thus, I'd call an assault on a gay man because the assaulter dislikes gays a "hate crime" even in jurisdictions in which sexual orientation isn't a covered characteristic. Likewise, I'd call a 1960s assault on a black man because the assaulter disliked blacks a "hate crime" even when the jurisdiction didn't have a hate crime statute at the time.

I had thought it was pretty clear in context that I was just using this lay meaning of "hate crime," but in case it wasn't, let me clarify it here.
12.31.2007 1:19pm
Justin (mail):
My only concern with your "lay" usage is that you may be using the term so broadly as to refer to petty crimes (revenge, lover's squarrel, even), and therefore render it meaningless.
12.31.2007 1:23pm
David Drake:
Good point, Kazinski--Let's let the system work.
12.31.2007 1:26pm
dwlawson (www):

Was there snow on the ground. Because if there was, that is pretty serious business in Chicago. I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, and when I lived there not a year went by without at least a couple people getting shot over disputes over parking spaces on the street in the winter.


Objection! Extreme hyperbole. Please cite the incidents involved. I've lived in Chicago (sad to say) for over 20 years and as a supporter of 2A, keep an eye out for all shooting related stories and have yet to find one of this variety.
12.31.2007 1:29pm
J. F. Thomas (mail):
Grodny didn't do anything others aren't thinking.

From the bare facts it appears that Grodny's main beef with the military was that the license plates and DoD registration made the driver think he could violate explicit or implicit rules of the road. Of course there is some truth to this stereotype as a military ID will, in fact, increase your chances of getting a pass on minor traffic violations--especially if the cop who clocks you doing 85 in a 60mph zone is a Reservist or in the National Guard himself.

Of course, as an attorney, Grodney apparently thinks he is above the law and thinks he can manipulate the system to avoid being punished for his act of vandalism and general jerkiness. So this is a perfect example of the pot calling the kettle black and just proves what a complete a-hole Grodney is.
12.31.2007 1:32pm
J. F. Thomas (mail):
I've lived in Chicago (sad to say) for over 20 years and as a supporter of 2A, keep an eye out for all shooting related stories and have yet to find one of this variety.

Well maybe that is because handguns are now banned in Chicago. This was back in the seventies.

It also doesn't snow as much in Chicago as much as it used to. So between global warming and gun control (both things you probably don't believe in), the incidence of parking space related shootings have dropped precipitously.
12.31.2007 1:38pm
scrumptiousjones (mail):
I am rather taken aback at the willingness of bloggers to post stuff like this without doing any sort of fact checking first.

Does Blackfive even know if this story is true? Does Volokh? As someone pointed out here, this e-mail is a publicity tactic by McNulty or his friends, and all we know about the circumstances is what McNulty's publicity e-mail says.

Yet here is a reputable site like Volokh linking to a post that contains - or whose comments contain - this man's name, personal contact information, including his home address and phone number, and threats of harrassment and physical violence. Some of the trackback links are even worse, if possible.

All without knowing what really happened.

Blackfive (and the others) could have accomplished the supposed goal of the letter, to elicit advice for "peaceful and rational" responses without giving the man's name, but he chose not to.

I'm surprised to see this kind of irresponsibility here.
12.31.2007 1:44pm
Darrin Ziliak:
Does Blackfive even know if this story is true?


Well, there's the picture of the victim's car and Blackfive says he has copies of the police report.

From Blackfive;
"The police report (and I have copies if needed) states:"

So I'd say unless Blackfive is just making the entire thing up out of whole cloth, it did indeed happen.
12.31.2007 2:16pm
FbL (mail) (www):
As I said on the other post where the story was questioned...

scrumptiousjones,

Blackfive himself has copies of the police report. I know him personally, and he is a HIGHLY-respected milblogger with unbelievable connections in the military and political world. If he believes it happened, I trust his judgment without reservation (he has a lot to lose if he runs something without checking it out first and it turns out to be fraudulent in some manner).
12.31.2007 2:18pm
scrumptiousjones (mail):
To FbL and Darrin -

I posted a response at the other thread as well.

I'm not buying this as any sort of responsible post.

Blackfive may have copies of the police report, but as has been pointed out here, he still posts without question someone's publicity e-mail without any elaboration on the "facts" whatsoever. And he needlessly discloses the individual's identity.

And despite his disclaimer that he is (wink) not encouraging harassment or threats, he leaves up comments doing exactly that, along with the man's home and business addresses and phone numbers. And the trackback links are even worse.

Sorry, it's bottom of the barrel stuff as far as I'm concerned.
12.31.2007 2:41pm
J. F. Thomas (mail):
Sorry, it's bottom of the barrel stuff as far as I'm concerned.

And Eugene calling it an "alleged anti-military hate crime" doesn't help much either. Saying that "you think you can do whatever you want with Department of Defense license plates and tags" hardly raises to the level of being a hate crime. I think it would be a huge stretch to prosecute someone for a hate crime if their only "hateful language" was accusing someone of taking advantage of their omega psi phi bumper sticker, handicapped plates, or jesus fish instead of "DoD license plate and tags".
12.31.2007 2:52pm
A Federal Law Clerk:

It also doesn't snow as much in Chicago as much as it used to. So between global warming . . . .
Arguable, and of course the attribution to global warming is even more arguable. A look at this graph shows that Chicago's period of highest annual snowfalls was in the '70s, but on the other hand the lowest annual snowfalls were in the early part of the century, especially through the late teens and '20s. All I see recently is a trend that annual snowfalls are closer to the median, but I'm not aware of any version of the global warming theory to explain that.
12.31.2007 2:55pm
hattio1:
Eugene,
Thanks for providing two comment sections. Now, if only people would realize that they don't need to post each comment to both threads, that would be great.
12.31.2007 3:16pm
neurodoc:
Justin, as you correctly note, crimes against someone because they are serving in the military do not fall under Illinois hate crime laws. But as may be seen from the Illinois Commission on Discrimination &Hate Crimes webpage that you linked to, property crimes can be prosecuted as hate crimes ("Illinois law provides for criminal and civil penalties against an individual or individuals who...cause damage to the property of...").

As for what does and doesn't amount to "petty crime," it is not rare for serious crimes, including murder, to be committed on account of "revenge" or as the byproduct of a "lover's quarrel." So while those may strike us as "petty" motives, the crime itself need not be a petty one.
12.31.2007 4:54pm
Public_Defender (mail):
I agree with those who say the attorney disciplinary authorities should investigate this. Grodner's behavior is bizarre, and it's a strong indication that he might not be fit to practice law.

That said, this case should be a misdemeanor. Many prosecutors have informal policies about what kind of cases to bring. For instance, one local prosecutor here will never prosecute automobile-caused deaths if he thinks it was the result only of negligence, even if the driver caused the death while commiting a minor traffic violation ("minor" in the prosecutor's determination). Technically, he could bring charge, but he doesn't.

Here, the prosecutor probably noticed that if Grodner had punched someone, it would have been a misdemeanor assault. If every case the severity of this one were prosecuted as a felony, the system would grind to a halt.

Inflation has caused caused many offenses that used to be misdemeanors to be felonies. Unlike tax brackets, most criminal monatory thresholds aren't indexed to inflation. It would be interesting to know when the $300 limit was first put into place.

I think Grodner could be right to try to fight felony charges. If the prosecutor wants the maximum, the prosecutor should have to spend maximum effort to get it.

But based on what I see (and there may be things I don't know that change the analysis), Grodner is an idiot for fighting misdemeanor charges. If he had half a brain, he'd immediately plead guilty to the misdemeanor so that double jeopardy would bar higher charges. Also, such an acceptance of responsibility could mitigate his bad behavior in front of disciplinary authorities. Of course, if he had half a brain, he wouldn't have keyed the car in the first place. And based on what's on the blog, Grodner might just talk his way into a felony charge.

And finally, two notes on the attitude toward service members. First, in contrast to Grodner's attitude, attorneys in my town have organized to help service members and their families pro bono. There is a program to offer free help to military families for routine matters like wills, powers of attorneys and at least some other matters.

Second, unlike Viet Nam, and contrary to the wishes of Limbaugh, Hannity, and O'Reilly, there is no general backlash against individual servicemembers. The opposite is true. I traveled for the holidays. In one airport, waiting passengers applauded passing service members. In another, people in front of me told a soldier to move to the front of the food court line because it was "the lease we can do." Generally speaking, even people who oppose Bush's war "strategy" really are supporting individual servicemembers.
12.31.2007 5:25pm
A Federal Law Clerk:

A look at this graph shows that Chicago's period of highest annual snowfalls was in the '70s, but on the other hand the lowest annual snowfalls were in the early part of the century, especially through the late teens and '20s.
Oops, link was broken. This is the link: http://home.att.net/~chicago_climo/chishist.jpg.
12.31.2007 6:55pm
Justin (mail):
neurodoc, a "property crime" is only a hate crime if its directed against a targeted group. It's not an either/or thing.

As for your second paragraph, you just completely missed my point. The point was that "hate crime" would lose its common meaning as a crime-against-someone-for-personal-identity-reasons when used to refer to a crime against someone whose job is in the military, not that it would lose its common meaning when referring to acts of vandalism.
12.31.2007 8:04pm
scrumptiousjones (mail):
J. F. Thomas (mail):

And Eugene calling it an "alleged anti-military hate crime" doesn't help much either. Saying that "you think you can do whatever you want with Department of Defense license plates and tags" hardly raises to the level of being a hate crime. I think it would be a huge stretch to prosecute someone for a hate crime if their only "hateful language" was accusing someone of taking advantage of their omega psi phi bumper sticker, handicapped plates, or jesus fish instead of "DoD license plate and tags".



I agree that the full facts of this situation are not really known. Especially when you consider that this post starts right off saying the guy parked on a blocked off street. These reactions don't happen in a vacuum, justified or not.
12.31.2007 9:46pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
fbl: "he is a HIGHLY-respected milblogger"

He hosted a post discussing "the virtues of killing children." So I assume you're joking.

Not sure if this is off-off-topic or just off-topic.
12.31.2007 10:24pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
jukebox.
The terrs think there is a virtue in killing children. The question is whether that is true for other forces.

Nice try at misdirection, though.
12.31.2007 11:43pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
richard: "The question is whether that is true for other forces."

The post doesn't raise that ("the virtues of killing children") as a "question" (although that would be loathsome enough). It comes right out and explicitly promotes the idea:

It is best that we bomb without fear … It must be … that we pursue war without thought of the children


"The terrs think there is a virtue in killing children"

Then blackfive must be one of "the terrs," since his blog claims "there is a virtue in killing children."

"Nice try at misdirection, though."

Nice try pretending the post said something other than what it actually said.

Welcome to the USA in 2008, where "HIGHLY-respected milblogger[s]" advocate war crimes.
1.1.2008 12:26am
scrumptiousjones (mail):
Well, advocate mob mentality at least.
1.1.2008 2:03am
Public_Defender (mail):
I should the lawyerly disclaimer that my post assumes that the blog has its facts right. I've seen enough times where both media and police reports got it wrong to make that assumption without qualification.
1.1.2008 6:15am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
If the blog had its facts wrong, it would sink faster than you can say "Dan Rather". And have fewer defenders afterwards.

Juke. I read that thread. The ultimate point is that trying to be careful results not in fewer dead children, but in more. The sooner the war is over, the fewer dead.

You knew that.

The difference is that the terrs think killing children is a good idea by itself.

Acting so as to maximize casualties--stretch out the war by giving the bad guys cover behind civilians--is a war crime, although the bad guys cowering behind civilians have enough clout to see nobody thinks of that. Although, the GC does, putting the blame for the casualties among civilians on the side which chooses to hide among them. But the most fanatic of GC-wavers usually forget that, or contradict it by 180 degrees, hoping nobody will notice.
1.1.2008 10:07am
neurodoc:
Justin, agreed, this might have qualified as a hate crime under Illinois law if the victim had been a member of one of those specifically enumerated classes, rather than a military member. So, if instead of a military member, the victim had been a racial or ethnic minority, and there was reason to believe that there was a discriminatory motivate for the criminal conduct, would you have called for the prosecutor go after it as a "hate crime" or not? Would you have counted it under "petty crimes (revenge, lover's squarrel, even)," or said as someone else did, that the victim was only out for "revenge"?

I didn't know what you thought appropriate in the instant case because you appeared to be going in very different directions at the same time with "prosecutorial discretion here would be HIGHLY called for in not prosecuting a car-keying as vandalism;" "It SHOULD be prosecuted;" and "there needs to be some semblence of proportionality to the crime."

And no, I am not suggesting that "hate crimes" be re-defined so as to take in an even greater range of potential victims. I am questioning whether the victim's identity should have so much bearing on how the matter is handled, e.g., prosecute v don't prosecute, charge as misdemeanor v felony, etc.
1.1.2008 12:05pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
richard: "The ultimate point is that trying to be careful results not in fewer dead children, but in more."

Yes, the article makes that claim. Trouble is, the claim makes no sense. The heart of the article is here:

If we did not care if their children died … there would be no reason to clutter military emplacements with their presence.  If it were not that we are horrified by the deaths of children, the enemy’s children would be clear of all places of battle—because they are, except for the fact that we love them, a hindrance.


That's wrong, because even "if we did not care if their children died," there would still indeed be "reason to clutter military emplacements with their presence."

Your 'logic' relies on assuming that our enemy cares much about dying, or cares much about whether their own innocent children die, or whether other innocent children die. Trouble is, your assumption is wrong. When they hide behind children, and then we harm those children, they're not terribly upset, because they've won a propaganda victory.

Even if we decide to "not be moved by [the] deaths [of children]" there are still lots of other people who would indeed "be moved." Those 'other people' include virtually everyone in the world, except for us. So the local population would be radicalized and incited to join our enemies, and our enemies would gain all sorts of new allies around the world. Your 'logic' plays right into their hands. It's not just loathsomely immoral. It's also stunningly dumb.

"the terrs think killing children is a good idea by itself."

There is no real basis to claim that "the terrs think killing children is a good idea by itself." There is possibly basis to claim that "the terrs think killing children" can serve a strategic purpose. Blackfive is also claiming that killing children can serve a strategic purpose. There's no difference, except for someone who thinks that atrocities are noble provided they're committed by Americans.

"Acting so as to maximize casualties--stretch out the war by giving the bad guys cover behind civilians--is a war crime"

You're asserting that trying to be careful to minimize civilian casualties is a war crime, because you think it is "acting so as to maximize casualties." Thanks for the laugh. It would be hard to think of a better example of Orwellian doublespeak.

"Although, the GC does, putting the blame for the casualties among civilians on the side which chooses to hide among them."

Uh, not quite. Yes, GC says this:

The presence or movements of the civilian population or individual civilians shall not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations


Trouble is, GC also says this:

Any violation of these prohibitions shall not release the Parties to the conflict from their legal obligations with respect to the civilian population and civilians, including the obligation to take the precautionary measures provided for in Article 57.


And this is what Article 57 says:

In the conduct of military operations, constant care shall be taken to spare the civilian population, civilians and civilian objects.


According to GC, both parties have a duty to protect civilians, and both parties are responsible. "Trying to be careful," and "acting to minimize casualties," is still our duty, even when the other side is using civilians as shields.

You and Blackfive are suggesting it would be better "if we did not care if their children died." Aside from being both dumb and immoral, this is defined by GC as a war crime.

Anyway, it's always nice to have a reminder of the GOP position on war: we're fighting barbarians, so we should be barbarians, too.
1.1.2008 1:19pm
pst314 (mail):
Jukebox is still misrepresenting what Blackfive wrote, but regardless of whether or not you agree with Blackfive's opinions, the relevant point is that he has an excellent reputation for honest reporting--which was FBL's point when he cited B5's reputation.

Should I return the snark by saying that it's nice to have a reminder of the "progressive" position on honest agument? Or should I merely suggest that you contact Blackfive and ask for a copy of the police report any any other materials he may have?
1.1.2008 2:54pm
Public_Defender (mail):
If the prosecutor really do treat this as a felony, you know who benefits? Every other defendant on that prosecutor's current docket. Prosecutors have only a certain amount of time, and more attention to one case means less attention to another.

It's easy for someone not involved in the system to insist on maximum prosecutorial effort in any given case. But law enforcement resources are finite.

Will a rapist or a burglar get a better deal and lesser sentence if the prosecutor really does push a felony in this case? Possibly.
1.1.2008 3:15pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Yeah, juke. Dead kids are a propaganda bonus because people like you make it so. You need dead kids and the terrs know it.
The problem with WW I and its horrendous casualties occurred because, for four years, nobody could quite win it.
The problem with current wars fought, courtesy of the terrs and with an eye to western liberals, among civilians is that it is hard to win and instead we have festering, violent quagmires providing, among other things, more of the propaganda bonuses so dear to the libs' hearts. The total of dead mounts and mounts.
You will note that killing children does not soil the terrs in the minds of the libs.
A short, violent attack could actually save lives.
As, for example, resisting the German occupation of the Rhineland would have in 1936.
If the libs made a big deal of the latter, there might not be so many dead kids. But that wouldn't suit their agenda.
The Israelis have a schizo view of the summer fighting in Lebanon. The military and the nation generally feel they lost. The military lawyers see it as a brilliant triumph. People got killed, nothing was solved or even changed. For the lawyers, that's hardly important. Parenthetically, Reynolds observes that if a nation comes to think of military law as always associated with losing, that could be a very bad thing.

However, the discussion, wherever you come out on it, has no effect on the validity of the issue of the jackass lawyer. Nice, as I say, try at misdirection.
1.1.2008 4:45pm
scrumptiousjones (mail):

Richard Aubrey (mail):
If the blog had its facts wrong, it would sink faster than you can say "Dan Rather". And have fewer defenders afterwards.



And who would sink it? It seems Mr. Grodner is the only one who can tell us whether what has been posted is factual or not, and I suspect he has other things on his mind. In addition, one can put a few facts in a post but leave out the rest...does that mean one "has the facts wrong?"

The point is, it was an inflammatory, one-sided post, identifying - for no reason at all - an individual by name, and suggesting that he is lucky not to have the crap beaten out of him. But, wink wink folks, I'm not saying you should actually do that. I'll just leave those comments with his home address and physical threats up anyway.
1.1.2008 4:56pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Who would sink it? That question is from a liberal. Someone, an entity, a force, an individual with power--usually the power of the state, is supposed to fix this.

Here's how it works in the rest of the world:
The readers abandon him.

Why not identify the perp? Most crime reporting identifies the perp and his address and phone number are usually available from Yellow Pages of some 'net service pretty easily. Anybody interested in making the perp's life miserable can do so. No difference here, except that the perp is a lawyer and screwed with a Marine and so should get special protections. Don't think so.

Mr. Grodner is going to tell us whether this is factual? What makes him credible? Oh. Sorry. He's a lawyer and screwed with a Marine. He should get special consideration. Don't think so.
We have trials and discovery and all that stuff. We don't take just the perp's word for it. Except if he's a lawyer and he screwed with a Marine. Don't think so.
1.1.2008 5:04pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Caught by relatives' phone call before finishing earlier post.

Suppose a law prof teaches, "hosts", a class on defending accused rapists or murderers. A non-trivial percentage of the time, a successful defense lets a genuine rapist go free. It would be odd if (I think it would be odd, I may be wrong) nobody in law school discussed the overall benefit to society in having an institution dedicated to increasing the number of actual rapists skating on criminal charges.

Wouldn't, according to juke's logic, such a professor be shunned?

Why is one unpleasant discussion reason for trying to impugn credibility and the other a respected area of academic activity?
1.1.2008 5:20pm
scrumptiousjones (mail):
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Who would sink it? That question is from a liberal. Someone, an entity, a force, an individual with power--usually the power of the state, is supposed to fix this.

Here's how it works in the rest of the world:
The readers abandon him.

Why not identify the perp? Most crime reporting identifies the perp and his address and phone number are usually available from Yellow Pages of some 'net service pretty easily. Anybody interested in making the perp's life miserable can do so. No difference here, except that the perp is a lawyer and screwed with a Marine and so should get special protections. Don't think so.

Mr. Grodner is going to tell us whether this is factual? What makes him credible? Oh. Sorry. He's a lawyer and screwed with a Marine. He should get special consideration. Don't think so.
We have trials and discovery and all that stuff. We don't take just the perp's word for it. Except if he's a lawyer and he screwed with a Marine. Don't think so.




I find it interesting that you tell me I'm a liberal despite my saying nothing about my political views.

Of course "an entity ...with the power of the state" would sink this story if it was factually incorrect. However, legal proceedings take time, and I don't believe judges are in the habit of posting at blogs in any case.

True, Mr. Grodner can only tell us his side of the situtation. But so far we have only heard the side of the man whose car was damaged...including his comments in the police report. It looks like the only objective piece of info in the report is that the guy was unreasonable to the police.

Once again, this post was not a simple report of an alleged crime. It was an inflammatory, one-sided piece posted on the Internet, intended to subject the man to public humiliation at the least, and threats of vigilantism and physical violence in the extreme.

Have your own opinion. Just don't tell me this responsible blogging. It's not.
1.1.2008 6:32pm
scrumptiousjones (mail):
PS, the blogger at least would have been a little more honest if he hadn't tried to portray his post as just looking for "safe, reasonable" ways to respond.
1.1.2008 6:35pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
scrumptious

Blackfive has and you can get the police report. Given the circs, what's wrong with public humiliation?

You're a liberal, obviously, because it never occurred to you that B5's readers, acting individually, would sink him.

I notice you've gone from saying Grodner is the only one who can tell us if this is factual to saying we should get his side. That's a first step.

You still give off the odor of resentment that one of the privileged should be restricted in the exercise of his privilege vis-a-vis one of the lower orders.
1.1.2008 6:49pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
pst314: "Jukebox is still misrepresenting what Blackfive wrote"

Small point: I never claimed he "wrote" it. He didn't. A guest-blogger wrote it. Anyway, I quoted the article precisely. It says this:

If we did not care if their children died … there would be no reason to clutter military emplacements with their presence.  If it were not that we are horrified by the deaths of children, the enemy’s children would be clear of all places of battle—because they are, except for the fact that we love them, a hindrance. … It is best that we bomb without fear … It must be … that we pursue war without thought of the children


I notice you haven't lifted a finger to explain how quoting those words is "misrepresenting" anything. They speak for themselves. Likewise for the article's title ("On the Virtues of Killing Children"). It isn't exactly oblique.

"he has an excellent reputation for honest reporting"

Since his readers stand up and cheer when he runs advocacy for war crimes, I'm not impressed by their sense of what constitutes "honest reporting."

"Should I return the snark by saying that it's nice to have a reminder of the 'progressive' position on honest agument?"

Yes, if you could back up your claim that my quote was "misrepresenting" anything. But you can't.
1.1.2008 7:15pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
richard: "Dead kids are a propaganda bonus because people like you make it so."

Indeed, the world is full of people like me who think that killing kids is a war crime. And the GOP is full of people like you and blackfive, who attempt to claim otherwise.

"You will note that killing children does not soil the terrs in the minds of the libs."

You will note that you're spouting pure baloney. Prove it.

"A short, violent attack could actually save lives."

It's obviously possible to find such examples, but the blackfive article is making a more general point: that we can save the lives of children, in the long run, if we kill some children now.

I notice you don't bother to make even a pretense of addressing the central point: the people we're fighting don't care if they die, or even if their own children die. Which means it's foolish to pretend that we can change their behavior by killing children around them. And this is precisely the idea that the blackfive article promotes, explicitly and shamelessly.

I also notice you don't bother to make even a pretense of explaining why you tried to claim that GC says something other than what it says.

"A non-trivial percentage of the time, a successful defense lets a genuine rapist go free."

That characterization ("non-trivial") is questionable and subjective. In any case, we view this as a necessary evil, because we believe that everyone, including accused rapists, is entitled to a defense. This idea is part of our system of laws. Likewise, our system of laws requires us to try to avoid harming civilians in war, even when those civilians are being used as shields.

These laws may offend you, but they're still the law. You and blackfive are promoting the idea that the law should be ignored. Why do you hate democracy?

"Why is one unpleasant discussion reason for trying to impugn credibility and the other a respected area of academic activity?"

I'm not aware of anyone claiming that "increasing the number of actual rapists skating on criminal charges" would represent an "overall benefit to society." Such a claim would indeed "impugn credibility," and the claim is fundamentally different than simply claiming that even accused rapists are entitled to a defense.

However, I am aware of people claiming that that we should stop trying to protect civilians from harm. This claim does indeed "impugn credibility," and it is fundamentally different than simply pointing out that civilians can't always be protected.

Your analogy is totally incoherent.
1.1.2008 7:15pm
scrumptiousjones (mail):

Richard Aubrey (mail):
scrumptious

Blackfive has and you can get the police report. Given the circs, what's wrong with public humiliation?

You're a liberal, obviously, because it never occurred to you that B5's readers, acting individually, would sink him.

I notice you've gone from saying Grodner is the only one who can tell us if this is factual to saying we should get his side. That's a first step.

You still give off the odor of resentment that one of the privileged should be restricted in the exercise of his privilege vis-a-vis one of the lower orders.




First, it's not clear whether B5 has the police report or whether he's quoting someone who does. In any case, the report can be obtained. So what?

The blogger presented the post as an attempt to get advice on a "sane and reasonable" response to the situation. It wasn't, as you seem to implicitly acknowledge by your defense of the "public humiliation" angle. And again ... "given the circs"? We don't really know the circs.


Mr. Grodner is the only one who can tell us whether the portrayal of his actions in this post is accurate, and the fact that it is "his side" is not a contradiction. The fact that he might likely dispute everything, factual or not, is not a contradiction either ... the point being that the entire post is ONE SIDED.

As to the rest of your posts and your inferences on my belief, well, sorry but they're just too silly to dignify with a response.

On that note, hope you have good new year.
1.1.2008 8:11pm
scrumptiousjones (mail):
Correction:

rest of your posts = rest of your comment

belief = beliefs
1.1.2008 8:13pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Scrumptious:
In no particular order: The system protects us by having defense attorneys conduct a zealous defense, thus requiring the prosecution to get it right. This zealous defense means that some guilty get off. The benefit to society of having, say, some rapist running around loose committing more rapes is...something about reducing the number of guilty convicted, or somethingsomething.. That, at least, is what I'm told lawyers say. But the point is that the techniques of zealous defense are designed to, as a corollary, or collateral damage, get the guilty off to assail more of the innocent.
We accept this. Reluctantly, and don't particularly care for the smug attorneys who gloat about it. Saw a defense attorney bragging about getting a dozenth-time DUI off. Thanks a bunch. Big smile. "Whoa, damn, I'm good."

And we don't seem to think that defense lawyers, or profs in defense law classes should be shunned or condemned.

The same principle, less overall death and destruction, is a result of forthright warfighting. If it means killing children, the result is, according to some of the posters on B5, fewer dead children overall. That's a question which can never be answered with certainty since there's no way to reset and run a battle over with different rules. Those who prefer fewer dead children overall will choose the forthright warfighting. Those who want the US efforts to bog down, to restrict US responses to enemy forces, will focus on the immediate instead of the longer run. Anyway, dead kids will be blamed on the generals instead of those who insisted on rules making sure the fight is never quite over.

Our enemies are not put off by the threat of death to their children--see one of the assassination attempts in Pakistan, for example--but the problem is that the western left loves it as a way to shackle western military efforts. It is the effect on the west which is the issue, not the effect on the terrorists. Were there to be no beneficial effect for the terrs' dragging children into their bunkers, they wouldn't bother. It's not a matter of running out the kids who happen to be in a likely fighting position, but making an effort to bring in more, or set up where they are already, such as schools.

People who do that sort of thing are not known to liberals as "terrorists", damned to hell, but as "insurgents", "militants", "fighters", or even "freedom fighters".

While the GC cautions care in fighting among civilians, it does not mean those who set up among them are to be absolutely immune from combat. That would lead to victory for the side most effective at hiding among civilians. Most, but not all, would consider that an unfortunate result.

During the early part of the Korean War, the NoKos drove masses of civilians against UN positions. The reasons were to make the UN forces reveal their positions--it was done at night--by muzzle flashes and so forth, to make them use up ammo, to shield the NoKo soldiers, and to, eventually, get a propaganda victory. Didn't work. There were masses of dead civilians in front of UN positions and the west did not decide this was unacceptable. No propaganda victory. Unfortunate, but it wasn't our idea. Thus, the NoKos didn't try it again. Too much trouble, no gain. Insufficient organization in the west at the time, I suppose. But it ended the practice.
See the point, here? Those who pretend to be outraged over civilian casualties give those civilian casualties value for the terrorists. Which means there will be more.
1.1.2008 8:17pm
Harvey Mosley (mail):
I notice you don't bother to make even a pretense of addressing the central point: the people we're fighting don't care if they die, or even if their own children die. Which means it's foolish to pretend that we can change their behavior by killing children around them. And this is precisely the idea that the blackfive article promotes, explicitly and shamelessly.


The idea is not to target the children to change the terrorists behavior. The idea is to target the terrorists even though they use children as shields. They use children as shields because they win either way. If we don't attack, they are safe. If we do attack, some children may (probably will) be killed. The terrorists win points in the propaganda war.

If we ignore the propaganda and do attack (not because of the children, but in spite of them,) they will be less likely to use them as shields in the future, since the deterrent value will be decreased.

This is the reasoning behind not giving in to the demands of hijackers. If we give in, hijacking is an effective tactic, and will happen more often, increasing the risk of innocent people being hijacked.

It is possible to disagree with this reasoning. This doesn't make one a traitor or coward. Just as NOT disagreeing with it doesn't make one a monster or maniac.

Eugene, I hope this isn't too off topic.
1.1.2008 8:25pm
Darrin Ziliak:
If anyone's interested, the Second City Cop blog has scans of the police report up.

Link to report


Unless B5 and/or SCC forged the posted report, I'd say the incident happened.
1.2.2008 9:08am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
richard: "Those who prefer fewer dead children overall will choose the forthright warfighting."

The article said we should "pursue war without thought of the children." That's not "forthright warfighting." It's a war crime. GC obligates us to try to protect civilians, even when they're being used as shields.

"dead kids will be blamed on the generals instead of those who insisted on rules making sure the fight is never quite over"

If you don't like the rules (because, let's say, you think GC is quaint and obsolete), then you should work to change the rules. Instead, you tried to pretend that GC said something other than what it says. That didn't fly, so you're now suggesting that the rules should be ignored. Why do you hate democracy?

And let's be clear about just who "insisted on rules" that you don't like: 194 countries which ratified the GC.

"While the GC cautions care in fighting among civilians, it does not mean those who set up among them are to be absolutely immune from combat."

Nice job with the straw man. No one is claiming that "those who set up among them are to be absolutely immune from combat." I'm simply pointing out what you now acknowledge, that "GC cautions care in fighting among civilians." And we're obliged to use that "care," even when the civilians are being used as shields. Trouble is, the blackfive article advocates, literally, that we not care: that we should "pursue war without thought of the children." That's advocacy for war crimes.

"There were masses of dead civilians in front of UN positions"

That's interesting. Do you have any proof?
1.2.2008 9:34am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
harvey: "they will be less likely to use them as shields in the future, since the deterrent value will be decreased"

This claim is based on the very shaky assumption that the purpose of the shields is deterrence. There's good reason to claim that the purpose is not deterrence, but propaganda. In that case, the result will be the opposite of what you predict.

In any case, GC rejects your argument. If you don't like GC, then work to change it, or advocate that we withdraw from it. But the blackfive article doesn't say we should modify GC, or repeal GC. It simply ignores GC. That's advocating lawlessness, and war crimes.
1.2.2008 9:34am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
juke.
Ref Korea. Fehrenbach, "This Kind of War" "Thunder of The Captains"--author not recalled at this time. Many other histories of the war.

B5 propounds the question of whether all-out warfighting is going to save lives. If GC prevents all-out warfighting and costs lives, then GC should be changed. We wouldn't want an international law to cost civilian lives.

The primary use of GC by the liberals is to hobble western war-fighting. The fate of civilians is not an issue. Until they are useful.

After GW I, there was a movement--for one example see the Presbyterian Church (USA--to modify the Just War Doctrine. Problem was, in GW I, the US had checked all the boxes. We need more boxes.

Point is, the use of long-standing laws or theories of war and associated morality are is, for many in the west, not about humanity in war but about tactics for hobbling the west. You will note that not only do liberals fail to hold the west's enemies to the laws in question, they don't even bother to indicate distaste. They "ignore GC" and the liberals don't seem to notice or care.

From which it is easy to deduce that the principles in question are only a cover. Or the principles in question would be evenly applied. And looking for that will take you most of the day--or life.
1.2.2008 10:39am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
richard: "If GC prevents all-out warfighting and costs lives, then GC should be changed."

If blackfive wants to post an article arguing that "GC prevents all-out warfighting and costs lives, [and] should be changed," then he should do so. But the article I cited didn't say that. It advocates practices that violate GC, as if GC didn't exist. Big difference. This reflects poorly on his credibility (and that's the relevance to the Grodner matter).

Just like it reflects poorly on your credibility that you tried to pretend that GC says something other than what it says. You said this:

GC does, putting the blame for the casualties among civilians on the side which chooses to hide among them


This statement implies that according to GC, we have no duty to try to protect civilians who are being used as shields, because all "the blame" is put on the other side. But of course we do have that duty, according to GC. Why did you try to mislead us?

Now you're arguing that GC should be changed. But you started out by arguing that the blackfive article was congruent with GC. Why did you change your tune?

"not only do liberals fail to hold the west's enemies to the laws in question, they don't even bother to indicate distaste"

I condemn all criminals, but I have a special duty to act when I notice criminals on my own payroll. This concept is extremely simple, yet it's widely ignored, in exactly the manner you just did. I wonder why that is.
1.2.2008 2:01pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Juke. We have the duty to take care. The western liberals pretend that means no casualties among the civilians at all. They have no interest in the genuine blame associated with those who set up among civilians. So the blame still goes entirely to the people who try to get us or other civilized armies to kill civilians for the use of western liberals. Because, if the bad guys didn't fight from among civilians, not one, single civilian is likely to be killed. Not one. The entire blame goes to the bad guys. Doesn't mean we shouldn't take care. There is no contradiction.

Yeah. Special duty to act. Which is why the Hezbollah got no crap during the fight with the IDF and the IDF, careful as it could be, and counterproductively so, got all the crap. The Palestinian terrs, shooting rockets designed soley to kill civilians get no crap. And, considering the US is supporting the PA--not for weapons, naturally, money not being fungible or stealable--they are on your payroll, too.

You could continue with your "special duty" and still have a bit of time left over for a regular duty, couldn't you? Just an occasional mention of the other side's crimes. If you use an anonymous name, none of your friends will know.
1.2.2008 2:25pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
richard: "We have the duty to take care."

It's nice that you finally acknowledge that. It would be even nicer if you explained why you started out by pretending otherwise. It would also be nice if you explained why you're defending an article that advocates otherwise.

"The western liberals pretend that means no casualties among the civilians at all."

Proof, please.

"if the bad guys didn't fight from among civilians, not one, single civilian is likely to be killed. Not one."

That's utter nonsense, since we've beaten to death civilians even though we thought they were innocent.

"The entire blame goes to the bad guys."

You're entitled to your opinion, but you're not entitled to your own version of GC. According to GC, both parties share the blame.

"Doesn't mean we shouldn't take care."

Trouble is, that's exactly the position advocated by the blackfive article: that "we shouldn't take care." We're still waiting for you to explain how the article can be seen as something other than outright advocacy for war crimes.

"You could continue with your 'special duty' and still have a bit of time left over for a regular duty, couldn't you? Just an occasional mention of the other side's crimes. If you use an anonymous name, none of your friends will know."

You could continue making a fuss about the other guy's crimes and still have some time left over for our own, couldn't you? Just an occasional mention of our side's crimes. If you use an anonymous name, none of your friends will know.
1.2.2008 2:47pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):

Juke

Somebody who promotes ignoring GC and getting the war over quickly and with the least bloodshed possible is promoting war crimes. There are laws which contribute to evil and breaking them is criminal but not evil.
If you take the position that restricted warfighting costs lives, then ignoring the GC--possibly prior to fixing it--is criminal but not evil.

I could spend some time reviling the criminals on my payroll. Wouldn't take long. In fact, I do. As does B5. You can see his take on Haditha. Sorry, he's not for hanging half a dozen Marines, but he's got the case nailed down.
My friends don't like US infractions, so they wouldn't mind me talking about them.
My situation is different from yours. Your friends don't mind the infractions of our enemies.
So I wouldn't have to fake my name.
1.2.2008 3:42pm
Harvey Mosley (mail):
jukeboxgrad:

This claim is based on the very shaky assumption that the purpose of the shields is deterrence. There's good reason to claim that the purpose is not deterrence, but propaganda. In that case, the result will be the opposite of what you predict.


Which is why we need to hold the (terrorists, freedom fighters, whichever you prefer) accountable for their actions. If they launch attacks from hospitals or orphanages, we need to make sure that everyone knows that THEY chose that place from which to attack.

Look, I agree with you. The fewer dead children, the better. Unfortunately, there will be some. Its OK to disagree on the best way to save those children. That's why our form of government is better than others. We can disagree with each other and our leaders.

As for the GC, you're right. If it doesn't hold the side using human shields solely accountable, I think it needs to be changed. Until we convince the rest of the world that using human shields is evil, this won't happen.

And of course, we must take care while attacking to minimize the casualties among the innocent. But that doesn't mean we give those who hide behind them a free pass. Even if it means we do kill and injure some of those who are used as shields, as horrible as that would be.
1.2.2008 4:59pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
richard: "There are laws which contribute to evil and breaking them is criminal but not evil. If you take the position that restricted warfighting costs lives, then ignoring the GC--possibly prior to fixing it--is criminal but not evil."

I get your point, and I think it's a reasonable point. Trouble is, that's not what the article said. My beef with the article would be greatly diminished if it had said something like this: 'GC needs to change, and here's why, and here's what we should do to make that happen; and here's why, in the meantime, we should selectively violate it.'

Instead, the article just ignored GC. Big difference. In my opinion, that's a sign of dishonesty. And you did something very similar when you tried to float the idea that the article is congruent with GC, even though it's not. I notice you're not addressing this point, which tends to create the impression that you were deliberately trying to mislead people.

It seems to me that lots of GOP folks want to circumvent and ignore GC, rather than accepting responsibility for changing it, or withdrawing from it. Let me know if you can find any GOP leaders calling for us to withdraw from GC. I can't. The preferred approach seems to be to ignore it, or to pretend it says something other than what it says. That's what blackfive did, and what you did, respectively. That's not honest.

"My friends don't like US infractions … You can see his take on Haditha"

Sorry, but I'm not impressed. As far as I can tell, "his take on Haditha" is this: "I don't believe a crime was committed." Meanwhile, as far I can tell, he has written this many words about Dilawar: zero. Meanwhile, as far I can tell, he has written this many words about Stephen Green: zero. So I see something other than a strong commitment to condemning US "infractions."

"Your friends don't mind the infractions of our enemies."

Really? Prove it.
1.2.2008 5:44pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
harvey: "I think it [GC] needs to be changed"

Fair enough. Then work to change it. That's called democracy. But I don't see folks doing that. I see folks (like blackfive) advocating for GC to be ignored. That's called lawlessness.

The GOP used to be the law-and-order party. Now, not so much.
1.2.2008 5:44pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
juke.

Seems to me that a good many laws were broken in various efforts to change institutions in the US. I suppose you could say the perps ignored them. Seems reasonable. The point was to make their moral wrong obvious. Then they got changed.

Difference with the GC is that, if you take B5's view, people are dying unnecessarily because of its restraints--my take is he is conflating even more restrictive ROE with the GC--then breaking it is a moral necessity even if changing it isn't in the cards. And, as a matter of fact, beyond practicality. There are too many nations who, while ignoring the GC and being ignored by the western libs in their doing so, find the GC handy to restrict their actual or potential enemies. See the differences in the public outcry wrt Israel and the Palestinians. The bad guys love the laws of war because Israel is supposed to abide by them and they are not. Who'd be interested in straightening that situation out? Not the Palestinians or any other force which wants to be able to fight civilized nations on their own, evil terms.

Prove it? I've spent a good deal of time over the years looking for libs condemning the misdeeds of our enemies. I've tried directly asking. I've tried baiting.
The best I could come up with is, "Well, naturally, we condemn all crimes......"
For the fun of it, find your friends' contemporaneous condemnation of the massacre at Hue. Or the Killing Fields. Or the indiscriminate use of land mines by the FMLN. Or the horrid crimes of the Sovs in Afghanistan.
Then we can talk about the NTY's 37 days of Abu Ghraib.
You know, the anti-personnel land mine complaints are directed either in general or at the west, but the folks getting blown up are getting seeing Cyrillic in their last breath. Which nobody happens to mention.
1.2.2008 9:28pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
richard: "Seems to me that a good many laws were broken in various efforts to change institutions in the US"

We have various legitimate processes that are used "to change institutions in the US." Breaking laws isn't on the list. And folks who do so, without even trying to change the law, don't have much credibility, and belong in jail.

But it's always adorable to hear "conservatives" make a passionate argument in favor of criminality. They don't make Republicans like they used to.

"And, as a matter of fact, beyond practicality."

You're essentially claiming that we have no choices regarding GC. That's pure baloney. The US is free to repudiate GC, and withdraw, anytime we like. Who's going to stop us? If it's truly a raw deal for us, and a "moral wrong," we should pull out. And we can. We can also just repudiate certain parts of it, if that's what we think is right. The reality is that folks like you like to whine about GC, but don't want to accept the responsibility of calling for us to withdraw from it (in whole or in part). Instead, you just advocate lawlessness.

You're still ducking the central point, which is that you and blackfive both approached the subject in a dishonest manner, as I've already explained.
1.2.2008 10:37pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
juke. Yeah. Thoreau went to jail, as did MLK, for breaking laws. And a good many others who worked for civil rights deliberately broke laws in order to make their moral wrong obvious. Promoting criminality.

The likelihood of breaking out of the GC by getting Congress to vote us out is slim. Would you want a world in which the terrs are really held to the same standards as the US? Didn't think so. And there are too many people like you.

In the meantime, if you take B5's view, people are dying unnecessarily.

There's a difference between law breaking and moral wrong--or moral right.
1.3.2008 7:28am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
richard: "Thoreau went to jail, as did MLK, for breaking laws."

You're invoking those two to defend an article called On the Virtues of Killing Children. That's chutpzah.

You're ignoring all sorts of things. You're ignoring the fact that MLK was honest about what he did. He didn't pretend the law didn't exist, and he didn't pretend the law said something other than what it said. And he was willing to go to jail. The blackfive article pretended GC doesn't exist, and you pretended GC says something other than what it says. When are you going to explain why you did that?

If the article was honest, it would have said 'GC is wrong, and we advocate violating it, and we're willing to go to jail.' If the article had said that, your comparison to MLK would be something other than totally bogus. But of course what the article said was quite different.

"The likelihood of breaking out of the GC by getting Congress to vote us out is slim."

English translation: 'my faction doesn't have enough votes to change the law, so instead we just advocate breaking it; but of course we conduct our advocacy dishonestly, by trying to mislead people about the existence and the contents of the law, and of course we're not willing to go to jail.' Why do you hate democracy?

"Would you want a world in which the terrs are really held to the same standards as the US?"

There are always going to be thugs and crooks who promote lawlessness. What I want is a world where people like that are not in charge of my government. A lot of people agree with me, so it's no surprise that the GOP is imploding. It's currently run by people like you, who can always find an excuse for breaking the law.

"There's a difference between law breaking and moral wrong--or moral right."

There's a difference between civil disobedience that's done in an honest, responsible manner, as compared with being a dishonest advocate for criminality.
1.3.2008 8:32am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Wow. I could never have predicted the moral outrage at pointing to laws broken--which you said didn't happen--in the effort to change them.

Yeah. My faction doesn't have as many votes as those who think a law means a result plus those who think our enemies need a break.

B5 wants fewer people to die in war. If that's what ignoring GC takes, then he's for it. Part of the folks in favor of GC and other laws of war--for us and not for others--actually need people to die, especially civilians so they can be used as propaganda. That's why, when terrs kill Iraqi civilians, the lament is that so and so many people died in Iraq. As if it were a meteor or something. When our side kills civilians, no matter how many fewer, then it's a big deal. And the talk about "our payroll" is transparently bogus. Libs have no qualms about telling people not on our payroll what to do. See apartheid in South Africa. They draw the line at telling our enemies that some things are unacceptable.
1.3.2008 9:50am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
richard: "I could never have predicted the moral outrage at pointing to laws broken"

I didn't say laws were broken. I said blackfive posted an article advocating that laws be broken. Here's an idea: try to put together an argument without making things up. And aside from advocating criminality, the article did so dishonestly, because it didn't bother mentioning that the behavior it was advocating happens to be a crime.

Anyway, we're not surprised that you're surprised to find that criminality is considered a "moral outrage." You've spent too much time in the modern GOP, where criminality is just part of doing business.

"in the effort to change them"

More baloney. You're suggesting that blackfive, or you, or someone, is making an effort to "change" GC. Really? Show me a serious GOP leader/commentator who is advocating that we change GC or withdraw from it.

Blackfive has ever indicated that we should make an "effort to change" GC? Really? Hopefully you can show us where he has done so (I suppose it's in the same post where he showed concern about Dilawar, and about Stephen Green; still waiting for you to back up your specious claim, that he has a strong commitment to condemning US "infractions"). As far as I can tell, his approach is just like yours: whine about the law, and advocate breaking the law, but don't lift a finger to try to change the law.

"If that's what ignoring GC takes, then he's for it."

His credibility is greatly diminished by the fact that he didn't bother mentioning that the practice he is promoting is defined by GC as a war crime. And your credibility is greatly diminished by the fact that you tried to pretend that GC says something other than what it says, as I pointed out here. Each time you duck this issue you make it more and more clear that you don't expect to be taken seriously.
1.3.2008 4:14pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Juke. Look at B5 on Haditha, or abu Ghraib, for example.

Now, it's entirely possible that B5 is not against things like being mean to terrorists, the sort of thing that ought to keep him up nights. But he's clear on the behavior or out troops.

You have no idea what B5 is doing ref the GC. The point here is that, in his view, people are dying unnecessarily while the GC and other laws of war are being applied. In a case like that, first you save lives, then you try to impress the lawyers.

There is no reason to tell anybody that what he recommends is against the GC. Everybody already knows it.

Also, you have a reading problem. I did not equate moral outrage with criminality. Sometimes the latter ought to engender the former, sometimes not. What, for example, is your take on the drug laws, or Prohibition?

Anyway, you have worked pretty hard to misrepresent the issue as a distraction from the initial issue. If B5 says something you don't like about the laws of war, we can't trust him to get the facts about Grodner. Didn't work.

Loser.
1.4.2008 8:20am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
richard: "Look at B5 on Haditha"

I did, and I told you what I found: not much. If you think I missed something, show us where it is.

"Look at B5 on … abu Ghraib"

He stuck with the party line, which is the 'a few bad apples' narrative. Never mind that Army Major General Antonio M. Taguba said this:

I believe, even today, that those civilian and military leaders responsible should be held accountable.


If you see B5 supporting Taguba in that statement, I'd love to see it too.

"he's clear on the behavior or out troops."

Right. That's why he has said this many words, as far as I can tell, regarding Dilawar, and about Stephen Green: zero.

"You have no idea what B5 is doing ref the GC."

Uh, no. Actually, I do. I've searched his blog, and this is what's evident: an absence of any effort to change the law. If I missed something, please show me. And this is what's absent from his article ("On the Virtues of Killing Children"): any acknowledgement that what he's advocating is a war crime.

"In a case like that, first you save lives, then you try to impress the lawyers."

For those of us who still have a quaint belief in the rule of law, obeying the law is not just something we do to "impress the lawyers." But we realize that contempt for the rule of law is what drives the GOP these days, and we appreciate the vivid demonstration you're providing.

"There is no reason to tell anybody that what he recommends is against the GC. Everybody already knows it."

That's hysterically funny, because what you tried to do here is pretend that the B5 article was congruent with GC. You said this:

Acting so as to maximize casualties--stretch out the war by giving the bad guys cover behind civilians--is a war crime, although the bad guys cowering behind civilians have enough clout to see nobody thinks of that. Although, the GC does, putting the blame for the casualties among civilians on the side which chooses to hide among them. But the most fanatic of GC-wavers usually forget that, or contradict it by 180 degrees, hoping nobody will notice.


The one who tried to distort GC, hoping "nobody will notice," is you. Your latest baloney ("everybody already knows it") is a classic twist, and quite beyond satire.

"What, for example, is your take on the drug laws, or Prohibition?"

My take is that people who whine about certain laws, and advocate breaking them, while also making no effort to change them, don't deserve respect. That's exactly the point I'm making about blackfive, you, and GC.

"If B5 says something you don't like about the laws of war"

It's not that he said something I "don't like." It's that he showed a lack of integrity. Just like you.
1.4.2008 5:48pm