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Another Palin Troopergate Report:

A second report on the Alaska "Troopergate" scandal was released yesterday. The Anchorage Daily News reports:

The state Personnel Board-sanctioned investigation is the second into whether Palin violated state ethics law in firing her public safety commissioner, and it contradicts the earlier findings by a special counsel hired by the state Legislature.

Both investigations found that Palin was within her rights to fire Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan.

But the new report says the Legislature's investigator was wrong to conclude that Palin abused her power by allowing aides and her husband, Todd, to pressure Monegan and others to dismiss her ex-brother-in-law, Trooper Mike Wooten. Palin was accused of firing Monegan after Wooten stayed on the job.

UPDATE: The Washington Post covers the report here. The story contains a significant error:

After Palin was selected as Sen. John McCain's running mate, her attorneys attempted to take the investigation out of the hands of the legislative investigator by asking her handpicked three-person State Personnel Board to look into the matter.
As several commenters have noted, there is nothing "handpicked" about the State Personnel Board. All three members of the Board were originally appointed by Gov. Palin's predecessor, Frank Murkowski (who she challenged and defeated in the primary election). Gov. Palin subsequently reappointed one of the three, and could still reappoint the others when their terms end, but she has yet to do so. Further, the investigator who conducted the investigation for the Board was an independent attorney who is a registered Democrat and had been a supporter of former Governor Tony Knowles, who Palin defeated in the general election. Whatever the flaws of the new report, it is not the product of a Palin's "handpicked" Board.

The New York Times, on the other hand, got this part of the story right.

Bill Dyer (mail) (www):
This isn't just a report, unlike the earlier Branchflower Report (which was one lawyer's opinion).

This is a report that has been formally accepted by the state agency with jurisdiction over complaints of ethics violations, the state Personnel Board — which has, on the basis of the report, ended their proceedings based on the report's findings that there is no cause to believe there has been any violation by Gov. Palin.
11.4.2008 10:19am
byomtov (mail):
In other words, the investigation Palin controlled exonerated her.
11.4.2008 10:20am
J. Aldridge:
As far as the AP is concerned Palin is still guilty as charged.
11.4.2008 10:24am
Observer:
Why is this in the Anchorage Daily News only? This should be all over the media, who reported much less significant things about Palin.
11.4.2008 10:25am
MLS:
As best as I can determine, the Personnel Board is an independent agency whose members are appointed by the Governor. The website describing the board lists three members, one appointed by Palin, and two appointed by her predecessor (one of which was recently reappointed by Palin).
11.4.2008 10:31am
Anderson (mail):
In other words, the investigation Palin controlled exonerated her.

Right. We should've had James Carville head up the Lewinsky investigation.

The facts of what Palin and her hubby did are well known, and the kind of people who aren't bothered in the least by it, are the kind of people I disagree on 90% of things with anyway.
11.4.2008 10:41am
Anderson (mail):
Oh, and Prof. Adler -- "Troppergate"?

"Trollopgate" would've been a good name for l'affaire Lewinsky.
11.4.2008 10:41am
Fury:
Anderson:

The facts of what Palin and her hubby did are well known, and the kind of people who aren't bothered in the least by it, are the kind of people I disagree on 90% of things with anyway.

Do you have a specific concern or objection in the Petumenos Report?
11.4.2008 10:43am
Al Maviva:
Yeah, whatever. The damage is done, the libel has stuck, Palin = corrupt.

It's kinda like the NY Times article yesterday discussing their extensive review of Gitmo documentation, and deep investigation of the detainees there, which found that there are some very seriously evil people at Gitmo who really need to be stuck deep, deep in a hole and left there, based on their past record of major terrorist crimes. It's kinda late to have that revelation now that the fight against AQ has been utterly undermined and you have people running around talking about Afghanistan as another one of Bush's optional dishonest wars.
11.4.2008 10:44am
Eli Rabett (www):
Some, some not. Therein the problem.
11.4.2008 10:50am
DiverDan (mail):

In other words, the investigation Palin controlled exonerated her.

And the investigation controlled by Palin's political enemies and Democratic legislators impugned her integrity - wow, real surprise on both counts, huh? So, who ya gonna believe, the political hatchet job commissioned by the legislative committee with no direct authority over ethics violations, and the report completed by a single lawyer with an ax to grind against Palin, or the report commissioned and approved by the State Personnel Board, which is SUPPOSED to investigate ethics complaints?
11.4.2008 10:52am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Diver.
Nice rhetorical question, there.
11.4.2008 10:57am
A.S.:
The website describing the board lists three members, one appointed by Palin, and two appointed by her predecessor (one of which was recently reappointed by Palin).

Hmmm. The website I saw said that all three of the Board members were appointed by Palin's predecessor (i.e., the person she defeated in the primary), although one was reappointed by Palin. The New York Times states the same here - all three were appointed by Palin's predecessor (one of whome was reappointed by her). Which site were you looking at?

By the way, I enjoyed the Washington Post's account, which said that it was Palin's "handpicked" Board, even though she appointed none of the members. It's as if most of the media is actively trying to harm Palin, even through deliberate lies.
11.4.2008 10:57am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
fury:

Do you have a specific concern or objection in the Petumenos Report?


Yes.

How did Petumenos pull this neat trick, of reaching a different conclusion than Branchflower? With several techniques, but one of the key techniques was to simply ignore the testimony of key witnesses.

Petumenos whitewashes important facts. For example, see his report, p. 13. He says the Palins met with AST in 11/06 and expressed their concern that Wooten was "a security threat."

Now look at the Branchflower report, p. 44, regarding the testimony of Gary Wheeler. He was at this meeting, and specifically asked the Palins "whether they perceived any threats from any individual or were afraid of any individual." Wheeler said "I got a negative response … they basically said no."

Wheeler has been a trooper since 1981. His sworn account directly contracts the claim made by the Palins, as reported by Petumenos. Did Petumenos interview Wheeler? No. (See Petumenos p. 9 for the list of people he interviewed.) Petumenos claims that he carefully took into account all the testimony that Branchflower gathered, but Petumenos is obviously ignoring this blatant and material contradiction between what Wheeler said and what the Palins said.

Wheeler's testimony is important, because it shows that the Palins were not sincerely concerned that Wooten was a threat. Because of Wheeler's testimony and other facts, Branchflower concluded that the Palins' "claims of fear were not bona fide and were offered to provide cover for the Palins' real motivation: to get Trooper Wooten fired for personal family related reasons."

Nowhere does Petumenos mention Wheeler's testimony, or address this contradiction. This is an example of how sloppy, incomplete and slanted the Petumenos report is.
11.4.2008 11:03am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
More lies and contradictions.

The Branchflower Report includes testimony by John Glass, Deputy Commissioner of Public Safety. Glass testified that he told Todd Palin "that Wooten had already been penalized for his actions that he had taken." See Branchflower, p. 63.

Now see Petumenos, p. 34. Todd claims "he did not ever learn, from anyone, that any consequence of significance" had been imposed on Wooten.

Of course Petumenos did not interview Glass or make any attempt to explain this contradiction.

Petumenos and the Palins are basically saying this: "just assume we're telling the truth, even though there are various credible witness who swear we're lying."
11.4.2008 11:03am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
More contradictions. A key claim by Palin and Petumenos is that Sarah simply had no idea what Todd was doing. For example, Petumenos said "Governor Palin … has testified under oath that the was unaware that Todd Palin made these early 2007 inquiries to Commissioner Monegan."

Meanwhile, Wheeler testified to Branchflower that "at least 50 percent of the time, he'd [Todd] drive the governor in and remain either at the office or in the office most of the day … And he would participate in, you know, the meetings." And of course Todd was also copied on many official emails.

And notice what Todd said in his affidavit of 10/8:

I have heard criticism that I am too involved with my wife's administration. My wife and I are very close. We are each other's best friend. I have helped her in every stage in her career the best I can, and she has helped me. … Like most couples we talk about our jobs, our work, the issues of the day, and of course, our family.


Do these facts fit? No.
11.4.2008 11:04am
Anderson (mail):
It's kinda late to have that revelation

Al, don't spread utter lies. It has been *universally* admitted that *some* of the people at Gitmo are indeed bad folks. The question has been about the *process* for separating the sheep from the goats.

Do you really have such contempt for the other readers of this blog that you think we're *that* stupid?

Or, as Prof. Somin put it re: Palin, "ignorant"?
11.4.2008 11:05am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
dyer:

This isn't just a report, unlike the earlier Branchflower Report (which was one lawyer's opinion).


You have no credibility whatsoever on this subject (not that you have any credibility on any other subject). Your Troopergate posts are packed with misinformation. I've documented that here, and you haven't lifted a finger to correct your falsehoods. Even though I've reminded you of them. And I am now reminding you again.
11.4.2008 11:06am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
dyer:

This isn't just a report, unlike the earlier Branchflower Report (which was one lawyer's opinion).


The facts in the Branchflower report speak for themselves. Let us know which of those facts you dispute. And at the very least, they prove Palin lied multiple times. Like when she said this: "no pressure was ever put on anybody to fire anybody."

By the way, the Legislative Council (8 R and 4 D) voted unanimously to release the Branchflower report. This is the same group that voted unanimously to launch his investigation. If they thought his report was not credible, they should not have voted to release it, and would not have voted to release it.
11.4.2008 11:11am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
mls:

The website describing the board lists three members, one appointed by Palin, and two appointed by her predecessor (one of which was recently reappointed by Palin).


Not exactly. All three were originally appointed by Murkowski. But one has already been reappointed by Palin, and another was a contributor to her campaign. So for 2 of the 3, we have reason to think they have a bias. And all three are subject to reappointment by her, if they want to keep their jobs when their term is over.

And at any time, she can fire them for cause. And the Wooten story proves she's not shy about fabricating 'cause.'

By the way, Petumenos' firm handled the $15 million bond issue for Wasilla's hockey complex, a pet project of then-mayor Palin.
11.4.2008 11:14am
Bill Dyer (mail) (www):
jukebox: In your rush to cut and paste on so many blogs, you've missed your meds today. Today of all days, you NEED to be on your meds.

The vote of the Legislative Council was merely to release the Branchflower Report. There was never any vote on its merits, nor endorsement of the report by the Council.

This, by contrast, is a ruling on the merits by an adjudicative body that has statutory jurisdiction.

The Independent Counsel who wrote this report is a registered Democrat who contributed to Tony Knowles, Gov. Palin's general election opponent, in 2006. Knowles was quoted in October as being confident in his abilities to prepare this report carefully and competently.

Tasergate is OVER.

Of course, you and the other supporters of child-molesters like Mike Wooten will rave and blather on, just like the 9/11 Troothers.

Seriously. Take your meds. This ends our discussion.
11.4.2008 11:17am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
diver:

And the investigation controlled by Palin's political enemies and Democratic legislators impugned her integrity - wow, real surprise on both counts


You are failing to address the fact that Palin repeatedly expressed support for the Branchflower investigation. Until she got the call from McCain. Why would she do so if the investigation was instigated by "Palin's political enemies?"

And if all Rs and Ds are her enemies, then who has standing to investigate her? No one? Only people she certifies as her friends? Only people appointed by the governor (like the Personnel Board)? How can you have a democratic system where an executive claims to be immune from any investigation that isn't run by their friends?

And you are also failing to address the fact that the testimony in the Branchflower report speaks for itself. Which facts in that report do you dispute?
11.4.2008 11:19am
Daniel Wolf (mail):
Gov. Palin appointed all three members of this panel, making it hardly objective in evaluating a complaint against her.
11.4.2008 11:23am
Per Son:
By my scientific analysis, I have come out with the following conclusions:

1. If you support Palin, you see this as exonerating her.
2. If you do not support Palin, you see this as the product of either her hand-picked cronies, cronies, or something along those lines.
3. The third way is that you believe both were political hatchet jobs, and we still do not know the truth.
11.4.2008 11:23am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
as:

I enjoyed the Washington Post's account, which said that it was Palin's "handpicked" Board


The WP account is here. Where does it say "handpicked?"
11.4.2008 11:23am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
Oops, sorry. I found it.
11.4.2008 11:23am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
Petumenos defends the timing by saying this:

If a report like this had been released earlier, it would have done the governor a great deal more of good than releasing on the night before the election


I disagree. Under the circumstances, people only see the headline. There is no time to find and report the blatant flaws, a couple of which I've documented above.
11.4.2008 11:27am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
per:

The third way is that you believe both were political hatchet jobs, and we still do not know the truth


Except that lots of solid information is available, like the original police interviews from 2005, the testimony in the Branchflower report, and various emails Palin wrote. Which means it's possible to evaluate the facts objectively and realize that at the very least, Palin was telling a brazen lie when she said this: "no pressure was ever put on anybody to fire anybody." And another very material and obvious lie is documented here.
11.4.2008 11:35am
Al Maviva:
Al, don't spread utter lies. It has been *universally* admitted that *some* of the people at Gitmo are indeed bad folks

Anderson, that's about what I'd expect from you. The human rights groups, the big firm lawyers litigating on Saudi and Yemeni money, and everybody in league with Michael Ratner admit nothing of the sort. Furthermore, in the six plus years of criticism, I have yet to hear a single critic begin or end a condemnation of Gitmo with an admission that these guys are dangerous and pose a very serious problem that has to be dealt with. Every single critique has been geared toward being as acidic as possible toward the administration, and to undercutting the administration's strategies as much as possible. The closest the critics get is an occasional genuflection to the courts, as if imposing some free floating universal jurisdiction that ignores procedural niceties like warrants and the fifth amendment isn't a form of victors justice that would pervert our justice system and make a mockery of due process. You've ridiculed the effort for six years without nuance or concession that maybe the administration was attempting to deal with a major problem. You now will reap what you sowed.

I am actually hoping for a series of big wins forcing the release of the remaining Gitmo detainees into the U.S. The D.D.C. is working on doing this, so we'll get a chance to test their thesis about these being basically harmless political prisoners. I think you should volunteer to set up a halfway house in your neighborhood for these poor detainees. You could even insist on only having detainees the court thinks are harmless. If a court says so, it must be true, right?

And no, I don't think the readers of this blog are stupid, but I think that a lot of them are like you, fairly intelligent people who are so partisan you will neatly execute a 180 degree pivot starting tomorrow (indeed, you just started today with that comment). After nearly seven years of people on your side of the aisle doing everything possible to undercut every single aspect of the GWOT (whether on the merits or just out of your tendentious partisan inclinations), you are now going to expect people on my side of the aisle to take you seriously when you say there's a threat and we need to support the president. Good luck pal - you've managed to demoralize the people who gave a damn about defending you and I think you've convinced moderate voters that it's all make believe. Go ahead, send the Light Worker, I'm sure AQ are reasonable people and you just need to sit down and talk to them about Change they can Believe in. I wouldn't look to people on my side of the aisle for much support when the left half of your political coalition insists the threat is illusory and the GWOT racist. You've burned that bridge to us pretty effectively, and if the coastal blue cities want to stand down our defenses, I'm willing to let them. Heck, maybe I can even discover right wing isolationism and pacifism, so I can pretend to be sticking to principle the way so many on the left have apparently been pretending to be principled in order to argue against every single aspect of Bush's Damn Wars. Now go ahead, Anderson. Let's see your pivot on the GWOT.
11.4.2008 11:38am
MLS:
All I did was a quick read of the board members. One was certainly appointed by her predecessor and remains a member.
One may have been appointed by Palin, depending upon when she took office. One was appointed by her predecessor and possibly reappointed by her, again depending upon when she took office.

State of Alaska
Office of Boards and Commissions Roster
PERSONNEL BOARD (077)
Member Date Appointed Reappointed Term Expires

Debra E. English 1/8/2004 1/29/2008 3/1/2014

Public
Alaska Communications Systems
600 Telephone Avenue, Mail Stop 15
Anchorage, AK 99503

Laura Plenert 3/10/2004 3/1/2010

Public
Ted Ferry Civic Center
25 Double Eagle Lane
Ketchikan, AK 99901

Alfred L. Tamagni, Sr. 3/1/2006 3/1/2012

Public
Financial Diversified, Insurance and
Pension Services International
7001 Oakwood Drive
Anchorage, AK 99507
11.4.2008 11:42am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
dyer:

In your rush to cut and paste on so many blogs


Why is it OK when you post essentially the same material on multiple blogs?

The vote of the Legislative Council was merely to release the Branchflower Report. There was never any vote on its merits, nor endorsement of the report by the Council.


Why vote to release a report if you have serious concerns about its "merits?" And which facts in the report do you dispute?

This, by contrast, is a ruling on the merits by an adjudicative body that has statutory jurisdiction.


Are you really suggesting that the Legislature has no right to investigate the Executive branch? Good luck with that.

child-molesters like Mike Wooten


Really? Not just an abuser but a "molester?" In common parlance, a 'child-molester' is someone who commits sexual abuse. Your willingness to engage in outright libel, based on no facts whatsoever (Palin herself never made any accusation even close to that) is pretty spectacular.

And you still haven't lifted a finger to explain your multiple falsehoods, which I documented in detail here.

This ends our discussion.


I realize it's time for you to run and hide, just as you have done on the multiple other occasions when I have brought those falsehoods to your attention.
11.4.2008 11:45am
js5 (mail):
so we should praise her for finally getting a clean bill of ethical health? It should never have gotten this far anyways. It was like all the people who said Palin was a rockstar in the VP debates b/c she didn't screw up badly.

Not that i adhere to this view, but a friend just texted me, "Oj was found innocent, too"
11.4.2008 11:46am
rarango (mail):
JBG: your commitment to impartiality and the cool dispassionate analysis of facts free from political bias has been noted by all on this board and forms the basis by which we evaluate your insightful analysis.
11.4.2008 11:51am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
rarango:

your commitment to impartiality and the cool dispassionate analysis of facts free from political bias has been noted by all on this board and forms the basis by which we evaluate your insightful analysis.


If you can show where my facts have been wrong, here or anywhere else, then your remark can be considered something other than pure wind. We'll be waiting patiently.
11.4.2008 11:53am
A.S.:
MLS: According to wikipedia, Palin took office on December 4, 2006. Therefore, per the information you posted, all three of the members of the Board were first appointed by her predecessor, as their dates of appointment were 1/8/2004, 3/10/2004, and 3/1/2006, all of which occurred prior to her taking office. (As I noted, she did reappoint one of the members who was first appointed by her predecessor.)
11.4.2008 11:58am
David M. Nieporent (www):
The Branchflower Report includes testimony by John Glass, Deputy Commissioner of Public Safety. Glass testified that he told Todd Palin "that Wooten had already been penalized for his actions that he had taken." See Branchflower, p. 63.

Now see Petumenos, p. 34. Todd claims "he did not ever learn, from anyone, that any consequence of significance" had been imposed on Wooten.

Of course Petumenos did not interview Glass or make any attempt to explain this contradiction.
What contradiction? These two statements don't contradict each other. Wooten was penalized, but not with any consequence of significance.
11.4.2008 12:01pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
mls:

One was certainly appointed by her predecessor and remains a member. One may have been appointed by Palin, depending upon when she took office. One was appointed by her predecessor and possibly reappointed by her, again depending upon when she took office.


All three were appointed by Murkowski. One (English) has been reappointed by Palin. Another one (Tamgani) donated to Palin's campaign. The third (Plenert) is subject to reappointment by Palin when Plenert's term expires in 3/10. In other words, there is reason to view all three as partial to Palin.

All the sources behind this can be easily found via the wiki article. google troopergate.
11.4.2008 12:03pm
Fury:
jukeboxgrad:

Petumenos whitewashes important facts. For example, see his report, p. 13. He says the Palins met with AST in 11/06 and expressed their concern that Wooten was "a security threat."

No, that's not what the report says. The Petumenos Report says on p. 11:

"After the Governor's election in November of 2006, in preparation for her taking office, the Governor and Todd Plain met with AST security staff as part of the transition process. A routine inquiry was made by the security staff as to whether the Governor or her family knew of anyone they regarded as a security threat to the family. The governor and Mr. Todd Plain responded that they were concerned about Trooper Wooten."

The report does not say they met in 11/06, is says that they met after the Governor's election in 2006. That could be November or December of 2006. For you to assert they met in November is incorrect.

Now look at the Branchflower report, p. 44, regarding the testimony of Gary Wheeler. He was at this meeting, and specifically asked the Palins "whether they perceived any threats from any individual or were afraid of any individual." Wheeler said "I got a negative response … they basically said no."

Unfortunately VC readers would not know you left out a second meeting that Wheeler recounts. The first meeting was in mid-November or early December 2006 as noted by Branchflower. The second meeting (which you omitted) is noted below:

"A second meeting about security issues occurred in the Governor's Anchorage office after Governor Plain was sworn in on December 5, 2006. He testified that Governor Palin and Todd Plain entered his office located within the Governor's suite of offices and said he needed to be aware of a possible threat from Trooper Micheal Wooten, a name Wheeler had never heard previously."

Wheeler has been a trooper since 1981. His sworn account directly contracts the claim made by the Palins, as reported by Petumenos. Did Petumenos interview Wheeler? No. (See Petumenos p. 9 for the list of people he interviewed.) Petumenos claims that he carefully took into account all the testimony that Branchflower gathered, but Petumenos is obviously ignoring this blatant and material contradiction between what Wheeler said and what the Palins said.

Obvious? Petumenos indicates on p. 6:

"Independent counsel reviewed an extensive amount of evidence as part of this investigation."

and on p. 7:

"In addition, Independent Counsel reviewed all (emphasis added) the evidence gathered as support for the Branchflower Report, including (emphasis added) the material that was not publicly released."


Wheeler's testimony is important, because it shows that the Palins were not sincerely concerned that Wooten was a threat. Because of Wheeler's testimony and other facts, Branchflower concluded that the Palins' "claims of fear were not bona fide and were offered to provide cover for the Palins' real motivation: to get Trooper Wooten fired for personal family related reasons."

Wrong, see the Wheeler information that you omitted on p. 44.

Nowhere does Petumenos mention Wheeler's testimony, or address this contradiction. This is an example of how sloppy, incomplete and slanted the Petumenos report is.

Per Petumenos, the Palins maintain that they brought the issue of Wooten up after the election in November of 2006. Even Branchflower writes that Wheeler was notified by the Palins about Wooten at least as recently as December 5, 2006. What both reports note is that the Palins did register their concern about Wooten. The end result is the same - Wooten was identified by the Palins as a concern. There is a disagreement on what date this initial mention of Wooten took place.
11.4.2008 12:06pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
as:

all three of the members of the Board were first appointed by her predecessor, as their dates of appointment were 1/8/2004, 3/10/2004, and 3/1/2006, all of which occurred prior to her taking office. (As I noted, she did reappoint one of the members who was first appointed by her predecessor.)


Correct.
11.4.2008 12:06pm
rarango (mail):
JBG: where did I challenge your facts? What part of "analysis" did you not understand?
11.4.2008 12:09pm
Per Son:
Al Maviva:

Who pissed in your corn flakes today?
11.4.2008 12:15pm
Bill Dyer (mail) (www):
I did actually intend to write "child-abuser" rather than "child-molester."
11.4.2008 12:19pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
nieporent:

What contradiction? These two statements don't contradict each other. Wooten was penalized, but not with any consequence of significance.


You can try to argue that Wooten's five-day suspension didn't have enough "significance," but you can't argue that it didn't have any "significance." And that's what you have to argue to pretend that there's no contradiction.

And at the very least, there is an apparent contradiction. And it is a fact that Petumenos did not interview Glass, and did not mention this testimony by Glass, or make any effort whatsoever to show us that he took this testimony by Glass into account. These facts are incompatible with a claim that Petumenos was thorough and fair.

Also, on other occasions Palin has made statements that are broader than the language Petumenos used ("any consequence of significance"), and completely free of qualification:

According to Palin, she and her family were unaware, prior to July 2008, that Wooten had been disciplined in 2006. For example, on September 1, 2008 Palin said that "Monegan never told Governor Palin or Todd about the discipline that Wooten received ... the parties involved had no idea how the matter was resolved ... As far as the Palin family knew [as of July 2008], Wooten ... had escaped discipline."[120] In a sworn statement on October 8, 2008 Todd Palin said "the DPS never informed me or my wife that Wooten had been disciplined."[173]


All those statements fly in the face of Glass' testimony.
11.4.2008 12:21pm
Al Maviva:
Per - the NY Times, if you must know. Anderson's sprinkling of rat droppings didn't help.
11.4.2008 12:22pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
rarango:

where did I challenge your facts? What part of "analysis" did you not understand?


I think this is your way of admitting that you have no basis to challenge my facts. Now all you have to do is explain your basis for challenging my "analysis."
11.4.2008 12:23pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
dyer:

I did actually intend to write "child-abuser" rather than "child-molester."


The claim of "child-abuser" is also indefensible. You are obviously referring to the Taser incident (because you have nothing else that remotely resembles evidence of child abuse, right?).

Molly was upstairs, and knew what was happening, and didn't go downstairs to intervene. How is this consistent with the idea that what Wooten did was 'child-abuse?'

Although the Taser incident happened in 2003, it was not reported to police until on or after April 11, 2005, the day that Molly McCann filed for divorce. On June 6, 2005, a police investigator asked Palin's daughter Bristol why they "waited so long and brought the incident up after two years." Bristol said "because of the divorce." Why would they wait two years, if it was actually 'child abuse?'

According to a spokesman for Taser International, "if the Taser is fired for just a second, it would feel like your funny bone was hit." Why would that be considered 'child abuse?'

Right after the incident, the child went upstairs to tell his mother he was fine. How is that consistent with an allegation of 'child abuse?'

A temporary restraining order was granted presumptively on 4/11/05. It was quickly dissolved, on 5/9/05, because the judge found that there was no evidence of violence. Why would he do that, if the Taser incident was considered 'child abuse?'

By the way, Palin has made false statements in legal filings, claiming that the DVPO was still active in 2006. That's a lie.

And aside from this 'child abuse' issue, you have a variety of other falsehoods you need to clean up.
11.4.2008 12:34pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
You can try to argue that Wooten's five-day suspension didn't have enough "significance," but you can't argue that it didn't have any "significance." And that's what you have to argue to pretend that there's no contradiction.
I didn't argue that "it didn't have any significance," though I certainly could, contrary to your claim. I argued that it was not a "consequence of significance," or rather I argued that someone could reasonably describe it that way. There's no contradiction. If one feels that a five day suspension is insignificant, then it would be entirely correct, and noncontradictory, to say that no consequence of significance was imposed.

Of course, if one believes that a five day suspension is significant, then one would disagree with Palin's assessment, but the fact that one disagrees with an assessment -- despite what you think -- does not make that assessment false.

(Moreover, the quote you cite from Glass doesn't even say that he told Palin that Wooten was given a five-day suspension; it says that he told Palin "that Wooten had already been penalized for his actions that he had taken." If that's all he told Palin, then there's even less "contradiction" between that statement and Palin's statement that he had never been told of any consequence of significance.)

All those statements fly in the face of Glass' testimony.
No, they don't, not without assuming that Glass said something more than what he says he said. If Glass said something along the lines of, "Look, as I've said, this has already been taken care of, he's already been penalized, and that's that; there's nothing more to be done," then that does not contradict any of those statements.
11.4.2008 12:36pm
Fury:
A.S.:

By the way, I enjoyed the Washington Post's account, which said that it was Palin's "handpicked" Board, even though she appointed none of the members. It's as if most of the media is actively trying to harm Palin, even through deliberate lies.

The handpicked comment was made by a poster in response to the story.

jukeboxgrad:

By the way, Petumenos' firm handled the $15 million bond issue for Wasilla's hockey complex, a pet project of then-mayor Palin.

What you fail to note is this:

"But the board ended up hiring an aggressive Anchorage trial lawyer, Timothy Petumenos, as an independent counsel. McCain aides were chagrined to discover that Petumenos was a Democrat who had contributed to Palin's 2006 opponent for governor, Tony Knowles."

When you apparently try to paint a picture that Petumenos was influenced by his law firm handling the $15 million bond issue, don't forget to mention other information about Petumenos.

and :

And at any time, she can fire them [State Personnel Board] for cause.

Sort of a contradiction in terms, no? If they can be fired for cause, that indicates there are requisite steps that must be met prior to termination. So the phrase "at any time" is somewhat misleading.
11.4.2008 12:37pm
MLS:
A.S.,

Thank you for going the extra mile and finding out when Palin took office.
11.4.2008 12:43pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Molly was upstairs, and knew what was happening, and didn't go downstairs to intervene. How is this consistent with the idea that what Wooten did was 'child-abuse?'
She was upstairs giving a bath to her children. If your children are young enough that they need to be given baths rather than taking baths on their own, then you don't leave them alone in the bath, period.

Although the Taser incident happened in 2003, it was not reported to police until on or after April 11, 2005, the day that Molly McCann filed for divorce. On June 6, 2005, a police investigator asked Palin's daughter Bristol why they "waited so long and brought the incident up after two years." Bristol said "because of the divorce." Why would they wait two years, if it was actually 'child abuse?'
Because most married couples do not go around reporting each other for child abuse, particularly if such a report could impact one of the spouse's jobs.
11.4.2008 12:46pm
A.S.:
Fury,

I'm not sure what you are referring to, but I was referring to the story that was actually published in the Washington Post newspaper, not a blog post on washingtonpost.com.

The story published in the newspaper reads:
After Palin was selected as Sen. John McCain's running mate, her attorneys attempted to take the investigation out of the hands of the legislative investigator by asking her handpicked three-person State Personnel Board to look into the matter.

(emphasis added)

As I noted, the story is incorrect, as she did not pick (by hand or otherwise) any of the three members. Her sole involvement with the members so far has been to reappoint a member who was picked by her predecessor, whom she defeated in the primary.
11.4.2008 12:49pm
David Warner:
Anderson,

"the kind of people who aren't bothered in the least by it, are the kind of people I disagree on 90% of things with anyway."

TV's come in color now.
11.4.2008 12:53pm
Fury:
Wow, sorry about that, A.S. I linked to the WP URL provided by jukeboxgrad here.

Agreed that the WP news story is misleading...
11.4.2008 12:53pm
commontheme (mail):
Does this report make her any less of an appalling idiot?
11.4.2008 12:59pm
David Warner:
Fury,

"don't forget to mention other information about Petumenos."

Be sure that the jukebox never forgets.

With a memory like an Elephant, one wonders how he can be such a Jackass.
11.4.2008 1:04pm
Sagar:
Does this report make her any less of an appalling idiot?

not sure about her, but you on the other hand ...

go read the post by Ilya Somin
11.4.2008 1:37pm
Boonton (mail) (www):
"Why is this in the Anchorage Daily News only? This should be all over the media, who reported much less significant things about Palin."

Well it is on the front page!! of the New York Times. I guess unlike Palin you don't read 'all of them' magazines and newspapers.
11.4.2008 1:40pm
Boonton (mail) (www):
"Because most married couples do not go around reporting each other for child abuse, particularly if such a report could impact one of the spouse's jobs."

Yes that is indeed one possibility. Another possibility is that divorces bring out the worst in people and wild accusations (or 'reinterpretiting' an old event) are hardly unprecedented. Since neither of us were there it would seem the proper forum to hear such a charge would be, well the legal system which is set up NOT only to hear criminal accusations but divorce proceedings and other cool things.

A non-corrupt, non-cronish governor would say that she cannot use her office that would make it look like someone is getting fired or punished because he crossed the gov's sister. Such a person would make it clear that they are not using their position to influence either a complaint or a divorce proceeding.
11.4.2008 1:49pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
nieporent:

If one feels that a five day suspension is insignificant, then it would be entirely correct, and noncontradictory, to say that no consequence of significance was imposed.


Except that no reasonable person would call a five-day suspension "insignificant." Imagine that you are interviewing a job applicant:

nieoporent: Ever been disciplined on your prior job?
applicant: Yes, but the discipline was insignificant.
nieoporent: What was the discipline?
applicant: I was suspended for five days.

Would you view this person as honest? I don't think any reasonable person would. And a reasonable person would expect Petumenos to at least make a pretense of explaining the apparent contradiction raised by Glass's testimony.

the quote you cite from Glass doesn't even say that he told Palin that Wooten was given a five-day suspension; it says that he told Palin "that Wooten had already been penalized for his actions that he had taken."


Just like Petumenos, you ignore evidence that doesn't suit you. I already cited Todd saying this:

the DPS never informed me or my wife that Wooten had been disciplined


That is in direct contradiction to the testimony from Glass: that he told Palin "that Wooten had already been penalized." There is no escape from this contradiction unless you want to argue that "disciplined" and "penalized" are not synonyms, in this context.

There is no good explanation for the fact that Petumenos completely glossed over this very blatant and obvious contradiction.

She was upstairs giving a bath to her children. If your children are young enough that they need to be given baths rather than taking baths on their own, then you don't leave them alone in the bath, period.


There was no need to "leave them alone in the bath." Bristol, a teenager (and someone who likes to take care of babies), was downstairs and within earshot. Molly could have called for Bristol to come upstairs and mind the little ones. Molly did not do so. Also, Molly was not obligated to leave them in the tub. She could have removed them from the tub. That's what a reasonable mom would have done if she thought her wicked husband was downstairs abusing her son.

Because most married couples do not go around reporting each other for child abuse, particularly if such a report could impact one of the spouse's jobs.


If your spouse has committed child abuse, you are in collusion if you do nothing to report the incident to any authority, or at least take steps to address the incident via someone like a therapist or a clergyman. Trouble is, there is no sign whatsoever that Molly did anything of the sort. On the contrary. The evidence shows that the family did not take the incident seriously until two years later, when it became useful to do so in the context of a custody battle.

I notice you haven't bothered trying to explain why the judge dissolved the restraining order. He ruled there was no evidence of violence. Please explain how this is consistent with the idea that Wooten committed child abuse.
11.4.2008 1:51pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
warner:

one wonders how he can be such a Jackass.


For some reason I seem to be inspiring a rash of ass-related ad hominems (like "asswipe").
11.4.2008 2:01pm
Guest12345:
jukeboxgrad, who are you and what is your authority to be making these claims, your statements as facts and legal right to be making these claims? Do you have any firsthand knowledge of what you post? Have you been to Alaska and interviewed the parties involved?

No? Didn't think so.
11.4.2008 2:02pm
whit:

Because most married couples do not go around reporting each other for child abuse, particularly if such a report could impact one of the spouse's jobs.



look. it's pretty clear the trooper was a putz. the crap he pulled off was pretty extreme (tasering his 12 yr old, even IF the kid asked to have it done, and WITH his DEPARTMENT taser, drinking in his patrol vehicle, etc.).

whether or not he should have been fired vs. disciplined... i don't know. depends on past practice as to how other troopers were treated in similar situations, the troopers record (if any) of past misconduct, etc.

but..

ANY cop, family court judge, and/or lawyer who deals in divorces etc. KNOWS that when married couples split up (divorce, etc.) it's pretty common for either (or both sides) to lie through their teeth about the other side, in order to try to win custody, etc.

we (cops) deal with this all the time, and we take this stuff with a huge grain of salt.

aren't you lawyers supposed to consider "qui bono?"

well, in a divorce/custody battle, etc. the person who benefits from false allegation of child abuse, etc. is the parent making the claims. that is something to consider. in addition to the benefits, sometimes the people just hate each other so much, and are so desirous of revenge, that any lie is justified in their eyes.

not sayin' it's a lie. sayin' the other side had a huge motivation to lie
11.4.2008 2:10pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
guest:

who are you and what is your authority to be making these claims, your statements as facts and legal right to be making these claims? Do you have any firsthand knowledge of what you post? Have you been to Alaska and interviewed the parties involved?


I am not expecting anyone to accept any claims on faith. All my claims are easily verifiable with reliable sources, including primary documents like the police interviews from 2005. I believe 100% of the factual claims I made can be verified via documents that can be found via the wiki article. google troopergate.

If you have trouble finding a relevant source, ask a specific question and I'll try to point you in the right direction.
11.4.2008 2:12pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
whit:

drinking in his patrol vehicle


No witness ever claimed they saw him "drinking in his patrol vehicle."

well, in a divorce/custody battle, etc. the person who benefits from false allegation of child abuse, etc. is the parent making the claims. that is something to consider. in addition to the benefits, sometimes the people just hate each other so much, and are so desirous of revenge, that any lie is justified in their eyes.


Good point. Consider this:

In October 2005, the divorce went to trial. During the trial, Judge John Suddock expressed puzzlement at the efforts of McCann's family to get Wooten fired, since it would harm his earning capacity and damage his ability to pay child support. Judge Suddock said "it appears for the world that Ms. McCann and her family have decided to take off for the guy's livelihood -- that the bitterness of whatever who did what to whom has overridden good judgment." A representative for the Alaska State Trooper's union testified that the union viewed the dozen complaints filed by McCann and her family against Wooten as "not job-related" and "harassment." Judge Suddock repeatedly warned McCann and her family to stop "disparaging" Wooten's reputation or risk the judge granting Wooten custody of the children.[37][33] At a court hearing in October 2005, Judge Suddock said "disparaging will not be tolerated—it is a form of child abuse … relatives cannot disparage either. If occurs [sic] the parent needs to set boundaries for their relatives."[37]

In the divorce decree that was granted on January 31, 2006,[30] Judge Suddock expressed concern about continued criticism by McCann's family towards Wooten and noted that he would pay particular attention to problems raised by a custody investigator.[37] Legal disputes between Wooten and McCann over custody, child support and visitation rights continued through 2007 and 2008.[30]


(Emphasis added.) The statements made by the Palins regarding Wooten were so vociferous that the judge described them as a form of "child abuse."
11.4.2008 2:19pm
Yankev (mail):

And the investigation controlled by Palin's political enemies and Democratic legislators impugned her integrity - wow, real surprise on both counts, huh? So, who ya gonna believe, the political hatchet job commissioned by the legislative committee with no direct authority over ethics violations, and the report completed by a single lawyer with an ax to grind against Palin, or the report commissioned and approved by the State Personnel Board, which is SUPPOSED to investigate ethics complaints?
Why wouldn't you go with the investigation controlled by the Obama campaignDemocratic legislators? After all, that's the investigation that had the courage and integrity to announce its result at the very beginning, before hearing a single witness. How can you trust an investigation that hears the witnesses first and only then reaches its conclusion? Doesn't that show an appalling lack of conviction?
11.4.2008 2:23pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
as:

As I noted, the story is incorrect, as she did not pick (by hand or otherwise) any of the three members. Her sole involvement with the members so far has been to reappoint a member who was picked by her predecessor, whom she defeated in the primary.


Given that she reappointed one of them (English), I think the word ("handpicked") is 1/3 correct.

And I think "sole involvement" is a bit misleading, since she accepted campaign money from another member (Tamgani).

fury:

Agreed that the WP news story is misleading


If you can find any flaws other than that one word ("handpicked"), it would interest me to hear about them.
11.4.2008 2:23pm
Harvey Mosley (mail):
So a woman who doesn't report that she is abused by her husband until she files for divorce was never abused? I thought that happened all the time. The woman in an abusive relationship is scared and doesn't think she can make it on her own puts up with the abuse until its gets so bad she can't put up with it any longer? Or she knows her husband loves her and believes him when he says it won't happen again? This never happens?

Of course it does. And most people will never understand how a woman could stay with a husband who abuses her or her children. But some women do stay with husbands like that.

The truth is, no one posting here knows what really happened with regards to child abuse in this case. But to say it didn't happen because the wife didn't report it is either ignorant or dishonest. Maybe it didn't happen, but maybe it did. We weren't there. We don't know.
11.4.2008 2:38pm
whit:

Emphasis added.) The statements made by the Palins regarding Wooten were so vociferous that the judge described them as a form of "child abuse."


this is how the war on domestic violence works. "defining deviancy up". for example, many "DV advocates" and DV literature define repeated insults, disparaging, etc. as DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.

that's colossally stupid, but that's how advocacy works. try to make every (wo)man into a victim and you get more $$, more sympathy for your cause, and greater power! neato.

in this twisted world, insults are DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.
no. punching somebody is domestic violence. calling your spouse fat is boorish, dangerous, and neglectful of one's personal safety
11.4.2008 2:44pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
yankev:

Why wouldn't you go with the investigation controlled by the Obama campaignDemocratic legislators?


The Branchflower investigation was done under the auspices of the Legislative Council, which consists of 8 R and 4 D. They voted unanimously to launch the investigation, and they voted unanimously to release the report.

A strong supporter of Branchflower is House Judiciary Chairman Ramras (R):

In response to charges that the Branchflower investigation is partisan, Ramras stated that the Chairmen and Vice Chairmen of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees comprise three Republicans and one Democrat. All those four voted in favor of authorizing Branchflower's subpoenas. Ramras also mentioned "I have had a McCain sign in my front yard since August 21st, as soon as they hit town in Fairbanks."[118] Responding to further claims of partisanship, Ramras said "the hyperbole from the truth squad [McCain campaign] is a little farfetched … to those of us who have monitored this thing from the front-row seats, it's a misnomer."[119]


So your claim that the Branchflower investigation was controlled by the Obama campaign is pure nonsense. The investigation was initiated on 7/28, long before Palin was a candidate. And through August, Palin repeatedly expressed her support for the investigation.

After all, that's the investigation that had the courage and integrity to announce its result at the very beginning, before hearing a single witness.


Wrong. You're making reference to the fact that French made a remark about an "October surprise." Trouble is, Palin was already trying to obstruct Branchflower, even before French made that statement. And there's nothing wrong with the statement he made. French didn't say it would happen. He said it could happen. Those words are materially different. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with him saying that. As Judge Michalski said:

It is expected that legislators will belong to some party and will support the positions of their party, often publicly. The legislature is, by its nature, a political branch. It would be assumed that, e.g., review of Wall Street's financiers might be founded on a strongly held and expressed belief that somebody did something wrong.


Further, French didn't do the investigation. Branchflower did. Aside from that, the facts in the Branchflower report speak for themselves. Which of those facts do you dispute or deny? It's now abundantly clear that Palin was lying when she said "no pressure was ever put on anybody to fire anybody." Why is it OK with you that she said that?

Aside from all that, French did not make his "October surprise" remark "at the very beginning, before hearing a single witness." French's remark was published on 9/2. As of that date, Branchflower had taken statements from this many witnesses: 11 (see the Branchflower report, p. 2-3). Most of those were sworn statements, of one kind or another. After that time, he took statements from 8 more witnesses. In other words, most of the witnesses had already been heard from, as of the time that French spoke (aside from 7 other witnesses who originally ignored their subpoenas, and then provided statements too late to be included in the report).

By the way, you're making exactly the same false claim that was made by Ed Morrisey at Hot Air. But I guess we shouldn't be surprised that you and Ed make that claim. After all, the relevant data is impossible to find unless one actually takes a look at the first 3 pages of the Branchflower report. Note that Ed starts by saying this:

I've read through the Troopergate report


Yeah, right.

How can you trust an investigation that hears the witnesses first and only then reaches its conclusion?


What a joke. Petumenos heard only what he wanted to hear. I've proven that he ignored important testimony collected by Branchflower.
11.4.2008 2:45pm
whit:

So a woman who doesn't report that she is abused by her husband until she files for divorce was never abused?


of course that's not true.

what is true is that an alleged victim who reports stuff well after the fact, piles it on during divorce proceedings, and who has a lot to gain by making false claims needs ot be taken w/a huge grain of salt.


i have experienced so much outright fabrication in cases like this, it's absurd.
11.4.2008 2:48pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
harvey:

So a woman who doesn't report that she is abused by her husband until she files for divorce was never abused?


It's not just that she didn't report that she was "abused by her husband until she files for divorce." It's that on the exact same day that she filed for divorce, she made a statement to police admitting that Wooten had never abused her. And in a hearing a few weeks later, the judge found that there was no evidence of violence.

I thought that happened all the time. The woman in an abusive relationship is scared and doesn't think she can make it on her own puts up with the abuse until its gets so bad she can't put up with it any longer? Or she knows her husband loves her and believes him when he says it won't happen again? This never happens?


The kind of situation you're describing does indeed happen "all the time." It just doesn't correspond to the facts of this particular case.

The truth is, no one posting here knows what really happened with regards to child abuse in this case. But to say it didn't happen because the wife didn't report it is either ignorant or dishonest. Maybe it didn't happen, but maybe it did. We weren't there. We don't know.


There are actually some things we do know, like the statements that were made to police in interviews in 2005. And I've already explained why it's not fair to claim that Wooten committed child abuse. If he had, the judge would not have dissolved the DVPO.
11.4.2008 2:54pm
Fury:
jukeboxgrad:

Given that she reappointed one of them (English), I think the word ("handpicked") is 1/3 correct.

As long as you note that its' 2/3 incorrect. ;)


If you can find any flaws other than that one word ("handpicked"), it would interest me to hear about them.

No, that was the item I was referring in my reply to A.S.
11.4.2008 2:56pm
Harvey Mosley (mail):
I'm just saying we don't know.

Whit, I'm sure you're right about what happens in divorce and custody cases. That doesn't mean that every case of reported abuse is fabricated to help with custody or divorce rulings. And i'm not saying that you are saying that.

jukeboxgrad, all that is proven when a judge disolves a protective order is that the judge no longer sees a need for the order. I'm sure judges make mistakes. And I don't think you would dispute that.

I'm not saying that Palin isn't in the wrong. I'm not saying she is. It just seems to me like the ones who are proclaming her guilt the loudest are against McCain, while those proclaiming her innocence just as loudly are supporting McCain.

I do believe, however, that most people posting here would do whatever it took to protect their families if they thought someone was threatening them. And a large percentage might even break the law to protect their families. Legally wrong? Yes. Morally wrong? Maybe. Depends on the situation.
11.4.2008 3:22pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
fury:

The report does not say they met in 11/06, is says that they met after the Governor's election in 2006. That could be November or December of 2006. For you to assert they met in November is incorrect.


If it was "December of 2006," it was no later than 12/3, because Petumenos said it was before Palin took office.

Branchflower provides a lot more detail than Petumenos, and this part of the story is no exception. Petumenos just mentions one meeting with the AST security detail. He says (p. 13) that there was a meeting "after the Governor's election in November of 2006, in preparation for her taking office." Palin took office on 12/4/06. That was a Monday. You are pointing out correctly that I'm not sure that Petumenos is describing a meeting that took place in November. That is, he could be describing a meeting that took place between 12/1 and 12/3. But I think that's unlikely, because 12/1 was a Friday. And would it make sense to wait for the last minute, like that? I don't think so.

But that is all quite unimportant. What's important is that there were two meetings, not one. There was one meeting prior to Palin taking office (on 12/4/06), and another meeting after that date. And the key fact is this: at the first meeting, Palin was asked about threats, and said there weren't any. The idea of describing Wooten as a threat apparently didn't pop into her head until it was time to have the second meeting.

Here's the more complete passage from Branchflower (p. 44):

Gary Wheeler received a commission with the Alaska State Troopers in 1981. He worked on Governor Murkowski's protection detail, and later on the security detail for Governor Palin. He met with Governor-elect Palin and Todd Palin during mid- November or early December 2006 to outline his duties and the functions of their security detail. The meeting lasted 15 or 20 minutes and occurred in their Anchorage campaign headquarters. Part of the reason for the meeting was to obtain from them any information on individuals or things that the security detail should be concerned about as far as threats or physical or health issues they needed to be apprised of.

When I asked Wheeler, "And did you specifically inquire of them whether they perceived any threats from any individual or were afraid of any individual?" Mr. Wheeler responded "I did. And I got a negative response, meaning that there - - they basically said no." A second meeting about security issues occurred in the Governor's Anchorage office after Governor Palin was sworn in on December 5, 2006 [that's an error; it was 12/4]. He testified Governor Palin and Todd Palin entered his office located within the Governor's suite of offices and said he needed to be aware of a possible threat from Trooper Michael Wooten, a name Wheeler had never heard previously.


Petumenos pretends there was only one meeting. And he glosses over the testimony from Wheeler, that the Palins said, at the first meeting, that there was no threat.

Unfortunately VC readers would not know you left out a second meeting that Wheeler recounts.


I cited the exact page number where the second meeting is described, so it's not like I'm trying to keep it a deep dark secret. And I'm not trying to recapitulate every detail in the Branchflower report. It's 263 pages. My posts are long enough, as it is. And it's already well-known that later on, the Palins described Wooten as a threat. That's widely reported. What's not widely reported is that at the very first meeting, they did not do so. And Petumenos sweeps this important fact completely under the rug.

Independent counsel reviewed an extensive amount of evidence as part of this investigation


Duh. You are pointing out, correctly, that Petumenos claimed to have taken the Branchflower testimony into account. Trouble is, this claim is bogus, as I have proven.

Wrong, see the Wheeler information that you omitted on p. 44.


The fact that it later dawned on them to describe Wooten as a threat does not wipe away the multiple indications that they did not truly view Wooten as a threat. Read the Branchflower report. As he points out, Palin promptly cut the size of her security detail. That's not the first thing you do when you're seriously concerned about a threat. And it's not like she was pinching pennies on behalf of the taxpayer. For example, there was lots of money available when it came time to pay $700 a night for a hotel room in NYC, for her and her daughter.

What both reports note is that the Palins did register their concern about Wooten.


What Branchflower notes is that they viewed him as a threat after they didn't view him as a threat.

There is a disagreement on what date this initial mention of Wooten took place.


No, that's not the essential disagreement. The essential disagreement is about what was said at the first meeting.

The handpicked comment was made by a poster in response to the story.


I got misled the exact same way you did. That's why I posted and then had to correct myself.

So the phrase "at any time" is somewhat misleading.


Fair enough. It would be better to say she can fire them "at any time" she's in the mood to fabricate allegations against them, the way she fabricated allegations against Wooten.

As long as you note that its' 2/3 incorrect.


Agreed. He should not have used that word. But I've pointed out that there's reason to see all three as being partial to Palin.
11.4.2008 3:44pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Except that no reasonable person would call a five-day suspension "insignificant." Imagine that you are interviewing a job applicant:

nieoporent: Ever been disciplined on your prior job?
applicant: Yes, but the discipline was insignificant.
nieoporent: What was the discipline?
applicant: I was suspended for five days.

Would you view this person as honest? I don't think any reasonable person would.
I don't think you're in any position to discuss what reasonable people would do. A reasonable person would realize that whether a punishment of any particular length would be described as "significant" would depend on the proportionality of the punishment to the offense.

A five day suspension for a CPA for using a few company paper clips for personal use would be very significant; a five day suspension for a track-and-field athlete for using steroids would be an insignificant slap on the wrist.

(Moreover, as noted, it's not even clear whether Palin had been told that Wooten received a five day suspension.)
And a reasonable person would expect Petumenos to at least make a pretense of explaining the apparent contradiction raised by Glass's testimony.
Since a reasonable person would realize that there was no contradiction, he wouldn't expect any such thing.
11.4.2008 3:56pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
mosley:

all that is proven when a judge disolves a protective order is that the judge no longer sees a need for the order


Just to be clear, I think it's important to understand that the judge never saw a particular need for the order. It was a temporary (20-day) order, granted presumptively. That means the judge instantly accepted Molly's claim that the order was necessary, without asking for any proof. But at the first hearing, the judge realize that Molly had no evidence of violence, and immediately dissolved the order. Nevertheless, Palin has repeatedly referenced the DVPO as proof that Wooten is violent. In a legal filing, Palin said "the Anchorage Superior Court [had found] that [Wooten] had engaged in serious, violent misconduct." These claims are fraudulent and libelous.

the ones who are proclaming her guilt the loudest are against McCain, while those proclaiming her innocence just as loudly are supporting McCain


But lots of primary documents are readily available (mostly because in July Wooten gave permission to release documents from the police investigation), and therefore it's possible to analyze facts objectively and cut through the bullshit.

most people posting here would do whatever it took to protect their families if they thought someone was threatening them


Trouble is, there is almost a complete absence of evidence that Wooten was ever a threat to anyone, or that the Palins genuinely viewed him as a threat. When he allegedly issued a death threat against Palin's father, no one told the father until a month later. And no one told the police until two months later, on the day that Molly filed for divorce. And no one outside the family heard that threat, or any other threat.

By the way, did you know that Wooten is 10-year Air Force veteran? Did you know that Palin once wrote a glowing recommendation for him, calling him "a fine role model for my own children?" There are indications that he is a competent and brave cop (link, link). And aside from the Taser incident, there has never been a finding that he committed violence against any person. Palin's campaign has said he abused Molly, even though Molly told police he never abused her. One of many examples of Palin lying about Wooten.
11.4.2008 4:06pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
There was no need to "leave them alone in the bath." Bristol, a teenager (and someone who likes to take care of babies), was downstairs and within earshot. Molly could have called for Bristol to come upstairs and mind the little ones. Molly did not do so. Also, Molly was not obligated to leave them in the tub. She could have removed them from the tub. That's what a reasonable mom would have done if she thought her wicked husband was downstairs abusing her son.
How the hell long do you think the incident lasted? It wasn't the invasion of Normandy; it was a tasing. He said he'd show him what it felt like, Molly apparently yelled down something along the lines of "Don't you dare," and then he did it. Hardly enough time for Molly to call Bristol, Bristol to go upstairs and replace her at the bath, and then Molly to come down, before it happened.

And as long as we're nitpicking, Bristol was not a teenager.
11.4.2008 4:16pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
ANY cop, family court judge, and/or lawyer who deals in divorces etc. KNOWS that when married couples split up (divorce, etc.) it's pretty common for either (or both sides) to lie through their teeth about the other side, in order to try to win custody, etc.

we (cops) deal with this all the time, and we take this stuff with a huge grain of salt.

aren't you lawyers supposed to consider "qui bono?"

well, in a divorce/custody battle, etc. the person who benefits from false allegation of child abuse, etc. is the parent making the claims. that is something to consider. in addition to the benefits, sometimes the people just hate each other so much, and are so desirous of revenge, that any lie is justified in their eyes.

not sayin' it's a lie. sayin' the other side had a huge motivation to lie
Whit, I agree with all of the above, but I don't understand how it's relevant to this particular situation. We know he tased the kid; he admits that he did so. She had motive to lie and falsely claim he tased the kid, but she didn't lie about that.
11.4.2008 4:18pm
Fury:
jukeboxgrad:

You are pointing out, correctly, that Petumenos claimed to have taken the Branchflower testimony into account. Trouble is, this claim is bogus, as I have proven.

Well, we'll agree to disagree.

Petumenos pretends there was only one meeting. And he glosses over the testimony from Wheeler, that the Palins said, at the first meeting, that there was no threat.

We are going to disagree on this. Regardless of one or two meetings, you're apparently saying that the story about Wooten has to be fabricated because it was (worst case) brought up at a second meeting. That's just weak reasoning.

I cited the exact page number where the second meeting is described, so it's not like I'm trying to keep it a deep dark secret.

You omitted what would seem to be a material fact.

As he points out, Palin promptly cut the size of her security detail.

Again, you report incomplete and inaccurate information. Here is what Wheeler said:

MR. BRANCHFLOWER: Did there come a time after Governor Palin was in office that she indicated that she no longer wished to have the security detail involved in her day-to-day events?

MR. WHEELER: Well, there did. Basically, it really started after she got into office with the reduction of-- of the travels -- the transportation to and from her house (emphasis added). But specifically, we noticed it through the reduction of not attending formal functions or activities where the governor usually showed up and security normally was there. We just were not -- we were told not to be there or that she didn't need us there. And in -- it would have been the early part of -- of '08 that the -- the largest part of the detail was -- basically started to go away.

And, this note in Volume 1 of the Branchflower Report:

Originally, Governor Palin's security detail was composed of six individuals, but she gradually (emphasis added) reduced it to three officers, two full-time and one part-time positions.

Wheeler explained why the detail was reduced in size, and the report noted that even after the reduction, it was gradually reduced to three officers, two full-time and one part-time positions. Promptly (what you claim) and gradually (what the report writes) do not mean the same thing.

Some of this still comes down to one person's word against another person's word. I know that may not be right, but ultimately that is what this will boil down to regarding some parts of the report.
11.4.2008 4:22pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
nieporent:

whether a punishment of any particular length would be described as "significant" would depend on the proportionality of the punishment to the offense


Given that Molly thought the Taser incident was not important enough to get her to go down the stairs, or important enough to wait less than two years before reporting it, it's hard to claim that it was important enough to deserve something a lot greater than a five-day suspension.

it's not even clear whether Palin had been told that Wooten received a five day suspension


As usual, you're stubbornly ignoring the evidence that doesn't suit you. Todd said this (in his 10/8 affidavit):

the DPS never informed me or my wife that Wooten had been disciplined


Here's what Glass said, describing a conversation he had with Todd (Branchflower, p. 38):

We started talking about Michael Wooten and that Todd was adamant that Wooten was a very poor example for a trooper and needed to be fired, that he shouldn't be a trooper, and I went through the same exact conversation basically that I had had with Mr. Bailey, in that Wooten had already been penalized for his actions that he had taken. It was two and a half/three years ago, we could not fire him. I had the wrongful discharge. I had the binding arbitration discussion with him, and I also warned him that it was going to cause some extreme amount of discomfort and embarrassment for the Governor if they continued to pursue this and it should have never become public. That it would just be not good for the Governor if it continued, and that they needed to cease and desist. He persisted in telling me that Wooten needed to be fired, he should not be a trooper.


(Emphasis added.)

Since a reasonable person would realize that there was no contradiction, he wouldn't expect any such thing.


Unless you want to make a wacky argument about how "disciplined" and "penalized" are not reasonably synonymous in this context, then there is indeed a contradiction.

Hardly enough time for Molly to call Bristol, Bristol to go upstairs and replace her at the bath, and then Molly to come down, before it happened.


There was indeed enough time for Molly to at least attempt to get Bristol to come upstairs. Molly didn't even try.

And please continue to ignore the other thing I said: Molly could have taken the kids out of the tub and run downstairs. That's what any reasonable mom would have done if they actually believed that their son was being abused.

I'm not faulting Molly for failing to get downstairs in time to prevent the incident from happening. I'm faulting Molly for failing to even attempt to get downstairs in time to prevent the incident from happening. It's clear that she made no such attempt. This and other evidence indicate that she did not view the incident as "child abuse," at the time.

Bristol was not a teenager.


Really? Are you sure? Thanks to her speeding ticket, we know her DOB is 10/18/90. The Taser incident happened in 2003. No one seems to remember exactly which part of the year. That means she was either 12 or 13. So instead of saying she was a teenager, I should have said she was at least 12. Big deal. Sue me. The important fact does not change: she was big enough to mind the little ones in the tub.

By the same token, you should not claim "Bristol was not a teenager." Because it's quite possible that she was.

She had motive to lie and falsely claim he tased the kid, but she didn't lie about that.


True. Trouble is, that's one of the very few allegations made by the Palins that have actually been corroborated as truthful. Most of the other claims they made are either unsubstantiated, or demonstrably false.
11.4.2008 4:50pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
fury:

Regardless of one or two meetings, you're apparently saying that the story about Wooten has to be fabricated because it was (worst case) brought up at a second meeting.


Not exactly. Wheeler reported an important fact: at their very first meeting with their new security detail, Palin was specifically asked to describe all threats against her, and she said there weren't any. Petumenos completely glossed over this important fact. Therefore it's very hard to take Petumenos seriously.

You omitted what would seem to be a material fact.


The Branchflower report is packed with material facts that I haven't mentioned. That's why encourage everyone to read it (pdf), and that's why I've been citing page numbers, to make it easier to find some of the more important information.

By the way, please note that Petumenos "omitted what would seem to be a material fact." And there are lots of examples of him doing that. And he is not writing a blog post: he is writing a 125-page report that purports to be complete and thorough.

Promptly (what you claim) and gradually (what the report writes) do not mean the same thing.


Branchflower, p. 208:

after about two or three weeks into the -- the Palin administration, the governor actually asked us not to drive her to and from her residence and the events, and normal day-to-day duties that the protection detail normally does were curtailed greatly.


(Emphasis added.) I think 2-3 weeks qualifies as "promptly."

Some of this still comes down to one person's word against another person's word.


You would have more of a point if Petumenos had said something like this: 'Palin is contradicted by Glass and Wheeler, but here's why I consider Palin more credible.' Trouble is, Petumenos completely glossed over what those witnesses said. He simply pretended their testimony didn't exist. And there are other examples like this. In other words, his report is a joke.
11.4.2008 5:08pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Trouble is, there is almost a complete absence of evidence that Wooten was ever a threat to anyone, or that the Palins genuinely viewed him as a threat. When he allegedly issued a death threat against Palin's father, no one told the father until a month later. And no one told the police until two months later, on the day that Molly filed for divorce.
The threat was conditional; he said he would kill the father if the father got her a lawyer to file for divorce. So, when they decided to file for divorce, the threat became real, so they reported it.

And no one outside the family heard that threat, or any other threat.
So? What could the relevance of that be? Is it only serious if made in the presence of multiple witnesses?

Or are you implying that, since nobody else heard it, they fabricated it? But that's a silly claim; if they had fabricated it, surely they would have made it less indirect. They could have said he threatened her, rather than her father in law.
11.4.2008 5:38pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Given that Molly thought the Taser incident was not important enough to get her to go down the stairs, or important enough to wait less than two years before reporting it, it's hard to claim that it was important enough to deserve something a lot greater than a five-day suspension.
You falsely imply that anybody claimed it was important enough to deserve something a lot greater than a five-day suspension. Nobody said that, including the Palins. What the Palins said was that the accumulation of all things he did wrong was important enough to deserve something a lot greater than a five-day suspension.


By the same token, you should not claim "Bristol was not a teenager." Because it's quite possible that she was.
I thought we did know when it had happened, but I'll have to check the reports. If we don't, then by the same token, you should not claim that she was, because it's quite possible -- and 5 times as likely -- that she wasn't.

As usual, you're stubbornly ignoring the evidence that doesn't suit you. Todd said this (in his 10/8 affidavit):
As usual, you're stubbornly pretending that one can parse a paraphrase in exactly one way, the way you want to parse it, so as to make people whose partisan affiliation you don't like to be liars. I already explained to you, here, how both statements could be true with no "contradiction."
11.4.2008 5:47pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
There was indeed enough time for Molly to at least attempt to get Bristol to come upstairs. Molly didn't even try.
You're making up facts here; you have no basis for any of those claims.
And please continue to ignore the other thing I said: Molly could have taken the kids out of the tub and run downstairs. That's what any reasonable mom would have done if they actually believed that their son was being abused.
He wasn't "being" abused. He was abused. Single incident. Over before she could have taken the kids out of the tub, let alone run downstairs.
11.4.2008 5:49pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
fury:

When you apparently try to paint a picture that Petumenos was influenced by his law firm handling the $15 million bond issue, don't forget to mention other information about Petumenos.


Here are some interesting facts about Petumenos:

A) Petumenos' firm handled the $15 million bond issue for Wasilla's hockey complex, a pet project of then-mayor Palin.

B) Petumenos is a Democrat who had contributed to Palin's 2006 opponent for governor, Tony Knowles

You are criticizing me because I mentioned A, but not B. One of the reasons I didn't bother mentioning B is that this fact has already been mentioned in various places, like Newsweek. And in Adler's update, above. Fact A, on the other hand, has gotten very little attention. That darn liberal media.

By the way, I notice that you have not criticized Adler, even though he did indeed "forget to mention other information about Petumenos" (Fact A). I wonder why that is (why he didn't mention it, and why it apparently has not occurred to you to criticize him for not mentioning it).
11.4.2008 6:16pm
Fury:
jukeboxgrad:

This is what you initially wrote:

"As he points out, Palin promptly cut the size of her security detail."

This is the testimony of Wheeler posted here; it should be noted that it comes from Volume 1 of pp. 44-45 of the Branchflower report. Wheeler stated the following:

"MR. WHEELER: Well, there did. Basically, it really started after she got into office with the reduction of-- of the travels -- the transportation to and from her house (emphasis added).

But specifically, we noticed it through the reduction of not attending formal functions or activities where the governor usually showed up and security normally was there. We just were not -- we were told not to be there or that she didn't need us there.

And in -- it would have been the early part of -- of '08 that the -- the largest part of the detail was -- basically started to go away."


And, this note in Volume 1 of the Branchflower Report from p. 45:

"Originally, Governor Palin's security detail was composed of six individuals, but she gradually (emphasis added) reduced it to three officers, two full-time and one part-time positions."


What you posted from p. 208 is as follows:

"...after about two or three weeks into the -- the Palin administration, the governor actually asked us not to drive her to and from her residence and the events, and normal day-to-day duties that the protection detail normally does were curtailed greatly (emphasis added)."

You initially indicated that Palin "promptly" cut the size of her security detail. You've already been provided the citation from the Branchflower Report that states Palin "gradually" reduced the size of the detail.

But the quote on p. 208 does not address the issue of staff being reduced - Wheeler specifically discusses "normal day-to-day duties that the protection detail normally does were curtailed greatly.". Those are two different things - reducing duties versus reducing staff, which you are representing as in effect the same.

He simply pretended their testimony didn't exist. And there are other examples like this. In other words, his report is a joke.


Please see here. As noted, we'll agree to disagree. That's ok, you know.
11.4.2008 6:19pm
CDR D (mail):
>>>The facts of what Palin and her hubby did are well known, and the kind of people who aren't bothered in the least by it, are the kind of people I disagree on 90% of things with anyway.<<<


HEY! I resemble that remark!

I couldn't give less of a s**t about this so-called "troopergate" garbage than the left wingers on here care about Barry's questionable associations, attempts to intimidate radio stations and newspapers that don't kiss his butt, or the Hildebeast's firing of the travel office staff.

Todd used the phone in the governor's office!!

Oh, My!!!
11.4.2008 6:35pm
Fury:
jukeboxgrad:

That darn liberal media.


?

By the way, I notice that you have not criticized Adler, even though he did indeed "forget to mention other information about Petumenos" (Fact A). I wonder why that is (why he didn't mention it, and why it apparently has not occurred to you to criticize him for not mentioning it).

In reviewing Adler's initial post, it looks like he added the information on Petumenos as an update, after I made my comments. You'll have to ask him why he did not mention Fact A. And why would I criticize Adler? You're the one that initially mentioned the $15 million bonding and failed to mention Petumenos' political affiliation. Perhaps Adler felt your mention of the $15 million bonding was sufficient.
11.4.2008 6:37pm
Yankev (mail):

I've proven that he ignored important testimony collected by Branchflower.
I'm sure you think you have. I tend to agree with David Nierpont, who thinks you haven't.
11.4.2008 6:50pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
nieporent:

The threat was conditional; he said he would kill the father if the father got her a lawyer to file for divorce. So, when they decided to file for divorce, the threat became real, so they reported it.


You're trying to explain why Palin waited a month before reporting the alleged death threat to her father. Sorry, but your argument makes no sense whatsoever. You're asking us to believe that Wooten is some kind of a homicidal maniac (Palin used the terms "loose cannon" and "ticking timebomb"). At the same time, we're also supposed to believe that his threat was very narrow and specific, and that there was really no need to take his threat seriously unless certain specific conditions were to arise. Because it was perfectly reasonable to rely on him to stay within the narrow confines of the exact words he used when he allegedly articulated the threat. Really?

If Sarah trusted that the threat could not be activated until Wooten knew that Heath had hired a lawyer, then why not simply hide from Wooten the fact that Heath had hired a lawyer? Or why not have someone else hire the lawyer? Then Heath would be safe forever.

The fact is that Palin didn't take the threat seriously. If she had, she would have promptly reported it to police and to her father, instead of waiting a month or two to make those reports. And if she had, she would not have run off to a meeting in another town shortly after hearing it.

There's another distinct possibility: there was no threat, and Sarah, Molly and Track are simply lying. Palin has lied about lots of other things, so this would not be a surprise.

What could the relevance of that be [that no one outside the family heard that threat]? Is it only serious if made in the presence of multiple witnesses?


I just told you the significance: the only people who reported the threat are people with a motive to lie. And Palin herself has a track record of telling lots of other lies.

are you implying that, since nobody else heard it, they fabricated it?


I'm not just "implying" it. I'm saying it explicitly.

But that's a silly claim; if they had fabricated it, surely they would have made it less indirect. They could have said he threatened her, rather than her father in law.


Your claim that it's a silly claim is a silly claim. They did all of the above: they said that he threatened Heath, and they also said that he threatened Molly. They also said that he threatened Sarah. They issued all sorts of allegations that were backed by essentially nothing. Their approach to describing facts is a lot like yours.

You falsely imply that anybody claimed it [the Taser incident] was important enough to deserve something a lot greater than a five-day suspension. Nobody said that, including the Palins. What the Palins said was that the accumulation of all things he did wrong was important enough to deserve something a lot greater than a five-day suspension.


Trouble is, when you look at "the accumulation of all things he did wrong," it doesn't amount to much, aside from the Taser incident (because the Taser incident and the moose incident are the only undisputed allegations). And even the Taser incident doesn't amount to much.

I thought we did know when it had happened, but I'll have to check the reports.


We know the Taser incident happened in 2003. We don't know the month. Good luck showing otherwise.

you should not claim that she was [a teenager], because it's quite possible -- and 5 times as likely -- that she wasn't


It doesn't matter if she was 12 or 13. Either way, she was old enough to mind the kids in the tub. By the way, before you claimed, flatly, that "Bristol was not a teenager." Now you're saying "it's quite possible" she was not a teenager. Not the same thing. When are you going to take responsibility for claiming a fact that you're not sure is a fact?

you're stubbornly pretending that one can parse a paraphrase in exactly one way


There is no "paraphrase." The concept of "paraphrase" has nothing to do with it. I cited Todd's exact words from his sworn affidavit.

I already explained to you, here, how both statements could be true with no "contradiction."


You're pretending to not notice that I've provided two different statements from Todd. You've tried to address only one of those statements. You are persistently ignoring the other one. The key statement is this:

the DPS never informed me or my wife that Wooten had been disciplined


I am citing that statement now for the fourth time (see here, here and here). Your comment that you're pointing to (here) attempts to address another statement he made, but it doesn't even make a pretense of addressing this one.

He wasn't "being" abused. He was abused. Single incident.


Huh? It sounds like you're discussing the meaning of "is." Here's what happened: she knew he was about to be Tased, and she didn't go downstairs. Period. Very simple.

You're making up facts here; you have no basis for any of those claims .… Over before she could have taken the kids out of the tub, let alone run downstairs.


You're making up facts here; you have no basis for any of those claims.

How do you know how long the whole thing took? Answer: you don't know. Here's something we do know: when it was over, the kid went upstairs to tell mom he was fine. Simple question: why was she still upstairs? Why did he have to go upstairs to see her? Why didn't she go downstairs to check on him?

Consider the following scenario. You're a parent. You're upstairs giving two kids a bath. You hear something downstairs that tells you that your son is about to be abused. What do you do? Pick one:

A) stay upstairs and continue to give the little ones a bath
B) yank the kids out of the tub, set them down and race downstairs to protect your son

I don't know any parents who would choose A. Do you? Trouble is, A is what Molly chose. This can only mean that what was happening downstairs cannot be fairly described as abuse. And this is consistent with the fact that the family apparently did nothing to deal with this 'abuse' until two years later, when it became a useful tool in a custody battle.
11.4.2008 10:32pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
fury:

Those are two different things - reducing duties versus reducing staff, which you are representing as in effect the same.


I am indeed representing them "as in effect the same" because they are, oddly enough, in effect the same, in this context. Whichever semantic formulation you choose, it still means the same thing: Palin was not acting like someone who was sincerely worried about "a ticking timebomb" who was going to attack her or her family. Such a person does not go about "reducing duties" for her security staff.

Perhaps Adler felt your mention of the $15 million bonding was sufficient.


That doesn't make any sense unless he wrote his update after I mentioned the bond issue. Is that what he did? How do you know?

And it still doesn't make a lot of sense, because it's not fair to equate a statement he makes at the top of the thread, as compared with something buried in a comment. If it's unfair for me to fail to mention both A and B together (as described here), then the same applies to him.
11.4.2008 10:33pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
cdr:

Todd used the phone in the governor's office!!

Oh, My!!!


He did a lot more than that. He spent at least half his time there, and he attended cabinet meetings, and he was copied on many official emails. You won't complain a bit if Michelle does all those things next year, right?
11.4.2008 10:33pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
yankev:

I've proven that he ignored important testimony collected by Branchflower.


I'm sure you think you have. I tend to agree with David Nierpont, who thinks you haven't.


What I "think" doesn't matter much. I don't expect anyone to be particularly interested in what I "think." What matters are the facts that I present. Likewise for "Nierpont," and the facts that he failed to present.

And I guess you haven't manage to notice that I presented proof regarding two different witnesses (Glass and Wheeler), and Nieporent hasn't even attempted to address what I said regarding Wheeler.

But it's nice to know that you prefer to outsource your own thinking to someone else.

And I realize you're not going to take responsibility for the various false statements you made, which I described in detail.
11.4.2008 10:33pm
Kevin P. (mail):
Shorter jukeboxgrad:

The Branchflower report finds Palin at fault, so it is correct.

The Petumenos report exonerates Palin, so it is false.

The jukeboxgrad report? You decide!
11.4.2008 11:11pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Your claim that it's a silly claim is a silly claim. They did all of the above: they said that he threatened Heath, and they also said that he threatened Molly. They also said that he threatened Sarah. They issued all sorts of allegations that were backed by essentially nothing. Their approach to describing facts is a lot like yours.
They were "backed" by their statements, which is not "essentially nothing," but evidence.

They could have said that he said to his wife that he'd put a bullet in her head. They could have said that he said it right then, rather than months earlier. If they were lying, there was no reason for them to assign it to a two month old conversation and to say that he made a conditional, indirect threat to the father.

How do you know how long the whole thing took? Answer: you don't know.
Yes, I do, because it has been reported that he was tasered once, not repeatedly, and I know how long tasering someone once takes: a few seconds.
Here's something we do know: when it was over, the kid went upstairs to tell mom he was fine. Simple question: why was she still upstairs? Why did he have to go upstairs to see her? Why didn't she go downstairs to check on him?
Asked and answered. She couldn't go downstairs because she was giving her kids a bat, and because there wasn't any time to stop. Then he went upstairs, so it would have been rather silly for her to go downstairs, since she would have missed him, since he had gone upstairs.
Consider the following scenario. You're a parent. You're upstairs giving two kids a bath. You hear something downstairs that tells you that your son is about to be abused. What do you do? Pick one:

A) stay upstairs and continue to give the little ones a bath
B) yank the kids out of the tub, set them down and race downstairs to protect your son

I don't know any parents who would choose A.
I don't believe you know any parents at all, as evidenced by the fact that you weren't even perceptive enough to realize that she couldn't run downstairs because she was giving her kids a bath.
Do you? Trouble is, A is what Molly chose. This can only mean that what was happening downstairs cannot be fairly described as abuse.
It can only mean that you're a partisan hack. Or a failed AI program, rather than a human being who understands how human beings interact and behave.

Actual facts: you're a parent; you're upstairs giving two kids a bath. You hear your family members downstairs talking about doing something stupid. You yell down not to do it. You don't scream and run around in circles like a chicken with your head cut off.

That doesn't mean it wasn't abuse. In fact, it's entirely irrelevant to whether it was abuse. You could just as easily, and ludicrously, argue that if a woman didn't leave her husband after she beat her, "it can only mean that what he did to her cannot be fairly described as abuse."
And this is consistent with the fact that the family apparently did nothing to deal with this 'abuse' until two years later, when it became a useful tool in a custody battle.
The fact that they were married is consistent with the fact that the family did nothing to deal with it until two years later. You don't understand how families behave.
11.5.2008 1:38am
David M. Nieporent (www):
By the way, I notice that you have not criticized Adler, even though he did indeed "forget to mention other information about Petumenos" (Fact A). I wonder why that is (why he didn't mention it, and why it apparently has not occurred to you to criticize him for not mentioning it).
Perhaps he "forgot" to mention it because the fact that something happened years ago involving other people than Petumenos can't possibly be relevant to the issue.
11.5.2008 1:40am
Fury:
jukeboxgrad:

I am indeed representing them "as in effect the same" because they are, oddly enough, in effect the same, in this context. Whichever semantic formulation you choose, it still means the same thing: Palin was not acting like someone who was sincerely worried about "a ticking timebomb" who was going to attack her or her family. Such a person does not go about "reducing duties" for her security staff.

We just disagree on the report. I'm satisfied with the case I made and respect your viewpoints on the matter.

That doesn't make any sense unless he wrote his update after I mentioned the bond issue. Is that what he did? How do you know?

I don't know for sure , that's why I wrote that it looks like he did that. Ask him, I'm sure he won't bite.

And it still doesn't make a lot of sense, because it's not fair to equate a statement he makes at the top of the thread, as compared with something buried in a comment. If it's unfair for me to fail to mention both A and B together (as described here), then the same applies to him.

Oh, come now. Is this what we're getting into? Degrees of fairness on VC? I never wrote what you posted (or actually didn't post) was unfair, I wrote this:

"When you apparently try to paint a picture that Petumenos was influenced by his law firm handling the $15 million bond issue, don't forget to mention other information about Petumenos."

You're the person bringing up fairness. I'd suggest taking it up with management, if you're so inclined.
11.5.2008 8:42am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
nieporent:

They were "backed" by their statements, which is not "essentially nothing," but evidence.


On the scale between "evidence" and "essentially nothing," any statement by Sarah Palin is rightly classified towards the latter end of that scale, now that we have discovered she is a serial fabricator. There are all sorts of indisputable examples, like this one.

And since you want to remind us that the statement of a witness is "evidence," you need to take into account the statement of this witness: Wooten. He said he never threatened anyone. This means that either Palin or Wooten is lying. But unlike Palin, Wooten does not have a documented track record as a serial fabricator.

If they were lying, there was no reason for them to assign it to a two month old conversation and to say that he made a conditional, indirect threat to the father.


Actually, they did have a reason "to assign it to a two month old conversation." Because on 2/17, when the alleged death threat was made, Palin enlisted a neighbor to watch through a window and observe Molly and Mike arguing. Therefore this neighbor was in a position to corroborate the fact that there was an argument. This lends a bit of support to Palin's claim regarding a death threat. Palin may even have hoped that the neighbor would say he heard a threat.

As far as we know, there was no other occasion when a neighbor observed an argument. So when Chuck Heath finally reported this threat to police on 4/11/05, the day Molly filed for divorce, he did indeed have an incentive to place the threat on 2/17, because of the potential to have corroborating testimony from the neighbor.

And it also makes sense to fabricate a threat against the father, instead of just fabricating a threat against the wife alone. A key part of Palin's narrative, from start to finish, is that Wooten is a threat not just to Molly but to the entire family. So why claim that Wooten threatened only Molly when they can allege that he also threatened other family members? Remember, Palin did not allege that Wooten threatened only Heath. Palin alleged that Wooten threatened the whole family.

Yes, I do [know how long the whole thing took], because it has been reported that he was tasered once, not repeatedly, and I know how long tasering someone once takes: a few seconds.


Nice job revealing how ignorant you are about the basic facts. Wooten did not just walk up to the kid and pull the trigger. First there was a conversation about what the Taser is, and how it works. And then they discussed whether or not the kid wanted to be Tased. And then they set up pillows on the floor, around the kid, so he would not injure himself falling. And then Wooten used a demo procedure. In the demo procedure, darts are not fired from the Taser (which is what happens when the Taser is used in the field). Instead, clips are attached to the subject's clothing. This makes it easier to control how and where the energy is transferred to the subject.

All of this takes some time. Meanwhile, Molly is upstairs, and hears what's going on, and never comes downstairs.

She couldn't go downstairs because she was giving her kids a bat, and because there wasn't any time to stop.


The interesting thing about putting kids in a tub is that the process is reversible. The amount of time it takes to pull two kids out of a tub is a lot less than the amount of time it takes to go through the Taser demo procedure I just described. And the point is that she didn't even try.

Then he [the kid] went upstairs, so it would have been rather silly for her to go downstairs, since she would have missed him, since he had gone upstairs.


Huh? How is it that "she would have missed him?" I guess you're picturing that Mike and Molly live in one of McCain's houses, where there are probably a bunch of separate staircases. Uh, I don't think so. There's no reason to think this house had more than one staircase.

Molly should have run downstairs to protect her kid. She didn't. Instead, she remained upstairs, and waited for him to come up to see her. This indicates that she wasn't terribly concerned about what Wooten was doing to her son. And as far as we can tell, it took her two years before she decided to become terribly concerned. Now that's what I call slow reflexes.

she couldn't run downstairs because she was giving her kids a bath


Yes, and the dog ate your homework. If she had heard the sounds of her husband attacking her son with a chainsaw, would you say "she couldn't run downstairs because she was giving her kids a bath?" Of course not. You would expect her to a) yank the little ones out of the tub; b) set them down on the floor; and c) run downstairs to protect her son. Those steps are not complicated to think of, and they are not complicated to perform, and they are precisely what any normal parent would do if they thought their child was actually in jeopardy, and actually being abused, or about to be abused. But Molly did not do those things, because she did not view the situation as 'abuse.' The idea of viewing the situation as 'abuse' didn't pop into her head until two years later.

you're upstairs giving two kids a bath. You hear your family members downstairs talking about doing something stupid. You yell down not to do it. You don't scream and run around in circles like a chicken with your head cut off


Trouble is, Palin is not just claiming that Wooten did "something stupid." Palin is claiming that Wooten committed child abuse. That goes beyond "something stupid." And if you think your child is being abused, or is about to be abused, or might be at risk of being abused, you don't just "yell down not to do it." And then wait upstairs until your son appears to tell you he's fine. You take steps to proactively intervene. Trouble is, Molly did not do so.

You could just as easily, and ludicrously, argue that if a woman didn't leave her husband after she beat her, "it can only mean that what he did to her cannot be fairly described as abuse."


Except that the two situations are vastly different. When a woman doesn't "leave her husband after she beat her," it's typically because there are many barriers and costs associated with leaving the husband. For example, not having money for food and rent. But there were no barriers preventing Molly from intervening and protecting her son from what she later called abuse. All she had to do was lift the kids out of the tub and set them down on the floor. And walk downstairs. Not exactly brain surgery.

The fact that they were married is consistent with the fact that the family did nothing to deal with it until two years later. You don't understand how families behave.


We're actually learning a lot about how this particular family behaves.

If the act was truly abuse, then there is no excuse for "the fact that the family did nothing to deal with it until two years later." And "the fact that the family did nothing to deal with it until two years later" tends to create the impression that the family did not view the act as abuse, until it became convenient to do so in the context of a custody battle.

According to Wooten, the family laughed about it, and the kid bragged about it to his friends, and the kid asked Wooten to do it again.

the fact that something happened years ago involving other people than Petumenos can't possibly be relevant to the issue


Petumenos' firm handled Palin's $15 million bond issue. You seem to be claiming that Petumenos had no role in that. Really? You actually know that? Hopefully you'll tell us how you know. I guess the same way you know that "Bristol was not a teenager." Or the same way you knew this:

Barack Obama did not publish in HLR. We know that.


You have a distinct track record of pretending to know things that you don't actually know.

Speaking of interesting statements you'd like to ignore or forget, I notice that you're still pretending not to notice that Todd said this:

the DPS never informed me or my wife that Wooten had been disciplined


I am citing those words now for the fifth time, and you have addressed them this many times: zero.

I also notice that you're pretending not to notice what Wheeler said:

When I asked Wheeler, "And did you specifically inquire of them whether they perceived any threats from any individual or were afraid of any individual?" Mr. Wheeler responded "I did. And I got a negative response, meaning that there - - they basically said no."


You've addressed those words this many times: zero. But you've had a lot to say about the alleged difficulty of extracting children from bathtubs.

You're demonstrating your usual MO: ignore all evidence that doesn't suit you.
11.5.2008 10:15am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
kevin:

The Petumenos report exonerates Palin, so it is false.


No. The Putemonos report is not false because it "exonerates Palin." It's false because it has glaring flaws, a few of which I've documented in detail. And no one has addressed these flaws.

Do you have any basis to dispute the facts I've presented? No? I didn't think so.

You're projecting.

One small request: please run Palin in 2012.
11.5.2008 12:35pm
Fury:
jukeboxgrad:

And no one has addressed these flaws.

That is not correct. There have been several people, myself included, that have addressed items you have claimed are flaws in the Putemonos Report.

You may not agree with the reasoning I or others provided (that's a different issue.) But your above statement is untrue.
11.5.2008 2:01pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Petumenos' firm handled Palin's $15 million bond issue. You seem to be claiming that Petumenos had no role in that. Really? You actually know that? Hopefully you'll tell us how you know.
Sure.

1) You would have said Petumenos handled Palin's bond issue if he had been involved, rather than saying "Petumenos's firm."

2) Petumenos is a litigator, not a transactional lawyer.

3) As everyone reading this thread knows, all of this is simply a red herring you created that has nothing whatsoever to do with the report, in a desperate attempt to distract from the contents of the report.
I guess the same way you know that "Bristol was not a teenager." [...] You have a distinct track record of pretending to know things that you don't actually know.
So when you claimed Bristol was a teenager, was that "pretending to know things that you don't actually know"?
11.5.2008 2:33pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
I am citing those words now for the fifth time, and you have addressed them this many times: zero.
False. I've addressed it many times, by pointing out that you're deliberately misinterpreting what was said, and you've ignored it every time, and instead have used your juvenile "X happened this many times: Y" shtick.

I'll do it again, and you'll ignore it again: the following sequence of events is consistent with everyone's story:

Palins complain.
Wooten is eventually given his little insignificant slap on the wrist.
Nobody tells the Palins about it.
When Palin gets elected, they raise the Wooten issue again.
They're told, "It's already been taken care of."
Palins protest: "But nothing happened to him."
The reply: "We've dealt with your complaints. There's nothing more to be done about this. Drop it."



You've addressed those words this many times: zero.
That's right; I haven't, because other people have, and have pointed out how you dishonestly ignored that they did in fact identify Wooten as a potential threat, pretending that there was only one meeting rather than more than one. Moreover, Wheeler doesn't say that they said "No"; he says that they "basically" said no, which implies that they said something other than no which he took to mean no, which explains why there would be a subsequent meeting where the same issue was discussed.
11.5.2008 2:43pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Actually, they did have a reason "to assign it to a two month old conversation." Because on 2/17, when the alleged death threat was made, Palin enlisted a neighbor to watch through a window and observe Molly and Mike arguing. Therefore this neighbor was in a position to corroborate the fact that there was an argument. This lends a bit of support to Palin's claim regarding a death threat. Palin may even have hoped that the neighbor would say he heard a threat.

As far as we know, there was no other occasion when a neighbor observed an argument. So when Chuck Heath finally reported this threat to police on 4/11/05, the day Molly filed for divorce, he did indeed have an incentive to place the threat on 2/17, because of the potential to have corroborating testimony from the neighbor.
Sorry, but no. You contradict yourself. If the threat was fabricated by the Heaths, then there's nothing for the neighbor to "corroborate." The only way he could corroborate a threat is if it was made.

And Palin knew for a fact that the neighbor was not a "corroborating" witness, because she didn't ask him to stand outside the window until after she had arrived, waited, and then left, which happened long after the threat had been made.

And, of course, there was no reason for her to ask the neighbor to watch unless she actually perceived a threat, which once again contradicts your theory.
11.5.2008 2:48pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
fury:

There have been several people, myself included, that have addressed items you have claimed are flaws in the Putemonos Report.


To 'talk about' something is not the same thing as to 'address' something. Let's review. Wheeler said this:

When I asked Wheeler, "And did you specifically inquire of them whether they perceived any threats from any individual or were afraid of any individual?" Mr. Wheeler responded "I did. And I got a negative response, meaning that there - - they basically said no."


Petumenos pretends this testimony does not exist. You never explained why this is OK. Instead, you said this:

A) It was wrong for me to say "November," because the first meeting might have been as late as 12/1.

B) I should have mentioned the second meeting, and not just the first meeting.

C) Petumenos claims he took into account all the Branchflower testimony, and we should treat this statement of his as proof that he actually did so.

D) Palin eventually mentioned that Wooten was a threat, so there's no problem with glossing over the fact that at the first meeting, she told her security detail there weren't any threats

E) It's not OK for me to say that Palin reduced her security force "promptly," even though it took place within 2-3 weeks of her taking office

F) There's some material difference between saying "reducing duties versus reducing staff," even though they both indicate that Palin wasn't sincerely worried about her security

I think this is everything you've said regarding Wheeler's testimony. And no one but you has even tried to address the issue of Wheeler's testimony. And all these issues you raise are either irrelevant to the central point (like B), or trivial (like A and E), or strikingly unconvincing (like C and D).

If Palin truly viewed Wooten as a threat, she would not have answered Wheeler's question the way she did. Wheeler's testimony is material, and there's no excuse for the fact the Petumenos failed to mention it and deal with it.

The other issues I've raised, like regarding the testimony from Glass, have been "addressed" in a similar manner, i.e., not "addressed" at all. For example, I've cited Todd saying this:

the DPS never informed me or my wife that Wooten had been disciplined


This many people in this thread have attempted to deal with the issues raised by that statement: zero.
11.5.2008 3:10pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
nieporent:

You would have said Petumenos handled Palin's bond issue if he had been involved, rather than saying "Petumenos's firm."


I said it the way I said it because that's how it was reported in the press. The fact that it was reported in the press that way is definitely not proof that Petumenos was not involved. Reporting it that way is consistent with simply not knowing whether or not Petumenos was personally involved.

Petumenos is a litigator, not a transactional lawyer


A statement regarding his general practice area is also not proof he was not involved. It's a basis for having an opinion, or making a guess, but that's not the same thing as proof.

You're doing exactly what you did with the "Obama did not publish in HLR" business. You're describing various reasons why you have a particular opinion, while failing to understand that an opinion is not the same thing as a fact.

in a desperate attempt to distract from the contents of the report


That's incredibly ironic, since I think you'll have a hard time finding anyone in this thread or elsewhere who is doing more than I have to focus in detail on the specific contents of the report (as compared with just reading the conclusion).

when you claimed Bristol was a teenager, was that "pretending to know things that you don't actually know"?


No. It was making trivial, immaterial mistake, which I promptly corrected.

I've addressed it many times, by pointing out that you're deliberately misinterpreting what was said


This is what Todd said, in his affidavit:

the DPS never informed me or my wife that Wooten had been disciplined


You have not shown that I have misinterpreted this statement. You have focused all your attention on an entirely different statement, that Todd claims "he did not ever learn, from anyone, that any consequence of significance" had been imposed on Wooten. You focused a lot of energy on the phrase "any consequence of significance," while completely ignoring the statement in Todd's affidavit.

They're told, "It's already been taken care of … We've dealt with your complaints. There's nothing more to be done about this. Drop it."


They weren't just told "it's already been taken care of etc." According to Glass, he personally told Todd that "Wooten had already been penalized for his actions that he had taken." Nevertheless, Todd said this:

the DPS never informed me or my wife that Wooten had been disciplined


Those two statements are in direct contradiction. Either Glass or Todd is lying. You have said nothing to address this contradiction.

you dishonestly ignored that they did in fact identify Wooten as a potential threat, pretending that there was only one meeting rather than more than one


That's really funny, since "pretending that there was only one meeting rather than more than one" is precisely what Petumenos did. And I haven't "dishonestly ignored that they did in fact identify Wooten as a potential threat." Everyone knows they eventually did so. What most people don't know, and what Petumenos glosses over, is that before they "did in fact identify Wooten as a potential threat," they very pointedly declined to "identify Wooten as a potential threat," even though they were specifically asked to identify potential threats.

Moreover, Wheeler doesn't say that they said "No"; he says that they "basically" said no, which implies that they said something other than no which he took to mean no


There you go again, discussing the meaning of "is." This is what Wheeler said:

When I asked Wheeler, "And did you specifically inquire of them whether they perceived any threats from any individual or were afraid of any individual?" Mr. Wheeler responded "I did. And I got a negative response, meaning that there - - they basically said no."


You're making a fuss about the word "basically," as if it somehow drastically alters the meaning of the statement. Really? If Petumenos thought this statement is confusing or ambiguous, then he could have and should have interviewed Wheeler. Or he should have mentioned the statement, and told us that the statement is meaningless because nieporent noticed the word "basically." But Petumenos did none of those things. Instead, he glosses over the statement. He glosses over the fact that there were two meetings, not one. He glosses over this central fact: at the first meeting, the Palins did not mention Wooten. A report that glosses over important facts like these cannot be taken seriously.

If the threat was fabricated by the Heaths, then there's nothing for the neighbor to "corroborate." The only way he could corroborate a threat is if it was made.


You're being willfully simpleminded. Even if the neighbor didn't claim he heard a threat, the fact that he heard an argument lends some credibility to the allegation of a threat.

there was no reason for her to ask the neighbor to watch unless she actually perceived a threat


I just explained why it would be helpful to have the neighbor watch even if the neighbor never heard a threat. And it's also possible that Palin never heard a threat, but was anticipating and hoping that Wooten would make one, and was hoping the neighbor would witness this.
11.5.2008 3:44pm
Fury:
jukeboxgrad:

We're going around in circles.

And all these issues you raise are either irrelevant to the central point (like B), or trivial (like A and E), or strikingly unconvincing (like C and D).

I respect your viewpoint. It might be helpful if you did the same for folks who don't come to the same conclusion that you do.
11.5.2008 4:07pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
You're being willfully simpleminded. Even if the neighbor didn't claim he heard a threat, the fact that he heard an argument lends some credibility to the allegation of a threat.
You're being a partisan hack again. This is ludicrously implausible. The Heaths knew that in a few months they would want to 'get' Wooten, so even though they didn't fear him, they decided to just randomly see if he would make a threat, so they asked their neighbor to stand and watch, so that he could see the guy arguing and pretend that an argument was evidence of a threat. Then they did nothing about it. Months later, though, they decided to try to get him, so rather than merely falsely claiming he had just done something wrong, they searched back in their memory for some time when someone didn't hear him utter a threat and then claimed he uttered a threat at this time in the hopes that the fact that someone had seen an argument would somehow prove he had made a threat.

This is a ludicrously circuitous theory, when the much more logical explanation is that he made the threat.
I just explained why it would be helpful to have the neighbor watch even if the neighbor never heard a threat. And it's also possible that Palin never heard a threat, but was anticipating and hoping that Wooten would make one, and was hoping the neighbor would witness this.
Many things are possible. But not plausible.
11.5.2008 5:46pm
CDR D (mail):
>>>>Todd used the phone in the governor's office!!

Oh, My!!!


He did a lot more than that. He spent at least half his time there, and he attended cabinet meetings, and he was copied on many official emails. You won't complain a bit if Michelle does all those things next year, right?


<<<<


Ya' know, Mister Brighteyes, I don't know how much you get paid to spew on here, and I don't really care.

I don't give a damn about this phony "trooper" issue, save for the fact that it seems to have you wound tighter than an eight day clock...

...and that's good, because the laughs just keep coming...
11.5.2008 7:06pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
fury:

It might be helpful if you did the same for folks who don't come to the same conclusion that you do.


It's not a question of coming to a different conclusion. It's a question of making claims that don't make sense. Whether you're willing to admit it or not, there is no excuse for Petumenos ignoring the testimony of Wheeler and Glass.
11.5.2008 7:21pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
nieporent:

they decided to just randomly see if he would make a threat, so they asked their neighbor to stand and watch


It's hard to tell if you're ignorant of the facts, or intentionally misrepresenting them. Maybe both.

They didn't "just randomly" think he might make a threat. At the time that Palin enlisted the neighbor to snoop on Mike and Molly, their argument was already underway.

Still hoping that sooner or later you might get around to explaining why Todd said this:

the DPS never informed me or my wife that Wooten had been disciplined
11.5.2008 7:21pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
cdr:

I don't know how much you get paid


Speaking of astroturf, what ever happened to McCain's effort to get people to spread his talking points on blogs? That worked out well, didn't it.

the laughs just keep coming


Nothing like the laughs if you run Palin in 2012. Many people are praying you do. Please don't let us down.
11.5.2008 7:21pm
CDR D (mail):
>>>Nothing like the laughs if you run Palin in 2012. Many people are praying you do. Please don't let us down.


<<<

Hee hee hee...

Well, little troll, get down on your knees. No matter how good you are, it won't work.

I like Jindal.
11.5.2008 7:37pm
Fury:
jukeboxgrad:

It's not a question of coming to a different conclusion. It's a question of making claims that don't make sense. Whether you're willing to admit it or not, there is no excuse for Petumenos ignoring the testimony of Wheeler and Glass.

That's your viewpoint jukeboxgrad. I believe I made claims and supported them with evidence. You don't. Accept that we disagree on the Petumenos Report. It's not the end of the world to do so.

There's room for all at the VC table. We may all disagree, but we can move on from this. Agreed?
11.6.2008 6:49am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
fury:

I believe I made claims and supported them with evidence.


At her first meeting with her new security detail, Palin was asked about threats, and she said there weren't any. She didn't mention Wooten, even though she was specifically asked if there were any threats. This is Branchflower recounting Wheeler's testimony (p. 44):

When I asked Wheeler, "And did you specifically inquire of them whether they perceived any threats from any individual or were afraid of any individual?" Mr. Wheeler responded "I did. And I got a negative response, meaning that there - - they basically said no."


Wheeler goes on to explain that at a subsequent meeting, after Palin took office, she finally mentioned Wooten.

Petumenos completely ignores Wheeler's testimony regarding the initial meeting. He doesn't mention it at all. Instead, he describes that initial meeting as follows (p. 13):

After the Governor's election in November of 2006, in preparation for her taking office, the Governor and Todd Palin met with AST security staff as part of the transition process. A routine inquiry was made by the security staff as to whether the Governor or her family knew of anyone they regarded as a security threat to the family. The Governor and Mr. Todd Palin responded that they were concerned about Trooper Wooten.


These two statements are in direct contradiction. Either Wheeler is lying or Palin is lying. Did Petumenos interview Wheeler, to try to resolve this contradiction? No. Instead, he pretends that Wheeler's testimony doesn't exist.

Where did you explain why this is OK? You didn't. Your attempt to address this issue boils down to this:

What both reports note is that the Palins did register their concern about Wooten. The end result is the same - Wooten was identified by the Palins as a concern. There is a disagreement on what date this initial mention of Wooten took place.


But it's not just "a disagreement on what date this initial mention of Wooten took place." You're making it sound like all that happened is someone can't remember the exact date of a certain meeting. But that's not what happened. What happened is that there is contradictory evidence concerning the events at this important initial meeting. Petumenos handled this contradiction by completely ignoring the evidence that didn't suit him. And that's essentially what you're doing, too. When you say "the end result is the same," you're essentially claiming that it just doesn't matter that they failed to mention Wooten at the first meeting, even though they were specifically asked about threats. You're saying this means nothing, because they did finally mention Wooten at a later meeting. Trouble is, it most definitely doesn't mean nothing. Their failure to mention Wooten at the first meeting, even though they were specifically asked, indicates that they weren't really very concerned about Wooten.

Note that Petumenos is not using your argument. Petumenos is not telling us 'yes, they didn't mention Wooten when first asked, but it's OK, because "the end result is the same," because they eventually mentioned Wooten later.' If this argument made sense, Petumenos would use it. But it doesn't. So instead he takes the approach of pretending that Wheeler's testimony doesn't exist. Petumenos is relying on this important fact: very few citizens and reporters are familiar enough with both reports (totaling about 400 pages) to even notice a contradiction like this.

The Petumenos report looks like yet another Hail Mary pass, in a campaign that had a bunch of them. By releasing the report the day before the election, there was a chance that the headlines reporting the conclusion might buy a few votes. But there definitely wouldn't be enough time for reporters to find and discuss the kinds of issues I've raised, which prove the report is a joke.

I never wrote what you posted (or actually didn't post) was unfair … You're the person bringing up fairness.


You had said this:

When you apparently try to paint a picture that Petumenos was influenced by his law firm handling the $15 million bond issue, don't forget to mention other information about Petumenos.


Why would it be important for me "to mention other information about Petumenos," if not for the sake of "fairness?" When we talk about the importance of telling both sides of the story (which is what you were telling me to do), isn't that what we call "fairness?"
11.6.2008 8:24am
Fury:
jukeboxgrad:

But we're back to where we started. You disagree with my assertion and I with yours. You believe you have made valid points as do I. The VC has provided a great forum to prevent different perspectives and views.

I'll say it again, in a different way. Accept that reasonable people will come to different conclusions. That's the way things are.

You're right on fairness and one of the things I like about VC is the opportunity to discuss both (or many) sides of whatever issue is being discussed. You've made approximately 42 posts out of the approximately 114 total posts of this thread, demonstrating an ample opportunity to present your viewpoints.
11.6.2008 9:32am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
Accept that reasonable people will come to different conclusions


Except that this isn't a case of reasonable people looking at the same evidence and reaching different conclusions. It's a case of Petumenos and you ignoring evidence that doesn't suit you, without explaining why it should be ignored.

Speaking of ignoring evidence, no one in this thread (or elsewhere, for that matter, as far as I can tell) has addressed the contradiction raised by this statement made by Todd:

the DPS never informed me or my wife that Wooten had been disciplined
11.6.2008 10:14am
David M. Nieporent (www):
It's hard to tell if you're ignorant of the facts, or intentionally misrepresenting them. Maybe both.

They didn't "just randomly" think he might make a threat. At the time that Palin enlisted the neighbor to snoop on Mike and Molly, their argument was already underway.
WTF does one have to do with the other? An "argument" is not a "threat." Unless they actually did fear Wooten -- something you've strenuously tried to deny -- there was no reason on earth they'd think an argument would suddenly lead to a death threat. So, yes, it would indeed be "just random" to think that.

Unless, of course, they knew Wooten was the sort of person who made death threats. In which case, well, that sort of shoots down your theory that he didn't.


Still hoping that sooner or later you might get around to explaining why Todd said this:

the DPS never informed me or my wife that Wooten had been disciplined
Really? I don't think you're hoping that at all, because if you were hoping that, you'd be looking for it, and you'd have seen at least some of the many times I've explained it, and wouldn't dishonestly keep pretending I hadn't.

You have this partisan hack habit of pulling words out of context, assuming that words have one, and exactly one, interpretation, and that this exactly one interpretation happens to fit your partisan hackery of an argument.
11.6.2008 10:38am
David M. Nieporent (www):
For instance, in terms of taking statements of context, "so-and-so never told me about X" doesn't necessarily mean what you think it means.

Let's suppose I'm waiting to hear from the dealer when I can pick up the new car I've ordered. I'm waiting, and waiting, and they never call. Finally I call them and say, "When's it going to be there?" They say, "Actually, it's here and you can come pick it up."

If I complain later and say, "Service there was terrible. It was like pulling teeth to get anything from them. The dealer never even told me that my new car was ready," is that a "lie"? No, it isn't, even though they did say, "Actually it's here and you can come pick it up." The point of my complaint, in context, is that they never called me; I had to call and ask.

Is that what Palin meant when he said it? I don't know. Maybe. Or maybe he meant that they never told him what the discipline was. I don't know that either. And neither do you. I'm not going to be cross-examined about a statement that someone else made that I'm hearing second or third hand out of context.

But your pretense that it means one thing and only one thing is the true dishonesty -- not anything anybody else here has said.
11.6.2008 10:53am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
nieporent:

An "argument" is not a "threat." Unless they actually did fear Wooten -- something you've strenuously tried to deny -- there was no reason on earth they'd think an argument would suddenly lead to a death threat.


You're being deliberately obtuse. If they can get a neighbor to testify that an actual argument took place, then a claim about a death threat sounds a little more plausible (even if the neighbor didn't hear that part of the argument).

You still haven't come close to explaining why Palin waited two months before reporting the alleged death threat to the police. If the threat really happened, and if it was seen as a serious threat, then it should have been and would have been reported immediately. And she didn't even report it to her father until a month after it happened. Why? And if it was seen as a serious threat, why did Palin rush off to a meeting in another town, instead of staying with Molly?

Unless, of course, they knew Wooten was the sort of person who made death threats.


But they don't even allege that Wooten had ever made a death threat on any prior occasion. So this point of your makes no sense whatsoever.

you'd have seen at least some of the many times I've explained it


You are pointing to two of your own comments. One of them tries to address the other comment Todd made, as quoted by Petumenos. Your other comment completely ignores what Glass actually said. Instead of dealing with what he actually said ("Wooten had already been penalized for his actions that he had taken"), you substituted a watered-down paraphrase ("we've dealt with your complaints").

Trouble is, Glass didn't just tell Todd "we've dealt with your complaints" (which is what you claimed in your dishonest paraphrase, here). Glass told Todd something more specific: that "Wooten had already been penalized for his actions that he had taken." But even though Glass told Todd this, Todd lied in a sworn affidavit, when he said this:

the DPS never informed me or my wife that Wooten had been disciplined


You haven't addressed this contradiction. You've just tried to gloss over it by ignoring what Glass actually said ("Wooten had already been penalized for his actions that he had taken"), and replacing that statement with a disingenuous paraphrase ("we've dealt with your complaints"). In other words, all you've done is demonstrate that you're just as dishonest as Palin, Todd, and Petumenos.

assuming that words have one, and exactly one, interpretation


Here are the two relevant statements, from Glass and from Todd, respectively:

A) [I told Todd that] Wooten had already been penalized for his actions that he had taken

B) the DPS never informed me or my wife that Wooten had been disciplined

Unless you decide to be very imaginative with regard to how to define the words "penalized" and "disciplined," those words do indeed have the same "interpretation" in this context. Which means that either Glass or Todd is lying.

maybe he meant that they never told him what the discipline was


Nice try. Except that's not what Todd said. Let's review some of the various denials that Palin issued on this subject:

Awareness that Wooten had already been disciplined

According to Palin, she and her family were unaware, prior to July 2008, that Wooten had been disciplined in 2006. For example, on September 1, 2008 Palin said that "Monegan never told Governor Palin or Todd about the discipline that Wooten received ... the parties involved had no idea how the matter was resolved ... As far as the Palin family knew [as of July 2008], Wooten ... had escaped discipline."[120] In a sworn statement on October 8, 2008 Todd Palin said "the DPS never informed me or my wife that Wooten had been disciplined."[173]

According to the Branchflower Report, Sarah Palin was aware that Wooten had been disciplined. Branchflower said Palin was "apparently intent upon getting Trooper Wooten fired in spite of the fact she knew he had been disciplined following the Administrative Investigation."[181] In a sworn deposition, Monegan said that he did "mention [to Sarah Palin] that the discipline had already been imposed on Mr. Wooten during the previous administration following an administrative investigation and that the matter was closed."[182] Branchflower reports that Monegan "told Mr. Palin that the matter had been investigated, that discipline had been imposed."[183]

The Branchflower Report includes testimony by John Glass, Deputy Commissioner of Public Safety. Glass testified that he told Todd Palin "that Wooten had already been penalized for his actions that he had taken."[184] Glass testified that he gave the same information to Frank Bailey, Palin's director of boards and commissions. Glass told Bailey that "he should just leave the matter alone since Wooten disciplinary proceeding had already taken and that discipline had already been imposed and the matter was closed."[185]


The contradictions are quite blatant, even though you're trying to pretend they don't exist.
11.6.2008 1:13pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
You haven't addressed this contradiction. You've just tried to gloss over it by ignoring what Glass actually said ("Wooten had already been penalized for his actions that he had taken"), and replacing that statement with a disingenuous paraphrase ("we've dealt with your complaints"). In other words, all you've done is demonstrate that you're just as dishonest as Palin, Todd, and Petumenos.
That's not what Glass actually said! That's your problem! That's what Glass said months later that he had said. It wasn't a quote from his conversation with Palin; it was a paraphrase of his conversation.

(And to respond to what your next argument will be: no, I am not accusing Glass of lying. Paraphrasing is not "lying" or "dishonest." The fact that you don't realize this is why so many of your arguments so often fall apart: they're based on "contradictions" between (often secondhand) paraphrases, which exist only if one assumes that people talk literally at all times.) Every one of those statements -- by the Palins and others -- that you think is "contradictory" is perfectly compatible with the notion that the Palins were told something along the lines of my "paraphrase."

Sorry, no contradictions. No matter how desperately you try to make it sound like there were.
11.6.2008 2:45pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
You're being deliberately obtuse. If they can get a neighbor to testify that an actual argument took place, then a claim about a death threat sounds a little more plausible (even if the neighbor didn't hear that part of the argument).
No, it doesn't. A divorcing couple arguing, with no threats, does not make the existence of a death threat any more plausible.

You still haven't come close to explaining why Palin waited two months before reporting the alleged death threat to the police. If the threat really happened, and if it was seen as a serious threat, then it should have been and would have been reported immediately. And she didn't even report it to her father until a month after it happened. Why?
Why what? Don't you realize how absurd that statement is? If they fabricated it, what exactly were they reporting to her father a month after it happened? You think she waited a month and then lied to her father about what had happened a month earlier?
And if it was seen as a serious threat, why did Palin rush off to a meeting in another town, instead of staying with Molly?
Once again: the threat was conditional. If your father gets you a lawyer, I'll put a bullet in his head. No immediate threat.


You still haven't come close to explaining why Palin waited two months before reporting the allegedly-fabricated death threat to the police. If she wasn't worried about him, why did she call the neighbor over to witness the argument? If it's because she knew at the time that she was going to fabricate it based on the neighbor not having witnessed anything, then why not just report it right then and there? Why would she sit around for two months?

If she decided a month later (when you think she told her father) that she was going to fabricate it, why not just report it right then and there? If she hadn't decided at that point, then what did she tell her father?

If she decided two months later (when she reported it) that she was going to fabricate it, why not just fabricate it as having just happened? Why reach back to a routine argument months earlier just because that argument was witnessed?
11.6.2008 2:58pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
nieporent:

That's not what Glass actually said! That's your problem! That's what Glass said months later that he had said. It wasn't a quote from his conversation with Palin; it was a paraphrase of his conversation.


Glass was asked what he said to Todd. He testified under oath that he told Todd "that Wooten had already been penalized for his actions that he had taken." This directly contradicts what Todd said:

the DPS never informed me or my wife that Wooten had been disciplined


There is an obvious contradiction here, and Petumenos should have questioned Glass to resolve this contradiction. Instead, Petumenos pretended that Glass' testimony doesn't exist. Therefore it's hard to take the Petumenos report seriously.

No one is assuming that Glass is able to remember the exact words he said to Todd, but he doesn't have to remember the exact words he said to Todd. Glass is a credible witness offering sworn testimony, and it's reasonable to understand that the statement he recounted in his testimony is indistinguishable in meaning from the statement he made to Todd.

By the way, you are not in a position to claim "that's not what Glass actually said." You are not in a position to claim that "it wasn't a quote from his conversation with Palin." As usual, you're overstating what is known. It is indeed possible that the statement Glass offered in testimony is the exact statement he made to Todd (although it doesn't matter if it's not exactly the same). It's entirely possible that Glass is remembering exactly what he said. It's entirely possible that Glass took careful notes during and/or after his meeting with Todd, because he understood the importance of his conversation with Todd.

And as I pointed out above, this isn't just about one conversation between Glass and Todd. Glass testified that he said the same thing to Bailey. Monegan testified that he said the same thing to Sarah and Todd. So there are at least two different witnesses testifying that this information was conveyed to at least three different people in at least four different conversations. These are substantive contradictions in testimony. Petumenos does not lift a finger to acknowledge these contradictions, or to resolve them or explain them. He just ignores them. Therefore it's hard to take the Petumenos report seriously.

Every one of those statements -- by the Palins and others -- that you think is "contradictory" is perfectly compatible with the notion that the Palins were told something along the lines of my "paraphrase."


Yes, there is no contradiction if "the Palins were told something along the lines of [your] 'paraphrase.' " Trouble is, Monegan and Glass offered sworn testimony regarding at least four conversations they had (in aggregate) with at least three different people. And according to their testimony, the statements they made were materially different than "[your] 'paraphase.' "

So there are no contradictions only if you live in a fantasy world where their testimony says something different from what it actually says.

In their sworn testimony, Monegan and Glass make it clear that they didn't just tell Todd, Sarah and Bailey that "we've dealt with your complaints" (that's your alleged 'paraphrase'). They went beyond that: Monegan and Glass told Todd, Sarah and Bailey that Wooten had been "penalized," and that "discipline had already been imposed." Trouble is, Palin specifically denies knowing this. And she has issued that denial several times.

And I haven't yet mentioned (in this thread) that there's other evidence this denial is a lie:

According to the police union ethics complaint, Bailey had improper access to confidential information from Wooten's personnel file.[52] Palin responded by stating that Todd Palin had this information because Wooten had signed a release placing his entire personnel file in the public domain.[147] However, Palin has also claimed that her family was not aware of Wooten's suspension until July 2008.[120] Also, Wooten's release of February 7, 2008[149] did not place his file in the public domain. It only released his file to McCann's attorneys in connection with the divorce proceedings.


In other words, Todd has admitted being in possession of Wooten's personnel file. But this file contains various documents that make reference to Wooten's suspension. So how can Todd claim he didn't know about Wooten's suspension?

If they fabricated it, what exactly were they reporting to her father a month after it happened? You think she waited a month and then lied to her father about what had happened a month earlier?


Why not?

the threat was conditional. If your father gets you a lawyer, I'll put a bullet in his head. No immediate threat


Really? "No immediate threat?" Then why did Sarah rush over to Molly's house? Pay attention to how Sarah answered that question:

I jumped in my truck to drive over to MOLLY's house because I was sure MIKE was gonna he was, like a ticking time bomb and I thought he was gonna blow and physically harm MOLLY or the kids or my dad.


Here's a suggestion: try glancing at the police interviews from 2005. Your arguments would be slightly less ridiculous if they didn't directly contradict Palin's own statements.

And as I've already explained, it makes no sense to simultaneously claim that Wooten was crazy enough to shoot Heath, but also rational enough to only shoot Heath if certain specific conditions were met.

You still haven't come close to explaining why Palin waited two months before reporting the allegedly-fabricated death threat to the police


The most plausible scenario is that there was never any threat, and the family dreamed up the allegation when Molly finally decided to file for divorce.

If she wasn't worried about him, why did she call the neighbor over to witness the argument?


If Sarah could get the neighbor to testify that Mike was, say, yelling at Molly, this could be useful testimony for Molly, regardless of the whole issue of threats.

And Sarah stood there for only 15 minutes, before rushing off to a meeting:

I had to head on into CHUGIAK, I had ah a meeting that I couldn't miss. I told the neighbor … "could you stand by … cause it it's looking dangerous" … after standing there watching MIKE freaking out for however long probably, 15 minutes umm, I had to leave. I took off.


It makes sense for her to enlist the neighbor, because then she looks slightly less irresponsible for rushing off to her meeting.

If it's because she knew at the time that she was going to fabricate it based on the neighbor not having witnessed anything, then why not just report it right then and there? Why would she sit around for two months?


For the same reason they didn't report the Taser incident and the hunting incident for two years. The family was apparently oblivious to all these incidents, until they became useful to Molly in the context of her custody battle.

Why reach back to a routine argument months earlier just because that argument was witnessed?


It wasn't "routine." Why did you say it was "routine?"

And the neighbor wasn't the only witness. Sarah and Track were also witnesses, over the phone. And the neighbor didn't just witness Mike and Molly arguing. The neighbor witnessed Sarah showing up in a hurry, looking very concerned. So the whole scenario is a nice setting for a death-threat allegation.

By the way, it's possible that after 2/17, Mike moved out. 2/17 might have been their last argument, or their last argument in-person, in that house. And the death-threat allegation had to be in the context of an in-person argument, because Sarah claimed that she and Track were listening over a speakerphone.

The neighbor is important because at the very least, his testimony places Mike in the house. If Palin had picked another date for the death-threat allegation, it could have been a date when Mike was not even there, or could plausibly claim he was not there.

Please do the right thing. Put country first and run Palin in 2012. Obama and his supporters are counting on you.
11.6.2008 6:13pm