Recently in Notorious Cases Category
The child lost so much blood, there was almost none left in his body. The Boston jihadi Tsarnaev "believed what he had done was good, that he is a Muslim soldier in a holy war against America and had taken a step to reaching paradise."
A moment of silence, a call for kindness and the pealing of the city's church bells will be the hallmarks of Boston's events noting the two-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon on Wednesday.
The moment of silence will be observed at 2:49 ET, the time when the first of two devastating bombs went off in the crowds gathered to watch the marathon in 2013.
Mayor Marty Walsh has declared April 15 One Boston Day, beginning a tradition that organizers say is about "resiliency, generosity, and strength of the people that make Boston the great city it is."
A somber and subdued attitude is, of course, fitting for this day. A tribute to resiliency has its place. Still, it's more telling than unfortunate that Mayor Walsh could find no room in his remarks for the most important word:
I am left wondering largely what I wondered yesterday: Why does a high officer of the government line his pockets in ways that stink; and why, if he must do so, does the Justice Department take issue with it only now, as the official has become a political thorn in its side -- timing that also stinks.
The facts alleged in the indictment may to a great extent make out what former Wall Street Journal reporter Brooks Jackson denominated "honest graft." Much of the indictment is devoted to a recitation of activities that must be business as usual in Washington, or close to it.
The activities itemized in the indictment go back as far as 2006. It is certainly fair to wonder why the indictment has been handed up now and to doubt that Senator Menendez's leading role criticizing the foreign policy of the Obama administration is merely a big coincidence.
In part, the indictment vaguely charges Senator Menendez with quid-pro-quo corruption in paragraph 9(b). When one looks for specific "quids" given in exchange for specific "quos," the indictment is evasive...
One damning set of facts goes to Senator Menendez's acceptance of "gifts" (flights and vacation accommodations) worth thousands of dollars together with their omission on the reports Senator Menendez was required to file with the Senate (paragraphs 64-69). The New Jersey Star-Ledger comments: "Regardless of the outcome, it is hard to fathom Menendez's lack of judgment after a long career in a state that has been cursed by so much corruption. Why would he even dance close to this line?"
As I said in the comments section of another entry, it is the prerogative, and in this instance the duty, of the political branches to give us some transparency about this indictment. We had Congressional hearings about Benghazi, and we could use some here as well.
[T]he bigger story [in the Bergdahl case] is the extravagant price the U.S. has paid because President Obama wanted to score political points.
Readers will recall that then-Private First Class Bergdahl went missing from his post in Paktika province in eastern Afghanistan in June 2009. Fellow soldiers suspected desertion, though the Army conducted a risky manhunt to recover him...
The Associated Press has reported that an internal Pentagon investigation in 2010 found "incontrovertible" evidence that he had walked away from his post. Journalists also uncovered an exchange of letters in which the soldier wrote to his father "the title of U.S. soldier is just the lie of fools," that he was "ashamed to even be american," and that "the future is too good to waste on lies." Replied father Robert: "OBEY YOUR CONSCIENCE!"
All of this would have been known to President Obama and National Security AdviserSusan Rice when the Administration decided to swap Sgt. Bergdahl for five Guantanamo Bay detainees--all top Taliban leaders--in May 2014. Mr. Obama even invited Sgt. Bergdahl's parents to a [chipper -- ed. addition] Rose Garden ceremony to announce the swap, while Ms. Rice declared on a Sunday talk show that the soldier had served his country with "honor and distinction."
The co-pilot of Germanwings Flight 9525 appears to have deliberately crashed the plane after he was left alone in the cockpit, according to a French prosecutor.
The captain was intentionally locked outside minutes before the A320 crashed into an alpine mountain ridge, French Prosecutor Brice Robin said Thursday. Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, a 28-year-old German national, was silent throughout the plane's descent and was alive at the point of impact, according to the prosecutor.
Mr. Robin's conclusions are drawn from the plane's cockpit voice recorder, recovered at the crash site in the French Alps late Tuesday and analyzed by French accident investigators on Wednesday.
The recording contains screams believed to be from passengers, once they recognized the plane was crashing.
As with ISIS's burning to death a caged Jordanian pilot, the mind-bending horror of a mass murder undertaken like this causes me to wonder how any principled person can woodenly oppose capital punishment. It took eight to ten minutes for the plane to hit the ground, after a steep, controlled dive that those on board could not have helped knowing was their last time on this earth. The horror and panic of it, multiplied for 150 passengers, is something I cannot put into words.
The co-pilot who engineered this horror died in it. But he might have survived -- it happens every now and again. Had that happened, it's beyond my comprehension that a jury of fair-minded people, after hearing all the evidence, should be absolutely barred from having at least the chance to consider a death sentence.
The idea that a term of years is fitting punishment for the horror-laden, violent murders of dozens of helpless men, women and children -- people subjected to a grotesque mental torture incapable of description (before being smashed to death) -- is incoherent in any system I could recognize as civilized.
A five-month police investigation into an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia, described in graphic detail in a Rolling Stone article, showed no evidence the attack took place and was stymied by the accuser's unwillingness to cooperate, authorities said Monday.
Ah, yes, our old friend the "national conversation."
The article entitled "A rape on campus" traced the story from a student identified only as "Jackie," who said she was raped at a Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house on September, 28, 2012. Police said there were numerous discrepancies between the article and what they found in their investigation.
"All I can tell you is that there is no substantive basis to conclude that what was reported in that article happened," Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo said.
Longo said Jackie first described a sexual assault in May 2013 when she met with a dean about an academic issue, but "the sexual act was not consistent with what was described" in the Rolling Stone article. When she met with police, she didn't want them to investigate the alleged assault.
She also refused to talk to police after the article was printed in November and ignited the national conversation about sexual assaults on college campuses.
The mainstream media, however, have now turned their attention exclusively to the second Justice Department report, the one on Ferguson's police department. The Brown report and its implications for the anticop crusade are out of sight and out of mind. The two reports were produced by different sections of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, and it shows. The Brown report, written by the Criminal Section, in conjunction with the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Missouri, displays a striking understanding of police work. It respects longstanding legal presumptions protecting police discretion from unjustified second-guessing. The Ferguson Police Department report came out of the Special Litigation Section, known for its hostility to the police and staffed almost exclusively by graduates of left-wing advocacy groups, as Hans von Spakovsky noted in the National Interest. No wonder that it strains so hard to cobble together a case of systemic intentional discrimination out of data that show only that law enforcement has a disparate impact on blacks.Why were the two reports released on the same day? The diminished media interest in the Wilson/Brown report may have been a completely intended consequence.