Old man with long beard apparently murdered in Abbottabad, Pakistan

OK, this is the first anniversary of the U.S. apparently killing someone with a long beard in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The new spin is that Mr. Obama, making a "gutsy call," took the high-risk course of sending in "boots on the ground" rather than using a drone.

Aside from Mr. Obama being "gutsy" because he told folks to go do something dangerous, well, heck, go jump off a bridge. Now I’M gutsy. Right?

The new spin on why Mr. Obama decided on that high-risk (to someone else) course is that he wanted to be sure they actually got bin Laden. What’s that say about the men, women and children they murder with normal drone strikes?

But never mind, the reason given makes sense — they wanted to be able to prove the guy they murdered really was THE Osama bin Laden. Rather than, say, a body double or case of mistaken identity.

So, then, why did they bury the body at sea where no one could make sure it was THE bin Laden? And why shoot the highest-value information-laden target of all time in the head immediately, before he could talk, especially since he wasn’t armed and didn’t resist. And they still don’t want to release photos because, well – – – – ah – – –

Here for the full story: Barack Obama and the Incredible Flying Spaghetti Monster

D.C. really has to stop cutting back on it’s fiction budget – – –

Doing 55 in a 54

Kelley Vlahos has a great piece today on the Henry Gates affair and the larger problems of which it’s a symptom. One such problem is the ever increasing number of pretexts on which the authorities can interrogate, search, assault, and arrest citizens. The authority figure, equipped with endless excuses to initiate an interaction with the citizen, from an expired tag to a false burglar alarm to an alleged whiff of what might be a controlled substance, uses his or her superior knowledge of legal arcana to find some way to put the citizen behind bars.  For instance, what struck me when reading the policeman’s account of the Gates incident was a small detail: the repeated use of the term “tumultuous.” It appears three times in the brief report in descriptions of Gates’ behavior. Why was the cop fixated on this SAT word?

Turns out, it appears in the Massachusetts statute defining disorderly conduct. The cop goaded the agitated Gates into stepping outside of his house (he made sure to give a reason for this in the report – poor acoustics in Gates’ kitchen!) to create the grounds for an arrest.  The cop already knew the specific – though vague and debatable – adjective he should use in his report to make the charge sound incontestable to the lawnorder crowd.

The proliferation of new laws in the wake of 9/11, all full of vague and debatable terms, has given the authorities infinite points of entry into all of our lives. They truly can arrest first and read the statutes later; you’re sure to have done something wrong. Even if they eventually drop the charges or fail to convict you, don’t count on getting any compensation for your anxiety, lost time, injuries, or legal fees.

An analogous situation prevails in international affairs, where the global police churn out endless legal pretexts for subjecting whole countries to full body-cavity searches, house arrest, assault, and capital punishment, and we’re watching it play out yet again in the case of Iran. But that’s a post for another day.

US Finally Wins Bogus Conviction in Miami ‘Plot’

After two juries refused to convict or acquit 6 of the so-called “Miami 7” (which then became the “Liberty City Six” after one was acquitted in the first trial but then deported anyway), five were convicted today of involvement in an al Qaeda plot to blow up the Sears Tower in Chicago.

From the very beginning it has been known to the general public that this entire case was cooked up by the cops, that the idiots they entrapped were just that and that said idiots were simply (they thought) playing the pretend terrorist informant for money when he was really playing them for a conviction and some hard taxpayer cash of his own.

The jurors who went along with this ought to be in prison themselves along with the judge who allowed this sham to proceed and everyone in the US attorney’s office who participated in this conspiracy to deny these Americans their liberty under the color of law.

But as every single one of us knows, that will never happen because there is no such thing as “the law.” It is simply the excuse for those who run the state to do what they want with us, while it never applies to them.

Facing decades in prison, I guess they should be thankful Obama hasn’t invoked the Military Commissions Act on them.

Update: The Miami Herald has a great editorial about the inustice of this case here.

Defense lawyers believe a juror who disagreed with the jury-panel majority should not have been removed from the trial. They are fighting an uphill battle in trying to persuade U.S. District Judge Joan Lenard, who dismissed the juror, to grant a retrial. …

Two jurors were dismissed in this trial, one because of illness and the other, a black woman, whom a majority of the panel said was uncooperative.

The jurors asked that she be removed. After interviewing all of the jurors, Judge Lenard removed the woman, Juror No. 4, from the panel. In her note to the judge, the woman complained of being disrespected. No one ”respects my answers, and I feel I’m being attacked every time I open my mouth,” she wrote. She told the judge: “To me all of the negativity is directed at me.”