ARCHIVE OCTOBER 2, 2000 TO OCTOBER 7, 2000
Click. THE CIA PROMISE OF A "JUST PEACE" NOT TO BE TRUSTED.
Click. Bush Violated Security Laws Four Times, SEC Report Says.
Click. SHOOT TO KILL! THE POLLY KLAAS CASE "INSPIRED" THE THREE STRIKE LAW. THE OKC BOMBING USHERED IN CLINTON'S ANTI- TERRORIST ACT. BUT COLUMBINE BRINGS THE SCARIEST OF ALL -- "SHOOT TO KILL!"
Click. Emeryville Superintendent Resigns Amid Theft Allegations.
Click. NY Times -The Death Factory by Robert Lederman © 2000
CIA PROMISE OF A "JUST PEACE" NOT TO BE TRUSTED.
Thank God for the CIA. The director, no less, of an organization that tried to assassinate Fidel Castro, organized the Bay of Pigs fiasco, trained a host of Latin American murderers and armed almost every Islamic extremist in Afghanistan is going to chair a "trilateral commission" to save the Middle East "peace process". Even Yasser Arafat apparently agrees to this (the Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Barak, wisely showing less enthusiasm). And why not?
After all, 10 years ago Mr. Arafat was a scourge of Zionism, freedom-fighter and "super-terrorist", seven years ago he signed the Oslo agreement, five years ago he allowed the CIA to train his intelligence services; and just 24 hours ago – as the United States Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, screamed "close the gates" – he was imprisoned inside the US ambassador's residence in Paris. Like a marble rolling down steps, Mr. Arafat's descent into American protection has been unstoppable.
And still he thinks, apparently, that he's going to get a square deal. The boys in the suits – with their Mossad allies and the Palestinian thugs they have taught – are going to tell us what really happened over the past week, whether Palestinians were provoked to violence, whether Mr. Arafat could have controlled his police force (not, of course, whether Mr. Barak should have controlled his own police force), and whether throwing stones and petrol bombs was worthy of live-fire killings and whether Israeli helicopter pilots firing missiles into apartment blocks might not have been a bit over the top.
And this, supposedly, is going to save the peace. Frankly, the omens do not look good. For a start, we've already had the US ambassador to the United Nations, Richard Holbrooke – the man who cooked up the Bosnian "peace" – announcing that "it's not the time to start distributing blame".
We've already had the US abstaining from a Security Council condemnation of Ariel Sharon's preposterous visit to the holy places last Thursday and from UN condemnation of Israel's use of "disproportionate force" against Palestinians.
Meanwhile our impartial media continues to suggest that there's nothing very odd about using tanks and missiles against rioters and gunmen. The Los Angeles Times is now talking of the Israeli tactics as "heavy handed" – like a schoolmaster who prefers six of the best to three of the best – while BBC Television news told us when the first helicopter fired a missile into a Palestinian apartment block that the Israelis were "resorting to extreme measures".
Is that what the Los Angeles Times and the BBC would have said if the Palestinians had fired a missile into an Israeli apartment block? I doubt it. I suspect our old friend "terrorism" would have been produced to account for such a barbarity.
I wonder if the CIA will use that highly pejorative word? Or if a single Palestinian will believe what they say? Or a single Israeli for that matter? For it seems a profound reflection on the state of Middle East peace-making that the intelligence service of Israel's principal ally should be deciding who was to blame this week. What next? An inquiry by former KGB men into Russian "heavy-handedness" in Chechnya?
All the same, Mr. Arafat and the Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak, seemed pleased with themselves as Ms Albright announced – to the astonishment, no doubt, of the Israelis – that the Paris talks were a success. At a six-hour meeting, the two sides had discussed "what the problems were for both sides" and both agreed that the "peace process" was "not dead".
No wonder Mr. Barak fled back to Israel from Paris, choosing to let Mr. Arafat and Ms Albright fly to Egypt alone. If those who were supposed to bring a just peace to the Middle East can agree only that peace is not dead, we'd better keep the flak-jackets handy.
Investigative Report - the Public Eye
Bush Violated Security Laws
Four Times, SEC Report Says
By Knut Royce © 2000 http://www.public-i.org/story_01_100400.htm
George W. Bush violated federal securities laws at least four times when he was a director of a Texas oil firm in the late 1980s and early 1990s, according to an internal government report.
The document was prepared by the Securities and Exchange Commission in 1991 during its well-publicized investigation into whether Bush had benefited from insider information when he sold Harken Energy Corp. stock before its value plummeted, and then failed to promptly report the transaction to the SEC in violation of federal law. Bush’s stake in Harken helped make him a multimillionaire.
The internal SEC memorandum, prepared by the commission’s enforcement division and obtained by The Public i from sources, discloses what was previously not known--that Bush also had been tardy in reporting three other transactions involving stock in Harken, on whose board he sat as director.
The Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 requires company insiders to disclose publicly, in a report called a Form 4, all stock purchases and sales by the 10th day of the month following the transaction.
A former SEC official who asked not to be further identified said that he could recall at least one instance—involving the late stock manipulator Alexander Guterma, who began a three-year prison term in 1960 for a variety of securities offenses — where a prison sentence was imposed for failure to report a transaction. More commonly, he said, the SEC has obtained court injunctions barring frequent violators from repeating the offense. But he said that instances of insiders filing late disclosures were “fairly common’’ and that the SEC, with a limited staff, seldom pursued those cases.
The filing requirements are not a trivial matter. Insider transactions can sometimes alert outside investors that corporate officers or directors are nervous about the company’s earnings or growth. They can also alert the SEC that an officer or director benefited from information that only an insider could have known, a violation of securities laws.
Bush, the SEC memo noted, had on four occasions filed late Form 4s involving Harken stock worth more than $1 million. The tardiest—34 weeks late—was his Form 4 report disclosing that he had sold $848,560 of Harken stock on June 22, 1990, just weeks before the company filed a quarterly report revealing that it had hemorrhaged $23 million during that period. Bush had sold his stock for $4 a share. By the end of the year it was trading not much above $1.
The Public i in April reported that Harken had been bleeding profusely in 1989, before Bush sold his stock, but masked the losses by claiming in its annual report a capital gain on the sale of a subsidiary even though the transaction was through a seller-financed loan. Months after Bush sold the stock, the SEC directed Harken to recast its balance sheet to reflect a net loss of $12,566,000 for 1989.
The SEC did not press charges against Bush, even though the tardy disclosures had become something of a pattern, according to the memo, which was drafted for the files on April 9, 1991, by three enforcement investigators.
“The SEC never raised any missed deadlines with us,’’ Bush’s attorney in the matter, Robert Jordan, told Talk magazine, which analyzed the transactions in cooperation with The Public i. “It was either a trivial matter to the SEC, or everything was fine.”
That indeed appears to have been the SEC’s conclusion after it learned that between 1987 and 1989, Bush was about three months late on three other occasions in reporting the acquisition of Harken stock, including the shares he eventually sold in June 1990, the memo discloses.
Yet the memo also makes clear that Bush was aware of the requirement to report insider transactions. On June 25, 1984, the document reveals, he was timely in filing a report disclosing that he was a director of Silver Screen Management Inc., the managing partner of a movie production company, Silver Screen Partners; was prompt in reporting on Aug. 31, 1989, that he owned shares in Tom Brown, Inc., an energy company on whose board he served, and was only three days late in reporting on Jan. 6, 1984, that he owned stock in Lucky Chance Mining, where he also was a director.
In its book The Buying of the President 2000, the Center for Public Integrity reported that Bush had acquired the stock he sold in 1990 in a deal that made little economic sense. Bush had been chief executive officer of a tiny money-losing energy company called Spectrum 7. Harken acquired the firm in 1986 from Bush and two partners for $2 million in stock despite the fact that Spectrum 7 had posted losses of $400,000 six months before the purchase and carried a debt of $3 million.
“His name was George Bush,’’ Phil Kendrick, Harken’s founder, said of the purchase. “That was worth the money they paid him."
At about the same time Bush unloaded his Harken stock in 1990, he also sold nearly $700,000 worth of shares in four other companies. His accountant, according to a March 1992 SEC memo to the file, had been “bugging him to get liquid.” About $600,000 of the proceeds, the memo noted, went to pay off a bank loan he had taken a year earlier for his minority stake in the Texas Rangers baseball team. In 1998 Bush’s trust sold that stake for $16 million, catapulting him to the rank of multimillionaire.t
In the post-Columbine world, police departments all over America are adopting new, no-nonsense SWAT-team tactics
by Timothy Harper
This was only a training exercise. But the point of this training is something radically new and different, and it is unsettling for Larry Layman, his fellow officers in Peoria, Illinois, and thousands of other law-enforcement officers across the country. Historically, the police in the United States have employed a standard response when confronted with armed suspects in schools, malls, banks, post offices, and other heavily populated buildings. The first officers to arrive never rushed in. Instead they set up perimeters and controlled the scene. They tried to contain the suspects, and called in a rigorously trained Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team. The SWAT team arrived, assumed positions to keep the suspects pinned down, and negotiated with them until they surrendered. SWAT teams stormed buildings only when necessary to save lives, such as when hostages were being executed one by one.
Today, however, police officers are setting aside traditional tactics. They are being taught to enter a building if they are the first to arrive at the scene, to chase the gunman, and to kill or disable him as quickly as possible. This sweeping change in police tactics -- variously called rapid-response, emergency-response, or first-responder -- is a direct result of the shootings that occurred at Columbine High School, in Littleton, Colorado, on April 20 of last year, which was the worst in a series of shootings in schools across the United States in the 1990s. Two students armed with bombs and guns invaded Columbine and wandered through the school, firing indiscriminately. Twelve students and a teacher died, and twenty-three other students were wounded. The shooters took their own lives.
The first 911 call from Columbine that day came at 11:19 a.m. Nearly all the victims were shot during the next seventeen minutes, according to a reconstruction released a year later by the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department. The report noted that a deputy sheriff reached the scene at 11:23, four minutes after the call. Many more officers -- eventually nearly a thousand of them -- quickly converged on the school. But the first policemen to go in -- a five-man SWAT team, moving cautiously -- did not enter the school until 12:06, forty-three minutes after the first officers had arrived. The two shooters killed themselves at 12:08. Some of the wounded were not brought out until after 3:00 p.m. The teacher, reportedly, died from loss of blood before the paramedics reached him.
Fifteen families of Columbine victims have filed lawsuits against Jefferson County, and several of those suits claim that lives could have been saved if the police had entered the school sooner. The consensus among law-enforcement authorities across the country is that Columbine was handled by the book -- but that the book should be rewritten. The traditional police response was designed for dealing with trapped bank robbers, angry husbands, or disgruntled employees -- not with disaffected teenagers running through a school killing as many people as possible.
Larry Glick, the executive director of the National Tactical Officers Association, says that Columbine almost immediately became a seminal event in the history of police training and tactics. Most of the nation's 17,000 police agencies, he says, especially the roughly 2,000 agencies with fifty or more officers, have instituted new rapid-response training programs in the past year. These programs are intended to train all police officers -- not just SWAT teams -- to respond swiftly and aggressively if they are among the first officers on the scene. Glick's association, with 37,000 members from 3,500 participating police agencies, teaches SWAT specialists to retrain their fellow officers, including everyday patrolmen like Larry Layman.
"The time line of the violence -- from the time the shooting begins until it's over -- is short," Glick says. "Traditional police responses just may not cut it." Typically, he says, an officer arrives on the scene within three or four minutes, but it takes thirty to sixty minutes to muster a SWAT team. Under the new training, the first four or five officers on a scene, no matter what their rank or experience, form a "contact team" and go in. "Their sole purpose is to move right to the shooter and stop him, using whatever force is necessary," Glick says. The contact team is supposed to pursue gunmen, pressure them to keep moving, and prevent them from taking over populated areas. (The Columbine killers seized the school library, where they killed ten and wounded twelve of their victims.)
The training simulates the horror and confusion of a Columbine-style shooting. Bombs explode. Water gushes from broken pipes and rains down from sprinkler systems. The lights go off. Trainers acting like madmen fire "simunitions" -- nonlethal bullets that splatter paint on contact -- at the trainees. Other trainers, acting as innocent bystanders or wounded victims, run toward the officers, pleading for help. Officers were traditionally trained to help the wounded and evacuate bystanders. Now they are taught to step over the wounded, push bystanders aside, and keep pursuing the shooters. In the past SWAT marksmen were expected to put a shooter down. Now every officer is instructed to "take the shot if you have it." Glick acknowledges that the fear of lawsuits is one factor behind the new tactics. "Do lawsuits drive training?" he says. "Absolutely. But the bottom line is that this training can save lives."
THE day after Columbine, municipal officials and police chiefs across the nation asked their SWAT team leaders, "If it had happened here, what would have been the result?" They received answers similar to the one that Sergeant Jeff Adams, a longtime SWAT team leader and trainer in Peoria, gave: "The same thing would have happened here." Adams and other trainers for Peoria's Special Response Team (which, he says, was renamed because "SWAT" emphasizes weapons) went through their own retraining last winter. In March they began passing along the new tactics to each of Peoria's 235 active officers. "Columbine was a wakeup call," Adams says.
Under the Peoria Police Department's new rapid-response protocol, the first officer on the scene of a Columbine-style shooting waits until three others arrive to form a contact team. Officers in a smaller group or alone would not have 360-degree coverage, Adams says, and Rambo-style freelancing would confuse communications and increase the chances of "blue on blue" casualties: police officers shooting each other. The contact team forms a diamond, with a point, two flanks, and a rear guard handling radio communications. The team enters the building and moves through it as quickly as possible; team members maintain their relative positions so that they can see and hear each other. In a large building a second team may go in, either to help track down the shooters or to rescue bystanders and the wounded.
Adams says that gunmen are less likely to fire at innocent bystanders if they are shooting at pursuing police officers. "We train them to move to the sound of gunfire," he says. "Shooting scenes are very chaotic and stressful. You experience sensory overload. Every time you hear a gunshot, assume someone has been wounded. Try to take ground, and isolate the shooter. If the shooter decides to commit suicide by police, we'll oblige. The person making the decision on how it will end is the bad guy. We're just reacting." Adams says, however, that "deadly force imperatives" have not changed for the Peoria police. "We teach that you should shoot what you know, not what you think you know. That man with a gun in his hand who steps out of a doorway may be a plainclothes police officer or a school security guard. Or maybe a teacher who brought a gun to school."
Neither trainees nor trainers doubt that the new tactics heighten the risks that police officers must accept in the line of duty. "Most officers fit into a rescue role better than an attack role," Adams acknowledges. His message to reluctant trainees in Peoria is grim: "You are a police officer. No one wants to do this. But you swore an oath of office. Your oath of office promises to serve and protect. Let's say it's your wife or children in there. What do you want me to do?" Adams has had to pull aside a couple of officers who were having difficulty with the training. "What you're seeing is terrible," he said to them. "That's why we've got to stop it."
To David Klinger, a former police officer who is now a professor of criminology at the University of Missouri at St. Louis, the unease caused by the new training is understandable. "It points up how most policemen don't ever think of using force, deadly force,"he says. "It's not something officers contemplate. But now they have to contemplate it. It goes against the doctrines that we've been teaching officers for a long time. It's not going to be easy. The answer is to train more, and to let officers know that ninety-nine percent of the time they should still wait, but that in some circumstances waiting is wrong."
So far rapid-response training has encountered little public opposition, but Klinger expects that will change the first time the police kill a suspect instead of capturing him, or the first time an officer firing at a suspect hits an innocent person instead. "We're going to have to come to the conclusion in our society that in some situations the police need to shoot people," he says. "Regardless of the outcome, we have to accept that, even knowing that mistakes are possible. It's an incredibly complex situation in an incredibly dynamic environment."
THE Peoria Police Department conducted its training in a department store that had gone out of business. Larry Layman and his fellow trainees wore and carried standard equipment, including bulletproof vests. The only special items employed in the exercise were simunitions, carried by the officers as well as by the trainers, and hockey-style helmets with clear-plastic visors. After lectures and videos explaining the new tactics, Layman and the three other officers in his contact team were sent into a "live" exercise. They were told that one or more gunmen were running rampant in a school. Layman was the team's point man when the trainer shouted "Go!"
"It was instant chaos," Layman recalls. He heard gunfire down the hall, and began moving quickly, almost running, toward it. A man shot him and then disappeared around a corner. Layman felt the pain in his arm, glanced at the splotch of red paint, and knew he'd have a bruise later. He kept jogging, making sure he didn't get too far ahead of his team. "The trainers told us we couldn't quit, even if we were hit," he said. "We had to keep going."
Layman stepped over people who were lying on the floor, playing wounded students. They moaned that they were hurt, clutched at his legs, and begged him to stop and help them. One man, playing a terrified but unhurt student, leaped from a doorway and grabbed him. Layman wrestled the man away and pushed him toward his trailing teammates, who in turn pushed the man behind them and told him to run back down the hallway to the exit. Another man leaped from a doorway, but this one fired at Layman's team. Others, with guns blazing, attacked from behind or sniped at the officers from doorways. When the contact team's blue-paint simunitions struck the attackers squarely on their vests or helmets, the gunmen stepped aside. They were out of the exercise.
One gunman stayed just ahead of Layman, shooting and then ducking around corners as Layman chased him and fired back. Often during his career Layman had considered switching to one of the high-powered semi-automatics that many younger officers now carry. Maybe a .45-caliber or a 9mm, maybe a fifteen-shot rapid-fire Glock. At that moment, however, he was glad to have his old .38, the six-shooter he had been carrying for twenty-six years. Younger policemen laughed at his weapon and called it an underpowered antique, but it felt like an old friend in his hands as he fired all six shots and reloaded on the run, again and again. "In the old days, if you had to shoot your gun, they taught you to fire in a burst of two shots and then assess," Layman says. "You'd pause. Then another burst of two, and assess again. In this new training they teach you that if you are going to shoot your gun, you empty it."
When he came upon the suspect holding the gun to the hostage's head, Layman's initial impulse was to drop his gun. "That's what you were always taught -- drop the gun, just like on the TV shows," he says. "Now they teach you to shoot. They say if you don't shoot, the hostage is probably going to die anyway." Most of the gunman's body was shielded by the hostage, but Layman did not hesitate. He took the shot. Blue paint exploded against the gunman's helmet. "Only about a quarter of this bad guy's head was visible, but I hit it," Layman says, marveling. "I surprised myself. At the end of the chase I was able to hit a target. I was able to stay focused and just keep shooting."
His clean head shot ended the exercise. The whole thing had taken barely three minutes, but it had seemed like three hours to Layman. He accepted muted congratulations on his shot, and then sat with his contact team in a debriefing room. Layman was panting and exhausted. He was having trouble hearing in the aftermath of the gunfire. His muscles ached as his adrenaline level returned to normal. He was going to be sore all over, and black and blue where he'd been shot in the arms and legs. The trainers went over what Layman and his team had done well, and reviewed the instances in which they had been "killed." The trainers and the contact team talked for twenty minutes about what the officers could or should do differently in a live situation.
"Okay, you guys, good job," the officer overseeing the training finally said. "Now let's do it again."
Layman groaned. He grudgingly strapped his vest and helmet back on, and reloaded his gun. "You can't imagine the fatigue from a shoot-'em-up scenario like that," he says. A few minutes later he and his team were in a different part of the old department store, with a different layout and different shooters. This time they were the second team in, the rescue team. Their job was to follow the contact team, direct unhurt people toward a safe exit, and get the wounded out. "Triage is a big part of it," Layman says. "You have to make immediate decisions about who to take out, who to stop and help. It's tragic, but if several people are down, you go to the first one, and if that person is going to die, you go on to the next one."
A COUPLE of nights later, nursing his aches and pains with a light beer and a cheap cigar, Layman confessed that the training unnerved him. "It's so different from what we've always been taught. It's contrary to what's become almost instinct for us," he told me. He said he's also uncertain whether all police officers can or should be put into rapid-response situations. "The first cops running into that building are going to be beat cops. If it's a school or an office building, it's probably going to be daytime during the week. The cops with the most seniority work days -- the old cops, like me. A lot of older cops are just putting in their time until retirement. They don't sit around talking about police tactics. They talk about where they're going to live in Florida, or the fishing trips they're going to take in Wisconsin. I let myself get out of shape over the years, and there are other fat old doughnut-eating cops who are worse than me. I wouldn't want to go into a situation like Columbine with those guys, and I wouldn't blame another cop for not wanting to go in with me. It scares me."
At the same time, he says, he's glad he had the training. "Even the thought of it is terrifying, but as long as the nuts are out there, we have to prepare for them," he says. He would welcome more training, but doubts that his department, or any other, can adequately train every single police officer for a Columbine-style shooting. "The new training doesn't come close to what would be needed," he says. "To be really prepared for something like that, we would need to be trained almost weekly."
Two months after that rapid-response training session, Layman told me that it had helped motivate him to get into better shape. He began working out more, and went on a diet. He managed to lose twenty-five pounds. "The whole experience has been a real reminder of what cops are supposed to be able to do," he says. "I pray to God I'm never in a situation like that, but if I am, I want to be able to do my part."
Timothy Harper is the author of License to Steal: The Secret World of Wall Street and the Systematic Plundering of the American Investor (1999).
Emeryville Superintendent Resigns Amid Allegations
Tuesday, October 3, 2000 San Francisco Chronicle
EMERYVILLE -- Emeryville schools Superintendent J.L. Handy has resigned amid new allegations that he used a district credit card to buy himself fine leather and cigars while vacationing in Manhattan, Montana and New Orleans.
The California Department of Education and an Alameda County grand jury are now investigating Handy for possible misuse of public funds. They are poring over his credit card and expense records, which were obtained yesterday by The Chronicle.
Handy racked up $62,000 on the district credit card in two years while his tiny, three-school district fell $600,000 into the red. He has provided receipts for only one trip, a $4,000 school conference in Las Vegas, said Sheila Jordan, superintendent of the Alameda County Office of Education.
Handy did not return calls yesterday. His two-sentence, handwritten resignation letter, submitted Saturday, thanked the school board for his seven-year tenure. Although the school board just approved a three- year extension of Handy's $115,000 contract, his resignation means he will not collect his salary. It remained unclear yesterday whether he will collect other benefits.
Jordan confiscated Handy's credit card last month and appointed a fiscal adviser to take control of Emeryville's budget. Last week, her office approved a $600,000 bailout loan for Emeryville schools. As part of the loan, she also took control of all personnel decisions.
Last night, she appointed Assistant County Schools Superintendent Laura Alvaranga to become interim superintendent of Emeryville's schools, which scored at the bottom on new state math and reading tests.
``I feel confident we are now on top of the situation,'' Jordan said. ``Students and parents should feel safe that their welfare is being safeguarded.''
State schools chief Delaine Eastin has joined the inquiry with Jordan and will send state auditors to Emeryville to probe deeper into how Handy spent state and federal grants and bond money, and how he chose and paid contractors.
The Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team will look into allegations that Handy remodeled his office with school modernization bond money and hired and overpaid his friends for contract work without putting projects out for public bid.
A recent Chronicle report disclosed that Handy hired a security company owned by Keith Higgins, a salaried football coach for the district, who collected more than $100,000 to provide security guards to patrol the schools.
Credit card statements obtained yesterday by The Chronicle show that Handy has taken trips to Hong Kong, China, Montana, New Mexico, New York and Monterey since 1998. He spent $800 for leather goods and luggage and $140 for pet supplies at PetSmart and charged the school district for items purchased at Nordstrom and at a cigar store in Florida.
Many of the charges were made when Handy was supposed to be on personal vacation, Jordan said. Every trip included rental cars, gift shopping and meals at ritzy places like Nepenthe in Big Sur, records show. He bought a handbag and several expensive flower arrangements with no clear business purpose, records show. One vacation stay at the Crowne Plaza in Manhattan cost the schools $2,359.
One trip to Hong Kong and China last October was for an education seminar. Conference organizers paid Handy's hotel bills as part of the $3,895 fee, but Handy still charged the district $700 for other hotels, leather goods and terra cotta warrior figurines for his office, records show.
Handy made 13 trips to the Orange County Airport in Santa Ana, without explanation.
When Handy was back home, he took himself out to meals almost daily at Kathleen's Doyle Street Cafe in Emeryville, records show. He spent thousands on Emeryville hotel rooms less than a mile from his office, including several $275 charges last November.
So far, Handy has repaid $5,400 in credit card charges. He may be forced to pay back much more. Investigators are questioning more than $68,000 in expenses during his seven-year tenure.
Before coming to Emeryville, Handy was ousted from the 31,000- student Compton public school system in 1992 after running up a $5 million deficit that prompted a state takeover.
Jordan is forming a district budget advisory group for Emeryville, which will allow business owners, parents and teachers to develop a long-term financial plan for the district. Part of their job will be to develop a district credit card policy and travel guidelines for the new superintendent. The district currently lacks both.
``I think Handy's resignation is the right thing,'' said Jerome Wiggins, a trustee of the Alameda County School Board.
``The buck stops in the superintendent's office. This is in the best interest of the kids.''
Editorial Assistant Susan Graves contributed to this story. E-mail Meredith May at
NY Times -The Death Factory
by Robert Lederman © 2000
Bob Herbert's otherwise excellent piece on Texas' death penalty, The Death Factory NY Times 10/2/2000, leaves out the single most important fact in understanding this phenomena. There's an agenda behind Bush's application of the death penalty. It's called Eugenics.
The think tank where Gov. Bush and NYC Mayor Giuliani get their "ideas", the Manhattan Institute, is a proponent of the same Eugenics policies that were behind the Third Reich, rephrased into politically correct terminology in order to meet contemporary standards. These ideas have been tirelessly promoted by some of the most influential lords of Wall Street and American industry.
Mr. Herbert, who is one of NYC's best informed and most skillful writers, surely knows all about the Manhattan Institute, a right wing CIA-sponsored think tank that the NY Times has written glowing puff pieces about. Yet he and the Times continue to write about the repressive, racist even deadly agenda of Bush and Giuliani as if it exists in a vacuum. It doesn't.
The Bell Curve, a pseudo-scientific text proposing the genetic inferiority of African Americans as the explanation of crime, poverty and low academic achievement, was written by Charles Murray while he was a Fellow of the Manhattan Institute. The book was financed by the Pioneer Fund, the nation's leading proponent of Eugenics, which has direct ties to Adolph Hitler and Nazi Germany.
GW Bush proudly claims the Manhattan Institute's influence on his ideas is second only to the Bible. Murray continues to speak at the Manhattan Institute and promote his books from their website to this day, despite their false claims to have disassociated themselves from him.
The Bell Curve, Fixing Broken Windows and other books associated with the Manhattan Institute are the ideology behind racial profiling, stop and search, eliminating affirmative action, police brutality, privatizing schools, cutting welfare and many other policies that Bush and Giuliani are known for. They are even proponents of using pesticides on urban populations, which both Bush and Giuliani have recently been doing in an unprecedented manner.
To write about these issues, as Mr. Herbert does on an almost daily basis, without including even a mention of the Manhattan Institute, is like writing about American history without mentioning George Washington, slavery or the US Constitution.
Either the Times should remove its false advertising of "all the news that'sfit to print" or it should start including this fundamental link to understanding how America is becoming a Eugenics-based police state in every article on these subjects.
Robert Lederman, President of A.R.T.I.S.T. (Artists’’ Response To Illegal State Tactics) (718) 743-3722 West Nile Virus info http://Baltech.org/lederman/spray/ SprayNo archives http://www.egroups.com/group/sprayno Street artist info http://www.openair.org/alerts/artist/nyc.html NY Times October 2, 2000
IN AMERICA - The Death Factory By Bob Herbert © 2000
By the end of the year Texas will likely have set a record for executing people. The number of inmates marched into the death chamber in Texas this year is expected to reach 40 by New Year's Eve. That would be the highest number of prisoners put to death by one state since officials began compiling death penalty statistics from across the country some 70 years ago.
The current record is also held by Texas, which executed 37 people in 1997. Since the Supreme Court lifted the ban on capital punishment in 1982, Texas has executed 231 inmates. No other state has come close to that figure.
And few, if any, states could match the consistently unjust and unquestionably inhumane manner in which Texas sends its prisoners to their doom. Peruse the death penalty cases in Texas and you will find repeated instances of hapless prisoners condemned to death at the hands ofoverzealous prosecutors, biased and incompetent judges, and defense lawyers who slept through the trials, who were addicted to alcohol or drugs, who knew nothing about trying capital cases and who did virtually nothing on behalf of their clients.
The death penalty, as applied in Texas, is often little more than a legal lynching.
Robert McGlasson is a competent attorney who is handling the appeal of a condemned prisoner named Calvin Burdine. The court-appointed lawyer who represented Mr. Burdine at his trial was Joe Frank Cannon. Mr. Cannon, who is now deceased, slept through significant portions of the trial.
That might have been a problem elsewhere but not in Texas. Despite the sleeping attorney, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals upheld the conviction and the death sentence. A saner perspective came from a federal judge who reviewed the case and concluded that "sleeping counsel is equivalent to no counsel at all."
This did not sit well with Texas officials and they are appealing the federal ruling.
Mr. McGlasson told me last week that when he asked Mr. Cannon, the sleepy trial lawyer, for his file on the case, Mr. Cannon turned over a mere five pages of handwritten notes. The notes contained a total of 269 words. That meager collection of words —— about one-third the length of this column —— constituted the entire trial file for a death penalty case.
The defendant in this case, Mr. Burdine, is gay. Perhaps Mr. Cannon was asleep when the prosecutor, urging the jury to condemn Mr. Burdine to death, argued that "sending a homosexual to the penitentiary certainly isn't a very bad punishment for a homosexual." In any event, Mr. Cannon didn't object to that line of reasoning.
But he was most certainly awake when, at a post-trial evidentiary hearing, he used derogatory terms to refer to his client and other homosexual men,the mildest of which were "queers" and "fairies."
This is what passes for justice in Texas.
In an article in the Texas Law Review, Stephen Bright, director of the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta, said, "The Texas judiciary has responded to the clamor for executions by processing capital cases in assembly-line fashion with little or no regard for the fairness or integrity of the process."
But Gov. George W. Bush, on whose watch 144 prisoners have been executed, has insisted that every person put to death in Texas had "full access to the courts" and "full access to a fair trial."
Not only is that not true, it is often impossible to tell from the hideously unfair ways in which accused prisoners in Texas are prosecuted, convicted and executed whether they were in fact guilty or innocent.
Governor Bush may well believe that everybody executed in Texas was guilty, but he has only faith —— not the facts —— to guide him.
Much of the process is a crapshoot. Mr. Bright cited a case in which "a Texas lawyer, later suspended from practice, presented no evidence about his client at the penalty phase of the trial and then made no closing argument, instead saying: "You are an extremely intelligent jury. You've got that man's life in your hands. You can take it or not. That's all I have to say."
As the body count continues to mount, the death penalty system in Texas reveals itself ever more clearly as a cruel caricature, a mockery of the very idea of fairness and due process. It's not a quest for justice. It's an exercise in evil.
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