Click. TWO MEN SENTENCED FOR THE SAME CRIME?  It's happening in America! A tribute to those who would throw out the courts, and institute profiling (genetic, pigmentation, sexism, classism, or as referred to in Meese Team's Oaktown -- "whatever") as constituting the actus reus, mens reus and corpus delicti of "crime." To fathom why the Courts have turned stupid with mind-controlled judges sending people up the river for zilch, see above re:  



By Gary Klien © 2000 Marin Independent Journal

A prominent psychiatrist best known for the "Twinkie Defense" in the 1979 Moscone-Milk murder trial was stabbed in the chest yesterday at his home in San Anselmo, police said.

Martin Blinder survived the attack and police named his ex-wife, Dorothy Braco, as the suspect. Braco, 61, remained at large last night.

Blinder, 63, frantically called police at 2:41 p.m. after he was stabbed on the patio of his three-story hillside home at 130 Melville Ave., said San Anselmo Police Chief Charles Maynard. Blinder suffered at least one wound to his upper left torso and lost a considerable amount of blood.

Blinder was taken to Marin General Hospital and rushed into surgery. He was in stable condition late last night and is expected to live, Maynard said.

Police broadcast a bulletin for Braco, who was believed to be driving a black 1994 Volkswagen Jetta with the license plate 3HKP094. Braco, who lives in Rohnert Park, is described as 5 feet, 3 inches tall, 150 pounds and dressed in gray, loose-fitting clothing and a black wig. Police said she left the scene spattered in blood and may be contemplating suicide.

The weapon has not been found.

While Blinder is best known as a forensic psychiatrist, his eclectic career also has included work as a musician, college professor, politician, playwright and author. His books include "Lovers, Killers, Husbands and Wives," a compilation of his interviews with convicted murderers.

Blinder's political career has included stints as a mayor and councilman in San Anselmo, where he once proposed that a section of Faude Park be set aside for nude sunbathing.

But it was his testimony during the trial of San Francisco Supervisor Dan White that has earned him his most enduring notoriety.

White, who gunned down San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk in their City Hall offices in 1978, was convicted for manslaughter rather than murder partly on the basis of Blinder's testimony. Blinder testified that White's junk-food diet of Twinkies and Coca-Cola contributed to his erratic behavior.

Newspapers famously dubbed the testimony the "Twinkie Defense," to Blinder's chagrin.

"If you read the transcripts, you'll see that his diet was only a tangential part of that defense," he said in an interview 20 years after the slayings.

Despite his many professional triumphs, Blinder's personal travail has generated nearly as much public interest.

In 1976, Braco, his first wife, had their 10-year marriage dissolved, citing irreconcilable differences.

Three years later, Braco took Blinder to court to block him from visiting their two children. According to court documents, Braco claimed the family house in San Anselmo was being rented to porn producers and that photographs of the children were visible in the background of an X-rated film.

Blinder remarried, but his new wife, Elizabeth, shot herself to death with a .25-caliber gun in 1986. Police said she had been despondent over family problems.

In 1994, Blinder sought a restraining order against a woman he had dated much of the previous year, saying she had been harassing him with threats, unwanted marriage proposals and flower deliveries. He later dropped the request for the restraining order.

Among Blinder's many writings is a self-help book called "Choosing Lovers," subtitled "Patterns of Romance: How You Select Partners in Intimacy, the Ways You Connect and Why You Break Apart." It was published in 1989.

"Even hugely unhappy relations can provide the route to happy relationships later," Blinder told the IJ while promoting the book. "I see this less as a pathology than as evolution.


"The October 1970 plot against Chile's President-elect Salvador Allende, using CIA 'sub-machine guns and ammo', was the direct result of a plea for action a month earlier by Donald Kendall, chairman of PepsiCo, in two telephone calls to the company's former lawyer, President Richard Nixon...."
November 8, 1998
A Marxist threat to cola sales? Pepsi demands a US coup. Goodbye Allende. Hello Pinochet

By Gregory Palast

'It is the firm and continuing policy that Allende be overthrown by a coup... Please review all your present and possibly new activities to include propaganda, black operations, surfacing of intelligence or disinformation, personal contacts, or anything else your imagination can conjure...'

'Eyes only, restricted handling, secret' message. To US station chief, Santiago. From CIA headquarters. 16 October 1970.

You would be wrong to assume this plan for mayhem was another manifestation of the Cold War between the 'free world' and communism. Much more was at stake: Pepsi-Cola's market share and other matters closer to the heart of corporate America.

In exclusive interviews with The Observer last week, the former US Ambassador to Chile, Edward Korry, told the story in - and behind - these and other top secret CIA, State Department and White House cables recently released by the National Security Archives. Korry filled in gaps in the story by describing cables still classified, and disclosing information censored in papers now available under the US Freedom of Information Act. Korry, who served Presidents Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon, told how US companies, from cola to copper, using the CIA as an international debt collection agency and investment security force.

Indeed, the October 1970 plot against Chile's President-elect Salvador Allende, using CIA 'sub-machine guns and ammo', was the direct result of a plea for action a month earlier by Donald Kendall, chairman of PepsiCo, in two telephone calls to the company's former lawyer, President Richard Nixon. Kendall arranged for the owner of the company's Chilean bottling operation to meet National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger on September 15. Hours later, Nixon called in his CIA chief, Richard Helms, and, according to Helms's handwritten notes, ordered the CIA to prevent Allende's

But this is only half the story, according to Korry. He claims the US conspiracy against Allende's election did not begin with Nixon, but originated - and read no further if you cherish the myth of Camelot - with John Kennedy.

In 1963, Allende was heading towards victory in Chile's presidential election. Kennedy decided his political creation, Eduardo Frei, the late father of Chile's current President, Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle, could win the election by buying it. Kennedy left it to his brother, Bobby, the Attorney-General, to put the plan into action.

The Kennedys cajoled US multinationals into pouring $2 billion into Chile, a nation of only 8 million people. This was not benign investment, but what Korry calls 'a mutually corrupting' web of business deals, many questionable, for which the US government would arrange guarantees and insurance.

In return, the American-based firms kicked back millions of dollars to pay for well over half of Frei's successful election campaign. By the end of this process, Americans had gobbled up more than 85 per cent of Chile's hard-currency earning industries.

The US government, the guarantor of these investments, committed extraordinary monetary, intelligence and political resources to protect them. Several business-friendly US government front organisations and operatives were sent into Chile -including the American Institute for Free Labor Development, infamous for sabotaging militant trade unions. Then, in 1970, US investments, both financial and political, faced unexpected jeopardy. A split between Chile's centre and right-wing parties permitted an alliance of communists, socialists and radicals - uniting behind the socialist Allende - to finish the presidential election 1 per cent ahead of his nearest rival.

That October, Korry, a hardened anti-communist, hatched an off-the-wall scheme to block Allende's inauguration and return Frei to power. To promote his own bloodless intrigues, the ambassador claims he 'back-channeled' a message to Washington warning against military actions that might lead to 'another Bay of Pigs' fiasco. (Korry retains a copy of this still-classified cable.)

But Korry's prescient message only angered Kissinger, who had already authorised the Pepsi-instigated coup, scheduled for the following week. Kissinger ordered Korry to fly in secret to Washington that weekend for a dressing-down. Still not knowing about the CIA plan, Korry told Kissinger in a White House corridor that 'only a madman' would plot with Chile's ultra-right generals.

As if on cue, Kissinger opened the door to the Oval Office to introduce Nixon. Nixon - who described his ambassador as 'soft in the head' - did agree that, tactically, a coup could not yet succeed. A last-minute cable to the CIA to delay action was too late: the conspirators kidnapped and killed Chile's pro- democracy Armed Forces Chief, Rene Schneider. Public revulsion at this crime assured Allende's confirmation by Chile's Congress. Even if the US president's sense of realpolitik may have disposed him to a
modus vivendi with Allende - Korry's alternative if his Frei gambit failed - Nixon faced intense pressure from his political donors in business who were panicked by Allende's plans to nationalise their operations.

In particular, the president was aware that the owner of Chile's phone company, ITT Corporation, was illegally channelling funds into Republican Party coffers. Nixon could not ignore ITT - and ITT wanted blood. An ITT board member, ex-CIA director John McCone, pledged Kissinger $1 million in support of CIA action to prevent Allende from taking office. Separately, Anaconda Copper and other multinationals, under the aegis of David Rockefeller's Business Group for Latin America, offered $500,000 to buy influence with Chilean congressmen to reject confirmation of Allende's victory. But Korry wouldn't play. While he knew nothing of the ITT demands on the CIA, he got wind of, and vetoed, the cash for payoffs from Anaconda and the other firms.

Korry, speaking last week from his home in Charlotte, North Carolina, disclosed that he even turned in to the Chilean authorities an army major who planned to assassinate Allende - unaware the officer was linked to the CIA plotters.

Once Allende took office, Korry sought accommodation with the new government, conceding that expropriations of the telephone and copper concessions (actually begun under Frei) were necessary to disentangle Chile from seven decades of 'incestuous and corrupting' dependency. US corporations didn't see it that way. While pretending to bargain in good faith, they pushed the White House to impose a clandestine embargo on Chile's economy. But in case all schemes failed, ITT, claims Korry, paid $500,000 to someone referred to in their intercepted cables as 'The Fat
Man'. Korry identified him as Jacobo Schaulsohn, Allende's ally on a committee set up to compensate firms whose property had been expropriated. It was not money well spent. In 1971, when Allende learned of the corporate machinations against his government, he refused the compensation. It was this - the Chilean leader's failure to pay, not his perceived allegiance to the hammer and sickle - that sealed his fate.

The State Department pulled Korry out of Santiago in October 1971. On his return to the US, he advised the government's Overseas Private Investment Corporation to deny Anaconda Copper and ITT compensation for their seized property. Korry argued that, like someone who burns down their own home, ITT could not claim against insurance for an expropriation the company had itself provoked by violating Chilean law.

Confidentially, he recommended criminal charges against ITT's top brass, including, implicitly, chief executive Harold Geneen, for falsifying the insurance claims and lying to Congress.

Given powerful evidence against the companies, OPIC at first refused them compensation, and the Justice Department indicted two mid-level ITT operatives for perjury. But ultimately, the companies received their money and the executives went free on the grounds that they were working with the full co-operation of the CIA - and higher.

In September 1970 in a secret cable to the US Secretary of State, ambassador Korry quotes Jean Genet: 'Even if my hands were full of truths, I wouldn't open it for others.' Why open his hand now? At 77, one supposes there is a desire to correct history. He says only that it is important to take out of the shadows what he calls - optimistically - the last case of US 'dollar diplomacy'. 

Lawyers complain of doublespeak in robbery sentencing

By Bob Egelko
October 8, 2000

Two Solano County men are serving prison time for something only one of them could have done.

A judge added 16 months to Jonathan C. Shaw's sentence in 1995 for a Fairfield restaurant robbery because a jury found he held a gun to the manager's head.

More than two years later, another jury, hearing different testimony and unaware of Shaw's conviction, decided Mango Watts had the gun, a finding that added 10 years to Watts' sentence.

All sides agree that only one used the gun, and only one could be legally punished for it. That means at least one jury was wrong, and one man is serving a longer sentence than he should.

Defense lawyers call it prosecution doublespeak - a practice that can put convicts on death row who don't belong there.

With little success so far, defense lawyers in California and elsewhere have been trying to persuade courts to require prosecutors to stick to one version of the facts in multiple trials. They claim the practice violates due process of law, the prohibition against knowing presentation of false evidence, and ethical standards that require prosecutors to seek justice first and convictions second.

With some exceptions, like the Watts-Shaw case, prosecutors deny presenting conflicting evidence from one trial to the next. They say, instead, that they've offered different versions of the same facts - stressing the guilt of the defendant in each trial. Prosecutors say each jury can make up its own mind about who belongs in prison or on death row, no matter what an earlier jury decided.

So far, California courts haven't objected, even when the results of two trials seem impossible to reconcile. A state appellate court upheld Watts' sentence last November and said judges have no obligation to harmonize inconsistent verdicts by different juries.

"The integrity of the judicial system is not compromised by the prosecution of two individuals for the same crime when there is probable cause to support charges against each individual," said the 1st District Court of Appeal.

The court said prosecutors are free to present evidence of a defendant's guilt to a jury even when "it also appears that someone else may have been mistakenly convicted of the same crime."

The Watts case is the only published ruling by a California court on the issue of conflicting prosecutions, and is therefore binding on all trial judges in the state. It's not likely the courts will see many identical cases - one crime, two convictions - but the prosecution methods accepted in the Solano County case have a lot in common with those used to send at least 10 prisoners to death row in California and elsewhere.

One Californian, Thomas Thompson, was executed in 1997 after his lawyers unsuccessfully fought for a new trial because of conflicts between the prosecutions of Thompson and a co-defendant.

Lawyers say such conflicts are more likely to arise in capital cases because multiple defendants are often tried separately to allow jurors to decide whether each should face the death penalty.

In most of the death penalty cases under review, there's little doubt the defendants played a sufficient part in the crime to make them legally guilty of murder.

But a jury's assessment of the defendant's role may make the difference between life and death.

"Where the jury's making a moral assessment of whether someone deserves to live or die . . . one of the most important things is who did what," says San Francisco attorney Cliff Gardner, a veteran death penalty litigator who is trying to get the state Supreme Court to look at the issue.

Because a jury's death penalty decision is personal and subjective, it's hard to know whether variations in a prosecution case made a difference - whether jurors might have spared a defendant's life if they had heard the case that was presented to a co-defendant's jury.

Consider these cases:

-- At Thompson's trial for the rape and murder of a young Orange County woman in 1981, the prosecutor said there was no evidence that David Leitch, Thompson's roommate and the victim's former boyfriend, was in the apartment or that anyone but Thompson had a motive for murder. Two years later, in Leitch's trial, the same prosecutor said Leitch was in the apartment, was at least as guilty as Thompson and had the only motive to kill the victim.

The prosecutor, Deputy District Attorney Michael Jacobs, later maintained there was no inconsistency because he had told both juries that Thompson was the killer and that Leitch put him up to it. But defense lawyers said Thompson would have gotten a lesser sentence, if not an acquittal, if the prosecutor had conceded Leitch's presence and motive.

Thompson's death sentence was briefly overturned by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which said the only consistency between the two trials was "the prosecutor's desire to win at any cost." But the Supreme Court ruled the issue was raised too late, and lifted the stay of execution without ruling on the prosecution conflicts.

Leitch was convicted of second-degree murder and is in prison.

-- In the Los Angeles murder trial of Tauno Waidla, the prosecutor portrayed him as the planner and dominant partner of a pair who robbed and killed a fellow Estonian immigrant in 1988. A prosecution medical expert testified that the victim's wounds showed she was already dead when Waidla and co-defendant Peter Sakarias dragged her body into a bedroom, where Sakarias hit her with the same hatchet Waidla had already used to kill her.

But in Sakarias' trial, the same prosecutor called the two equal partners and said Sakarias struck the fatal blow in the bedroom.

Both men were sentenced to death and lost their initial appeals to the state Supreme Court, which did not rule on the issue of prosecution conflicts. Sakarias, represented by Gardner, has filed a new appeal asking the court to decide whether conflicting prosecutions violate a defendant's right to due process of law, the same question raised by Shaw in his pending appeal of his robbery sentence.

"The prosecutor knowingly asked the jury to sentence (Sakarias) to death based on a theory of crime the prosecutor himself had disavowed only six months earlier. . . . The prosecutor's conduct in this case smacks of gamesmanship and is completely inconsistent with a search for truth," Gardner said in papers filed with the court, which has not decided whether to review the case.

Deputy Attorney General Michael Keller defended the prosecutor, saying he had told both juries that both defendants attacked the victim and caused her death. Any inconsistencies, such as when she died and which blow was fatal, "must be deemed trivial," Keller said in court papers.

-- In the trial of Samuel Bonner for the murder of a man during a Long Beach apartment burglary in 1982, the prosecutor argued that the evidence, including Bonner's purported confession, showed he was the triggerman. The jury convicted Bonner of murder but found he had not used a gun.

The prosecutor then dropped his request for a death sentence against Bonner and went to trial two months later against Watson Allison, arguing that he had fired the fatal shot and that Bonner had merely driven the getaway car. Allison's lawyer was unaware of Bonner's alleged confession, and it was never mentioned to the jury that decided Allison should be sentenced to death.

Bonner is serving 25 years to life; Allison is asking a federal judge for a new trial.

"This flip-flopping of theories of the offense compromised the integrity of the judicial process," Allison's lawyer, Carol Lysaght, argued in court papers. The state's lawyer declined comment.

In similar cases in Georgia and Texas, four men have been executed and two co-defendants of prisoners who were executed are on death row.

One Texas case gave the U.S. Supreme Court a chance to set legal standards in 1995. Jesse Jacobs had confessed to a murder, but recanted before trial and testified that his sister had killed the victim while he waited outside, unaware of her plans. The prosecutor argued that Jacobs' testimony was a lie, and he was sentenced to death.

A few months later, when Jacobs' sister went to trial, the prosecutor said he now believed Jacobs. His sister was convicted of involuntary manslaughter.

Jacobs then sought a stay, arguing that the prosecutor had repudiated the basis of his death sentence. But he was executed after the Supreme Court turned him down on a 6-3 vote.

The majority issued no written ruling to explain its reasons, leaving lower courts to set their own standards.

The death penalty coordinator in the California attorney general's office cautions against oversimplifying the issue.

"Very often, with multiple defendants, it's impossible to determine exactly who did what," said Senior Assistant Attorney General Dane Gillette. "Obviously, in each trial, you want to put the emphasis as much as possible on the person who's there."

If one jury disbelieves a prosecutor's argument that a defendant was the killer, Gillette said, the prosecutor should be free to make the same accusation against another defendant. But if two verdicts were so inconsistent that they couldn't be reconciled, he said, "it would be of real concern to us."

The only thing the state has done about the Shaw and Watts cases, which appear to present the contradiction Gillette described, is to defend the verdicts on appeal.

sub Convicted in separate trials

The men were convicted separately of taking part in the $1,500 robbery of a Lyons restaurant in Fairfield in September 1995.

One held a gun to the head of the manager, Cheryl Bishop, and told her to open the safe, but ran off when another robber shouted it was time to go. Bishop could not identify the man, who under state law faced a longer sentence for use of a gun.

At Shaw's December 1995 trial, the jury found he had taken part in the robbery and threatened Bishop with the gun, based on the testimony of two customers. His sentence of 11 years and four months included 16 months for gun use.

Watts was charged later, prosecuted by the same office, and convicted in 1998 after the jury deadlocked at his first trial. He also was found to have used the gun on Bishop, based on testimony of a hostess who said she had been afraid to identify him earlier. His 15-year sentence included 10 years for gun use.

"I was somewhat shocked when the verdict came back. . . . In retrospect it seems inconceivable," said Watts' trial lawyer, William R. Atkinson. He said he now thinks he should have done something to prevent the inconsistent verdict.

In Watts' appeal, attorney Mark D. Greenberg argued that the government should be bound by a single version of the facts from one case to the next, as a matter of fair play as well as constitutional due process of law. The appeals court disagreed.

Unless the prosecutor is guilty of misconduct, like knowingly presenting false evidence, the state should be allowed to take inconsistent factual positions at two trials and let jurors reach their own conclusions, Justice William Stein wrote in the 3-0 ruling.

If one defendant was convicted of a crime and a second one later confessed, why would it be unfair for a prosecutor to try to convict that defendant? Stein asked.

But do prosecutors or judges have an obligation to the first defendant, who in the court's words "may have been mistakenly convicted"?

That was the question posed by Shaw, who filed a new appeal with the state Supreme Court from prison in Vacaville last January. His first appeal had been rejected before Watts' conviction.

Deputy District Attorney John Kealy, who prosecuted Watts, contends that Shaw has no case.

"I don't think he's differently situated than Mango Watts," Kealy said in an interview. "Two juries could look at two different people and come to two different conclusions. As long as that is based on the evidence, that is, in fact, perfectly valid."

He said a prosecutor's obligation is to present evidence against the defendant, with no duty to reveal events at an earlier trial or correct alleged injustice from the previous trial.

But the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly declared that prosecutors have a higher calling than other lawyers. As a 1935 ruling put it, prosecutors act as representatives of the government, whose goal is "not that it shall win a case, but that justice shall be done."

The Model Rules of Professional Conduct, the basis of most states' code of legal ethics, say a prosecutor should act as both a zealous advocate and a "minister of justice" - two roles that may sometimes conflict.

The prosecutor "has the obligation to achieve an accurate and just result," said Rory Little, a former federal prosecutor and now a professor at UC's Hastings College of the Law. "A prosecutor, I think, does have some overarching obligation to only pin the crime on one person if it's not possible that two people did it."

When newly discovered evidence shows that Defendant 2 is really the guilty party, the prosecutor's office must go back to court and get Defendant 1's conviction overturned, Little said. He said a prosecutor who shirks that duty should be disciplined by the state Supreme Court, and a court that isn't sure which defendant committed a crime shouldn't uphold either conviction.

"You need a higher court's opinion that this type of behavior isn't acceptable," said Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, an anti-capital punishment group in Washington. "Courts should say a prosecutor risks getting disbarred as well as having the case thrown out."

But no court has gone that far. And, according to lawyers familiar with the conflict issue, only one published decision to date has favored the defense: a ruling in March by the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis that overturned a murder conviction based on testimony repudiated by the prosecution at a later trial.

While state courts often condemn prosecution overreaching, the only binding precedent to date in California is the Watts case, in which the court called inconsistent verdicts an "unavoidable risk of the judicial process."

The state Supreme Court denied review of Watts' appeal earlier this year without comment. The U.S. Supreme Court also refused to take the case.

Meanwhile, Jonathan Shaw and Mango Watts, small-time robbers, sit in prison, one doing extra time for another's crime, and wait to see how long it takes the system to figure out that someone is being wrongly punished.

As Shaw, now prisoner K-15454, put it in court papers filed from his Vacaville cell, two men were convicted, but "only one person could have used that gun."

When Might makes Wrong. Americans are bold. We are brash. And to the rest of the world, we are clueless.

THE AMERICAN PEOPLE believe that their role in the world is virtuous -- that their actions have been for the good of others as well as themselves. And they insist that even when their country's actions have led to disaster (as in Vietnam) its motives were still honorable.

But evidence is building that in the past decade, the United States has seriously misread the nature of the world and its role in it.

As the lone surviving superpower, it might have led through diplomacy, judiciously distributed foreign aid and the formation of coalitions among like-minded countries. Instead, it has resorted most of the time to bluster, military force and financial manipulation.

Throughout the world in the wake of the Cold War, official and unofficial U.S. representatives have acted, often in covert ways, to prop up repressive regimes or their militaries and police forces. Such policies are setting the stage for ``blowback'' -- CIA jargon for retaliation against the United States for its clandestine operations in other people's countries.

Every now and then, America's imperial policies come briefly into public view. One such moment occurred on July 17, 1998, in Rome, when, by a margin of 120 to 7, delegates from virtually all the nations of the world voted to establish an international criminal court to bring to justice soldiers and political leaders charged with war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. Differing from the International Court of Justice in The Hague, which can only settle disputes only among nations, the new court will have jurisdiction over individuals. As a result, efforts like those to bring Bosnian and Rwandan war criminals to justice, which today requires specially constituted U.N. tribunals, will become far easier. The new court will try individuals who commit or order atrocities comparable to those of the Nazis during World War II, Pol Pot in Cambodia, Saddam Hussein in Iraq, the Serbs in Bosnia and Kosovo, the Hutus in Rwanda, or military governments, most of them American-trained and endorsed, like those of El Salvador, Argentina, Chile, Honduras, Guatemala, Burma and Indonesia in the 1980s and 1990s.

Leading democracies of the world, including Britain, Canada, Holland, France, Japan and Germany, all supported the treaty. Only Algeria, China, Israel, Libya, Qatar, Yemen and the United States voted against it.

American officials claim that they must protect their 200,000 troops permanently deployed in 40 other countries from ``politically motivated charges.'' They maintain that, due to America's ``special global responsibilities,'' no proceedings can be permitted against its own soldiers or clandestine agents unless the United States itself agrees.

Evidently, American leaders believe that they are above the very concept of international law -- unless defined and controlled by them. They do not deal with the question of whether war-crimes charges against Americans might on some occasions be warranted, nor do they consider the possibility that if this country intervened less often in the affairs of other states, particularly where none of its vital interests were involved, it might avoid the possibility of even a capricious indictment.

Only seven months before the Rome vote, there was another moment when the nature of America's stealth imperialism stood revealed. In December 1997, in Ottawa, 123 nations pledged to ban the use, production or shipment of anti-personnel land mines. Retired American military leaders like Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, commander of the allied forces in the Gulf War, have endorsed the ban, arguing that these primitive but lethal weapons have no role in modern warfare. The Clinton administration, however, bowed to military vested interests desperate to retain land mines in the American arsenal. Among other things, it insisted that they were needed to protect South Korea against the ``North's overwhelming military advantage'' -- itself a myth, exposed by the June 2000 meeting of the leaders of North and South Korea in which they declared the threat of war on the Korean peninsula to be over. The holdouts against the land mine agreement were Afghanistan, China, Russia (which later reversed its position), Vietnam -- and the United States.

Jody Williams of Vermont went on to win the Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts in organizing the movement that resulted in the treaty. The Clinton administration was so embarrassed by its vote that in May 1998 it convened its own Conference on Global Humanitarian De-mining at the State Department in a public relations attempt to improve its image. Only 21 countries attended.

America's imperial role in East Asia today is as fragile as the former Soviet Union's was in 1989 in Eastern Europe, when East Germans unexpectedly tore down the Berlin Wall. Despite the fact that the leaders of South and North Korea met last June for the first time and pledged to end the division of their country, the U.S. military has responded in a surly manner. The Pentagon has said that it does not trust these agreements and intends to keep U.S. troops in Korea, even if it is reunited.

As a result of continuous U.S. scare propaganda about the threat of a North Korean missile, Japan has committed itself to supporting the United States' nonexistent ``theater missile defense'' and to building its own very expensive military reconnaissance satellites. But on July 8, the U.S. military's test of its so-called National Missile Defense system abjectly failed. The United States fired a missile from Vandenberg Air Force Base, which released a mock nuclear warhead over the Pacific Ocean. Another missile launched from Meck Island in Kwajalein Atoll attempted -- and failed

--to shoot the warhead from the sky. A similar test in January 2000 also failed. Given the billions of dollars already wasted on it, the whole American star wars operation begins to look like one huge con game.

In July, Japan hosted the annual summit meeting of the leaders of the seven major democratic nations plus Russia (G8). The late Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi decided to hold it in Okinawa, an island prefecture of Japan that is also the site of 39 American military bases. Anti-American revolt has been endemic there ever since Okinawa's reversion to Japanese sovereignty in 1972, which produced no change in the American presence.

The Okinawans blame both the Americans and the Japanese. They are continuously exposed to the rape of Okinawan women and teenagers by American Marines and sailors, environmental pollution, noise pollution and the Pentagon's arrogant presumption that people it has colonized and victimized for the past 55 years welcome its presence. They blame the Japanese for collaborating with the Americans to keep these troops on their small island.

On the eve of the summit, the U.S. military in Okinawa once again demonstrated that it simply cannot control its own men. Early in the morning of July 3, a drunken Marine broke into a private home and groped a 14-year-old girl as she was sleeping. Only a few days earlier a group of drunken Marines got into a fight with a taxi driver as a ploy to help one of their mates avoid paying him. And on July 10, a drunken airman ran a red light, hit an Okinawan pedestrian and sped from the scene.

To mark President Clinton's arrival, 25,000 Okinawans joined hands to form a human chain around the United States' Kadena Air Force Base. On signal, they all held up red cards, the final sanction in soccer. When a soccer referee holds up a red card, it means that a player has so violated the spirit of the game he must get off the field at once. That's what the Okinawans want the Americans to do -- get their bases out now.

What I fear is that when it comes to issues like land mines or troop deployments, a civilian president -- even one with better military credentials than Clinton's -- can no longer tell his military leaders what to do (or not to do). George Washington's Farewell Address, in which he counseled Americans to ``avoid the necessity of those overgrown military establishments, which under any form of government are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to Republican liberty,'' now reads more like a diagnosis than a warning. Both American political parties enthusiastically endorse the United States' ``overgrown military establishment'' and are deaf to criticism of America's imperial role. History suggests that this country is riding for a big fall.


Most Americans would deem their country's role in the world to be honorable, yet the United States' voting record on international human rights accords challenges that view. American leaders apparently believe the United States is above the concept of international law. Every leading democracy has recognized international treaties to protect the rights of women and children and to try those suspected of genocide and war crimes, except for the United States.


The 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child, which protects the economic, social and civil rights of children


United States and Somalia (which has no functioning government).


In July, President Clinton signed two protocols to the convention, to protect children from sexual exploitation and from being used as soldiers.


U.S. critics continue to insist the treaty would undermine the American family.


The 1979 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)


The United States, Afghanistan, Sao Tome and Principe are the only countries that have signed but not ratified


In March 2000, Sen. Jesse Helms introduced a resolution that specifically requires the United States never to ratify the treaty.


Opponents of the treaty have argued that it would require the United States to abolish Mother's Day.


The 1998 International Criminal Court (ICC) Treaty, which would create a court to try people suspected of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.


The United States, China, Iraq, Israel, Libya, Qatar and Yemen voted against


Legislation introduced in Congress would bar U.S. military assistance for countries ratifying the treaty.


The Pentagon argues that U.S. citizens should not be subject to potential prosecution by an international court.


The 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, which would outlaw anti-personnel land mines


The United States and Turkey are the only NATO countries that haven't signed


The United States has promised to sign the treaty by 2006, but only if it can find acceptable alternatives to the mines it uses now.


The leading alternatives under consideration at the Pentagon would still violate the treaty.


The 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which contains a provision banning the execution of those under 18


The United States has signed the treaty, but exempted itself from that provision.


The United States, Democratic Republic of Congo, Iran, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia are the only countries that still execute juveniles. China abolished the practice in 1997. Pakistan, which is ruled by a military dictatorship, abolished it in July.


Twenty-five U.S. states retain the death penalty for juveniles. Critics don't want an international treaty to supersede state laws.

Isabella Rossellini
Sunday Telegraph October 8, 2000

Bettmann, Corbis 

PARIS, MARCH 29, 1957: Ingrid Bergman gets a kiss from her son Robertino as her twin daughters Ingrid and Isabella wait their turn. She had just been named Best Actress at the 29th Academy Awards for her portrayal of the title role in Anastasia.

Bettmann, Corbis
PARIS, MARCH 29, 1957: Ingrid Bergman gets a kiss from her son Robertino as her twin daughters Ingrid and Isabella wait their turn. She had just been named Best Actress at the 29th Academy Awards for her portrayal of the title role in Anastasia.

Taryn Simon, A+C Anthology
Isabella Rossellini

Taryn Simon, A+C Anthology


ISABELLA'S REVENGE: Eight years ago, Lancфme fired Isabella Rossellini because she was too old. Now she's back with her own beauty products: (Photo ran on pg. W1.)

Isabella Rossellini, who is 48, does not know whether she would or would not contemplate plastic surgery, writes William Leith. "The problem arises when you look at yourself in the mirror, and you hate the face you see," she says.

"And then, I think, my mind would be settled one way or another. Either I would say, 'F--- it, I had 50 years of beauty in another life.' " She laughs -- a morbid, slightly tormented laugh. "Or I'll say, 'I can't live without this.' I know in my heart that the problem will only arise the day that I look in the mirror and decide that I will not tolerate me." Not tolerate me! This sounds very strong. Rossellini, who looks fine, and quite unlike anybody else, continues. "To have plastic surgery, you have to have a knife in your face. That can't be a nice thought. To go to that extent ... it tells you about an enormous fear."

Rossellini has her own line of cosmetics, Manifesto, and is launching a perfume under the same name. The line is aimed at the woman who is aware of ageing but is only moderately worried about it, who complains good-humouredly about traffic, who needs to get things done on the move. A woman who is practical, who wants to be stylish, but who is able to make a virtue out of her imperfections. And Manifesto is, importantly, aimed at the woman who keeps losing the top of her perfume bottle. In a way, this is a self-portrait by Rossellini, her projection of herself.

We are sitting in an office on Park Avenue in New York. Coffee and muffins have been provided. As we talk, a public-relations representative takes notes, for Rossellini is an executive, a vice-president of the Lancaster group of cosmetics companies. But now we have drifted into the subject of plastic surgery and Rossellini is full of hesitation. She says, "The idea is so radical to me. You have to be against a wall. And that's what worries me. That's what worries me about women. I think they are pushed so much into judging themselves, their physical appearance, that everyone is frightened."

It's very difficult to describe exactly how Rossellini herself looks. She looks quite different from various angles. She resembles her mother, Ingrid Bergman, but with sharper features. Once, she says, she saw a woman who looked like her mother in an antique shop, and turned around to get a closer look. It was herself, reflected in a mirror. She has fine lines around her eyes but good, clear skin. Sometimes she looks like a little girl, though she negates this impression by dressing like a man. Her hair, dark and fine, is cut not like a man's but like a boy's.

She arrives late, not really flustered but making a show of being flustered. Even though she grew up in Europe, she has developed a New York way of talking about the traffic. She says, "I don't know what's happened to us! It's horrible! I don't know what's going to happen! It's madness!"

She has just dropped her son, Roberto, off at school. (She also has a daughter, Elettra, by her second husband, Jonathan Wiedermann, from whom she is now divorced. She will not discuss her private life. She will not even say whether she is married, or cohabiting, or single.) She wears men's shoes in patent leather by Clergerie; black Dolce & Gabbana trousers; a white shirt by agnиs b, plain but for a double collar-button; and a pale leather coat by MaxMara, which she never takes off. She has large capable-looking hands and a chipped front tooth. She looks like somebody playing a detective in an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical.

I'm impressed by the shoes. "They look like party shoes, don't they? Like Liberace. There was a period when I was dressing like Liberace." She has these same shoes in different colours and explains that, when she likes an item, she usually buys it several times over. "If you're not wearing it," she says, "throw it. Be ruthless. And if you find something you like, buy more. Don't buy one. You know, if you find a shirt that you're always waiting to come back from the dry cleaners so you can wear it -- buy four or five. Because they're not going to produce it again. Otherwise you'll be longing for it, and you'll have a thing like a rag."

She says, "Men's shoes intimidate men. When a woman walks in with men's shoes, they tremble. What does that mean? It gets them very agitated. And sometimes I wear a tie. When I wear a tie, they let me shut up and finish my speech." Again, the giggle. When it subsides, she says, "You wear this for comfort and you realize it has this incredible psychological effect."

She pours herself a coffee from the dinky dispenser. No muffins. She's always been aware of her weight. After the release of the film Blue Velvet in 1986 she said, "David Lynch came out of it a genius, and I came out of it a fat girl." When she caught her image in the mirror that time in the antique shop, she said she felt relieved because she looked slim. She's spent a great part of her life as a dark, averagely slim woman among other women who look, as she puts it, like "the winning horse" -- tall, very skinny, with blue eyes. You can tell that Rossellini does not want to be the winning horse.

Rossellini has spent a lifetime coping with her imperfections, and trying to turn them into virtues. She grew up in the shadow of her mother, one of the most famous actresses of the last century, and her father, Roberto Rossellini, the film director (Open City, 1945; Stromboli, 1949).

Since then, she has often been overshadowed by the men in her life -- the film directors Martin Scorsese (to whom she was married from 1979 to 1983) and David Lynch, and the actor and director Gary Oldman. Scorsese, she says, "knew about the power of imperfection." She was with him during his terrible coked-out phase, when he was rushed into hospital with internal bleeding.

Every morning, she says, he used to wake up muttering, "F--- it. F--- it. F--- it. He would wake up," she says, "saying it over and over in fast succession." She was worried when she took her mother to see Raging Bull; she thought Ingrid might disapprove of the swearing. Once, says Rossellini, when Scorsese thought he'd produced a perfect scene in Raging Bull, he snipped a frame out to give it a bit of character. She understands this.

When she met Audrey Hepburn, she noticed Hepburn's dirty fingernails, and this "doubled my admiration for Audrey Hepburn." As the face of Lancфme, Rossellini herself was pleased when they allowed her to reveal the chip in her front tooth. For years, it had been filled in with what she refers to as "undertaker's wax."

But she had a dreadful shock when the company fired her at the age of 40. At her 40th birthday party, she says, she looked at the flowers in her house and saw them "not as festive, but as funereal. I had received too many bouquets from Lancфme; they exuded some sort of guilt."

Soon afterward, she had a visit from Pierre Sajot, the president of Lancфme, on the set of the film The Innocent, in which she was playing the classic Rossellini character, a naughty girl whose vulnerability has toughened her. Sajot told her she was being fired. She was thought to be too old. He offered her the chance to say that the decision to leave was hers.

Poor Isabella clung on. She didn't want to leave. For one thing, she'd helped to develop the perfume Trйsor, not just modelling it but having a say in the advertising campaigns, the promotional tours and even the packaging. She was upset; she read an article about how Lenin's body was being preserved with the help of a Soviet specialist called Dr. Debov. She sent a note to Lancфme: "Dr. Debov may be of some help to us." But there was no reply.

The company replaced her with Juliette Binoche, who herself has been replaced by Uma Thurman, in an attempt to step up the arms race against Lancфme's rival, Estйe Lauder, and that company's representative, Elizabeth Hurley.

Eight years later, Rossellini is back. "I always felt that this was my turf," she says. Being in the cosmetics industry is more important to her than acting. You could view her launch of Manifesto as the cosmetics equivalent of a move behind the camera. "I always felt very comfortable in this industry, because I didn't have the baggage that I have in films," she says. "Because my parents were so successful, there's more tension in my life in the film industry than in fashion."

She tells me about her perfume. The perfume is the ice-breaker for the whole cosmetics range; it will appear in a wider range of shops than everything else -- the stores, the powdered bath milk, the lipstick, the makeup compacts. The bottle, Rossellini says, was inspired by the Chanel No. 5 bottle, which was seen in its time as masculine. The Manifesto bottle is a glass cube with rounded edges; it's not quite square, and not quite cylindrical. It is, I say to her, a sort of anarchy of shapes. "To me," she says, "it's more like a purity of shapes."

There is no cap. Instead, you twist the band around the nozzle, and a bit of plastic emerges, covering and locking the nozzle. It's smart and practical. Rossellini twiddles the nozzle. "The clever thing with this," she says, "is that most of the time you have a cap, and then you lose the cap. And here, we redesigned this, so you never lose it. We eliminated this very elaborate thing on top, and we made it very functional." Is it aimed at women who have complicated love lives and find themselves waking up in different places? Does this suggest panic? "No, it doesn't suggest panic. Just that you lose the top of the bottle."

The perfume smells fresh. It has a lot of what they call "green notes." It smells like a clean kitchen, with herbs and lemony cleaning fluid. Rossellini says, "It seemed that every perfume represents a sort of a dream, and I thought, what would be my dream? I thought of travelling. I thought of the Amazon. I thought of exotic places, and all sorts of strange things, but then, when I thought of home, I started feeling very warm and nice, and I thought, it would be good to have a perfume that elicits that kind of emotion rather than something that makes you escape."

She decided on basil as an ingredient. She likes the fact that basil is a "humble" ingredient. She wanted to make a homey perfume for the adventurous girl, rather than the other way around. She says, "Most perfumes represent a world that is unobtainable. By spraying the perfume, for a second you have the feeling that you are in that world, whether it is obsession or sex ... and so, when I thought of basil ... I think of my children; I think of the smells, I think of many things, some good, some bad."

You want a perfume that reminds you of home? "The idea wasn't to capture something from home; it was to capture something familiar. Because, for some people, home isn't comforting or secure. It could be a place of great distress."

The union of Rossellini's parents in 1949 caused a great scandal, as Ingrid Bergman was still married to Dr. Petter Lindstrцm. A cartoon was published depicting Bergman as Joan of Arc tied to a stake above a pile of celluloid, with Roberto trying to stop his mistress, the actress Anna Magnani, from lighting the fire. Isabella and her unidentical twin sister, Ingrid, were born in 1952.

As a child, Isabella was the tomboy. At 11, she developed scoliosis, a condition of the spine. For 18 months, she was taken to hospitals in several countries, and had to be stretched on a rack. She was not allowed an anaesthetic; the doctors needed her pain to gauge their efforts. She had an operation to fuse 13 of her vertebrae.

Her father had a belief that the word "educate" came from the same verb as the word "castrate." He drove like a madman and spent long periods of time in bed. Bergman became obsessed with cleaning, a compulsion for which she was eventually treated. ("Never leave a room empty-handed," she told her daughter, who has also admitted to a love of cleaning. "Dust brings out the hunting instinct in me," Isabella has said.)

She lived by a Swedish saying, "'While the grass is growing, the cow is dying." Her parents split up in 1956, when Isabella was four. Her father married an Indian and lived in Rome; her mother married a Swede and lived in Paris.

Her life, then, has its peculiarities. She is Italian, and also sort of French and sort of American -- she believes if you don't speak a language by the time you're 13, you can never master the accent. All her life she idolized Pia, her Swedish half-sister. When she first saw herself on television, she saw Pia's gestures and mannerisms.

In 1997, she said, "I am still searching for the perfect white cotton underwear." She was a model, an actress, and a model again. As an actress, she portrayed the sado-masochist Dorothy Vallens in Blue Velvet. To do this, she "went deep inside me, into the confusion, fear and helplessness I had felt in eliciting sexual desire and attraction when I had been a beautiful young girl." She has written about being date-raped, and also "brutally beaten."

"There is," says Rossellini, "not much difference between how I am and how people perceive me." She is not, she says, a sado-masochist.

Lancaster commissioned market research on Rossellini before agreeing to launch Manifesto. "They asked people to describe my home," she tells me. "They described it pretty accurately. They said that I had a home with dogs and children, and that the house was probably beautiful, which I think it is. And practical. No carpets, because they get too dirty with the dogs. I have slip covers on my sofas. Which they said! That I have slip covers on the sofas so that I can wash them. And they even got the colour -- white. How did they know that my sofas are white? Because most sofas when you have children have a pattern, to hide all the fingerprinting."

Rossellini is fastidious, even if she lives a complicated life. She seeks comfort, but she is adventurous. Her lipstick has a tiny mirror built into the end of the stick. It's for a woman who does not always have a chance to sit at a dressing-table or go into a washroom.

Soon, Rossellini will catch a train to her house in the Hamptons. I ask if she cooks; she looks mildly offended. She uses recipes. "I keep them all in files. I could give them to you." She has, she says, found the perfect white underwear, but it's designed by Calvin Klein, a friend: "I find it quite embarrassing to have underwear with his name on it."

What she wants, she says, is to find something familiar but to experience it for the first time. This is the effect she wants her perfume to have. This is, perhaps, what she wants in her own life. "I could not hear As Time Goes By from Casablanca," she says about the song from her mother's most famous film, "and then that film came out -- what was it? -- Sleepless in Seattle. And there was a different version of the song in it, by Louis Armstrong."

She pauses, and says, "In a way, I want to hear something as familiar as As Time Goes By, but reorchestrated."

Isabella Rossellini's collection of Manifesto makeup and fragrance will be available in Canada at the beginning of November

London Times, Sunday
October 8 2000 RUSSIA

STN082601 STN082602 ©
Name-dropping: Yeltsin says Putin seeks his advice and Lewinsky could have been averted

Monica, drink and me - Yeltsin reveals all

, Moscow

IN late 1996, just over a year before the Monica Lewinsky scandal, Boris Yeltsin received a document that might have spared Bill Clinton the embarrassment of impeachment proceedings.

Among papers on his desk in the Kremlin lay a coded report from Russian intelligence warning that the Republicans intended to exploit Clinton's notorious "penchant" for young women by planting a female "provocateur" in his entourage. The aim was clear, it said - to ruin Clinton's reputation and force him out of office.

"I thought about telling him but it could after all have been a normal provocation," said 69- year-old Yeltsin in an interview this weekend. "I wasn't sure whether some of the details were sufficiently precise. If I had warned him I could have hurt him unnecessarily, and I didn't want to do that. I have always believed in him and in his honesty, and I thought that Clinton could deal with this situation himself."

During a meeting with Clinton long after the impeachment attempt against him failed, Yeltsin apparently contemplated giving the American leader a copy of the coded report as a souvenir - but refrained so as not to "traumatise" him.

The story of this bizarre tip-off is one of the stranger tales recounted by the former Russian leader in The Midnight Diaries, an account of his last four years in office, which is published this week. No less intriguing is Yeltsin's admission that he "occasionally" turned to alcohol to alleviate the stress of the post he occupied from 1991 until he stepped down at the end of last year in favour of Vladimir Putin.

In his book, Yeltsin, who has rarely appeared in public since his resignation, admits being drunk when he shamed himself at a ceremony in Berlin in 1994 by conducting a military band in front of the world's media. He also describes how his closest aides were so appalled that they wrote him a letter saying he had gone too far in embarrassing his country.

The uncharacteristic confession is believed to have been included on the insistence of the American publishers, who demanded that Yeltsin deal with the question of his notorious drinking problem.

"I could not stand drunk people, but at some moment I felt that alcohol is really a means, which takes stress away quickly," Yeltsin writes.

"The times before the Berlin incident were hard for me. Exhaustion and tension were looking for a way out. There, in Berlin, when the whole of Europe was celebrating the last of our troops leaving [Germany], I suddenly felt that I couldn't stand it any more. The responsibility was exerting pressure, the atmosphere of the event, the historical moment. Suddenly . . . I gave in."

In the book Yeltsin firmly rejects allegations that he accepted bribes from a Swiss construction company in return for a lucrative contract to renovate the Kremlin. To show how simply he lives, he even lists some of his most valuable possessions, including the family fridge, a tape recorder, a tennis racket and a set of scales.

The former president, who had a quintuple heart bypass and survived several heart attacks, now lives at a secluded state dacha outside Moscow with his wife Naina and daughters Lena and Tatyana. In the grounds he keeps horses given to him by heads of state during his two terms in office.

In the interview, in today's issue of the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag, Yeltsin criticised the way Putin handled the aftermath of the tragedy of the Kursk, the nuclear submarine that sank in the Barents Sea killing all 188 crew members.

He said Putin visits him regularly for guidance on how to run Russia. "Putin has made mistakes but I am very impressed by how he often comes to me for advice," Yeltsin said. "He calls me, comes to my residence. Only the day before yesterday he visited me to seek my advice on really important strategic questions."

When not discussing world politics, Yeltsin, who still suffers from poor health, spends his days playing with his grandchildren, fishing and resting. One favourite pastime, however, is apparently causing concern in his entourage.

"I have managed to find a way to satisfy my passion for driving - I drive a small electric buggy," he writes in the book. "And I reach high speeds. I especially love driving down a hill directly at a tree and swerving to one side at the last moment. That's my way to relax.

"I was recently given a guard to come with me on one of these risky trips. But when I swerved he couldn't hold on and fell out of the buggy. I had to say sorry