President Obama Pardons "Courage"
atching President Barack Obama grant the traditional “pardon” to a Thanksgiving turkey got me thinking about my friend Dan Hanks. Dan has been asking for a presidential pardon since April 2003. I think he deserves one.
Since the early 80’s Daniel Joseph Portley-Hanks has conducted undercover investigations for our government, specifically the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Along with his private investigation partner, the late Fred Valis, Hanks helped the feds crack a multitude of major cases that put away dozens of career criminals. [click to continue…]
Justice For Terrorists - At What Cost?
It is time for us to stop and reassess how we handle terror suspects. We just came close to the worst case scenario with a man who admitted his complicity in the murders of hundreds of people yet was nearly cleared of all charges.
Ahmed Ghailani was the first Guantanamo prisoner to be tried in a civilian court – in New York, no less, just a short distance from ground zero where other extremist Muslims killed thousands of Americans on September 11th – and it didn’t go so well. The Obama Administration had insisted on having the trial in civilian court as a sort of proof to the rest of the world of America’s moral superiority, our transparency and sense of fair play. But the end result to this test case was a near disaster.
To everyone’s shock Ghailani was found not guilty of 284 counts of murder and conspiracy to murder and he came T-H-I-S close to be acquitted altogether. [click to continue…]
Debate About Afghanistan? Yeah. Not So Much
During the mid-term election debate we barely heard a discussion about Afghanistan. Why is that? It’s a war that’s costing us $30 billion dollars a year, the lives of nearly 14 hundred brave American soldiers (so far) and as I’ve learned it’s making America complicit in one of the most heinous crimes known to mankind.
I had the opportunity to hear Pulitzer Prize winning foreign correspondent Joel Brinkley give a speech recently to a conference I attended in Chicago and it rattled me to my core.
I had addressed the Inland Press Association a day earlier (my topic: Journalistic ethics) and when I was introduced to Brinkley before his speech I asked the veteran journalist about his chosen topic. When he said, “Afghanistan” I admit I thought to myself, “Maybe I can duck out early – I do have a plane to catch.” Instead, I sat transfixed by his words. [click to continue…]
Anna Nicole At Her Peak
You may not give a darn about the late buxom sex-pot Anna Nicole Smith but the recent verdict in a Los Angeles criminal case stemming from her drug-overdose death has certainly captured the attention of doctors nationwide. I’ll bet insurance companies specializing in malpractice medical coverage have snapped to attention as well.
After Anna Nicole Smith died in February 2007 three of the people closest to her – her attorney and lover Howard K. Stern, her psychiatrist, Dr. Khristine Eroshevich and her personal physician, Dr. Sandeep Kapoor were criminally charged. Among the most serious of the original 23 charges was “providing controlled substances to a known addict.”
Interestingly, the trio was never accused of actually causing Smith’s death and along the way some of the other charges were dismissed. It came down to a trial about whether they’d engaged in a conspiracy to help the 39 year old former Playboy cover girl and TV personality obtain prescription drugs through the use of false names and misrepresentation.
During nine weeks the jury testimony boiled down to this: [click to continue…]
The One Who Didn't Shrink From the Job
Remember the name Marisol Valles Garcia. She’ll either go down in history as a selfless heroine or she’ll soon be dead. Maybe both.
Twenty year old Marisol lives in the small and violent Mexican border village of Praxedis Guadalupe Guerro, population 9,149. Marisol is a criminal justice graduate student, married and the mother of a little boy. The baby calls her Mama. The rest of her village now calls her Chief, their Chief of Police. It’s a job no one else in her village would take for fear they’d lose their lives if they put on a badge.
The last man in Marisol’s position, Chief Manuel Castro, was kidnapped tortured and beheaded last year. But Marisol says she took the job because she’s just tired of everyone being afraid. She said after being sworn in, “We have to reclaim our lives!” [click to continue…]