OT - The importance of the Rule of Law.greenspun.com : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread
Here is what the national news media doesnt consider important enough to bring to the attention of the public. It is merely the latest in a string of fraud that demonstrates that we no longer have recourse to the law. Since the federal government no longer abides by the rule of law, our available mechanisms to bring about change have been further limited.
This is from:
Sect lawyers say evidence lost, altered They urge judge to sanction U.S. for 'disturbing pattern' 03/16/2000 By Lee Hancock / The Dallas Morning News Lawyers for the Branch Davidians told a federal judge Wednesday that key government photos and audio and video recordings from the last day of the 1993 Waco siege have been "lost, altered or tampered with." In a motion, the lead attorney for the sect asked U.S. District Judge Walter S. Smith to force the government to explain the "disturbing pattern." The attorney also asked the judge to impose punishment over the mishandling of critical evidence from April 19, 1993, the day that the sect's compound burned. Among evidence that the sect's lawyers and their experts described as flawed, partially missing or otherwise suspect: Still photographs taken from an FBI surveillance airplane on the morning of April 19 as agents on the ground used tanks and tear gas against the compound. Forward-looking-infrared (FLIR) videos recorded from another airplane during the entire FBI assault. Audio recordings from FBI bugs inside the Branch Davidian compound and the government's transcripts of tapes, which officials have said included sect members' discussions of plans to torch their home. Government attorneys declined to comment Wednesday, saying that they had not yet seen the motion. "We'll review it as to specific allegations and will respond," said U.S. Attorney Mike Bradford of Beaumont, one of two lead lawyers. He has previously said that the government turned over to the U.S. District Court in Waco all original government documents, photos, recordings and other evidence related to the siege. The government's lawyers also recently asked the court for custody of all recorded evidence in the case so it could be examined by a government-paid expert. Michael Caddell, lead attorney for the sect, said Wednesday that careful review of what the government has turned over reveals a pattern that "gets to be beyond coincidence or sloppiness. It is clear that there is a calculated plan on the part of people within the FBI to withhold evidence or to present only that evidence that is favorable." Judge Smith ordered the turnover of all government evidence relating to the 1993 siege after the Texas Rangers notified the court that they had discovered that some evidence given to them for safekeeping had been mislabeled by an FBI laboratory, and that other evidence was missing after being photographed just after the standoff. The judge said then that he thought his order was needed to avoid a perception that evidence might be concealed or tampered with before the sect's wrongful-death lawsuit against the government went to trial. Judge Smith repeatedly threatened government lawyers with contempt last fall before they fully complied with his order to surrender all Waco evidence to his court. Hearing sought Mr. Caddell argued Wednesday that the government has continued to defy the court's order, and he asked for a full contempt hearing and "appropriate sanctions for the government's willful or neglectful destruction or alteration of original evidence." "If the court is to fulfill its goal of assuring the American public that the original critical evidence . . . has not been lost, tampered with or altered, it must take immediate steps," Mr. Caddell's 31-page motion argued. The motion detailed allegations of significant time gaps and missing images among the photos taken from an FBI airplane on April 19. Mr. Caddell said he began a detailed analysis of the photos last month, sending an assistant to Waco to compare negatives sent to the federal court with infrared video shot from another FBI aircraft on April 19. His motion Wednesday said his assistant found previously undisclosed anomalies in the government's photographs. Among the most troubling, the motion stated, was the fact that all but a few of the original negatives were missing from a key 36-frame roll of photographs taken in the hour before the compound burned. Photographic negative sleeves submitted to the court for that roll of film bore the notation "originals lost," the motion stated. In place of the originals, the FBI sent negatives to the court that had been made by copying "severely scratched and damaged" photographic prints, the motion stated. Some scratches "appeared to be strategically located to obscure material which may have been present on the original photograph," the motion alleged. In one of the negative images, a large white scratch obscures a brownish object near a tank behind the building. Two frames among those duplicate negatives - frames 31 and 36 - show exactly the same photo image, which the motion asserts would be "an impossibility" if the duplicate negatives sent to the court are accurate copies of the original roll of film. The motion noted that contact sheets from that film supplied to the sect's lawyers by the Justice Department contained a "completely different photograph" for Frame 36 from what was found among the court's negatives. Among the only original negatives still present from that film is a photograph shown to reporters by the FBI to challenge the sect's contention that muzzle flashes from bureau guns were recorded by an overhead infrared camera. The photo, featured in January stories by The CBS Evening News and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, shows a tank bashing into the rear of the compound. No people are visible near the tank, and FBI officials said that proved their argument that flashes seen a short time after the photo was made could not be from government gunfire. But lawyers for the sect argued that there are suspicious time gaps between that photograph, which authorities said was taken about 11:24 a.m., and other photos shot from above the compound. After that picture was taken, about four minutes lapsed before the next photo in the FBI's picture collection. Bigger gaps The collection of stills sent to the court contains even longer time gaps - including two lasting 8 minutes each and one exceeding 10 minutes - between photographs, the motion stated. Mr. Caddell said he found those gaps by comparing the still photos with the FBI's infrared videos from April 19, which contain split-second time stamps. He noted that the FBI made a similar comparison to estimate that the photo displayed to some media outlets had been taken about 11:24 a.m. His motion asserted that the gaps between still photos are particularly significant because they occur just before the fire erupted. That was a period when the FBI infrared video showed that government tanks were most active in tearing into the back side of the building. It was also during those gaps among the FBI's still photos that the infrared video showed repeated flashes around the government tanks and the first heat signatures of fires appearing inside the compound, the motion stated. The long gaps were particularly suspicious, the motion argued, because the FBI photographer said in a deposition that he took photos "anytime there was any activity going on around the building" involving the FBI tanks. That photographer had previously averaged two to three shots per minute, the motion noted. The photogapher also testified that he recalled shooting about 10 rolls of film on April 19, but only seven rolls have been turned over to the federal court in Waco. "The pattern of the photographs produced by the FBI suggests only one thing: The FBI has turned over only those photographs to the court and to the press that the FBI wants the court and the public to see," the motion says. "It is clear that the photographs have been 'cherry-picked' to provide only those photographs that are not incriminating." Another major area of complaint in Mr. Caddell's motion Wednesday focused on the FLIR video recorded from the air as FBI tanks attacked and tear-gassed the compound. That video was the cornerstone of the government's finding in 1993 that the sect torched its own building. The video has also become the foundation of the Branch Davidians' assertion that government gunfire cut off escape routes for women and children just before the compound burned - a charge the government denies. More than 80 sect members died amid the blaze. Testimony differs An expert hired by the sect to analyze the infrared video recorded on April 19 concluded that someone erased audio tracks from the period when rhythmic flashes were recorded. The sect's experts say those flashes, which emanated from compound windows and areas around government tanks in the hour before the compound burned, could have come only from government gunfire. Experts for the government have sharply disputed that, saying the flashes last too long to be from muzzle blasts. The agents who manned the infrared plane have said in recent depositions that they were surprised and could not explain why the audio track was missing from the videotape between 10:41 a.m. and noon on April 19. The infrared recordings made earlier that day had included full audio recordings of discussions among agents in the plane about what was happening on the ground as well as radio transmissions among FBI agents on the ground. One agent who operated the infrared camera said in a recent deposition that a dozen or more agents had access to the original infrared videos because they were stored in a safe at the headquarters of the FBI's aviation surveillance wing. Because there was no requirement that tapes be signed out, and hostage rescue team members also had access to the area where they were stored, the motion contended that "any number of persons could have destroyed, altered or tampered with the FLIR recordings." "Because of the FBI's shoddy procedure for maintaining this key evidence, it would be impossible to identify the culprit," the motion contended. The sect's motion noted that the FBI's official account of how many infrared tapes were made and exactly what was on them has changed. FBI officials swore under oath in 1998 that no infrared videos existed from the period before 10:41 a.m. But last fall, FBI officials acknowledged that earlier videos had been found at the FBI's hostage rescue team headquarters. They issued a statement saying that no audio was recorded in the FLIR airplane after 8:24 a.m. "This last statement was also false," Wednesday's motion stated. "In fact, the FLIR tapes produced by the FBI have a highly suspicious pattern of turning the audio recording off and on throughout the day on April 19." The motion noted that government lawyers have acknowleged that they could not find all of the infrared tapes recorded on April 19. The sect's lawyers say the recordings purported to be originals are suspect because one contains evidence of erasures and another contains time-stamped images recorded on the previous two days. One infrared operator recently testified that the FBI always used new videotapes in Waco, the motion noted. "In the words of the plaintiff's forensic audio/video analyst, 'This tape cannot be trusted concerning its reliability and the possibility that it may have been tampered with.' " The third major area of complaint in Wednesday's motion focuses on the audiotapes that recorded transmissions from FBI bugs inside the compound on April 19. The sect's recording expert found that those tapes contained electronic signals commonly found only in high-speed copies. One tape, purportedly recorded in the hour and a half just before the compound burned, bears distinct magnetic imprints that suggest it was recorded on at least three different tape recorders. "This finding casts further doubt on the authenticity and reliability of the government's surveillance tapes," the motion said.
It is very important to understand that if citizens do not have recourse to the law then there is little reason to submit to it save to avoid overwhelming force. At that point we have passed from Rule of Law to Might is Right. We are entering in to an era that will separate the citizens from the slaves. (I define a slave as anyone who values their life over their freedom). Which side youre on is up to you. After you read this I would strongly suggest that you take the time to read the Declaration of Independence. (The American one from 1776, BTW) At the end you will find a list of grievances detailed by the colonists. They include:
[King George has quartered] large bodies of armed troops among us [and] He has protected them, by mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states.
Watch six and keep your...
-- eyes_open (email@example.com), March 16, 2000
well stated; thanks!
-- Perry Arnett (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 16, 2000.
"The spirit of 1776 is not dead. It has only been slumbering. The body of the American people is substantiall republican. But their virtuous feelings have been played on by some fact with more fiction; they have been the dupes of artful maneuvers, and made for a moment to be willing instruments in forging chains for themselves. But times and truth dissipated the delusion, and opened their eyes." --Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Lomax, 1799. ME 10:123
-- capnfun (email@example.com), March 16, 2000.
..."forging our own chains", if that isn't the truth.
I still believe that most American's will wake up and act only when the stockmarket falls. They are stirring now.
Waco makes even the most liberal liberals I know wince.
-- NH (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 16, 2000.
Oh shut up, you right-winger extremist freaks.
wwwaaaaaaaaaaa!!! The mean ol government is out to get you!
-- (TC@thome.now), March 16, 2000.