Please visit the new home of Majikthise at bigthink.com/blogs/focal-point.

« Marathon Amazon whale rescue 1000 miles inland | Main | EL »

November 17, 2007

Recommended reading

-The negotiators for the striking Writers' Guild of America are set to go back to the bagaining table on November 26th. The film and TV writers are striking for a fair deal for the digital distribution of their work.

-In case you missed these links earlier, here's Idaho Samizdat's outstanding coverage of the mysterious abortive Pelindaba nuclear facility raid: Part I, Part II.

-Speaking of loose nukes... Pakistan remains under martial law. The exiled Nawaz Sharif, the principle political rival of miliary dictator Pervez Musharraf, has a forceful editorial in the Washington Pos arguing that fair elections in Pakistan would bring about moderate constitutional government, not an Islamic fundamentalist regime, as Musharraf insists. [HT: Matt Yglesias]

-Graham Rayman of the Village Voice compiles a list of Rudy Giuliani's greatest tantrums at City Hall.

-Robert Farley assesses the surge: The good news is that violence is now down, after dramatic increase in violence earlier this year to get us back to 2005 levels tody. Worse, the decrease in violence has been achieved by forging alliances with the least democratic forces in Iraq's society and tacitly acknowledging that the government of Iraq is irrelevant. So, in effect, the US has recreated the classic imperial model where the imperial power rules by enlisting the help of local sub-state actors.

-Jeff Stein notes that unlike the Marine Corps, the diplomatic corps can't be counted on to take care of its wounded--hence the reluctance of State Department employees to risk life and limb in Iraq.

-Just like on The Wire! What kind of "incentives" are cops giving to confidential narcotics informants-drugs, and sex, for starters...

-Also sort of like the Wire... Gothamist reports that Hoboken's Miles Square SWAT team has been disbanded after a 2005 footage surfaced showing the team leader, who also happens to be Hoboken's Director of Homeland Security, getting drunk with his men at an Alabama Hooters restaurant and letting the servers pose with their high powered automatic weapons. The pictures came to light because the officer, Lt. Angelo Andriani is being sued for racial discrimination against Latino officers under his command.

-Amanda Marcotte reviews Glenn Greenwald's new book, A Tragic Legacy.

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341c61e653ef00e54f8771748833

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Recommended reading:

Comments

More recommended reading, in the wake of another unspeakably grim report on global warming: Tom Englehart dares to wonder aloud what happens if it doesn't rain in Georgia sometime soon.

www.tomdispatch.org/post/174863/as_the_world_burns

The ACLU webpage doesn't say that any informants were bribed with sex.

It links to an article which says that a cop in New Jersey had sex with a female informant via "intimidation, threat, harassment, coercion and/or promises of judicial and prosecutorial consideration for plaintiff and her family."

From Rayman's article --

>Or what about the time he [Rudy G] used a press conference to release the sealed juvenile record of Patrick Dorismond, an unarmed man shot by police officers?

>Rudy described Dorismond as "no altar boy." In fact, earlier in his life, Dorismond was an altar boy—and he'd attended the same Catholic school that Rudy had. The city settled that case for $2.25 million.

I thought that was about as lowdown a gesture as I'd ever seen from a public official. Character assassination of the assassinated, as it were.

Dock Miles

About as lowdown as any of a number of your posts have been would be more like it. Sealed records do not survive an individual's death. They're sealed to allow a young adult a chance to go straight, and for no other purpose. But you knew that.

After Dorismond was an altar boy - he was arrested -for robbery, again for attempted robbery, again for assaulting someone in a driving dispute, again for assaulting someone in a marijuana dispute.

The killing of this man was the result of a botched undercover drug investigation, where it is alleged that Mr. Dorismond started a physical altercation, angry at being thought to be a drug dealer.

It was a botch, it should not have happened, but, if anyone reading about this case wants to know the full picture, he/she can't shy away from looking at the sealed record of the unfortunate Mr. Dorismond. Who made a lot of wrong turns after he was an altar boy.

Hooters waitresses with automatic weapons give a whole new meaning to the phrase, "To protect and to serve."

>It was a botch, it should not have happened

That's the bottom line, Phantom. Whether it happened to a good or bad person is irrelevant.

>but, if anyone reading about this case wants to know the full picture, he/she can't shy away from looking at the sealed record of the unfortunate Mr. Dorismond. Who made a lot of wrong turns after he was an altar boy.

Oh, sure. But what's the implication -- that he deserved to die? That it was less of an enormity because he had a fat criminal record?

I mean, the cops didn't pick some guy at random off the street, but there is this thing of "equal protection under the law," and suggesting that, "hey, this matters less because this guy had a serious rap sheet" is rilly, rilly vile. His offenses weren't even that scumbaggy.

Thanks for the gratuitous personal insult.

The ACLU page talks about an alleged institutional policy encouraging officers to make sexual advances towards informants. If that's true, I don't see what that means except encouraging officers to trade sex/affection/attention for information:

The informant has accused the police department of permitting and encouraging police officers to sexually harass and have sex with female informants and other women they encounter while on duty.

Why else would the department be encouraging police officers to have sex with their informants?

If sealed records don't survive an individual's death, why did the city settle for $2.5 million?

>Why else would the department be encouraging police officers to have sex with their informants?

Unmatched raw footage, I say.

If they ever outlaw selling off property confiscated from drug dealers to finance police departments, maybe the force plans to make up the bucks through real-life-porn websites.

Side issue, I know, but here's an interesting little item that notes criminal records will be soon, if they are not already, impossible to truly seal or expunge or any such thing.

Lindsay Beyerstein -

RE : "The suit accuses the township, the police department and then-Public Safety Director Samuel DiPasquale of permitting and encouraging police officers, including Senatore, to sexually harass and have sex with female informants, female defendants and other women they encountered while on duty."

She was raped, she's suing the police dept., and she needs to show that their policies are somehow at fault. Such as condoning sexual harrassment.

I doubt she's claiming that a police seargant told him, "Offer women sex to get them to talk about drug deals."

Maybe you can get a copy of the complaint.


I lived in Jersey City from 1991-2003. I'm painfully familiar with Hoboken due to reasons beyond my control. I find it laugh-out-loud funny that Hoboken had a SWAT team. Perhaps they wanted to be prepared just in case a metrosexual frat boy type went postal after waiting too long for his morning bagel and coffee. But seriously, if the Mile Square SWAT team really did fill some crucial need, Hoboken would not have disbanded the entire unit.

Yep, this smells funny. Hudson County is an old school good old boy network. It's various governments are historically and notoriously rife with corruption. (JC famously had it's convicted felon of an ex-mayor try to regain his old office in 2001). Andriani was Hoboken Police Chief Dr. Carmen Bruno's pet cop. It was no coincidence that Andriani scored his plum gig as head of Hoboken's SWAT team or that he was named the town's director of Homeland Security. And if every few years or so some area supervisor gets popped for making his or her municipal employees work on their house while on the clock, it's unusual and disturbing that this time on-duty cops were involved .

That Bruno is a real piece of work. Google "Carmen Bruno Hoboken." You'll find over the past two decades, Bruno has faced allegations of bigotry, harassment and retaliation against his own police officers.

AF

The next time an NYPD officer is killed while on duty, I hope the Mayor won't shy away from the full picture, and will release any and all records about that officer, confidential or not. That way, if we learn that the officer in question did some shoplifting when he was a teenager or had a couple of DUI's before joining the force, we can lay off all the maudlin, weepy "Fallen Hero" crapola, since we'll know it's really no big deal.

People still say crapola?

--

Remember the context of Giuliani's comments on Dorismond. Sharpton and usual suspects were out for the blood of the cops, making very public demands for them to be prosecuted for murder.

The mayor was standing by his officers, who, were doing dangerous undercover work trying to rid the community of drugs. Something went very wrong.

Dorismond did not deserve to die at all, but he very likely did respond in anger to the approach from the plainclothes cops, which set in motion a horrible chain of events over the next couple of seconds.

But again, context--the terrible incident could not be undone, but the mayor's job was to see that a second wrong was not done, and that Sharpton and his baying racist cabal did not prevail in railroading the officers.

Eric, the alleged brutal rape is distinct from the alleged policy of encouraging police to have sex with their informants. Rape is never a quid pro quo.

I'm assuming that the department had some motive for actively encouraging officers to have sex with their confidential informants. Bribery is the first explanation that springs to my mind. It wouldn't be the first time seduction has been used to extract information. In light of Dock's comments, it occurs to me that blackmail might be another motive.

I'll see what else I can find out about this incident.

" ...Sharpton and his baying racist cabal did not prevail in railroading the officers."

You're sure you want to phrase it just like that?

I'd leave out the word baying. Its unnecessary.

I do feel that Sharpton is a racist, and have felt that way since the Tawana Brawley hoax, in which he was a prime mover, and for which he has never apologized.

Lindsay Beyerstein -

The summary of her complaint in the article that police dept was "permitting and encouraging police officers, including Senatore, to sexually harass and have sex with female informants."

Sexual harrassment isn't bribery. I don't think the phrase "have sex" there refers to bribery, either.

She was raped by a police officer. She's suing the police dept. She needs to make a case that the dept is at fault. Maybe they did condone negative behavior towards women and do have partial liability.

But I'm not going to believe that any police seargants told officers to have sex with women to get them to talk about drug deals until I see stronger evidence that they did.

Rudy: "I must stand by the cops! I must prevent them being railroaded into a costly and time-wasting and embarrassing-as-hell murder trail! But how? HOW?? I tell you, HOW?

"I know -- I'll slime the victim! That'll work!"

It was a vile, lowdown gesture by an authoritarian public figure whose instincts run that way.

Also, I really loathe weasely formations like this --

>Dorismond did not deserve to die at all, but he very likely did respond in anger to the approach from the plainclothes cops, which set in motion a horrible chain of events over the next couple of seconds.

Translated: Dorismond did not deserve to die at all. But, maybe he deserved to die a tiny bit, or was responsible in some way, because he got physically belligerent when some strangers put the squeeze on him to sell them some dope. Sure, it got out of control. But he started it.

Yuck.

Sorry for confusing you with the facts. When the police at the scene allege that the "victim" assaulted them, and then it just so happens that said "victim" has a history of being arrested for assault and similar violent crimes, that's highly relevant.

It would have been unethical in the extreme to conceal Dorismond's record under these circumstances.

You're losing this one, Phantom. Big time.

Also, using the quotes around victim is vile. The guy paid with his life. He's dead, geddit? You yourself said he didn't deserve to die. But "victim" gets put in quotes. Shame on you.

If you think I'm losing, the do a little jig for yourself.

The guy did not deserve to die, but Officer Vasquez, who fired the shot, did not deserve to be placed on trial. And he wasn't.

My quotation marks exist because I will tend to believe the police who said that he lunged at them, enraged at being thought of as a drug dealer. He's a victim, but a victim who had the extremely bad fortune to have attacked (plainclothes) cops on a very unfortunate night.

If Guiliani's words played some small role in avoiding the lynch mob getting their hands on Officer Vasquez, yes I praise him for that.

You are very welcome to that pitiful stance.

The comments to this entry are closed.