Category: Violence

Holy Sh*t: Pakistan Arrests C.I.A. Informants Who Aided Bin Laden Raid

The lede for this one goes to the New York Times, from the caption used for the picture above:

Instead of going after those who helped Osama bin Laden to live in this Abbottabad compound, Pakistan arrested those who assisted in the raid that killed him.

Oh, shit.

From the New York Times:

Pakistan’s top military spy agency has arrested some of the Pakistani informants who fed information to the Central Intelligence Agency in the months leading up to the raid that led to the death of Osama bin Laden, according to American officials.

Pakistan’s detention of five C.I.A. informants, including a Pakistani Army major who officials said copied the license plates of cars visiting Bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in the weeks before the raid, is the latest evidence of the fractured relationship between the United States and Pakistan. It comes at a time when the Obama administration is seeking Pakistan’s support in brokering an endgame in the war in neighboring Afghanistan.

At a closed briefing last week, members of the Senate Intelligence Committee asked Michael J. Morell, the deputy C.I.A. director, to rate Pakistan’s cooperation with the United States on counterterrorism operations, on a scale of 1 to 10. 

“Three,” Mr. Morell replied, according to officials familiar with the exchange.  

The fate of the C.I.A. informants arrested in Pakistan is unclear, but American officials said that the C.I.A. director, Leon E. Panetta, raised the issue when he travelled to Islamabad last week to meet with Pakistani military and intelligence officers.

Pakistan is no ally of the United States of America.


We Must All Protect Gay Youth from Suicide

This is just too, too sad.

From Judy Shepard:

Our family, and the staff and board at the Matthew Shepard Foundation, are all deeply saddened by the devastating report of at least the fourth gay or gay-perceived teen to commit suicide in this country in the last month.

Reports say that Tyler Clementi, 18, leapt to his death from the George Washington Bridge near his New Jersey college campus after a roommate allegedly broadcast him in a same-sex encounter behind closed doors in his dorm room, and apparently invited others, via Twitter, to view it online. Regardless of his roommate’s alleged tweet, Tyler had apparently made no statement about his own sexual orientation. I’m sure we will all learn more about this terrible tragedy as legal proceedings unfold, but the contempt and disregard behind such an invasion of privacy seems clear. In the meantime, we send our thoughts and prayers to Tyler’s family as they mourn their loss.

In the last month there has been a shocking series of teen suicides linked to bullying, taunting, and general disrespect regarding sexual orientation, in every corner of America. Just a few days ago, Seth Walsh, a 13-year-old in Tehachapi, Calif., passed away after 10 days on life support after he hanged himself. Police say he had been mercilessly taunted by fellow students over his perceived sexual orientation.

Billy Lucas, 15, hanged himself a few weeks ago at his Indiana home after years of reported harassment by students who judged him to be gay. Asher Brown, a 13-year-old in Harris, TX, who had recently come out, took his life with a gun after, his parents say, their efforts to alert school officials to ongoing bullying were not acted upon.

Many Americans also learned this week about Tyler Wilson, an 11-year-old boy in Ohio who decided to join a cheerleading squad that had been all-female. As a gymnast, he was interested in the athletic elements of cheering. He was taunted with homophobic remarks and had his arm broken by two schoolmates who apparently assumed him to be gay. He told “Good Morning America” that since returning to school, he’s been threatened with having his other arm broken, too.

Our young people deserve better than to go to schools where they are treated this way. We have to make schools a safe place for our youth to prepare for their futures, not be confronted with threats, intimidation or routine disrespect.

Quite simply, we are calling one more time for all Americans to stand up and speak out against taunting, invasion of privacy, violence and discrimination against these youth by their peers, and asking everyone in a position of authority in their schools and communities to step forward and provide safe spaces and support services for LGBT youth or those who are simply targeted for discrimination because others assume they are gay. There can never be enough love and acceptance for these young people as they seek to live openly as their true selves and find their role in society.

Suicide is a complicated problem and it is too easy to casually blame it on a single factor in a young person’s life, but it is clear that mistreatment by others has a tremendously negative effect on a young person’s sense of self worth and colors how he or she sees the world around them. Parents, educators and peers in the community need to be vigilant to the warning signs of suicide and other self-destructive behaviors in the young people in their lives, and help them find resources to be healthy and productive. We urge any LGBT youth contemplating suicide to immediately reach out to The Trevor Project, day or night, at (866) 4-U-TREVOR [866-488-7386].

Judy Shepard

President, Matthew Shepard Foundation Board of Directors

She’s right. And those of us who work with youth must find the courage to help them where they are, accept and love them as they are.

Virginia Executes 41-Year-Old Woman

A woman was executed by the people of the state of Virginia today. She was only the 12th woman executed in the United States since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976, the great year of our Bicentennial Celebration.

Here’s a telling line from the NYTimes story, "Psychologists involved in her case said she was borderline retarded."

From the New York Times:

A woman convicted of orchestrating a plot that led to the murders of her husband and stepson was executed in Virginia Thursday night, becoming the first woman executed in the state in almost a century.

The woman, Teresa Lewis, 41, died by lethal injection at a correctional facility in southeastern Virginia. With a crowd of death penalty opponents protesting outside, Ms. Lewis was pronounced dead at 9:13 p.m., the Associated Press reported, citing officials at the Greensville Correctional Center in Jarratt. She was the 12th woman executed in the United States since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976.

The case against Ms. Lewis, the first woman executed in the country since 2005, had drawn international attention. Many of her supporters questioned the fairness of her sentence — her co-conspirators, who fired the fatal shots, were spared capital punishment — and doubts were raised about her mental capacity. Psychologists involved in her case said she was borderline retarded. And her supporters argued that she had been manipulated by the two triggermen, who stood to gain hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings and life insurance payoffs.

What’s done is done, and cannot be undone.

So it goes.

Yes, Mayor Daley Is Right to Move 200 Cops to the Streets

Mayor Daley

Look: Yes, crime is a problem in Chicago.

No, it is not the fault of Mayor Daley.

No politician should have to deal with this much madness.

It is the fault of Chicago’s gangs.

So, I don’t quite understand the "controversy" in this story from the Chicago Sun-Times:

Mayor Daley said Thursday he wants to take the police out of community policing to put 200 more officers on the street.

Daley said Chicago’s Alternative Policing Strategy, known as CAPS, was conceived as a civilian-run program in the 1990s but now involves many more uniformed officers than was originally intended.

“Over 200 police officers or more were assigned to CAPS over years — lieutenants and sergeants and patrolmen. In some districts, they had 8 to 10 or 12 people assigned to CAPS. . . . All the sudden, a civilian thing  . . . went to a Police Department [program]. That was not the concept,” the mayor said.

The decision to yank the officers out of community policing comes three months after Daley asked Ron Holt, the police officer father of a 16-year-old gunned down on a CTA bus, to breathe new life into the CAPS program.

“When Ron took it over, he couldn’t believe how many police officers were assigned and transferred over many years into it. It became a huge amount of police officers,” the mayor said.

Good for "Da Mayor." This is a good move on his part.

Family: Evanston Man Killed By Bomb Committed Suicide

How sad.

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

The family of a man who died when a pipe bomb blew up in an Evanston park declared Wednesday that his death was a suicide.

“We are devastated that our beloved son, Colin Dalebroux, lost his 15-year battle with depression,’’ the family said in a statement issued through a school district in Madison, Wis., where the family lives. “We know that Colin committed suicide.’’

Evanston police, however, said Wednesday they weren’t ready to draw that same conclusion until further FBI forensic tests on the Dalebroux’s computers are completed.

Police did confirm that Dalebroux, 21, struggled with mental health issues, and said investigators will speak with his mental health providers.

Evanston Police Cmdr. Tom Guenther said Dalebroux was acting alone at the time of the incident.

“There is no immediate danger to the public,” he said in a statement.

How sad.

Is America Ready for a Nuanced Discussion of Just War?

Writing about a lecture he attended at St. Irenaeus Church in Park Forest, Illinois, Park Forest Mayor John Ostenburg presents perhaps one of the most nuanced perspectives I’ve ever read on the Catholic Just War Theory. The lecture, given by Kathy Kelly, coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, "covered a much wider scope of things. Really, her presentation should have been promoted with the old John Lennon song title, ‘Give Peace a Chance,’ Ostenburg says on his blog, The Outpost Observer.

What follows is a summary of the lecture by Kathy Kelly, and additional perspective by Ostenburg, including the following:

While I agree with Ms. Kelly in principle, that the sincere and consistent efforts of even a handful eventually can reap genuine rewards, I also am inclined to believe that it is extremely difficult to control the behaviors of any individuals — or even nations — who have hatred in their hearts. Turning the cheek is a personal act that any one of us can take (I might even say, should take), but those charged with the responsibility of protecting the public at large face additional responsibilities that reach beyond that. As Christians, Ms. Kelly and her compatriots do well to imitate the actions of Jesus Christ in how he showed love for those who extended ill toward him; however, even Jesus took up the whip to expel the money-changers in the Temple because of the social ill they were spreading.

As such, I find it difficult to accept that absolute pacifism is enough to effect the kind of change that Ms. Kelly would like to see. Lest we forget, law enforcement also was a necessary component of the changes that ultimately brought major controls on racial hatred in the 1960s and 1970s. People had to be arrested, sentenced, and sent to jail; federal officers often had to engage in strong tactics in order to bring the wrongdoers to their knees. And — even with all the combined efforts of peaceful protest and effective law enforcement — things today are far from perfect and the ugly head of racism still rises all too often and spews its hateful venom.

So, from my perspective, it is legitimate for the U.S. to seek to curtail hateful acts by Al-Qaeda and/or the Taliban. But I also believe the methods we employ in our efforts at self-protection must likewise be legitimate.

An explanation of the Catholic Church’s Just War Theory follows.

What strikes me as fascinating in all of this is this line from Ostenburg’s post, "Even Jesus took up the whip to expel the money-changers in the Temple because of the social ill they were spreading."

Yes, He did. And I never thought about that in connection to warfare.

Read this post in full, and ask yourself, is America, polarized as it is today, ready for a truly nuanced discussion of war — and peace?

Accountability: Two More Charged in Shooting Death of 20-year-old Adam Martinez

two charged with first-degree murder

Corey D. Anderson (Left) and Jabriel W. Anderson (right) (Photos: PFPD)

REMEMBER, all behavior here is alleged, and all are considered innocent until proven guilty.

That being said, the Park Forest Police Department stayed with this one.

There aren’t many homicides in Park Forest, after all. Each one means businesses.


The Park Forest Police Department announced this week two more arrests in connection with the fatal shooting of Park Forest resident, Adam Martinez.

Park Forest Police say the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office approved charges of first degree murder against 17-year-old Jabriel Anderson of Park Forest and 20-year-old Corey Anderson of Richton Park in connection with the death of Martinez.

Both were scheduled to appear in Room 104 of the Sixth District Court in Markham on Friday, September 3, for the purposes of a bond hearing.

Park Forest Detectives, in conjunction with members of the South Suburban Major Crime Task Force, continued working on leads from the May 12 homicide, in which Jason Burns was charged on May 18 with First- Degree Murder.

Congrations to the Park Forest Police Department, and our sympathies, once again, to the famliy of Adam Martinez.

And we hope, beyond hope, that these two arrested had no idea what was about to transpire when they allegedly did what they allegedly did.

Related: Richton Park Man Charged in Shooting Death of 20-year-old Adam Martinez

More Shooting Deaths on the South(west) Side of Chicago

On the south(west) side of Chicago, in the baddest part of town…

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

Three people are reportedly dead and one person was hospitalized with “trauma” after being shot Thursday night on the Southwest Side.

Sources said police responded at 8:33 p.m. to the 6100 block of South Kildare Avenue and found three people dead and one person injured.

Fire Media Affairs Chief Kevin MacGregor said one person was taken with “trauma” to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.

The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office has not been notified of the deaths as of Thursday night.

Unconfirmed reports indicate all four were gunshot victims, and at least one person was found in a garage.

Wentworth. More violence.

And the gang chiefs say they’re being harassed.

Cops Say Man Ordered Dog to Bite Kids

All of this is alleged by police. Remember: innocent until proven guilty in this country.

From the Chicago Tribune:

A 48-year-old Des Plaines man was charged with disorderly conduct after he told his dog to attack neighborhood kids, authorities said.

A neighbor on Wednesday asked Roberto Cardona, of the 1300 block of Fargo Avenue, to stop commanding the German shepherd to assault children , police said. But Cardona, who had been drinking, started to yell, and attempted to provoke the neighbor into fighting, police said.

After police arrived, Cardona began to scream at the officers, reports said. Cardona told police that he was tired of the neighbors and would continue to tell his canine to attack them.


Dr. Laura Schlessinger Said Something This Week

And I could give a care.

This is all the mention she gets on Turning Left.