Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Arguing With Steve

(Pic Of "Steve Argue circa 1978?)
Add "supporter of imperialist war" to my long resume.
Steve Argue has apparently taken extreme offense at my challenge to his generally fact-less rants on Mumia and has responded with the kind of "re-adjustment" of the argument as a means of diverting from the issues, while simultaneously undermining my credibility. Now, I am not in the habit of letting things like this go by, even if it is often for my own amusement.
In my article on the blog as well as on a rather boring thread at tribe.net I set out to rather methodically point out the many discrepancies and inaccuracies in Steve’s rather disjointed and slightly comical rants about Mumia’s case. In any event, Steve has apparently abandoned that debate, the one that he started, in order to author more ridiculous screeds, this time at the Philly IMC casting me as a war-monger.
I will let Steve’s frothing hysteria about the conflicts throughout the world speak for itself as he clearly is just one of those people that jumps to assumptions about those that they have a quarrel about. My pointing out Jamal’s position on the despots of the world does not automatically assign me a seat at the Bush table of world-domination, except of course if you live in Mumia- Land.
I think, if Steve has friends out there and you are one of them, and you read this, you might want to pull your "comrade" aside and urge him to take some time off. If he keeps going like this he is going to careen into the kind of disconnect from reality that causes you to believe in your own bullshit. Or maybe he has already hit that wall. I prefer to give people the benefit of the doubt. But I guess time will tell.
One thing that is not really up for debate is the fact that he is quite literally full of shit. I mean really, really, horribly out-of-control full of shit. His "work" reeks of frantic cutting and pasting from pro-Jamal sites that are a decade old, masturbation (mental and otherwise) and midnight oil. He is the quintessential embodiment of the kid who got beat up on the regular in junior high and whose hygiene is likely hidden by a heavy layer of Patchouli
I offer as proof of Steve’s allergy to all things truthful and deficiencies in "truthiness" (my homage to Steve Colbert), the following statements of his followed by things that are demonstrable, provable, and recorded truths. For your enjoyment I offer his statements first followed by a brief rebuttal authored by your humble blogger.

"Congress voted 368 to 31 to back the racist frame-up of Mumia Abu Jamal by condemning the decision of the French city of St. Denis to name a street after the innocent death row inmate."
If one were to believe his line of argument you would have to believe that not only is the Philly PD, DA, Mayor, media, etc...complicit with the "frame up" of Mumia, but so to is the vast majority of Congress.
"Not a single Pennsylvania Congressperson voted against the racist resolution. Joining in the racist lynch mob calling for blood of an innocent black man..."
The "Mumia street" bill was not a referendum on Jamal's guilt, innocence, or the fairness of the trial. It is a symbolic statement that reflects the indignation that I can safely argue that most civilized human beings feel when a killer is cast as hero by ill-informed and politically motivated individuals.
"In addition Ed Rendell is a member of the Fraternal Order of Police"
A twenty second phone call to an annoyed PA State FOP member will tell you that Rendell is no member of the FOP.
"The bullets were not rare and in fact according to the coroner they didn't match Mumia's gun."

The bullet that killed Daniel Faulkner was a .38, the same as Jamal's registered handgun. Not only was the gun Jamal's, but he had a holster to go with it. Four of the fiver cartridges were of Federal Plus P manufacture. The deformed bullet removed from Officer Faulkner's skull had a hollow base consistent with this type of ammunition. Although not a conclusive match was made the circumstantial evidence was enough to convince the multi-racial jury who took all of five hours to convict Jamal

"No eyewitnesses saw him shoot the cop, but there were eyewitnesses that saw hiim not shoot the cop."

Four eyewitnesses saw Jamal shoot Faulkner Steve. One two three four.

"He was illegally denied counsel of his choice. His attorney was incompetent."

Jamal picked Anthony Jackson to be his attorney, but decided to represent himself prior to trial. He was allowed to do so until the judge was forced to remove Jamal from this position after Jamal clearly was attempting to undermine the integrity of his own trial. Attorney Jackson was competent. Jackson had defended no less than 20 murder cases, winning 14 of them. Despite trying many cases in which the possible sentence was death, prior to Jamal, Jackson had never had a client sentenced to death.

"Cynthia White was a prostitute working for the corrupt Center City cops and put outside the scene by the actual eyewitnesses, she testified that Mumia killed him but never actually saw anything."

Wrong again. Cynthia White saw just about everything. Read the transcripts Steve.

"As for representing himself, Sabo fired Mumia as his own attorney because he was doing too good of a job."

Mumia was doing a fine job making a mockery of the justice system. As for defending himself, he relegated himself to repeatedly demanding that sub-literate, John Africa be his attorney and generally acted like a madman to the point that at least one journalist wondered if Jamal wanted to be found guilty and was "suicidal". Again, the transcripts provide ample evidence of Jamal’s antics.

"Veronica Jones testified for the prosecution"

Steve is wrong on this again. She testified for the defense in both the original trial as well as the PCRA

"William Singletary is a good witness."

I have never ever heard anyone claim that William Singletary is a "good witness". Even Weinglass had to try and cover for Jamal's sole exculpatory witness with the understatement of the 1995 PCRA hearing when he said that "We believe his (Singletary’s) recollection today (of what happened December 9, 1981) is not entirely accurate" And he protested vigorously when this "good witness" was asked in open court about what he saw and heard in 1981 by the DA. If he was such a good witness than why would Jamal's own attorney seek to have his testimony not heard?

The above is just a sampling of Steven’s deranged assault on the truth. He is a veritable repository of nonsense, half-truths, major lies, and minor ones. Yet he claims that I am the one conjuring up falsehoods. He has written this on more than one occasion, but has yet to show that anything that I have written is wrong. So Steve it is put up or shut up time. Either come with facts or don’t come at all.

4 Comments:

At 7:11 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

who is steve?

 
At 7:29 PM , Blogger Tony Allen said...

the better question would be who was Steve. This guy wrote a factless article on Mumia and I responded to it. The debate raged at tribe.net and phillimc.com where he accused me of everything under the sun...well, long story short he has stopped arguing and has dropped off in typical Mumia supporter fashion when confronted with the truth.

 
At 8:27 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who Is Tony Allen? by Eliot Lee Grossman, Attorney-at-Law
"Anthony" or known by his full name "Tony Allen" has been posting in opposition to my articles on Mumia. Here is what Attorney Eliot Grossman has to say about him:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: TONY ALLEN RECONSIDERED

by Eliot Lee Grossman, Attorney-at-Law

I was appalled by Tony Allen's recent e-mail diatribe, "Mumia Reconsidered" which a Mumia supporter forwarded to me. Allen's 180-degree transformation from MOVE supporter to home boy in the "Fry Mumia" gang's disinformation campaign, while shocking, is not altogether surprising given that Allen always appeared to be rather flaky in his vaguely leftish political views and a somewhat unstable, albeit idealistic, young man with a pronounced tendency to the fanatical. But more of that later.

The purpose of this article is to deny categorically Allen's fabrication of a conversation he claims I had with him and Pam Africa, but which never took place outside of the apparently suggestible imagination of Tony Allen. Allen claims I told them, the first time I met them, when they stayed with me during the demonstrations outside the Democratic Party convention in Los Angeles a couple of years ago, that I thought all of the "evidence" pointed to Mumia's being guilty. That is a damned lie. I never made such a statement.

The preposterousness of Allen's tale should be apparent from the obvious fact that, had I ever made such a statement to Pam Africa (which I did not), she would have wasted no time in reporting it directly to Mumia and it is inconceivable that he would have, thereafter, asked me and my colleagues, Marlene Kamish, Nick Brown, and J. Michael Farrell, to take over his representation.

Moreover, there is no credible evidence which points to Mumia's being guilty, so why would I have made the statement which Allen falsely attributes to me? The only so-called "evidence" which the prosecution itself can point to are the obvious lies and fabrications which passed for evidence at Mumia's trial. Allen knows very well that this so-called "evidence" is worthless.

Allen claims that five witnesses saw Mumia shoot Officer Faulkner when the trial transcript makes it very clear that only two witnesses (later shown to have perjured themselves) gave such testimony. These two witnesses, taxi driver and convicted arsonist Robert Chobert and prostitute Cynthia White, were exposed as perjurers by the declarations of private investigator Mike Newman and witness Yvette Williams, which we filed in state and federal court and are available on a number of "Free Mumia" websites.

Newman stated under penalty of perjury that Chobert had recanted his trial testimony to Newman and admitted that he did not even see the shooting. At the time of Mumia's trial, Chobert was on felony probation for having fire-bombed a school and was highly vulnerable to manipulation by the police and/or prosecutors because he was in daily violation of the conditions of his probation by unlawfully driving his taxi on a suspended driver's license. Were his probation to be revoked for that offense he faced over 20 years in state prison.

Yvette Williams declared under penalty of perjury that she was in jail with Cynthia White after the Faulkner shooting where White told Williams that she (White) did not see the shooting, although she was in the area "high on drugs" and was picked up by police and bribed and intimidated into falsely identifying Mumia as the shooter. Williams observed White returning from meetings with police detectives bearing various items of contraband, including "white powder" and syringes.

Even before we obtained the declarations from Newman and Williams it was apparent that Chobert's and White's trial testimony was unworthy of belief. Both of them were highly vulnerable to police pressure. Each time Chobert and White were questioned by the police they changed their stories to more closely fit the prosecution's case against Mumia.

White's testimony at Mumia's trial directly contradicted her earlier testimony at Billy Cook's trial. At Mumia's trial White testified that the only persons present at the crime scene were Officer Faulkner, Mumia and Cook. But at Cook's trial White testified that there was a passenger in Cook's car who got out of the car after it was stopped by Officer Faulkner. The prosecution deftly and cynically used this lie-by-omission at Mumia's trial to argue that only Mumia could have shot Faulkner because no one else was present who could have. We now know that Freeman not only was present, but, according to the two declarations of Cook, later admitted to Cook that he (Freeman) was involved in a plot to kill Faulkner and had participated in the shooting.

The other alleged witnesses to the shooting who testified at trial, Albert Magilton and Michael Scanlon, did not identify Mumia as the person who shot Faulkner (trial transcript, 6/25/82).

Allen cites the ballistics evidence to support his newly-found position that Mumia is guilty, but Allen himself knows that this so-called evidence is equally suspect. This is certainly not the first, nor is it likely to be the last case in which the police have tampered with or fabricated ballistics evidence to get a conviction. No defense expert has ever examined the ballistics evidence in Mumia's case. The pre-trial judge refused to authorize sufficient funds for the defense to retain a ballistics expert to testify at trial. Weinglass' expert refused to examine the ballistics evidence when given an opportunity to do so. Our ballistics experts, although stating in their declarations that the ballistics evidence should be subjected to independent laboratory testing with present-day technology, were never permitted by the courts to have such testing conducted.

The Philadelphia police had more than one opportunity to tamper with the ballistics evidence. Judge Sabo ordered it taken out of the control of the Court Clerk and handed over to a police detective during the 1999 post-conviction proceedings. And it should be remembered that, when the shooting occurred, the envelope into which the medical examiner placed a bullet and bullet fragment removed from Faulkner's head wound arrived at the police ballistics lab without the bullet fragment. It is entirely possible that whoever discarded the bullet fragment also switched the bullet with another. Unless and until defense experts and an independent laboratory are permitted to examine the ballistics evidence with contemporary state-of-the-art technology, none of the prosecution's alleged ballistics evidence can be trusted.

My review of the prosecution's alleged "evidence" in the trial record when I first became involved in Mumia's case as co-author of an amicus brief submitted on behalf of noted scholar-activist Dr. Rodolfo Acuas "For Chicana/Chicano Studies Foundation" convinced me that Mumia was framed-up for a crime he did not commit. It was apparent to me, despite Anthony Jackson's deplorable travesty of a defense at Mumia's trial, that Mumia was innocent. During the pretrial proceedings Mumia repeatedly demanded a line-up. He was convinced that the prosecution's alleged witnesses, despite their vulnerability to police pressure, would have too much human decency to falsely identify him as Faulkner's killer. Who would repeatedly demand to be placed in a line-up, particularly in a capital case, if he or she were guilty? No one. But Mumia demanded a line-up. He did that because he was innocent. That's what I thought the first time I read through the trial transcript and it's what I still think today.

The prosecutor defeated Mumia's line-up motion by telling the judge that he had no witnesses who could identify Mumia as the shooter, but would instead attempt to prove his case by process of elimination, showing that no one else was present who could have done the shooting other than Mumia. After the line-up was denied, the prosecutor put Cynthia White on the witness stand at the preliminary hearing to falsely testify she saw Mumia shoot Faulkner.

Tony Allen also falsely charges me with having subjected him and Pam Africa to a "tirade" against Leonard Weinglass. Typical of his many factual errors is Allen's claim that I was a friend of Weinglass. Weinglass would be the first to deny my ever having any friendship with him. Marlene Kamish and I knew Weinglass because we hired and later fired him as Lead Trial Counsel for the retrial of Manuel Salazar after our legal team, including an attorney from the state appellant defender's office, overturned Manuel's conviction and death sentence in the Illinois Supreme Court on appeal from denial of post-conviction relief.

Although Marlene and I had some serious doubts about the manner in which Weinglass was handling Mumia's case when we were still amicus counsel, it was not until after we became Mumia's attorneys and reviewed Weinglass' files that we learned of the suppression of the Beverly confession, Billy Cook's declaration, and Chobert's recantation to Mike Newman, and numerous other matters with which we then had to contend, that we and our co-counsel came to the harsher evaluation which we presented in various of our legal filings.

It is neither the purpose of this article nor the responsibility of its author to respond point-by-point to every issue raised by Allen. Anyone who might be interested in our detailed analysis of the evidence corroborating the Beverly confession will find it in a number of the documents my colleagues and I filed in state and federal court when we were Mumia's attorneys and which are posted on various "Free Mumia" websites, particularly our PCRA petition, our Pennsylvania Supreme Court appeal briefs, and our motion to certify additional issues for appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

Anyone who might be interested in our analysis of Mumia's courtroom conduct, before Judge Sabo stopped Mumia from representing himself because he was doing too good a job for the "hanging judge" to permit him to continue, may review our amicus brief for the "For Chicana/Chicano Studies Foundation," also available on various Mumia websites. There we superimpose on the transcript of Mumia's interchanges with Judge Sabo the transcript from the trial of William Penn, the founder of the State of Pennsylvania, when Penn defended himself on charges of preaching in the street after the government closed down his church. We demonstrate that, far from being disruptive, Mumia, like William Penn, was acting in a principled and proper manner in standing up for his legal rights. Author Terry Bisson was so moved by this portion of the amicus brief that he carried it over verbatim into his book about Mumia, "Ona Move."

And now, back to Mr. Allen. When I first met him in L.A. I had to intervene physically to save Allen from a sound thrashing by a beleaguered rally organizer during the first day of demonstrations outside the Democratic Party Convention. The organizer was providing security for the rally by keeping unauthorized people out of a restricted area near the speakers' platform. Allen was out of control and his increasingly provocative stream of insults directed at the organizer for barring him from the restricted area were on the verge of transforming what was already a physical confrontation into an actual fistfight. I stepped between the two of them and managed to cool the situation down by invoking my authority as attorney and explaining that Allen was Pam Africa's assistant and security person and was supposed to join her in the speaker's area.

After I successfully extracted Allen from his self-produced confrontation with one of the rally organizers (an event which could easily have precipitated nearby police officers into arresting both of them and which, in turn, could have provoked a police riot that would have disrupted the rally at which Jesse Jackson was one of the featured speakers (as did occur the next day when the LAPD raked peaceful demonstrators and legal observers with "less-than-lethal" rubber bullets that barely missed putting out a legal observer's eye) Allen persisted in throwing departing taunts at the organizer, calling him a "cop" and accusing him of "doing the cop's work for them" as I did my best to hustle Allen away.

It is interesting that Allen can come up with no better explanation for his 180-degree turn on the issue of Mumia's innocence than to trot out the same old lies that the "Justice for Faulkner" crowd continue to post on their website and his laundry list of complaints about what he allegedly went through back in the days when he was, despite his present protestations to the contrary, a loyal and sincere MOVE member.

That is apparently why Allen, and/or his handlers, have invented the new lies which he attempts to put into my mouth. While it is a quite sophisticated disinformation technique for Allen to use my position as an attorney to attack Mumia (and me) by falsely attributing to me statements I never made, the technique is, frankly, too sophisticated for Allen to have come up with on his own, as are various of the decidedly un-Allen-like turns of phrase in his article and his shameful and insulting red-baiting of myself and others. However, such tactics and turns of phrase are very much in the style of Allen's new friends, right-wing talk show host and FOP toadie Mike Smerconish who is a frequent public spokesman for the "Fry Mumia" forces, and pseudo-leftist pseudo-journalist Dave Lindorff, who, while posing as a Mumia supporter concerned with the unfairness of Mumia's trial, has produced a book whose central thesis is that Mumia is guilty of killing Officer Faulkner.

Allen's brazen regurgitation of long-discredited misrepresentations of the evidence in Mumia's case suggests that, perhaps, in a moment of conscience-induced candor he is signaling that even he does not believe the lies whose circulation appears to be the price of admission into his new circle of friends. While his lending of himself to the latest disinformation campaign against Mumia is a depressing turn of events, Tony Allen should be the subject of nothing more than our pity for having succumbed to the pressures of this rightward-moving historical period and the instability and weakness in his own character. I am quite sure that Mumia is too noble to bear Mr. Allen any ill will and has only pity and compassion for him. We should have the same pity and compassion for Allen.

 
At 8:35 PM , Blogger Tony Allen said...

This is the best you got? A rambling ad-hominem from the attorney that Mumia fired, that disgraced the "movement" with the Arnold Beverly nonsense, and who is generally regarded even amongst Mumia-idiots as a tool. Come on, try harder next time.

 

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