Editors Note: Alexander Cockburn from Counterpunch.org emailed me today and informed me that he also believed the pro-Jamal article posted on his site counterpunch.org was riddled with errors. The article was subsequently removed from the site, but is still making the rounds throughout the internet
The folks down at counterpunch.org
have reached a new and surprising low in their efforts to re-ignite the movement to “Free Mumia”.
A recent article posted on the site by Robert Wells was truly and provably more fiction than fact, a piece of bad propaganda aimed at the gullible and ignorant.
Wells, in his attempt to resurrect the long discredited notion that Jamal was caught up in some kind of Serpico like conspiracy looks for the lowest common denominator and quickly finds it.
The tyranny of assumptions and patently absurd arguments put forth by Wells have not only been argued away by Jamal’s detractors, but more importantly they have been rejected by many of Wells comrades in the “Free Mumia” cause.
That Wells makes no mention of this fact in his article is telling and should be embarrassing for him being that one of those who pointed out the absurdity of the Beverly hoax is Dave Lindorff who also writes for counterpunch.org and wrote a book sympathetic to the Jamal cause.
And that is just the tip of the iceberg.
Mr. Wells flat out lies when he claims that there were “multiple witnesses who saw two killers dressed in army fatigues shooting Daniel Faulkner and running away”.
Robert Wells also casually and without any effort to list facts asserts with glib self-assurance that “Other Philadelphia cops had been assaulted or killed for the same reason both before and after Daniel Faulkner's death
As someone who was in the Mumia movement for nearly eight years I had never heard such an assertion and I would challenge Mr. Wells to provide proof of his allegations or cease in making them.
What is a fact is that Cynthia White, Albert Magilton, Michael Scanlan, and Robert Chobert all saw parts of the shooting of Officer Faulkner and all would identify Jamal as the killer.
Wells also brings up the affidavit of Jamal’s brother William Cook, an affidavit that was nearly twenty years in the making. Never mind the fact that Cook’s affidavit not only contradicts some of the witnesses testimony but also contradicts Mumia’s own affidavit. Moreover, when it counted, when William Cook could have exonerated his brother at the scene of the shooting, he chose instead to offer a meek “I ain’t got nothing to do with it
Another flat out lie crassly spouted by Wells is that Jamal was shot by Police Officers arriving at the scene of the crime. This is again something that is contradicted by nearly all witnesses at the scene and is also contradicted by the ballistics evidence presented at Jamal’s 1982 trial in which the .38 caliber slug removed from Jamal was linked conclusively to Faulkner’s gun.
Yet another lie Wells manages to pull out of the air is the one about Jamal being fired from his journalism jobs due to police pressure. None of Jamal’s co-workers, even those supportive of Jamal’s cause do not lend credence to this myth.
One of Jamal’s co-workers described Jamal’s work ethics this way:
“His behavior at the station was out of control. He behaved like a guy who was high. He acted like he was high
The fact is that by the night that Jamal shot Officer Faulkner he had sacrificed not only his career but also his family life in order to pursue his acknowledged and growing obsession with the MOVE cult. He had pissed away his credibility with silly and inane antics on air and off. Simply put the police needed to do nothing to ruin Jamal’s life and career, like so many other of those who have fallen under the sway of MOVE, he had, by that time, done a fine enough job on his own.
But the bottom line is that the Beverly confession is self-evidently false. And I am by no means the only who espouses this view. Although Robert Wells pays lip service to the fact that Jamal’s lead attorneys refused to come forward with the Beverly hoax he fails to mention why. In his pro-Jamal book, Executing Justice former Jamal attorney Dan Williams states emphatically that he was not going to embarrass himself by “running with such a patently outrageous story on the most visible death penalty case in the world
”. The esteemed head of the Jamal legal team at the time, Leonard Weinglass concurred stating that “the (Beverly) story was insane”.
After canning Weinglass and Williams, Jamal proceeded with the Beverly concoction and in doing so helped to discredit not only the movement to free him, but also by putting Beverly into the equation he also undermined many of the previous legal arguments that had been put forward on his behalf.
In essence, none of the witnesses neither prosecution or defense, could place Beverly at the scene. Not only is he a hitman for unamed mafioso, but he also possess magical invisibility powers.
Needless to say, the Beverly hoax failed miserably and the two attorneys who were the main proponents of it were canned by Jamal for their efforts.
Jamal’s current attorney, Robert Bryan avoids the Beverly snafu like the plague. And instead of characterizing the deceased officer as a “Serpico” like figure, he paints Officer Faulkner as a brutal racist thug and seems to be inching closer to arguing that even if Jamal had shot Officer Faulkner, that the young officer had it coming.
What is perhaps most interesting to me is that Robert Wells seemingly did not read the book written by fellow Jamal supporter and colleague at counterpunch.org, Dave Lindorff.
Make no mistake about it. Lindorff’s book is horribly slanted in favor of Jamal and is tainted by his own radical leftist views, views that apparently have caused some disconnect between him and reality. But that said, Lindorff is not an idiot. He, along with Leonard Weinglass, Dan Williams, and likely most other people who actually investigate the case don’t think much of the Beverly myth.
According to Lindorff:
“Beverly’s story strains credulity further because of the tale of his escape. What would such a craven group of corrupt cops, having succeeded in hiring a lowlife Mob Hit Man to rub out one of their own, actually help him to escape, leaving him alive to eventually tell his story? How much easier, once he was in the subway tunnel, to have shot him, leaving investigators with a nicely tied up tale of a cop killed by a mobster, who was than killed by his own people. End of story.”
Of course, the above illustrates just one of the two dozen or so holes in the Beverly story, but it says something when one of Jamal’s own supporters cast serious doubt on the fallacy that Robert Wells is attempting to pass of as truth.
And it is not just the Beverly confession that Lindorff dismisses. He also calls into question the whole “mob-hit man scenario
”. In one of the more lucid passages in his book he states:
“There are a lot of problems with this Mob Hit Man scenario. First....regarding Cook’s claim about Freeman, how did an allegedly premeditated murder come to take place during a chance traffic stop? Mob assassinations are often carefully planned and carried out, and this seems like an unlikely set of circumstances for a hit man to use. This plot, in order to work, required having Faulkner turn into Locust (where Beverly and some corrupt cops were waiting). Yet he did so not out of predictable routine, but by chance he followed Cook.
There were...too many variables in Faulkner’s free form tour of duty for the scenario as described by Beverly to have worked...it seems extremely unlikely that a group of corrupt police would choose to execute a colleague in a busy locale where any number of witnesses would be on hand to see and report what happened”
Mr. Wells wants to make something of the fact Arnold Beverly had an issue with obtaining a drivers license. I do not know whether this is true or not, but I can say that I personally have no problem with a career criminal like Beverly being disallowed on the roads of Pennsylvania. Beverly has a rap sheet a mile long. He has six convictions for burglary, seven for theft, two for receiving stolen property, three for criminal conspiracy, and nineteen others including rape and terroristic threats. The benevolent Arnold Beverly was sent to jail six times, two of which were for up to 10 years. That the repeat offender may have an outstanding hit and run issue should hardly be a surprise to anyone, regardless of where the clearly truth challenged Arnold Beverly claims to have been at the time.
Even Robert Wells has to acknowledge that the Beverly confession may come across as suspect to some people. He kind of nervously states that:
“Sometimes people who see it claim they don't believe him, that he doesn't look convincing. That, of course, is not the point: the way to test the truth of what Beverly says is to bring him into court, depose him, cross-examine him, and investigate what he has to say.
The point is that Philadelphia law enforcement has blocked that; the question is, what have they got to hide?”
The above is a kind of straw man argument. The whole point of a judicial review is to sift through the multitude of claims as posed by the defendant and prosecuters and proceed forward to rule upon issues that are deemed legitimate and credible.
The fact that Jamal himself had initially dismissed Beverly’s story as incredible, as had his pricey and more than competent attorneys, is more than enough reason not to allow what is clearly a desperate stalling tactic on behalf of Jamal to clog up the court docket.
If even such pro-Jamal entities like Leonard Weinglass, Dan Williams, and Dave Lindorff can recognize that Arnold Beverly is a fake, one has to wonder what is wrong with Robert Wells that he believes he can pass his crackpot theories off as fact.
It just goes to show that in the frantic effort to free a murderer that no lie, no matter how incredibly off the wall is out of bounds for those still cynical enough to employ them.