Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Reason Why Jamal's Defenders Do Not "Debate" The Issue

(Pic of the late Hunter S. Thompson living out my New Years Day fantasy)
I hope everyone has had a good Mumia/MOVE free holiday.

As for myself, I had some good times with family, read some books, and tried to otherwise ignore the cold by piling plenty of logs onto the fire. There was more I would have liked to do, but you take what you can get and be happy with it. This holiday season is yet another reminder that I am no longer under the thumb of MOVE and that is reason enough to celebrate.

For a bit of fun I went to where a creature named "Steve Argue" resides. There is a steady debate about Mumia’s case going on there, and since such threads of discussion are so rare these days I thought it only proper that I join in the fray.

What I find most amusing about this little cyber-adventure of mine is the irony of it. There was a time in the not to distant past where I would have been the one typing viciously away, burning the midnight oil, all in a desperate bid to convert the infidels over to the gospel of Mumia. Now, I am on the other side of things, although not desperate and much more confident. The truth has a way of affecting you in that kind. And while I guess the "fry-Mumia" as they are disdainfully referred to by Argue and company, cannot embrace me because of my anti-death penalty stance, I am more than happy to refute the falsehoods espoused on behalf of Jamal over the years.

As it is, the flickering hope of a "free Mumia" dissipates with every court decision, but that does not halt the true believers and the cynical ideologues who exploit them from retreating totally from the field of rhetorical battle. After all, there still is some money to be made of Jamal and his carefully cultivated image, why let a little thing like the truth get in the way of a bit of good old fashioned capitalism?

I am assuming that some would argue that internet squabbles produce much more light than heat as the saying goes and that anyone not already convinced of Jamal’s guilt is too far disconnected from reality to be reached. Perhaps that is the case. It is truly difficult to be sure what kind of effect, if any, this kind of "debate" has on people’s ideas.

I know for me, one of the things that helped to break me down about the Mumia case was having to defend him. As the arguments progressed I was compelled by circumstance to look deeper into the case. Something, that if you are a Jamal supporter, and you want to stick to your guns, you might want to avoid doing.

As it says on Freud’s tombstone "the voice of reason is small, but persistent". I have found this to be generally true, and have seen on a number of occasions those who hold most fervently to fantastical and irrational ideas abandon them in what seems like a blink of an eye.

So I tread onward with this little thread at and am running into all of the old tricks of the "Free Mumia" charade. The ad-hominem attacks, general ignorance about the case, race baiting, long and unbearable non-sequitors, and an overall allergy to the truth about the case on the part of the pro-Jamal posters.

What I have found is hardly surprising. It is the same pile of excrement just dressed up in new piles with some Glade sprayed over it to hide the stench.

No facts, means you have nothing to debate, and when you have nothing to debate you start making things up.

I encourage everyone to take a moment and just read some of the posts written by Steve Argue or some of his ilk. But I caution you not to do so after a meal or else you may end up adorning your keyboard with the contents of your stomach. That is how bad it gets.

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 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.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Dear Philly IMC Why Don't You "Deal With The Points"?

Deal with the points Dec 25, 11:58AM

Please Tony, don't change the subject. Readers want your response not a shift of ground. We have to hear you speak at us on tbis sight 2x a week. A credible witness has come in and challenged you on a host of grounds. You owe it to us, who decide to let you continue to speak on this sight, to defend yourself against these assertions, or you will be banned from IMC. tw philly imc>

The above "comment" was posted at the Philly IMC website after pro-Jamal fanatic and wrecker of facts, Steve Argue, posted a year old smear piece against me penned by Mumia’s ex-attorney, Eliot Grossman.

It is a matter of record and fact that I had previously responded to Grossman’s creed-screed back when he wrote it almost a year ago. And I posted this response on several IMC websites, one of which just happened to be the Philly IMC.

Yet, here I was posed with a dilemma. I could tell the IMC member where to go and be banned from the site or I could simply re-post what I had already written back in 2005 and be "allowed" to post my work at the Philly IMC a little bit longer. I somewhat reluctantly chose the latter, perhaps for no other reason other than to afford myself the opportunity to write and post what I am writing now.

To be sure, I lose nothing by being banned from posting at the Philly IMC, but maybe some of the more "independent" visitors to the site do gain something by my contrarian views.
I don’t do this for a living, nobody has asked me to do this work, and frankly, it wouldn’t be the same if they did. I do this on my own accord, time, and sturdy resolve.

I post at the Philly IMC because MOVE posts here as do the adherents of the "Free Mumia" fraud. I post because I believe that the ideals of both of these entities run counter and contrary to the progressive ideal and encourage activists to squander their time and energy on faux causes that are rooted in deceit and prey upon the good intentions of the well meaning. For my trouble I am threatened with censorship on the IMC forum.

I am no stranger to threats or censorship and am in no mood to turn this missive into some kind of pity party for me. I have chosen this fight and I know what my enemies are capable of and am not surprised when they do precisely what they have always done when faced with someone who possesses the truth and is not willing to go with it silently into obscurity.

But I will take issue with people who claim to provide a forum for expression and than threaten to silence those who do just that. I read and than re-read the editorial policy of the Philly IMC and there is nothing contained therein about having to respond to articles that attack your credibility and motivation. Nor do I believe there should be such a rule in a forum that claims the mantle of "independent". But I wasn’t born yesterday. I know that petty little dictatorial minded ideologues with grudges will mangle existing rules and will conjure up new ones in order to settle a score or shut somebody up.

I have dealt with enough of these kind of people in my day to be under no kind of illusions as to how they operate and I realize that they are anything other than "anti-authoritarian". They are the complete opposite and they do no service to any progressive ideal or agenda no matter how well they dress up their petty accusations and altruism.

So for the record I have played the little game of the little dictator at the Philly IMC for the last time and if this gets me banned from the site than so be it. Let the IMC be the pro-Jamal, pro-MOVE echo box that so many would like it to be. Like I said, it won’t ruin my day.

But I will take issue with the Philly IMC directly on one particular issue. It is by no means the only issue that I could make and probably isn’t the only one that I should bring to the table, but in the interest of concision I will keep my point brief.

MOVE, the group which has so often been presented in a favorable light at the Philly IMC is a cult that forces girls as young as 11 to become pregnant. Girls who can’t read or write. Girls who know nothing outside of the tiny world that MOVE’s leaders have allowed them to see.
I would expect someone from the IMC to explain to me why this issue has not been investigated and reported on. After all, is it not a story worth reporting on if little black girls are being treated as mindless wombs by a reasonless and violent cult?

I have brought the issue forward on a number of occasions at the Philly IMC and nobody has touched the issue. But I guess it is easier to feature year old smear pieces penned by Jamal’s former attorneys than to wander into more compelling territory.

If I am lying about this matter would it not be a simple enough phone call or even a walk down the street to MOVE headquarters to either confirm or deny my allegations?

And for the record, nobody in MOVE has ever come onto the IMC to deny my allegations.
So here is my challenge. If I am full of bullshit than let it be proven. If someone goes to a MOVE member and asks them about the issue of severely underage girls being impregnated and giving birth, and MOVE can offer proof that I am wrong, than I will never post at the Philly IMC site again. Period.

But, if I am proven right, than I expect to be no longer harassed by IMC members like "tw" who demand that I jump through hoops if I am to be "allowed" to continue to post. I don’t want special treatment, but I do expect to be treated like anyone else who posts at the Philly IMC site and that is all I am asking. Nothing more.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Maureen Faulkner Attacked Again...

Again, the International Family and Friends of Mumia chooses to take aim at Maureen Faulkner. This time via their always loyal and completely unquestioning (not to mention factually bereft) Kevin Price.

It is often tempting to be wholly dismissive of the kind of excruciating commentary as put forth by the likes of Kevin. But while this visceral reaction is a tempting one to follow, I think it unwise to let him off the hook. And not because he matters in the whole scheme of things.

At least for now he is throwing his life down the toilet that John Africa built, and no kind of appeal to rationality or common sense will at this point deter him from the misapprehension that it is John Africa who is tending the light at the end of the tunnel.

So while I don’t know Maureen Faulkner, or am not, or ever will be a member of the Fraternal Order of Police, I chose not to sit idle while Kevin, with the blessings of his leaders, the ever loyal tool that he is to, presses forward with his Internet based assault on the truth.

For me that is the issue.

I am sure that after years of this kind of assault that Maureen Faulkner has developed the thick skin needed to be a public figure and is in no need of my defense. She, is, by all appearance a strong person and does not need me to defend her. She has done a good enough job on her own through these years.

My usual approach to this kind of situation is to literally take apart the statement at hand and subject to a kind of analytical evisceration. I won’t do this today. Partially because I think on the face of it Kevin’s screed is self-evidently absurd and was produced for the sole benefit of "true believers", but more importantly I think is the issue of motive.

It is a fact that those who lack facts in an argument employ a host diversionary tactics in order to turn attention away from the fact that they don’t have a clue what they are talking about, one of which is to question the motives of the person making the argument. But sometimes it is motivation that lies at the heart of the matter, and for Kevin I think this is at least a good place to start. Perhaps at a later time I will take on the easily discredited, yet cynically cruel assault on a woman whose husband was viciously and savagely murdered.

First, a little bit about Kevin. He came under the influence of MOVE when he was only fourteen years old. I know because I helped to recruit him. He hails from Norfolk VA and joined our "Free Mumia" coalition while he was just in high school. Because of his enthusiasm and quite frankly, willingness to follow blindly, he was quickly swallowed up by MOVE. I recall, even then, a nervousness about his naivete and would privately tell people that Kevin would go out and protest for Charles Manson or Tim McVeigh if someone in MOVE told him to.

There seemed in him a complete lack of critical thought and a disturbing tendency towards "fitting in" at any and all costs. This upper middle class white kid with all privileges at his disposal threw away a promising future, adopted the guttural slang of MOVE, and embraced without the slightest hesitation the lies of those around him.

Lies he now spews today without the slightest bit of shame, hesitation, attention to fact, or the impact his words may have upon people. Thinking back, I shudder that I helped to bring this situation about. If he stays in MOVE he has nothing but a life of perpetual and persistent crippling of the mind.

For MOVE is a place where the life of the mind is a toxin to be purged. Free thought and expression are signs of weakness and allegiance to the hated "system". To question the dictates of MOVE’s leaders is a "violation", to question the teachings of John Africa is to spit in the face of God.

It is difficult to explain to someone who has not been in an authoritarian sect the kind of "mind fuck" for back of better words to explain the psychological devastation that is wrought upon those who give up their power of self-control and awareness for the reward of adulation and security of a "family" whose love is temporal and wholly contingent upon loyalty. The longer you stay with the group the greater the damage done, the more you give yourself over, the less you have when you leave.

This is the reason that children who grow up in authoritarian cults such as MOVE have such a difficult time adapting to the "real world" if they are lucky enough to escape the trappings of their environment. From the cradle they are treated more as property than sentient individuals with particular needs or talents or desires. All of those things must be subordinated to the group or else a steady diet of humiliation ensues.

Kevin knows first hand this humiliation, as does anyone who has grown close to MOVE. The leaders build you up to the point where you are usable and than break you apart to ensure that you do not grow to uppity and get the clue that you might not need them. It is a kind of enforced state of manic depression that renders ardent followers not only physically dependant upon the "community", but psychologically dependant. Happiness is given and taken away by the group. Your body no longer is yours and your mind becomes your only refuge. And that is under relentless attack.

In MOVE, the word "personality" is a dirty one. Individuality is something that is a fundamental enemy of the cult, because it is the antithesis of group think. But while this kind of thought control provides the basis for the cohesiveness of the core group of MOVE members, so to is it’s undoing. For it’s methodology flies in the face of the human spirit. That is why MOVE cannot maintain a steady membership. That is why so many come and go. That is why the group must find some kind of way to hook you in.

Kevin doesn’t care about Maureen Faulkner. I doubt if he is particularly concerned with Mumia. He clearly has no regard for the truth and is clearly content with making extraordinary and unsubstantiated claims and than prodding onward oblivious to the fact that his "facts" are anything but.

However, let me be clear, he isn’t in it for the "facts". He is in it for the same reason a junkie shoots up. He needs that sense of worth, that feeling of being alive, if just for a moment, that pat on the back from Pam Africa, the hug from Ramona, or that ever-so-valued conversation with Alberta Africa herself.

To you and I this sounds like nothing, but to a slave to MOVE, these are the only things that at the end of the day matter. Facts, repercussions, the cruel reality that he belongs to a group that worships a man who taught that clouds are pollution, mosquitoes are genetic inventions of the system, and that girls should be illiterate and pregnant at 11 years old are of no consequence.

None of that matters to Kevin. Why should the fact that Mumia blew Daniel Faulkner’s brains out trouble him in the least?

How Much Should Linn Washington Be Trusted With Regards To Mumia?

(Look three Mumias for the price of one)
Since the mid-nineties, Linn Washington has emerged as one of the most vocal, if perhaps the only member of the "mainstream" media in Philadelphia to support Mumia.

The articles and actions he has undertaken and participated in are to lengthy to get into here, but anyone who bothers with a google search will discover that Mr. Washington has been pretty prolific in his support of Jamal.

Mr. Washington is a well-respected, established, and educated journalist. He is a columnist for The Philadelphia Tribune newspaper and was one for the Philadelphia Daily News. He does freelance work for publications throughout the nation and is an Assistant Professor in the Journalism Department at Temple University in Philadelphia. He holds a Masters Degree from the Yale Law School and a B.S. in Communications from Temple University. In short, he is no two-bit, pseudo-activist who is the usual author of pro-Jamal tracts (see Steve Argue or Kevin Price for examples of that kind of thing.)

Despite Mr. Washington’s impressive resume I must call into question aspects of his pro-Jamal journalism and the validity of the affidavit that he submitted on Jamal’s behalf back in May of 2001. That, and some other ethical issues that I think need to be addressed

In preparation for the writing of this article I read dozens of Mr. Washington’s articles and while they all are consistent in that they are critical of the police, prosecutors, media, and others who oppose Jamal, he seems to pointedly avoid the crucial issue and that is the specificity of the events of December 9, 1981.

Most importantly, an explanation of what his "friend" Mumia was doing at nearly 4am a bullet from the gun of Officer Faulkner lodged in his midsection, slumped over, his own weapon a few feet away, all bullets fired, and Faulkner dead a bullet very likely from Jamal’s gun shattering his skull.

That and the four witnesses who would come forth to call out Jamal as the shooter.

Certainly, it is Mr. Washington’s prerogative to not cover that particularly difficult aspect of Mumia’s case, but so to is it worth pointing out by people who believe that the case need to be examined in it’s totality. It is also worth noting that he clearly views the world through a racial prism.

So, that being the case I went from Mr. Washington’s writings to his 2001 pro-Jamal affidavit. I would encourage everyone to read it as well, because to me, it stands out not for what it says, but for what it doesn’t say. As a trained journalist, Mr. Washington is rather vague in his statement.

But more than that, there seems to be a disconnect between the "evidence" that Washington offered in 2001 and the evidence that he did not in 1982 at Jamal’s trial or the 1995 PCRA hearings.

The affidavit that he offered in 2001 would have been a compelling story and one that I would think that his employers would have found quite interesting considering that many of them still thought of Jamal as "one of their own"back in 1981. Yet I only found one article with Mr. Washington’s name on it around the time of Faulkner’s shooting and it repeated none of the claims of the 2001 affidavit.

In a Daily News article from the day of Faulkner’s killing, in which Washington is given partial credit for writing, Washington spoke of Jamal’s presidency of the Association of Black Journalists, to which he credits Jamal with making the group "more active and out front". That is it. No mention of un-guarded crime-scenes or police beat-downs.

None of the concerns that Washington would later express in his affidavit made their way into print until his affidavit , but more than that, they did not make their way into Jamal’s 1982 defense or 1985 PCRA hearing. According to Washington he went to the scene of the crime some four hours after it occurred and "found this total lack of police presence at a crime scene to be highly unusual."

After going to the scene of the crime Mr Washington logically went to the hospital where Jamal was. He reported in his affidavit that he was told at the time by a hospital staff member that "police were beating Mr. Abu-Jamal in the ER". The well-trained reporter fails to name the provider of this information and given the statement was given in the present tense one can presume that it was intended to be taken as that at that moment, Jamal was being assaulted by police.

Strangely enough, as Mumia was allegedly being beaten by police, Mr. Washington was making his way to get his eat on, where he makes the claim that he " saw two other reporters that I knew. It is my recollection that during a conversation with them one stated that he had talked with a person he knew in the hospital who told him of having seen police assault Mr. Abu-Jamal in the ER."

Again, Mr. Washington doesn’t name names and according to my research, the first article pertaining to alleged abuse at the hands of Police came over a month after the shooting and the author was not Linn Washington.

If one is to believe all of the stories of police brutalizing Jamal than one would expect Jamal’s own witnesses to corroborate and bring medical evidence to back this up. But this is not the case. Dr. Colletta, one of Jamal’s own witnesses testified at trial that Jamal’s non-gunshot wounds were superficial and not at all consistent with a beating that if one were to believe Washington went on for over four hours. Dr. Colletta testified that Jamal’s injuries were the following:

A. I believe in the left upper aspect of the forehead somewhere near the mid line of the head up near the hair line.

Q. Any others, sir?

A. He had swelling over the left eye, a laceration of his left lower lip, and there was soft tissue swelling on the right side of his neck and chin.

Now police did admit to "accidentally" running Jamal into a pole as they were taking him to the police wagon and an arriving Officer admits to giving Jamal a firm kick as Jamal was reaching
for his gun that was a few feet away. The above injuries seem more consistent with that than they do a savage and nearly continuous beat down.

And that is about all there is for Washington’s affidavit. It is heavy in rhetoric, speculation, allusions to racism, but light on facts and seems to fly in the face of common sense. The affidavit
appears to be more of a desperate stunt by a man who wants to help his admitted "friend" than anything to do with a factual recounting of the facts.

And more importantly, Mr. Washington makes no mention of contacting Jamal’s 1981 attorney, Jamal’s appelate attorney, or even the very high-profile Leonard Weinglass with his information.

As a journalist, not to speak of an admitted friend of Jamal, it strains credulity to the breaking point to believe that Mr. Washington would just "come around" to these memories when he made his affidavit in 2001.

Furthermore, in his post affidavit writings Washington fails to disclose his role on behalf of Jamal in the legal arena nor does he even bother himself to disclose that he is Jamal’s friend and has been so since 1974. He only sees fit to spout off his numerous journalistic accolades and the fact that he has been "covering" the case since the night of the shooting.

Acel Moore, another long-time journalist who knew Jamal, and is pro-new tria,l is unambiguous in his view that when a journalist becomes directly involved with a case that they should no
longer write about it. I don’t know if I share that view, but I am certainly of the opinion that the journalists’s involvement be made known to the readers of their writings.

To me, this raises ethical questions with regard to open disclosure given the fact that Washington wants to be an actor on the pro-Jamal legal action, act as a journalist in the media, and move in and out of those two worlds as if his readers do not deserve to know.

And while this particular posting does not so much delve too deeply into Washington’s psyche, there are places where he is proud to display his condescending, not to mention insensitive and cruel state of mind. In a vicious letter he wrote in 1999 in response to one that had been written by Maureen Faulkner, Washington lectures the widow on the art of journalism and than pretty much calls her a liar. His tone is un-proffesional, mean-spirited, and nearly hyesterical in it’s form.

At issue was the fact that Leonard Weinglass had led the Jamal movement into believing that Mrs. Faulkner was making impossible statements as to her accusation that Mumia "turned and smiled at her after her husband’s blood stained shirt was displayed". The Mumia "movement" denied that Jamal was even in the courtroom when the shirt was put on display, but that was not the case. Mumia was in the courtroom and so was Maureen Faulkner. After the shirt was displayed Maureen claims that she started to hyperventilate when Mumia turned and smiled.

She was distressed to the point of having to be taken to the hospital. But for Washington this is neither a point of neutrality or sympathy, but a point to attack.

From my view, I wouldn’t think that Mrs. Faulkner need to compose falsehoods in order to come after Jamal. She does, after all, hold him responsible for the death of her husband and a jury has come to the conclusion that he deserves to die for this crime.

My argument is not so much that Washington should not write about the case. I think he does a fine job of making it clear that pro-Jamal supporters are a little more than factually challenged and must rely on instances other than the actual facts of Jamal’s case to show his innocence.
Sound confusing? Read some of Washington’s latest work and you will get what I am trying to say.

And it is not just with Mumia that Washington has run into some ethical quandaries over the years.

In 1998 Washington interviewed a murder suspect and refused to turn over his notes to authorities. He ended up being fined $40,000 for his trouble on behalf of this would be convicted killer friend as his arguments failed in court. Incidentally, the man that Washington was trying to protect was convicted of third degree murder and sentenced to 10-30 years in prison.

I have my own indirect connection with Linn Washington that furthers my suspicion of his credibility and ethical dedication to his craft.

Long before the days of this blog, I was contacting numerous media types in and around Philadelphia in the hopes of getting more of the story of MOVE out to the general public.
Although, I had been the subject of a lengthy article in the Philadelphia Inquirer I still felt that there was a good deal of story to be told.

So, I shopped around and I did in fact speak to a number of different journalists. Some of whom were interested and some of whom were not. Linn Washington’s name was brought up. I was told flat out that there was no way that Washington would ever do a story remotely critical of MOVE. I inquired further and as it turns out, Washington and his family were allegedly threatened by MOVE members after an article he did write was somehow offensive to MOVE.

I was not at all surprised by this, having been the target of threats myself by MOVE and knew that many others had faced the same kind of intimidation, but I was disturbed that a reporter who seemed to have the tenacity to take on "racist" elements of the city of Philadelphia was allowing himself to be cowed by the thugs of MOVE.

A sad post-script for what should be a stellar and fearless reporter. But, such is the way with MOVE. They control and rule their tiny spot of the world with fear and apparently not even award winning journalists are immune to the bullying of a tiny cult.

Is Linn Washington the man who should be treated as the "expert" on Jamal’s case as he has been in the past and is now? I don’t think so. He has too much emotionally invested in this case to even give the pretense of impartiality. And his writings on the matter leave much to be desired.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Is Congress A "Racist Lynch Mob"?

I can honestly say that when I had read articles by Steven Argue on behalf of Mumia that I was left with the impression that the author was a high school student on his first binge of radicalism.

However, after doing some quick research I discovered with a great amount of amusement that Mr. Argue is no spring chicken. He is, or was apparently a former leader of the socialist California Peace and Freedom Party. Apparently, the group was not radical enough for him and he is now apparently a self-anointed Jamal advocate.

In his most recent "article" Mr. Argue contends, apparently with a straight face that:

"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."

This stretch of logic employed by Mr. Argue is astonishing. 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. To Mr. Argue this is a conspiracy that would dwarf that of the JFK theories.

He goes on further to state that:

"Not a single Pennsylvania Congressperson voted against the racist resolution. Joining in the racist lynch mob calling for blood of an innocent black man..."(he goes on to list the "evil" and "racist" democrats who voted for the resolution"

The above is hyperbolic rhetoric at it's most guttural and cheap. Those who voted for this bill were voting for a resolution that spoke against the deification of a man by a who was convicted by a jury of murdering a civil servant. 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.

The "Mumia street" bill was not a referendum on Jamal's guilt, innocence, or the fairness of the trial. And no amount of spin on the part of Mr. Argue can alter that reality. That he would so cheaply and crassly lower himself to this level of rhetoric shows in glaring fashion, either a disconnect from reality or that he himself is a victim of propagandizing.

Either way, he is full of it and if he wants to argue the point further than I fully encourage him to do so either on my site or on the new forum at the website dedicated to Officer Daniel Faulkner.

Further digging the hole of a "democratic conspiracy" Steven Argue, not surprisingly screws up on some of his facts, something that the pro-Jamal forces are getting quite adept at. Either this is an indication of sloppy desperation or the intellectual vacuum left when the "movement" lost a good deal of it's followers in the post-Weinglass period is hard to say. But while Mr. Argue is entitled to his outlandish opinions, he is not similarly free to dispense his own brand of facts. About the Democratic Party and PA Governor Ed Rendell he had this to say:

"The Democrat Party was also involved in the frame-up of Mumia Abu-Jamal from the beginning. Democrat Ed Rendell was the Philadelphia district attorney that successfully worked to frame Mumia Abu-Jamal in 1982. Later, with a lynch mob attitude created by the lies of the corporate press, he successfully ran for mayor of Philadelphia on a platform that included promoting the murder of Mumia Abu-Jamal. He was Mayor from 1992-1999. Bill Clinton then helped get him the position of chair of the National Democratic Committee. Since 2003 he has been the Governor of Pennsylvania. In addition Ed Rendell is a member of the Fraternal Order of Police that is calling for Mumia’s blood while his wife is an appellate judge on the Third Circuit US Court of Appeals that is going to hear Mumia's appeal. Besides framing Mumia, Rendell also presided over the police bombing of the MOVE home in Philadelphia in 1984, resulting in 11 deaths and 65 homes destroyed."

Ed Rendell was DA during Jamal's prosecution, but unless he personally un-holstered Jamal's gun and held Jamal's hand as he fired it into Officer Faulkner's back than I think his role as a member of the ever growing "Mumia frame-up squad" is unlikely.

As for Ed Rendell running a media fueled, fry-Mumia lynch mob campaign for Mayor, that is complete nonsense. Jamal was not a blip on the political radar screen in 1991 or 1992 when Rendell became Mayor. And as Mayor, he had real power to influence whether or not Jamal was executed or not. Moreover, at that time, Jamal had a mountain of appeals left to him, so execution was not so much an issue in the courts, not to speak of in a mayoral election. Also, a twenty second phone call to the State of Pennsylvania FOP Headquarters would have informed Steven Argue that Governer Rendell is not a member of the FOP.

Ed Rendell did not "preside" over the MOVE "bombing". His role in the matter as district attorney was minor to say the least. It was MOVE members who initiated the "confrontation", refused to send out the children, refused to be served with valid warrants, and who chose to open fire on the police. If anyone "presided" over the terrible events of that day it was John Africa.

Mr. Argue is simply full of it.

Whatever evidence he has to show that Ed Rendell "framed" Jamal I would love to see. Perhaps better than offering up silly conspiracy theories, Mr. Argue can explain to me how it was that Mumia came to be doing at 3 in the morning slumped over with Daniel Faulkner's bullet in his chest, Jamal's own weapon a few feet away from Jamal and his empty holster of a gun of which all rounds were fired?

How is it that four strangers would come to indicate that Jamal was the shooter? His gun linked to the crime?

All a frame up? Give me a break.

In the standard conclusion of all good Jamal devotees, Argue makes the case as Jamal as the voice of the quintessential underdogs of the world.

Mumia stands up for unions, against war, against racism, equality for gays and lesbians, for the poor, and against the many injustices of the so-called criminal justice system. Mumia speaks up on many of the issues ignored, lied about, or glossed over by the corporate media and the corporate politicians. We need Mumia, yes we need him alive, but we also need him free. Yet all of the evidence shows that Mumia won't get justice in America unless we turn up the heat.

Yes, Mumia is quite the benevolent citizen. Too bad he decided to throw it all away when he ran up and shot another human being in the back and than worked very hard to shoot this same man in the face. Such a thing can kind of diminish one's public persona, but never in the eyes of an ideologue like Argue.

Mumia is for the unions? The FOP is a union. They don't seem to be to interested in his support, nor do any of the other unions in Philadelphia who know the facts and know that Mumia is a con-artist and a murderer. Is Jamal against war? Arguably that is the case, but he is very much pro-despot. If one followed the advice of Jamal than Milosevic would have completed his genocide as would have Saddam Hussein. The Taliban would be running Afghanistan and the world would be hardly better for it.

Mumia is a friend of war-criminals and not the "voice of the voiceless".

Is Mumia for "equality for gays and lesbians"? Perhaps when it is politically convenient. Jamal adheres to the "teachings of John Africa" which are not only anti-gay, but also anti-choice, and pro-child rape.

No, we don't need Mumia. Mumia needs to be right where he has been for the last quarter of a century. Nobody needs his generic political posturing, plagiarized emotions, retrograde ideology, or dogmatic adherence to MOVE guru, John Africa. Mumia is "not one of us". He is not a "freedom fighter". He is no "hero". He is an opportunistic killer who feeds off of a toxic mix of cynicism and ignorance.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Does MOVE Really Want "Freedom" For It's Imprisoned Members?

Increasingly, over the last quarter of this year, there has been agitation on the part of MOVE members and supporters pertaining to the impending parole of the surviving eight members of infamous "MOVE 9".

Despite the fact that the parole board will not be considering granting parole to the convicted murderers of Police Officer James Ramp for two years, the group has initiated a public campaign ostensibly aimed at garnering public pressure as a means to "pressure" the parole board into releasing the MOVE members.

On the surface, this type of campaign seems to be par for the course for MOVE. The usual rhetoric of self-pity and martyrdom ooze forth without even a nod towards the truth or common sense, but again, this is something that could be seen as typical of MOVE’s propaganda mis-adventures.

But, what I have learned from being around MOVE for so many years, and now as the most visible opponent of it, I can say without hesitation that there is frequently a tremendous disconnect between what MOVE says and what MOVE means. Often enough, the actions that they send their supporters out on, have at the very least duplicitous goals.

So while I take note of the rhetoric and stances that MOVE members and supporters are taking towards this parole issue, I must similarly take note that these same stances seem counterintuitive and counterproductive to their stated goals.

And it is not just the rhetoric that brings me to make this an issue.

Take for instance the following facts:

-The legal struggle for the freedom of the "MOVE 9" was abandoned completely earlier this year, but in reality the legal fight for the MOVE prisoners was put on a back-burner as Mumia’s case began to take center stage.

-While Mumia was provided with the best legal resources available, the "MOVE 9" were given a

second rate attorney. One attorney for all nine MOVE members (eight after the 1998 death of Merle Africa.)

-Legal appeals languished in limbo, not because of the "system", but because MOVE had issues with paying their legal bills, this while Jamal was given the full attention, time, and devotion of MOVE’s leadership and devotees of the group.

So, MOVE’s devotion, at least in the sense of the legal struggle can, at the very least, be called into question. From my view, it is rather apparent that as Jamal’s star shined, the cause of freeing the "MOVE 9" became de-prioritized.

It is not hard to see why. Jamal, articulate, not completely beholden to the ideology of John Africa, was far more marketable than were the more abrasive and more obviously cultish devotees of MOVE. As usual, even in so-called "radical politics" one can follow the money trail in order to ascertain where loyalties and priorities are held.

But perhaps more important than the profitability of leading the "Free Mumia" movement is also the question of maintaining the existing power structure of MOVE.

The world of MOVE that exists today is a far cry from the one that the eight surviving members of the "MOVE 9" left when they were arrested in 1978. Back in the 1970's John Africa who lived the life of austerity that he preached, was at the peak of his rule of the group. Now, as 2007 approaches, MOVE is controlled with an iron grip by Alberta Africa, a controlling woman with expensive tastes, lives in an expensive neighborhood, and has birthed a child via in vitro-fertilization and is on her second marriage to a white man (she was married to John Africa, but was in prison when he died in 1985.)

But more than just controlling, Alberta is maniacally cynical. I would not be shocked at all to learn that she would sabotage the parole of her "family" in order to ensure that her role as MOVE’s unquestioned leader stay firmly in place. She personally has nothing to gain by the release of the "MOVE 9" and has a good deal to lose.

While the MOVE prisoners have largely lived the austere life that John Africa proscribed, at least as much as they could while in prison, Alberta has lived a life opposite. She has embraced all of the things that the "system" has to offer, from the genetic manipulation that led to the birth of her child to the indulgence of alcohol and numerous other prohibitions of John Africa. She lives in a well-manicured upper middle class home with her latest "husband" Gary Wonderlin, a long-time MOVE supporter and real-estate agent.

There is no doubt in my mind that if MOVE members were to arrive home from jail to see the anti-thesis of John Africa’s "revolution" being played out by the group’s heir apparent, that there would be the kind of schism that would, at the very least, dismantle the life of comfort that Alberta has built for herself.

There is also the financial burden of eight convicted murderers, cultists, largely unemployable,

and wholly dependant upon the cult for their well-being. They are not the twenty something, able bodied, young men and women who went into prison some thirty years ago. They are practically senior citizens with nothing more than a sturdy devotion to the warped teachings of John Africa to guide them.

To put it simply, they are worth more to MOVE in prison than out of prison.

While in jail, the "MOVE 9", while not as alluring or financially attractive as Mumia, contribute to the mythology of the sect as one that is perpetually persecuted. The cause of attaining freedom for these MOVE members provides a convenient conduit of energy that is both pointless and fulfilling.

No authoritarian cult can exist without it’s "true believers" being deeply involved in a "cause". The likely futility of said cause is largely irrelevant. For the ultimate goal is not the success of the cause, but rather a means to an ends. That end being the continued psychological enslavement of the cult member or adherent.

For MOVE, this control is the goal and achievement which trumps all others. After all, after thirty years in prison the "MOVE 9" has stayed loyal to the cause, why ruin a good thing?

Friday, December 15, 2006

Another Factually Challenged Mumia Article From Kevin Price

(Pic of Kevin Price yelling at people)

Whomever thought it wise to promote Kevin Price to propagandist for MOVE might want to re-consider their choice. The guy can't get his facts straight, much less string together a coherent sentence. One has to wonder whether or not Kevin has "switched sides" and is now playing for the other team given the amount of embarrassment that he must bring down upon his comrades with his sub-competent and largely fact less pro-Jamal tracts. This latest offering of his is just the latest of many and as usual he manages to get the important things wrong. No Surprise there.

Kevin begins by repeating the already discredited notion that Jamal was savagely brutalized by arriving officers at the crime scene. The only witness who claims to have seen this assault was William Singletary, who also saw imaginary helicopters amongst many other things that simply did not occur. Not only that, but the medical evidence as offered by Jamal's own witnesses seem to contradict the account of Jamal's alleged brutalization. Defense witness Dr. Anthony Coletta testified to the following:

A. I believe in the left upper aspect of the forehead somewhere near the mid line of the head up near the hair line.
Q. Any others, sir?
A. He had swelling over the left eye, a laceration of his left lower lip, and there was soft tissue swelling on the right side of his neck and chin.
Q. Now, you noted that from a cursory examination, again? Is that right?

On direct examination Dr. Coletta admitted that he was unable to determine the cause of these relatively minor injuries that amounted to a small cut on the forehead and swelling, hardly evidence of a brutal beating or the "Jamal as a human battering ram" as Singletary testified to at the PCRA hearing.

Another discredited aspect of Kevin's piece is the oft repeated allegation that Jamal was driven around for nearly an hour as police "waited for him to die". A damning comment if it were true. But again, if you are to believe Jamal's own witness, Dr. Coletta, he first saw Jamal around 4am just a few minutes after the shooting occurred. Another witness for the defense says that they saw Jamal at the hospital around 4:20am. The shooting of Officer Faulkner and Jamal occurred around 3:53am.

The next fiction in Kevin's badly put together pro-Jamal rant is that Judge Sabo was a "lifetime member" of the Fraternal Order of Police. This is simply not the case. Judge Sabo was a member of the FOP for eight years while he was an "under-Sheriff", but resigned from the organization when he became a Judge.

Kevin proceeds forward in his typical nonsensical fashion without a shred of decency or respect for factuality.

A brief rebuttal of some of his misrepresentations follows:

1. The "racially stacked" jury was one that Jamal partially helped to impanel. It began with three black jurors and would have begun with four had Jamal not stricken the African-American from the jury pool.

2.It is all well and good to heap criticism upon Judge Sabo, but Kevin may be mindful of where he gets his quotes from. Those who criticised the Judge the most in the media are also papers who consider Jamal to be guilty. Also, it was not Sabo who found Jamal guilty and sentenced him to death, it was the multi-racial jury. Furthermore, dozens of Judges have reviewed Sabo's findings and only one, Judge Yohn has saw fit to take issue with anything that occurred in Sabo's courtroom.

3. The Philly media was no monolith and considering Jamal's friendship with a number of reporters, the notion that he didn't get a fair shake in the press is a bit far fetched.

4. It was not the FOP who sentenced Jamal to death, it was a jury. That people want a sentence carried out that was handed down nearly a quarter a century ago should hardly be surprising.

5. It is not the "movement" to free Jamal that has kept him alive, but rather a judicial system in PA that has proven rather unwilling to use the death penalty. Statistically speaking, those on PA's death row are more likely to die of old age than they are via the needle, movement or not.

The Chaka Fattah issue is a silly spectacle. Obviously, a police union would not endorse a candidate for mayor that has made statements on behalf of a cop-killer. Just as the pro-Jamal forces are free to use their freedom of speech in order to influence people to their cause, so to are the FOP. The FOP is free to boycott people who support Jamal just the same as the pro-Jamal folks are free to boycott those who oppose Jamal.

The line is crossed however, when people like myself are threatened (incidentally enough by Kevin Price) and when film-makers like Tigre Hill are intimidated from plying their trade by Jamal supporters. That is where free-speech ends and crass intimidation tactics begin.

To invoke the idea of a "police state" as Kevin has is sheer lunacy. Perhaps because his existence involves living in a state of perpetual control of a cult he has become solipistic enough to think this is simply the way the world works, but he is dead wrong. The only police state is the one in his head.

And here we go again with the confession. Kevin rightly claims that two more witnesses have come forward with evidence of a Jamal confession bringing the total number of people who claim to have heard Jamal confess to seven. This does not count another hospital security guard who likely heard the confession, but was not called by the prosecution nor does it account for the Jefferson Hospital investigator who took Durham's re-counting of Jamal's confession "a day or so" after it occurred.

Now, even after I left the Jamal movement I found the confession story to be rather dubious, but after a great deal of research I am relatively certain that the confession occurred even if some of the police Officers lied about it. The NBC producer had no reason to lie about the confession and neither did Durham. Moreover, the case against Jamal did not hinge upon his confession, rather it was just another example of just how guilty he was. The ballistics evidence alone, coupled with Jamal's behavior at trial would have likely been enough to convince the jury that Jamal was a cold-blooded cop-killer.

With regards to Philip Bloch, the only thing that was ever truly proven about him was that he stayed a Jamal supporter even after he allegedly heard Jamal confess. This would not make him unique amongst Jamal supporters. I know from my own experience that there are plenty of "Free Mumia" types who could care less whether or not Jamal shot Faulkner and some that would be glad if he did. MOVE leader John Africa for example, sent his foot-soldiers to the hospital the night of the shooting in order to begin the efforts to free Mumia, this before the investigation had barely begun.

MOVE members and supporters such as Kevin Price are not interested in the facts of Jamal's case. A cursory glance at their crude propaganda will tell you that. Their allegiance is not dissimilar from that of a cult-of-personality. In MOVE, you do as you are told and believe what you are told. If Kevin is told that Mumia is innocent than it is so. For him to do an independent investigation on his own would be tantamount to treason. In MOVE, to doubt the leaders is to doubt John Africa, and to doubt John Africa is to doubt God.

Here We Go Again With The Censorship

(Pic of one of MOVE's new supporters?)
The following was posted on the Philadelphia IMC website:

"shows why tony doesnt belong hereDec 14, 11:51PM
i think this exchange from tony just well illustrates that he's not adding anything with his posts, but is rather just venting his own obsessive personal grudge against MOVE, and using our community forum for this junk. how much longer will tony's flaming, belligerent, and personal attacks become too much and "cross a line" to where the philly imc will follow the lead of other IMC sites that have banned him? he has discontinued his more overtly racist attacks like calling John Africa a "retarded black man" but in my opinion his behavior is crossing a line and he should lose his imc privileges when is enough enough? imc supporeter"

The author of the above signed their message as "IMC Supporter". I wonder how calling for censorship of someone fits into the idea of "independent media". Of course I am not naive enough to believe that the author of this message is anything more than a MOVE supporter I do think it worth pointing out that the group does continue to work to censor my work via their proxies.

It would be tempting to dismiss the whole commentary as laughable would it not be for the fact that other "Independent Media Centers" such as the one in NYC have in fact banned me from posting. It would be further tempting to ignore the rank hypocrisy of the author's arguments if I didn't think that their might be more than a few people who might be influenced by it's message.

As far as personal attacks go, MOVE members are the champions of that and they have not been banned from any IMC websites. As for the charge or racism, that is just typical isn't it. My re-statement that John Africa is a "retarded black man" is not racist, it is my admittedly crude summation of an article that was published in 1985 after John Africa's death. The article stated that:

"By the age of 9, he had been classified "orthogenetically backward" - what educators today call educably mentally retarded. When he was first tested, his IQ was measured at 84; tested again eight years later at age 15, his score fell to 79"

My main issue with all of this is that the IMC is an open forum. Those who disagree with me have as much a right to publish opinions counter to mine or articles that rebuke those that I write. But that is not what is happening. Instead, what is occurring is yet another attempt by MOVE or their supporters to limit discussion about the group via the censorship of their critics.

The threats against film-maker Tigre Hill is just another flagrant and recent example.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Marueen Faulkner's Letter To The Editor


I was stunned that the Daily News dredged up William Singletary again to tell his ridiculous and discredited story.
The Dec. 8 article lets readers believe that Mr. Singletary is a legitimate eyewitness to my husband's murder (he's not) who was forced to flee Philadelphia in 1981, never to be heard from again. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Singletary, who suffers from the delusion that he is under some sort of threat, came back to Philadelphia 11 years ago, and made it out again without incident. For the better part of a day, he told his story at the 1995 Post-Conviction Relief Act hearings. (His bizarre testimony can be found at in the 1995 PCRA section.)

In 1995, no one wanted to hear the truth about what happened to my husband on Dec. 9, 1981, more than I did. So I listened intently while Singletary told Mumia's lawyers a fictional account similar to the one he told in your article about the mystery passenger in William Cook's car who allegedly shot Danny. Under cross-examination, things unraveled.

In addition to having totally changed the story he told in his signed statement to police, he admitted seeing a police helicopter overhead at 13th and Locust that morning shining a light that illuminated the entire block. And, according to Singletary, after Danny was shot, he saw "captains and lieutenants" running to the scene from the shadows of nearby alleys and streets.

Singletary also told the court that after Danny had been shot point-blank in the face, he spoke to him, saying, "Get Maureen. Get the children." But the police didn't have a helicopter in '81, and none of the other eyewitnesses, including Mumia's, saw any police brass running from the shadows.

Most important, though, medical and ballistics tests proved beyond doubt that my husband died instantly from the final shot that Mumia Abu-Jamal fired into his brain. It is a physical impossibility that he spoke to Singletary. For this reason, I am led to conclude that Singletary is a liar.

Your article failed to mention that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court reviewed Singletary's extensive testimony in 1998 and unanimously found him to be completely without credibility, and that, in 1981, the prosecution used the consistent statements of four eyewitnesses to weigh the credibility of Singletary's account, not just Cynthia White's account, as he implies in the article.

The Daily News should be embarrassed to have run this story on the 25th anniversary of my husband's death. But on the positive side, the story shows your readers just how pathetic the Mumia defense really is, having to rely on kooks like William Singletary to support the myth of

Mumia Abu-Jamal's innocence.

-Maureen Faulkner Philadelphia

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Updated Website For Officer Faulkner

The website dedicated to Police Officer Daniel Faulkner has been updated with new information, graphics, and a way to sign up for updates.

I would encourage everyone who visits this site to take the time to visit and see what new things they have to offer.

As usual, they have the trial transcripts and the PCRA transcripts available on the site. In addition to that they have other legal documents and other items that were not previously included on the old site.

Congrats to the folks at for their hard work and dedication

Three Months And Counting...

(Picture of the crime scene of John Gilbride)

It has been nearly three months since the Philadelphia Inquirer printed a story in which MOVE was not-so-indirectly implicated in the 2002 murder of John Gilbride.

Those of us who know MOVE and who monitor it’s activities can pretty much count on how the group will respond to a particular situation.

If it is something lightweight like Mumia, they will fall all over themselves to get in front a news camera to spew their well-rehearsed routine.

But when it comes to John Gilbride they are hardly so enthusiastic. In their plan he is supposed to be forgotten, a hazy memory stuck in a bloody past that people in and out of MOVE would rather forget. He is the picture that Winston Smith tosses down the memory hole in Orwell’s book 1984. Persona Non-Grata.

More than that, a person that never was.

There is also the often un-spoken animosity when it comes to John from people who ought to care but don’t. It is seldom spoken, but it is there.

"Lay with dogs get lice"

"It was just a case of filth getting rid of filth"

These are sentiments that caring and sensitive people would rather not think of either. But when it comes to John, there are people who think this way. He is just another MOVE person dead, never mind he had been out of the group for years. The taint of MOVE is one that does not go away quickly, if ever. If I know anything, it is that.

This is the ugly and false stereotype that follows former cultists throughout the world. The false notion that people join cults because they are deficient in either intelligence or in moral character is one that is far to pervasive and one that has been demonstrably proven to be a myth.

John was a smart and caring human being who wanted to spend time with his son and he is dead for it.

So here we are four years on after his death. His son, Zack is now 10 years old. I remember Zack fondly. That is one of the things about MOVE that people forget. The kids are not "MOVE" kids any more than there are "liberal" or "conservative" kids. There are just kids who want to do kid things. They are also kids who are deprived of much.

I always was glad to see him. He was a mischievous little thing as I remember him and very smart. When I first met him I got to wrestling with him and that little niche we had, stuck and as he grew, the more of a challenge he got to be in that department. A tough little guy he was.
His round little cherubic face, complexion, and light brown hair made him look much like my own child.

For those of you who are un-aware, Alberta wanted a little white baby so she got a little white baby through in vitro-fertilization.

One has to wonder if the notoriously anti-abortion John Africa was spinning in his grave at the thought of his widow using the best science available in order to produce a racially pure child, the unused embryos flushed down the toilet of some lab.

Which leads one to wonder, when does MOVE’s reverence for life begin?

But, I am getting off the subject.

So now it is four years plus two months since John has been killed and I think I can fairly say that there isn’t much truthful that has been said about the case and I don’t mean just from MOVE.

And for the record, it was somebody in MOVE who killed John.

Just as Mumia killed Daniel Faulkner and someone firing up from the basement in 1978 killed James Ramp. The distinction between the two latter killings are that people are in jail for those killings. Those who killed John walk the street.

And it isn’t MOVE who lies solely responsible for this ugly fact.

There is plenty of blame to go around.

I will start with me.

I was a part of MOVE when John was killed. I helped in the campaign to disparage him and I did so willingly. After his death I continued to tow the party line despite knowing and believing that MOVE had killed him.

There are reasons for this, but are they important right now? Do my rationalizations for poor actions bring anyone back to life or bring justice. The answer is no, so you can read my mea culpa some other time.

It took the Burlington County Cops weeks to get around interviewing principle MOVE figures involved with the fight against John. MOVE members who were on record as threatening John’s life.

Perhaps it is facts like this that make the BCP skittish about answering questions from the media about the investigation. Maybe they are unwilling to admit that their late start has not exactly helped to bring about swift justice for John Gilbride.

Than of course there is the Philly PD. Civil Affairs Officer Captain Fisher who had this offering of mind rotting ignorance made just after John’s death.

"The way he was killed, if it happened at 10th and Fitzwater, would have immediately been labeled a mob hit," says Fisher. "This was not a random or amateurish job -- they literally shot him to pieces. I understand that Mr. Gilbride was something of a gambler. I would take a long, hard look at whether he had any outstanding gambling debts if this was my investigation "

The problem I have with the above is that Fisher had and has nothing to do with the investigation. The murder happened in New Jersey and not in Philadelphia. Professionally and ethically his opinion, as stupid and ignorant as it was should have been channeled to the proper authorities and not the news media.

Perhaps his years of being in close contact with MOVE has left him a kind of "Manchurian Candidate", or maybe he just wanted to make his job easier by not placing himself in any more of adversarial position with MOVE than his job already called for. Either way I don’t care. He had no right to say what he did and he did a great disservice to the investigation by making his off the cuff remarks.

But like I said that was four years ago.

There are also things going on today that are being done without action or word one being said.

I have personally contacted the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office as has a contact of mine concerning the abuse of children in MOVE. The person I spoke with who is supposed to be the go to guy on such matters is Charles Gallagher (215)686-8718

When I spoke with him he really wasn’t interested in what was happening to the children in MOVE though, he wanted to talk about Mumia. But he did tell me that he would send my information to the proper authorities who would be in contact with me. To my surprise, no phone call yet.
And this occurred months ago.

Now I am getting a feeling for what the residents of Osage Avenue had to deal with as they tried in vain to get someone in the city to listen to their pleas about MOVE’s violations of the law. The city let them down, the city is letting the children of MOVE down now, and the Burlington County Prosecutors Office has so far let John down.

If history has taught one terrible lesson it is that capitulation to, and acceptance of, bad behavior only serves to create a climate for more of the same. In the mind of MOVE members who enforce the practice of child-rape within the group and receive no rebuke or even investigation, there is, perhaps a sense of omnipotence. A sense that one can get away with any kind of crime, no matter how heinous.

I would argue that in the climate of the city of Philadelphia’s "hands of" policy" towards MOVE, one can only expect that the group would continue to perpetrate illegal activities up to, and including murder.

So we know full well and good what MOVE’s intentions are and we know full well about their blood soaked past. So the question that remains and the question that haunts us, is just what is going to be done about it?

I should note that MOVE has just published another self-pitying "newsletter" that focuses primarily upon the issue of MOVE members coming up for parole in 2008. MOVE’s little pity party fails to mention the issue of child abuse within the group, and again typically ignores the issue of John Gilbride all together.

No surprise there.

The Most Powerful Word Of Them All?

There was a pro-Mumia abu-Jamal demonstration in Philadelphia yesterday, and it attracted some 300 people. Unlike other cities, here in Philadelphia, there remains considerable sympathy for slain police officer Danny Faulkner, so there were counter-demonstrators.

The Mumia issue is sensitive enough that it's affecting the Philadelphia Mayor's race. One of the leading candidates is Congressman Chaka Fattah (a major booster of Hugo Chavez's demagogic plan to supply oil for the poor), who is a longtime Mumia sympathizer and petition-signer. While he earlier said he would vote against a House resolution criticizing a French city for naming a street in honor of Mumia, more recently he's been backtracking, and reportedly voted for the resolution.

In response, Mumia defenders have condemned the resolution (passed 368 to 31) as paving the way for a "legal lynching," and as evidence of the "hatred the entire bourgeois state apparatus has for Mumia Abu-Jamal, a courageous, eloquent and unbroken fighter for black freedom and against racist repression."In his letter to to the French authorities, Mumia highlights what seems right now to be the most important aspect of the case -- an allegation that the trial judge used the "n" word:

My dear Monsieur Le Maire and City Councillors of Paris:

I'm informed that you and your colleagues received an insulting and somewhat threatening letter assuring you that my trial was fair, and my conviction and death sentence was just.
As for the fairness of the trial I invite you to read the Amnesty International report on my case to determine for yourselves if the trial or subsequent appeals were even remotely fair.
Only in America could a trial judge say (in the presence of a sworn court reporter), "I'll help them fry the n----r," and be considered fair.

Only in America could a state supreme court justice, Ron Castille, serve as chief prosecutor on direct appeal, and also sit as an appellate judge on the same case, and not recuse himself. What a fair appeal!

The trial featured lies, just as the threatening letter to you did.

Considering that even Michael Moore has said he thought Mumia killed Officer Faulkner, I don't think it's worth wasting time arguing whether he did it. I do think the "n" word allegation is worth examining, though, because the word has become so powerful. Merely asserting that someone used it is enough to shift the entire focus.

The "n" word allegation is based on comes down to the following statement, sworn to by a court

reporter in 2001:

2. In 1982, a few months after I started working at the Court of Common Pleas, I was sent to a courtroom different than that I usually worked in because the judge I was assigned to was going to be doing "VOP" (Violation of Probation) and post-verdict motion hearings there that day. I went through the anteroom on my way to that courtroom where Judge Sabo and another person were engaged in conversation.

3. Judge Sabo was discussing the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. During the course of that conversation, I heard Judge Sabo say, "Yeah, and I m going to help them fry the nigger." There were three people present when Judge Sabo made that remark, including myself.
The foregoing is stated subject to the penalties of 18 Pa. C.S. Section 4904 relating to unsworn falsification to authorities and is executed by me on August 21, 2001 at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Legally speaking, whether the trial judge used the "n" word would not be sufficient on appeal to reverse a jury verdict, because courts of appeal are looking for reversible errors at thr trial. Unless the judge said that in front of the jury (thus introducing bias into the trial), it's merely evidence of his possible state of mind -- not normally considered by a court of appeal.
What I'd like to know is how, in a hugely publicized, high-profile capital case involving a well-known local activist, a court reporter could have remained silent about this for nearly twenty years? According to the court reporter, she didn't remain silent. It's just that no one listened to her until now. Oh, and she just happens to be a pro-Mumia activist:

"I am pretty scared," Maurer-Carter admitted last week. "It was one thing when I was talking and nobody was listening. Now that people are listening..."

Now that people are listening to her allegations that she overheard a racist comment from Mumia Abu-Jamal's judge, the 42-year-old Wilmington mother and anti-death-penalty activist is preparing to become a player in this highly charged debate over two men's lives.

To thousands of Abu-Jamal supporters, she will be a hero for providing further proof that the former radio reporter was not given a fair trial for the 1981 murder of Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner.

But to those who want to put the former radio reporter to death for Faulkner's murder, Maurer-Carter is likely to become a villain - probably even called a liar - who has attended Abu-Jamal rallies.

According to the 2001 news story, Judge Sabo denied making the remark:

Maurer-Carter has added just one sentence to Abu-Jamal's legal battle to obtain a new trial. But those eight words, allegedly uttered about Abu-Jamal by Common Pleas Judge Albert Sabo, are explosive and disturbing:

"Yeah, and I'm gonna help 'em fry the n-----."

Maurer-Carter said she heard Sabo say this to someone she did not know after accidentally walking through the judge's courtroom chambers around the time of Abu-Jamal's trial.
Sabo, who is retired, vehemently denied the allegations last week.

"I never said anything like that. Never said anything like that," he said.

It is unknown whether Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham will investigate Maurer-Carter's claim because Abraham's spokeswoman did not return repeated calls seeking comment.
As to when this happened, or who she told, she doesn't remember. She says that over the years she repeated the story to plenty of colleagues and lawyers in City Hall, but they all ignored her:
Maurer-Carter, a former court stenographer for another Philadelphia judge, detailed the charge for the first time last week in an interview with the Daily News. She said she was not sure exactly when the incident took place, but has narrowed it down to the spring or summer of 1982.

Abu-Jamal's trial opened June 17 and ended with a death sentence on July 3. Sabo did not preside over the earlier pre-trial hearings.

"I don't know when it was. This is what I explained [to Abu-Jamal's lawyers] over and over," Maurer-Carter said. "The only thing about it that stuck out to me was it was the first time I heard a judge say something like that."

Maurer-Carter had been working in City Hall for only a few months when - trying to find her new courtroom assignment - she stumbled upon the alleged conversation.

"I wasn't trying to listen to what he was saying," she said, explaining that she tuned in to the snippet about the murder at 13th and Locust streets because she lived just two blocks away.
"I perked up my ears," she said. "Then, when I heard what he said right before I walked out of the room I said, 'My God, he's not supposed to be saying that.' "

If she had realized at the time that her statement someday would be part of Abu-Jamal's voluminous appeals, "I would have paid attention more," she said.

I should have pursued it in the beginning," she said.

Maurer-Carter insisted, however, that she has not been silent for 19 years. She has - at the time and since - repeated the story to plenty of colleagues and lawyers in City Hall.

They all ignored her, she said.

"The people most immediate to me, I spoke to," she said. '. . .I said it to many people. I'm not going to say names of who I've told. I don't have an agenda other than the truth. My honest-to-God hope is that some of these people come forward and say, 'Yeah, she told me.' I don't think they will, but they might."

In spite of telling so many people, Maurer-Carter's experience did not come to the attention of Abu-Jamal's attorneys until this summer, when Maurer-Carter phoned supporters of Abu-Jamal to find out more about the case. She told the story about Sabo to a woman on the phone, who she said passed the tale along to Abu-Jamal's new defense attorneys.

Now that the judge is dead, (and cannot sign a declaration under penalty of perjury denying that he made the remark), I'd say that the remark is very much alive. Whether it was made or not, it seems destined to become the center of the case. Even if it wasn't relevant.

The Mumia case is now about the power of a single word. That's what will be the driving force. Mumia supporters will believe the judge said it, and their numbers will probably grow, because true or not, there's no way to refute it, and people have a way of believing that which emotionally satisfyies them. People believe what they want to believe.

Writer Dave Lindorff (in his book, "Killing Time: An Investigation into the Deathrow Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal") claims that he "managed to deduce" that another Judge (Richard Klein) was present when Judge Sabo made the remark. But, says Lindorff, Klein won't confirm or deny whether he was present, much less whether the remark was made -- something Lindorff sees this akin to confirming the remark, even though the judge refused to speak further because of the possibility that he might be subpoenaed.

While the Carter declaration does not refer to Klein being present (obviously, she herself can't swear that he was, despite the journalist's speculations), Lindorff's conjecture is now being widely reported as fact:

Journalist Dave Lindorff recently interviewed Mauer-Carter's former boss, Richard Klein, who was with Mauer-Carter when she states she overheard Sabo. A Philadelphia Common Pleas Court judge at the time, who now sits on PA's Superior Court, Klein told Lindorff: "I won't say it did happen, and I won't say it didn't. That was a long time ago." Lindorff considers Klein's refusal to firmly reject Mauer-Carter's claim to be an affirmation of her statement.

Lindorff is a 1960s activist (a draft era boomer born before 1953), Smoking Chimp blogger, 9/11 skeptic, Bush "bulge" theorist, 60s gray activist (picture and interview here) whose latest book calls for impeaching Bush. I think it's fair to call him a committed left wing activist, and I'm very skeptical of his heavy-handed attempt to place Judge Klein at the scene of the "n" word remark, because I think it's simply an attempt to bolster the Maurer-Carter claim. If there was anything to this, I think Judge Klein would have been subpoenaed and deposed long ago.

FWIW, I think they ought to depose Judge Klein, and get to the bottom of this. I'm getting a bit tired of the increasing empowerment of the "n" word. Raising the allegation of "n" word use now has the ability to derail almost any argument, defeat any candidate, and cause people to abandon logic in favor of emotion. At the rate things are going, people in all sorts of situations will eventually be tempted to throw the "n" word as a curve ball -- and not just criminal defendants. Family court or employment litigants. Manipulative children trying to get out of trouble.

As I suggested in the title to my previous post on the subject, I think the word is becoming analogous to a possessory offense. I've never been comfortable with possessory crimes in which the possession is the offense, because it renders intent irrelevant. While it would take some doing, anyone can theoretically break into someone's home and put heroin in a drawer or kiddie porn in a computer hard drive, then later phone in a tip. With the "n" word, it's even easier, as no "search" is required, and intent is equally irrelevant. Suppose a Judge Sabo had made a sarcastic remark like this:

"You talk to some of these activists demonstrating in front of my courtroom every day and they accuse me of being a Klansman and it's like yeah, and I'm going to help them fry the n----r! Right!"

When possession is the offense, context becomes as irrelevant.

Similarly, whether Judge Sabo was in fact a bigot seems at least open to debate, but who's interested in being fair to someone so vile as to be accused of using the "n" word?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Daily News Blows It When It Comes To Jamal Witness

During the flurry of coverage of the 25th anniversary of the murder of Offcier Daniel Faulkner by Mumia Abu-Jamal, several stories hit both the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News. Most of the articles were fair and addressed both sides of the issue to the point that they almost seemed to lean towards Mumia’s end of the equation.

One article, quoting pro-Jamal witness William Singletary did not exactly pass the "giggle test" as my friend and author John Hayden might say.

I cannot imagine what possessed the Philadelphia Daily News to run the article about William Singletary and his claims of Jamal’s innocence.

Perhaps it was a case of comic relief. The problem is that I don’t think anyone is laughing.

Having wholly devastated the Faulkner family and having refused to admit to his obvious role in the killing of Officer Faulkner, Mumia,, via his supporters, attorney, and now an apparently clueless reporter, is still finding new ways of inflicting pain and insult.

That Daily News reporter Valerie Russ offers the factually challenged and self-pitying Singletary a forum to repeat his already discredited delusions not only adds to the quarter century of misery that the family of Daniel Faulkner has had to endure, but also undermines the credibility of the Philadelphia Daily News.

The fact that Singletary is wholly and completely out of touch with reality was made clear during the 1995 Post Conviction Relief Act Hearings.

Although Jamal’s attorney Leonard Weinglass had made much of Singletary’s story prior to the PCRA hearings, he timidly entered this caveat before his primary "exculpatory witness" was even sworn in:

"We believe his (Singletary’s) recollection today (of what happened December 9, 1981) is not entirely accurate"

The above could be considered the greatest understatement of the entire Mumia charade.
Singletary claims that the actual shooter of Jamal (who no other witnesses saw) fired two shots and than tossed the gun into Mumia’s brother’s car and ran off.

However, when police arrived just moments after the shooting they discovered two guns.
One laying next to Jamal, with all rounds fired and the service revolver of Officer Faulkner. No other gun was found at the scene.

1995 Singletary claims that Mumia, dressed in Muslim garb (again something completely false) came up to him and said "Oh my God we don’t need this".

But, in the Daily News article Jamal is quoted as saying something totally different "Hey, that's my brother's car. Where's my brother?"

Back in 1995 Singletary testified that Mumia than approached the downed Officer and asked politely:

"Is there anything I could do, anything I could do to help you?

Now, what are the odds that a former Black Panther and current adherent to the cop-hating MOVE cult would be so concerned for the well being of a downed Officer?
Again, no other witness corroborates Singletary’s fantasy of a benevolent Jamal seeking to aid Officer Faulkner.

Than according to Singletary, Officer Faulkner’s gun "discharges" and Jamal is struck.
This scenario is not only not corroborated by other witnesses but it is medically impossible.
According to the testimony of Jamal’s own medical witness, Officer Faulkner was killed "instantaneously" when he had been shot in the head. But according to Singletary not only did an already dead Officer Faulkner manage to "discharge" his weapon, but he also spoke.
According to Singletary, the dead Officer told Jamal to "get Maureen (the Officer’s wife) or get the kids, or something like that".
So, according to Singletary, a dead man is "discharging" his firearm, speaking about his wife and children (Faulkner had no children), but he also manages to toss said firearm several feet away.
The gun that "discharged" was, according to Singletary, in Faulkner’s lap pointing upward, was actually found a considerable distance away, near the street making Singletary’s story that much more unbelievable.
Again, in 1995 Singletary makes the claim that Jamal was savagely beaten to the point that Singletary claimed that police used "tremendous force" that was sufficient to "fracture his skull".
Unfortunately for Singletary, the medical evidence is not consistent with such brutality. Mumia’s 1981 doctor and witness testified that his injuries were not consistent with a "pummeling" and that Jamal had not even complained of being beaten by the police at the time.
In what is the most bizarre aspect of Singletary’s testimony is his firm conviction that there was a "helicopter" circling over the scene of the crime. Nobody but Singletary saw this mythical helicopter and the Philadelphia Police Department did not even have one at the time.
But what is perhaps most damning to Singletary’s story is that his account of what he claims to have seen in 1981 differs from what he claims he saw in 1995 and what he claims now.
According to Officer Vernon Jones who had just rushed to the murder scene, William Singletary asked the Officer "What happened?" Officer Jones told Singletary that "a policeman had been shot." When Officer Jones asked Singletary if he had seen the shooting Singletary responded with an emphatic "no".
It was clear to the Jamal’s own attorney in 1995 that there were problems with Singletary’s testimony. And it was clear to the judge who dismissed this "exculpatory" witnesses statements that the testimony was fraudulent. And it was clear in 1998 when the judges ruling was upheld that Singletary was incredible.
Why in 2006 the Daily News would devote any space to the rants of this either inveterate liar or mentally disturbed person is beyond explanation.

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