Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Guten Tag Herr Schiff

(Look everyone. Mumia is already free!)

The great masses of the people ... will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one.
-Adolf Hitler

On February 20th the official website of International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia posted and article by a “long-time supporter of Mumia” named Mike Schiff. Schiff, who apparently sieg heils all the way from Heidelberg, Germany and knows all that there is to know about the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. Apparently in the interest of international solidarity, Schiff has decided to set us dumb Americans straight.

I would thank Schiff for his contribution to the “debate” concerning Jamal (is there still a debate?), save for the “facts” as he presents them are anything but. So what I did was to deconstruct the mythology Schiff presents as facts mythology.

This can all get a little confusing being that he chose to insert his commentaries in the middle of articles taken from Fraternal Order of Police websites, some of which are many years old. Schiff’s comments begin and end with. [ ]

My rebuttal to Schiff’s rather poor attempt at propagandizing follows the italicized paragraphs.

Schiff’s email is

I hope everyone can drop him a line and just let him know how much we all appreciate the way he so articulately parrots already discredited lies and brings embarrassment to his country through his arrogant and ignorant support of a ruthless and remorseless murderer. Than again, people in Germany do have a habit for doing just that.

The attackers' gun was found near him with five spent shells, two of which were in the body of the deceased Officer. [They can't get even the simplest things right. The bullet that hit Faulkner in the back was NOT in his body but never identified. The bullet in Faulkner's brain was NEVER conclusively linked to Mumia's revolver.]

Yet, Schiff fails to explain how or why Mumia’s revolver was empty. Furthermore, Mumia’s own ballistics expert debunked the myth of the bullet being a .44 during the PCRA hearing. The bullet recovered from Faulkner was too damaged to definitively match it to Jamal’s weapon, however the bullet was found to be consistent of the type fired by a Charter arms revolver, the type of gun that Mumia was carrying that night.

[The witness who claimed this, Michael Scanlan, was NOT close to the scene, but a good 20 yards away. Moreover, he almost certainly was unable to even see Faulkner's body on the sidewalk, his view being blocked by Faulkner's police car. I invited those of the recipients of this mail who are in Philadelphia to take the drive from Broad to 13th Street on Locust, pick, as Scanlan did, the left lane before the intersection and then check what they can see on the sidewalk when cars are parked in front of Locust 1234. You may also try it at 4 o'clock in the morning to get an even more realistic picture.

I used to live and work near Philadelphia and have been to the scene dozens of times. If anyone were to actually read Scanlan’s testimony you could see just how damaging it was to Jamal’s case. Perhaps that is why, in the testimony, Jamal began to throw one of his notorious temper tantrums.

Scanlan was “two car lengths” away from the scene of the crime and gives an amazing account of what happened that night. He had no reason to lie about what he had seen or not seen. Despite Jamal’s supporters best efforts, Scanlan’s testimony stands firm. An example follows:

Q. Now, you indicated that after the -- you heard the first shot, and then after you saw a man stand over top of the officer and fire two or three times. The officer was down on the ground?

A. That's correct

Scanlan testified that the same man who did what is described above was the same man he observed running from a parking lot. That man was Mumia Abu-Jamal.

[The jury, multiracial in it is making up, was chosen with Mumia Jamal's personal participation given what actually happened, this is just an extremely nasty joke.]

How is this a joke? Mumia himself, struck an African-American from the jury and it is a fact that he participated in one form or another in the selection of every single juror. Moreover, according to Jamal’s own appeals, the prosecution accepted four black jurors.

As he fell, Faulkner drew his gun and shot Abu-Jamal in the chest. [Physically impossible since the bullet that wounded Mumia in the chest traveled downward, not upward, as this scenario would demand.] Abu-Jamal stood over Faulkner and fired four more shots, [This is a thoroughly discredited lie. Check out the existing photographs of the sidewalk after the Faulkner murder - there is NOT ONE TINY TRACE of the three shots that supposedly missed Faulkner. All the same, the courts, most journalists, and of course the cops keep repeating the scenario like a mantra] one of which hit him between the eyes.

The comment by Schiff in the above paragraph is as grotesque as it is purely fictional. What area of the sidewalk are we talking about anyways? I have seen photos from the crime scene and the sidewalk is in part covered with the blood of Officer Faulkner. I like when Jamal supporters use the term “physically impossible” as it displays their disdain for the truth and blind faith in those that have misled them.

The prosecutions case never hinged upon exactly how Jamal was shot. In fact, the “prosecution theory” was in fact conjured up by Weinglass and company. The eyewitness testimony indicates that after Mumia shot Faulkner in the back, that Faulkner either was still on his feet or was in the midst of falling when he shot Mumia. Jamal supporters cling to such irrelevancies as a means of distracting people from the fact that four people observed Jamal shoot Faulkner to death.

"Her morale is good, [wonderful that the hope that a defenseless person will be killed after more than 20 years in a maximum security prison keeps her spirits high] but that's not to say she isn't incredibly frustrated," Burns said. "One thing she's never going to do is give up."

The above statement is regarding the widow of Daniel Faulkner, Maureen. Schiff in his “rebuttal” if you can call it that, seems to either not comprehend the concept of empathy or has no capacity for it. The death penalty issue aside, Maureen Faulkner has been the target of vicious and unscrupulous attacks by Jamal supporters ever since she publicly affirmed her support for the sentence that the jury in Mumia’s case handed down. She has been spat upon and threatened. She has had to endure her husband’s memory being tarnished by baseless allegations that he was a whoremonger and was a corrupt, brutal, and racist man. Moreover, she has been accused, again without any shred of evidence, that she has profited from her late husband’s murder. Nearly thirty years after the death of her husband she is still the target of Jamal’s supporters, even from as far away as Germany.

Shame on you Schiff.

The witnesses watched as Cook stood over the fallen officer and emptied his gun into the officer's face. Police arrived within moments, and Mumia was caught red-handed at the scene, the murder weapon still in his possession. The witnesses watched as the cold blooded killer was arrested and loaded into the back of a police wagon. [This is all a heavily emotionalized pack of lies, down to the details which I can't go into here.]

Why not “go into” the “lies” Schiff? You seem to have no problem offering your view on nearly everything else that was written. The only emoting that I noticed comes from Schiff, who, when finds himself wandering to close to the truth, reacts to it with an obvious sense of nervousness.

Cook was transported to the hospital, since the heroic officer had managed to draw his weapon and return fire before dying. Cook bragged to emergency room staff that he had shot the "pig", [wasn't the term supposed to be "motherfucker"?] and that he hoped he was dead.

Here, Schiff gets it at least partially correct. Mumia did say that he shot the “motherfucker”. Even a broken clock is right twice a day. Mumia did brag about shooting Faulkner and a number of people heard it. Priscilla Durham, a black woman, who did not know Jamal stated under oath that

"At this time I didn't know [who he was]... all I did was hear him say, I shot the mother fucker and I hope the mother fucker dies."

The murder weapon was registered to Wesley Cook himself. Ballistics test proved that this gun, recovered at the scene, fired the bullets that killed Officer Faulkner. [A flatout lie. At Mumia's trial, the prosecution's expert testified, that the bullet that killed Faulkner could have been fired by "millions" of .38 caliber weapons in the country.] The bullet removed from Wesley Cook was proven to have come from Officer Faulkner's service weapon.

Which part of this is a “flatout lie”? The murder weapon was registered to Mumia. While it is true that the bullet, because of it’s damaged condition could not be 100% linked to Jamal’s weapon, it was concluded that it did likely come from a Charter Arms revolver. The same kind of weapon found next to Jamal at the scene of the murder. The same kind of weapon of which all of the bullets had been fired and the same kind of weapon that fit the holster that Jamal was wearing at the time of his arrest. Sounds pretty conclusive to me and apparently to the jury as well as to the many judges who have reviewed this case.

The trial was called a "Prosecutor's Dream". Mumia had mountains of evidence [On closer inspection, the mountains turn out to be molehill, and even that molehill has completely collapsed long ago.] and a parade of eyewitnesses [Eyewitnesses who were not there (Robert Chobert), threatened with death (Cynthia White), testified to things they couldn't have seen (Michael Scanlan) or - cops!] stacked against him. There has never been even the slightest doubt that Mumia murdered Officer Faulkner. Not then, not now.

Here we have Schiff going completely off the deep end. Robert Chobert was not “there”? Where does this nonsense come from? Chobert was there and there is no proof that has ever been offered otherwise. And what did Chobert say he saw back on December 9, 1981?

“Well, I let my fare out and I'm marking down on my pad how much it was, and then I heard a shot. I looked up, I saw the cop fall to the ground, and then I saw Jamal standing over him and firing some more shots into him”

Over a decade later during the PCRA hearings, Chobert affirmed his previous testimony despite the best efforts of Weinglass to discredit him. Again from Chobert, this time in 1995:

Q. Did you testify at trial under oath and truthfully about what you saw occur on the night Officer Faulkner was murdered?

A. Yes, I did.

As for Cynthia White, she is now deceased, so we cannot, with any degree of certainty, argue that she was threatened. Pamela Jenkins testified in 1997 that she had seen Cynthia White and that Mrs. White was “in fear from her life by the police”.

Not surprisingly, there are more than a few problems with Pamela Jenkins and her alleged credibility. She is an admitted career criminal who was facing jail time as she was testifying on behalf of Jamal. Furthermore, she claimed to have seen Cynthia White in 1997. Unfortunately for Jenkins and the Jamal “scheme team” Mrs. White died in New Jersey back in 1992.

Sometimes there's a defense..... There is no explanation being offered by the defense as to how anyone other than Wesley Cook, now known as "Mumia Jamal", could have possibly committed the murder. Mumia himself has never denied that he killed Officer Faulkner. [Another lie.] He has hinted that it was self-defense, and has stated that Officer Faulkner was an oppressor of the people and that he deserved to die. Mumia's brother was present and witnessed the shooting, yet even his own brother does not deny that Mumia is the killer. [Still another lie; already in 1995, Rachel Wolkenstein represented to the PCRA court that Billy had told her that Mumia was not the killer.

Here I belief Schiff to be intentionally deceitful. The above FOP statement was written before Mumia’s afadavit denying his role in the shooting of Faulkner. At the time it was written, Mumia had only said that he was “not guilty” of the charges that he had been convicted of. It was not until May of 2001 that Jamal actually got around to making a statement about what happened the night of Dec 9, 1981. Yet even in his affidavit there exists a suspicious time lapse between the time that he claims to have been shot by Faulkner and when he awoke to being beaten by the police.
ith regards to Billy Cook, what we have in 1995 is strictly heresy that was presented by Wolkenstein. Their was no affidavit presented and no evidence that she and Cook ever had the conversation she recounted. Like Jamal, it took Billy Cook till 2001 to present an affidavit (albeit one that is self-discrediting) clearing Jamal and himself in of any involvement in the killing of Faulkner.

There are over 3,000 people on death row today. Some of them have compelling stories to tell. Some of them were convicted under questionable circumstance. Some of them are remorseful. None of that applies to Mumia Jamal. Jamal has publicly advocated the murder of police officers. [Nonsense.] He has never retracted those statements, and has publicy taunted Officer Faulkner's widow. [Another long discredited lie.]

While I have personally never heard of Jamal advocating the murder of police officers, I wouldn’t doubt that he has at some point has. In his writings, he has defended tyrants and murderers of every stripe and is an avid supporter of MOVE. MOVE, as you may well know, not only advocates murder, but also seeks the destruction of modern civilization. It is also a group that forces illiterate 12 year old girls to be impregnated and marry male MOVE members much older than them. Mumia supports child-rapists, something that is far more vulgar than supporting the killing of cops.

And yes, it is a fact that Jamal taunted Faulkner’s widow in open court during his 1981 trial.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer “"Earlier in the day [6-21-82] Maureen Faulkner, the officer's widow, left the courtroom crying after her husband's bloody shirt was admitted as evidence."

On that day, Jamal was in the courtroom and according to Mrs. Faulkner she began to hyperventilate when Mumia turned and smiled at her after the shirt was put on display. Her trauma was of such a nature that she was compelled to go to the hospital. It is a disgrace that Mumia’s acolytes are still trotting out these tired old lies as if they are facts. It is sad and it is pitiful and moreover, it is intolerable.

FACT: Mumia did act as his own defense. Mumia had no legal training and attempted to use the trial to make political statements. Judge Sabo appointed an experienced capital crime defense attorney to sit next to Mumia and advise him. Incredibly, Mumia objected to this. [This defies comment. Mumia's "lawyer," Anthony Jackson, did NOT have experience as a lead counsel in any capital case, despite the cop's oft-repeated lie that he "had more than 20 capital/homicide cases under his belt." The death penalty was reinstated in Pennsylvania only in 1978, and from 1978-81, Jackson had a full-time job at a cop-monitoring organization in Philadelphia, leaving him little if any time to try homicide or capital cases.]

Again, Schiff, what exactly “defies comment”? The fact is that Mumia, at some early point in the trial decided that he did not want Anthony Jackson as his attorney, or even some radical lawyer like William Kunstler as his attorney. He wanted John Africa (the MOVE cult’s leader) and John Africa only. Jamal states this over and over and over again throughout the trial. It could be further argued that it was MOVE members who were guiding and prodding Jamal in his seemingly suicidal courtroom antics.

Initially, Jamal was the one to pick Jackson as his attorney and only after Jamal made this choice did Jackson petition the court to become Jamal’s public defender. Before taking on Jamal’s case, Jackson had came to the defense of 20 people facing murder charges and he won most of the time. Some of these cases could have resulted in the death penalty for Jackson’s clients, but Jackson had managed to save all of them from execution. This is a fact and while Schiff is entitled to his opinions about Jamal’s case, he is by no means entitled to his own set of facts. Jackson did his best to defend Jamal, but it was Mumia who sabotaged his own case and repeatedly belittled and humiliated his own attorney.

[It is indeed unlikely that the cops listened to progressive Black radio shows. All the same, the knew Mumia very well since he reported regularly from the MOVE trials and was for a while stationed right opposite the police HQ.] If they had heard of him, it is extremely unlikely that they would have recognized his face from a radio show. It is nearly certain that none of those street cops [but the ranking police officer at the scene, the corrupt cop Alphonso Giordano, not only made up the first false confession story that was used to set the machinery of death against Mumia into motion, but also constantly referred to Mumia as "Wesley Cook", indicating that he knew very well who Mumia was] were privy to FBI files that named Cook as a former member of the Black Panthers.

How is it that Mr. Schiff from Germany in 2006 knows that the police in Philadelphia in 1981 knew Mumia “very well”? He doesn’t of course. He is just making things up as he goes. It is typical of Jamal supporters to fill in the blanks with paranoid and delusional ramblings.

Schiff mentions Officer Giordano, who did in fact turn out to be a “corrupt cop”, referring to Jamal as Wesley Cook. However Giordano did so after Jamal’s identity had already been established, making it more than likely that he, much like everyone else on the scene that night, had no clue who Mumia was. We must keep in mind that Jamal was formerly a radio and newsprint reporter whose face would not be altogether that recognizable especially as a man who had just been shot and was dressed appropriately for the freezing Philadelphia winter.

So what we have seen from Schiff is just more of the same old tired lies repackaged in a new format. But at the end of the day, Mumia still shot Daniel Faulkner to death and no amount of cherry picked testimony and rhetorical contortionism can eradicate that one principle fact.


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