MILLER: When only criminals have guns – Washington Times

 

MILLER: When only criminals have guns – Washington Times.

D.C. puts rights of bad guys above public safety

By Emily Miller – The Washington Times

In the nation’s capital, it’s a fair question to ask: Who gets the better deal, innocent citizens who want to own a gun, or dangerous criminals? The District’s deliberate policy of releasing criminals back onto the streets shows the liberal city council’s answer has little to do with public safety.

Take the case of Ramad Speight, an admitted psychotic and alleged cop-shooter. He was in custody from March until July 16 when a D.C. judge freed him to travel around the city with a few restrictions. Mr. Speight was under arrest following a shootout with Montgomery County, Md. police that left him shot three times in the torso. The officers had responded to a 911 call about shots fired on the north side of Eastern Avenue, just inside the District line.

According to prosecutors, Mr. Speight stood outside his home, yelled “Game over,” raised his loaded revolver and opened fire on the officers. They ran for cover, but Mr. Speight allegedly kept shooting, hitting one officer in the hand.

Mr. Speight was hospitalized and then held without bond on 11 charges, including having an illegal gun. Public defender Michael Satin petitioned for his release, citing Mr. Speight’s use of antipsychotic medication since June as evidence that he’s now less dangerous. The lawyer added the defendant’s right arm is paralyzed from the shooting, which “reduces his ability to commit a crime in the community.”

D.C. Superior Court Judge Florence Pan, who was appointed by President Obama, released him from home confinement, setting lenient terms that allowed Mr. Speight to leave his mother’s home for school, medical or mental health appointments and court matters. Bill Miller, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, wouldn’t comment on the ruling, but said Assistant U.S. Attorney Allison Barlotta opposed Mr. Speight’s release based on “our belief that he presents a danger to the community.”

This wasn’t an isolated case. The idea to make it easier for judges to hold defendants in jail before trial orginated in then-Mayor Anthony Williams’s administration. In Jan. 2008, Phil Mendelson, then the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, held a hearing on the proposal. The at-large Democrat told the police and government witnesses that he opposed the concept on civil liberties grounds, adding that, “our laws favor release, not detention.”

While violent crime is down nationwide, it’s up 7 percent in the District so far this year. “One of the reasons for that is Phil Mendelson and his policies of the last six years that have put all criminals, including violent criminals, out on the streets pending trial,” said Kristopher Baumann, head of Washington’s police union. “It’s a recipe for disaster.” Mr. Mendelson’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Law-abiding citizens who want to get a gun legally receive no such leniency. The District makes them pay fees, take a written test, travel to police headquarters at least twice and wait 10 days. The bad guys just walk down the street and buy a gun quickly. However, if someone uses an illegal gun to commit a violent crime, all of a sudden the city starts to worry about his civil liberties.

As Officer Baumann said, “Only in D.C. can you shoot a police officer and be sent home to think about what you did wrong, instead of going to jail.” The District needs to reverse its priorities to make the city safer.

Emily Miller is a senior editor for the Opinion pages at The Washington Times.

 

Reverse Racism – Thomas Sowell – Townhall Conservative

Reverse Racism – Thomas Sowell – Townhall Conservative.

Among those who have been disappointed by President Barack Obama, none is likely to end up so painfully disappointed as those who saw his election as being, in itself and in its consequences, a movement toward a “post-racial society.”

Like so many other expectations that so many people projected onto this little-known man who suddenly burst onto the political scene, the expectation of movement toward a post-racial society had no speck of hard evidence behind it — and all too many ignored indications of the very opposite, including his two decades of association with the egregious Reverend Jeremiah Wright.

Those people of good will who want to replace the racism of the past with a post-racial society have too often overlooked the fact that there are others who instead want to put racism under new management, to have reverse discrimination as racial payback for past injustices.

Attorney General Eric Holder became a key figure epitomizing the view that government’s role in racial matters was not to be an impartial dispenser of equal justice for all, but to be a racial partisan and an organ of racial payback. He has been too politically savvy to say that in so many words, but his actions have spoken far louder than any words.

The case that first gave the general public a glimpse of Attorney General Holder’s views and values was one in which young black thugs outside a voting site in Philadelphia were televised intimidating white voters. When this episode was broadcast, it produced public outrage.

Although the Department of Justice’s prosecution of these thugs began in the last days of the Bush administration, and the defendants had offered no legal defense, the case was dropped by the Justice Department after Eric Holder took over. One of the lawyers who were prosecuting that case resigned in protest.

That lawyer — J. Christian Adams — has now written a book, titled “Injustice: Exposing the Racial Agenda of the Obama Justice Department.” It is a thought-provoking book and a shocking book in what it reveals about the inner workings of the Department of Justice’s civil rights division.

Bad as the Justice Department’s decision was to drop that particular case, which it had already won in court, this book makes painfully clear that this was just the proverbial tip of the iceberg.

Despite the efforts of some in the media and in politics to depict the voter intimidation in Philadelphia as just an isolated incident involving a few thugs at one voting place, former U.S. Attorney Adams shows that these thugs were in fact part of a nationwide organization doing similar things elsewhere.

Moreover, the civil rights division of the Justice Department has turned the same blind eye to similar voter intimidation and corruption of the voting process by other people and other organizations in other cities and states — so long as those being victimized were white and the victimizers were black.

This is all spelled out in detail, naming names and naming places, not only among those in the country at large, but also among those officials of the Justice Department who turned its role of protecting the civil rights of all Americans into a policy of racial partisanship and racial payback.

The widespread, organized and systematic corruption of the voting process revealed by the author of “Injustice” is on a scale that can swing not only local but national elections, including the 2012 elections. The Department of Justice under Attorney General Eric Holder has not only turned a blind eye to blatant evidence of voter fraud, it has actively suppressed those U.S. Attorneys in its own ranks who have tried to stop that fraud.

Even in counties where the number of votes cast exceeds the number of people legally entitled to vote, Eric Holder’s Justice Department sees no evil, hears no evil and speaks no evil — if the end result is the election of black Democrats. It has become the mirror image of the old Jim Crow South.

This is an enormously eye-opening book which makes painfully clear that, where racial issues are concerned, the Department of Justice has become the Department of Payback. A post-racial society is the last thing that Holder and Obama are pursuing.

Screw Up, Move Up, Cover Up: The Fast and Furious Edition – Michelle Malkin – Townhall Conservative

Seal of the United States Bureau of Alcohol, T...

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Screw Up, Move Up, Cover Up: The Fast and Furious Edition – Michelle Malkin – Townhall Conservative.

There are now enough Operation Fast and Furious officials playing hide-and-seek in the Obama administration to fill a “rubber room.”

That’s the nickname for taxpayer-subsidized holding pens, such as the ones in the New York City public schools, where crooked employees are separated from the system and paid to do nothing. Perhaps the White House can stimulate a few construction jobs by adding an entire rubber room annex for “reassigned” scandal bureaucrats at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. It’s getting mighty crowded.

On Tuesday, the Justice Department announced it was shuffling Kenneth Melson, acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, out of his job. The disclosure comes amid continued GOP investigations into the administration’s fatally botched straw gun purchase racket at the border and spreading outrage over legal obstructionism and whistleblower retaliation by DOJ brass. The DOJ inspector general is also conducting a probe.

Internal documents earlier showed that Melson was intimately involved in overseeing the program and screened undercover videos of thousands of straw purchases of AK-47s and other high-powered rifles — many of which ended up in the hands of Mexican drug cartel thugs, including those who murdered Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry last December. Fast and Furious weapons have been tied to at least a dozen violent crimes in America and untold bloody havoc in Mexico.

In secret July 4 testimony, Melson revealed he was “sick to his stomach” when he discovered the extent of the operation’s deadly lapses. Join the club, pal.

Melson told congressional investigators that he and ATF’s senior leadership “moved to reassign every manager involved in Fast and Furious, from the deputy assistant director for field operations down to the group supervisor” after ATF whistleblowers went to the press and Capitol. But according to Melson, he and company were ordered by Justice Department higher-ups to remain silent about the reasons for the reassignments.

In other words: the ATF managers in the know were “effectively muzzled while the DOJ sent over false denials and buried its head in the sand,” as GOP Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Sen. Charles Grassley, the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, concluded in July.

Melson has been kicked back to DOJ’s main office in a flabbergasting new slot as “senior adviser on forensic science in the department’s Office of Legal Policy.” He may have been “sick to his stomach,” but the federal careerist apparently has no intention of quitting an administration with blood on its hands. And now he’ll be advising others on how to track and handle evidence. Nice make-work if you can get it.

Others on the Fast and Furious dance card of lemons:

— Assistant U.S. Attorney Emory Hurley in Phoenix, who helped oversee the straw gun purchase disaster. He’s being transferred out of the U.S. Attorney’s Office‘s criminal division and into the civil division.

— Assistant ATF Special Agents in Charge George Gillett and Jim Needles. Moved to other positions.

— BATF deputy director of operations in the West, William McMahon. Promoted to ATF headquarters.

— ATF Phoenix field supervisors William Newell and David Voth. Promoted to new management positions in Washington.

Keep your friends close and your henchmen on the verge of spilling all the beans closer.

There’s been only one visible Fast and Furious resignation: U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke in Phoenix, who quietly stepped down on Tuesday. One of his last acts? Opposing the request of murdered Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry’s family to qualify as crime victims in a court case against the thug who bought the Fast and Furious guns used in Terry’s murder.

The fish rots from the head down, of course. DOJ is run by Eric Holder, the Beltway swamp creature who won bipartisan approval for his nomination — even after putting political interests ahead of security interests at the Clinton Justice Department in both the Marc Rich pardon scandal and the Puerto Rican FALN terrorist debacle. Remember: Holder won over the Senate by arguing that his poor judgment made him more qualified for the job.

Screw up, move up, cover up: It’s the Holder way, the Obama way, the Washington way. And innocent Americans pay.

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