Sunday, November 25, 2012

R.I.P. The Detroit News

After many long years as a champion of the pro-life cause, the editorial department of the Detroit News has finally abandoned the cause for good. That leaves the Detroit newspaper audience without a major pro-life voice.

In a Sunday editorial advising Michigan lawmakers on goals for their lame-duck session, the following was included under the “Don’t Pass These” heading:

Abortion restrictions: Nearly 40 years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court declared that abortion is constitutional and legal. State lawmakers should stop trying to relitigate that decision. These bills, including one transparently designed to shut down clinics providing abortions, should be allowed to dissolve.

I suspect that Nolan Finley is the author of this unsigned editorial, and the author of the News’s abandonment of the cause of life. During primary season I noticed Finley’s comments were notably pro-choice, crabbing that Republicans were still weighing down the campaign with “social issues.”

When I first started reading editorial and op-ed pages in the early 1970s, Detroit had two distinct editorial voices in the Free Press and the News. Our house subscribed to both, and I devoured both.

As anyone would notice who regularly reads this blog , in recent years I haven’t had a very high opinion of either newspaper , both of which I feel compelled to ridicule for the thoroughgoing PC-ness of how they report the news – or refuse to report the news.

But until recently the News still held onto some of its old sense in its editorial pages. For 40 years we’ve had the Free Press lecturing readers about how the Supreme Court declared that killing the unborn was the law of the land and so we all had to stop talking about it – except to say how great it all was.  The News never admitted that either the moral or the legal subject were closed, as they weren’t, and as they never can be.

Never did until now.

Maybe Obama’s re-election has shaken people that deep.

Regardless, Detroit no more needs two papers babbling the same moral nonsense than the country needs two political parties promising the same moral nonsense. 

Too bad. Too, too bad.


In Detroit ‘Mistakes Were Made’–And They’re Just Getting Started

Here’s a made-in-Detroit story with almost everything in it that makes my hometown so interesting these days: allegations of civil rights violations by the cops, an astoundingly incompetent city department, and an autocrat too busy pretending to defend the city’s sacred honor to care that she single-handedly cost the city $1.1 million dollars from its bankrupt budget.

According to the Detroit Free Press:

The City of Detroit has been ordered to pay $1.1 million to a man who was rousted out of bed as a 14-year-old, charged with murder and held in a violent juvenile lockup for nearly two years before being acquitted of a fatal shooting in his neighborhood.

Caleb Sosa, now 19, claimed that police violated his civil rights by coercing him to put his initials on a confession that he couldn't even read.

The allegations in his lawsuit were never tested, however, because the case ended in an extraordinary way. A judge declared a default when city lawyers failed the most basic procedural step: They never filed a timely answer in court.

"The judge found that mistakes were made," said Krystal Crittendon, the head of Detroit's law department. (“Detroit ordered to pay man $1.1M in botched murder case”).

Now you Detroit watchers, and especially you court watchers, can especially appreciate that the case ending this way wasn’t extraordinary at all -- not for the Detroit Law Department. Detroit’s lawyers have specialized for years – at least going back to the Young administration -- in failing to answer lawsuits or show up in court to handle the most routine legal chores, racking up default judgments resulting in tens of millions of dollars in damages without plaintiffs ever having to prove a thing in court. And yes, that law-department chief offering the ultra-weak “mistakes were made” excuse in this recent case was none other than Krystal Crittendon, the Detroit Corporation Counsel who’s been holding Detroit hostage since June, and whom the Free Press just finished lionizing a few days before as a “fighter” whose only goal is “doing the right thing.” (“Detroit's controversial counsel Krystal Crittendon speaks out on why she won't stop fighting”).

It may be that the plaintiff in this case had a meritorious case and deserved the award. The Detroit police have been under a federal consent decree for years meant to correct a deeply-embedded departmental disregard for civil rights, and things still aren’t what they should be.

But that’s not really the point. The City of Detroit owes it to taxpayers to at least show up in court and defend these cases to insure that frivolous lawsuits aren’t being filed to fleece the city of money it hasn’t got. I have no doubt that the law department’s longtime reputation for negligence about routine lawyering has meant plenty of plaintiffs with phony claims gambled on winning by default and won.

Crittendon obviously doesn’t care. She’s on a mission she likes better, which is exercising co-equal powers with the mayor and the City Council. Thanks to her, not a single reform that was worked out in a consent agreement between Detroit and the State earlier this year has gone into effect. Detroit voters steeped in racist politics and convinced by their leaders that the only motive outsiders have for wanting to take over Detroit’s many failing departments are malevolent ones, voted this month to change the city charter to give Crittendon the power to interpret for herself the meaning of the city charter, and then to take judicial action on her own initiative to force elected officials to comply whenever she believes there’s been a violation.

Aside from the political insanity of this charter language (imagine a solicitor general with the authority to sue the President and the Congress to force them to abide by his interpretation of the Constitution), Crittendon’s talent for interpreting municipal law is limited. She claimed to believe she represented the citizens directly, rather than as counsel for the elected city government, her bosses. Accordingly, she filed a lawsuit on her own (imaginary) authority to stop the consent agreement from going into effect. The judge threw it out upon the obvious ground that only the mayor or the council can file lawsuits on the city’s behalf. (Notably, when the judge made his ruling, “Crittendon was not in court.”). As for the merits of her argument, she speciously determined that the State of Michigan was one of the city’s “debtors,” and so the city charter prohibited the city from making contracts with anyone in default. It remains to be seen if Crittendon’s logic will be applied the next time an agreement between Michigan and Detroit is made involving the transfer of state funds to the city.

I don’t believe for one second that Crittendon is dumb enough to believe any of this.  My guess is she is yet one more in Detroit’s long, long, line of shrewd opportunists who understands exactly where all Detroit voters’ buttons are, and intends to push them.  My own guess is she wants to be mayor.  How far-fetched is it when we just watched as 63% of Detroit voters willingly amended the city charter to make her co-mayor and a one-woman Supreme Court all rolled into one.  Obviously, she’s already grown beyond the mundane duties of running the law department.


Friday, November 23, 2012

The Other 1 Percent

I know one thing I’m thankful for this year: Fox News, several news websites, and every other alternative media outlet reporting news that would never be reported by the mainstream guys.

If it weren’t for them, the small percentage of Americans who have any idea about what’s going on wouldn’t even have that.

Take reporting on Gaza. To borrow a metaphor from Raymond Chandler, what Americans don’t know about Israel would just about fill up the Rose Bowl. Yesterday the Detroit News, without challenge or follow up, ran the following quotation:

[Imad] Hamad, the senior national adviser and regional president of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, said the cease-fire “is only a temporary step that will fail again and again if the root of the conflict is not removed, which is the occupation and lifting the siege."

But there is no occupation of Gaza by Israel. As Israeli President Shimon Peres said, Hamas can’t possibly say it’s firing rockets at Israel because of the occupation. “’It cannot be argued that Gaza is occupied. Israel left Gaza willingly (during the disengagement in 2005 –ed.), yet they target our children as they are leaving for school.’” (“Peres: There is No 'Occupation' in Gaza”).

This isn’t an issue of spin, or of a complex set of facts upon which reasonable minds may differ. Even Hamas doesn’t pretend there’s an occupation. Last January Hamas co-founder Mahmoud Zahar confirmed:

[T]here is no Israeli occupation of Gaza, according to a report published by Ma’an, a Bethlehem- based Palestinian news agency.

Zahar was casting doubt on whether Hamas would organize anti-Israel marches in Gaza in conjunction with similar protests that the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority would organize in the West Bank. 

“Against whom could we demonstrate in the Gaza Strip? When Gaza was occupied, that model was applicable,” Zahar said.

The radical Islamist organization has merely recognized the obvious: that after Israel in 2005 dismantled its military administration in Gaza, forcibly evicted all Israeli residents and withdrew every last soldier, Israel no longer occupies the territory by any legal definition or other sense of the term. (“Hamas says Gaza ‘not occupied’; UN disagrees”).

As noted in the Jerusalem Post, the UN continues to disregard all of that in order to keep defining Gaza as an “occupied” area, a false legal position

that has the effect, if not intent, of justifying Palestinian terrorism as “resistance to occupation,” undermining Israel’s ability to invoke its inherent right of self-defense against deadly rockets fired from Gaza, and, not least, dehumanizing Israelis as the demonic and faceless “occupier.”

This way the Palestinians are never to blame for repeatedly calling down Israeli munitions on their own houses, shops, and children.

Four-and-a-half years after seizing power in Gaza, Hamas runs its own police, courts, jails, schools, media and social services, noted Abraham Bell and Dov Shefi, two international legal experts, in a 2010 research paper for the University of San Diego law school.

Hamas regulates business activities, banks and land registries. It levies taxes, controls its own borders and even imposes a dress code. In sum, wrote Bell and Shefi, Hamas operates “a functioning and fully independent local civil government, buttressed by armed forces.”

In late 2008, the last time Israel had to get tough with Hamas to get them to stop launching rockets, Imad Hamad called Israeli actions against Hamas rocket launchers “a true genocide,” and Arab American News publisher Osama Siblani was quoted in his own newspaper defending Hamas: “The source of the problem is the occupation of Gaza," he said. "They are defending themselves from 60 years of brutal occupation.’" (“Hundreds protest Gaza bombardment in second local demonstration”)

As we noted at the time, Siblani “doesn’t mean Gaza has been occupied for 60 years, he means Israel has existed for 60 years, and that is what's intolerable to him.” (“Dearborn's Jihadist Newspaper”).

The Associated Press, in its article Wednesday giving all the credit for this fragile truce to Egypt’s newest dictator, President Mohammed Morsi, (“[a]n Islamist leader who refuses to talk to Israelis or even say the country’s name”) plays down the Muslim Brotherhood’s intransigence as best it can: “In ideology, the Brotherhood supports the use of force against Israel to liberate ‘Muslim lands.’” Sounds almost reasonable, until you figure out that the Brotherhood interprets “Muslim lands” as every square inch of Israel, no matter which set of borders anyone is talking about.

The Hamas Charter provides that “the land of Palestine has been an Islamic Waqf throughout the generations and until the Day of Resurrection, no one can renounce it or part of it, or abandon it or part of it. . . .” and that “Nothing is loftier or deeper in Nationalism than waging Jihad against the enemy and confronting him when he sets foot on the land of the Muslims.”

Only two months ago, the Brotherhood's supreme leader, Mohammed Badie, proclaimed that regaining Jerusalem can "only come through holy jihad."  Need I point out that Jerusalem is not in Gaza?

With few exceptions, in most reporting I’ve barely heard a word breathed of this fairly relevant sticking point to the diplomats’ grand illusion of a two-state solution.


Lies, Damned Lies, Statistics–and Newspapers

The ever-interesting news on America’s abortion culture includes a recent 5% drop in the abortion rate, “the biggest one-year decrease in at least a decade, perhaps because women are more careful to use birth control when times are tough, researchers say.” (“U.S. abortions fall 5%, biggest drop in a decade”).

The AP says, Some experts theorize that some women believed they couldn't afford to get pregnant. . . . ‘They stick to straight and narrow ... and they are more careful about birth control,’ said Elizabeth Ananat, a Duke University assistant professor of public policy and economics who has researched abortions.”

I’ve stared at these statements for a long time trying to make the logic come clearer, but without success.

Is this meant to say that when times are good women believe they can be careless about birth control because they can more easily afford – which? A baby? -- or an abortion?  Or is the experts’ statement that “some women believed they couldn't afford to get pregnant” meant to imply (because it does imply this whether it’s meant to or not) that “couldn’t afford to get pregnant” actually means “couldn’t afford to use abortion as last-gap birth control”?

And hasn’t the excuse of women who “cannot afford to have another child” been a staple rationalization for cheap and barely regulated abortion ever since forever? Then how is it that when more and more women have less and less money because times are tough, the abortion rate is going up instead of down?

At least the usual trend is still holding of unmarried Hispanic women getting rid of their unborn children at more than twice the rate that white women do, and black women at more than four times the rate.

It’s also still the case that the media makes helpful observations about  such as that the “majority of abortions are performed by the eighth week of pregnancy, when the fetus is about the size of a lima bean.”  The size of a lima bean, perhaps. But an abortion is still not the equivalent of destroying a lima bean.

According to the AP, “While experts estimate there are more than 1 million abortions nationwide each year, the CDC counted about 785,000 in 2009 because of incomplete reporting.” The AP then reports this related scientific anomaly: “The CDC identified 12 abortion-related deaths in 2009.”

While we’re pretty sure that the number of unreported deaths (“because of incomplete reporting”) was vastly larger in 2009 than 12, I see an even bigger problem with the CDC’s arithmetic.

Didn’t the CDC actually identify 785,012 abortion-related deaths in 2009?


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Distinctions Matter As Much as Ever

Caroline Glick has some hard but valuable comments at NRO about the flaws in conservative foreign policy relating to the Muslim world since the days of the Bush administration:

During the Bush years, the so-called neoconservative camp believed it had formulated the means of convincing an American electorate dominated by the leftist media to support the projection of American power in the Islamic world. Claiming, and believing, that the purpose of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan was to liberate otherwise tolerant and liberal-minded Muslims from the yoke of authoritarian governments, neoconservatives promoted an argument that permitted Republicans to avoid making the hard case for victory.

Even more destructively, the neoconservative campaign to make the Islamic world ripe for democracy necessarily ignored the larger pathologies there that rendered the totalitarian dogma of the Muslim Brotherhood the most salient and popular ideology among Sunni Muslims. The neoconservatives’ focus on democratization blinded them to the fact that authoritarian and problematic allies like Mubarak were often the only possible allies available to the United States. Finally, the neoconservatives’ insistence that the urge toward democracy and freedom is universal led to their failure in places such as Iraq and Egypt to use U.S. resources wisely. If everyone is just like us, then there is no reason to cultivate the habits of liberty. There is no reason to empower women. There is no reason to financially and politically support nascent and weak democratic forces or to postpone elections until the scales are properly tipped in the direction of moderate forces congruent with U.S. interests. There is no reason to support Christian minorities. There is no reason to insist on the normalization of relations between countries such as post-Saddam Iraq and Israel. (“The Party of Victory”).

In the intervening Obama term, the Republican Party never seriously reconsidered these policies, resulting in Mitt Romney adopting them as-is in his own campaign. “And as a consequence,” explains Glick,  “his endorsement of Palestinian statehood and of Obama’s abandonment of Mubarak made it impossible for Romney to draw a meaningful distinction between Obama’s foreign policy and the foreign policy Romney himself would follow if elected.”

Glick concludes this way, with my highlighting added:

There are two reasons that it is essential today for the Republican party and the conservative movement to reassess their foreign-policy positions and sharpen the distinctions between their positions and those of the Obama administration. First, while we cannot say exactly how Obama’s policy of appeasing jihadists will play out, its trajectory is clear, inevitable, and dangerous for America. When the dangers become obvious to the American public, the Republicans will have to have a clear, distinct vision and plan for American foreign policy. If they fail to present one, they will not only hurt themselves. They will hurt their nation.

Second, today and in the coming months and years, there will be a lot of soul-searching in the Republican party and the conservative movement over what went wrong in the 2012 elections. And with that soul-searching will come the inevitable temptation to adopt the Democrats’ policy of appeasement in a bid to woo various constituencies — suburban mothers, for example, and perhaps Muslim communities in Michigan, Tennessee, Minnesota, and other states. But Republicans must understand that, while this is tempting, it is a recipe for repeated electoral defeats. Democrats will always and forever be able to out-appease Republicans. And so constituencies that want the American government to appease our enemies will always and forever vote for them. If the Republicans wish to return to power in the foreseeable future, they must boldly draw a distinction between themselves as the party of victory and the Democrats as the party of defeat.


Friday, November 09, 2012

Where In the World Is California San Diego?

geo 2

From the New York Daily News:

Map lays out racist election tweets, most originated from southeast

A flurry of racist tweets that followed President Barack Obama’s re-election came primarily from southern states, according to a map that geographically pinpointed the point of origin of the hate speech. 

Tweets calling the president a “monkey” or using racial epithets prompted a group of geography experts to try and break down whether the hateful language was more prevalent in some areas of the country than others. 

As it turns out, it was.

The bigoted tweets serve as a “useful reminder that technology reflects the society in which it is based, both the good and the bad,” said geography research group Floating Sheep.

The group took 365 tweets and laid them over a color-coded map of the United States to analyze the frequency of hate tweets compared to the frequency of election-related tweets in that state. 

Mississippi and Alabama had the highest ratio of racist tweets. They were followed by Georgia, Louisiana, Tennessee, forming a “fairly distinctive cluster in the southeast” of online hate speech, the research finds.

The accomplishments of this geographical brain trust should comfort those of you who’ve been worried (as I’ve been) about what America’s geographers, no longer employed writing school textbooks for their obsolete and irrelevant subject, have been doing with their time.

Mapping all 365 tweets, a shocking chunk of the 2 million tweets per week Twitter identified as mentioning Romney or Obama in August 2012 (out of 400 million per day on all other topics) may someday rival the Lewis & Clark expedition as a 21st century charting of the nation’s wild and abundant sources of hate. Even if America remains 117th of 193 countries for geographical knowledge , no one comes near the exquisite language skills that enable us to immediately recognize that “pickup truck,” “Chicago,” and “apartment” are code words for “We wanna put y’all back in chains.”   

So what if young voters who turned out for Obama on Tuesday may not be able to name the capitals of all 57 states, or list the chief exports of East Virginia or any of the other Middle Eastern states?  Now they can make informed travel plans knowing that Mississippi, Alabama, North Dakota, Utah, and Missouri are full of hate, but “the west and northwest” states are hate-free, “with the exception of Oregon.”

One anomaly of the map, which I’m confident will soon be explained, is the prevalence of red dots of hate speech in so many non-southern states that turned out for Obama, such as Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey,  Delaware, and cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco (and Chicago).  And how is it possible that Wyoming, where Dick Cheney is known to lurk patiently in his web of evil for his next victim to become ensnared, is completely dot-free?  

In case anyone is interested, an alternative consortium geo-located a tiny blip of 365,000 internet references to George W. Bush as “Bushitler” and a “chimp” to New York City, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and similarly sophisticated regions that send heavy traffic to Democratic Underground and the Daily Kos.


You Must Be This Tall To Terminate Your Baby

Everything’s suddenly upside down. Bill O’Reilly is talking sense, and Ann Coulter is talking nonsense.

In her most recent column, Ann takes quite a swipe at Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock whom, she charges, “[i]n order to be pro-life badasses,” argued “for abortion positions that less than 1 percent of the nation agrees with.” (“Don’t Blame Romney):

No law is ever going to require a woman to bear the child of her rapist. Yes, it's every bit as much a life as an unborn child that is not the product of rape. But sentient human beings are capable of drawing gradations along a line.

Of course sentient beings are capable of drawing gradations along a line. I’m proudly casuistical myself, never happier than when making fine distinctions and recognizing gradations where appropriate. Spectrums and gradients are particularly suited to questions about civil unions for homosexuals, or the strictness of enforcement is immigrations law, or whether or not the Second Amendment entitles you to mount twin .50-caliber machine guns on the roof of your car.

But where issues of deliberate killing are concerned measuring by degrees is almost never appropriate – if nothing else because death isn’t a thing of degrees, just like there’s no such thing as being a little bit pregnant.

The moral premise that underlies all rational thinking about abortion – namely, that all humans enjoy a right to life -- can’t be defended with a ruler: it requires a wall. In legal parlance, it needs a “bright line,” a flaming demarcation establishing a distinction that no one can claim confusion about. By and large liberals avoid bright lines, vastly preferring continuums and spectrums for being blissfully barrier-free.   A spectrum has no tyrannical borders dictating where blue becomes green, and on a sexual continuum Alex and Alexis can be the same person without the ugly necessity of labels.  Even Harvard grads can be agnostic about when human life begins!

On the other hand, a bright line has no gradations, because its object isn’t to measure points along a continuum, but to divide absolutely what is black from what is white. And while it’s true not every moral issue is black and white, and that not every issue requires a bright-line rule, the right-to-life issue does. Every time we forget to insist that the lives of the unborn are an absolute, ten million more of them get wrapped up as medical waste.

By logical necessity, this bright line excludes the possibility that any unborn children can be stranded, without legal protection, on the far side of the line.  But let that barrier get turned over sideways and painted as a scale – let’s call it the hard-case scale –  and it’s no longer able to guard the sacredness of life.  Instead, it’s only good for assigning a value to a mother’s tragic circumstances. In every single case pro-abortionists will use this scale to measure out woe enough to justify abortion. And that’s exactly how it’s been used, with sickening success, for more than forty years, from those mythical days when trimesters and viability were supposed to measure out protections for unborn lives, all the way to today’s terminations at any time, even after a live birth in cases of botched abortions.

Ann Coulter surely knows the pro-life bright line well; she relies on it to gauge, correctly, that the child of a rapist is “every bit as much a life as an unborn child that is not the product of rape.”  But she inexplicably abandons the sacred line for another one  for “drawing gradations along,” the same kind of ruler the liberals use.  And when you use their ruler, you have to use their rules.

Accordingly, this week of all weeks, we have our pro-life heroine arguing that “[t]he overwhelming majority of people -- including me -- are going to say the law shouldn’t force someone who has been raped to carry the child.”

Which astonishes me for this reason: I can’t find any difference  between this statement of hers and the same old pro-abortion lecture we’ve heard for years that the law shouldn’t force anyone who is pregnant with any unwanted baby to carry the child.  The demonic genius by which pro-abortion doctrine was repackaged  as “pro-choice” -- i.e., the pretense of personally regretting abortions while not wanting to “impose one’s beliefs on others” – has empowered decades of successful redefinitions of every imaginable restriction on abortion, even laws to merely insure a woman is making an informed decision, as “forcing” a woman to bear a child against her will.

Oddly, we know Ann Coulter doesn’t believe that laws restricting most abortions are impermissible force. She says right in this week’s article that, rape being the exception, “abortion should be illegal in most other cases.” But she never explains how she distinguishes between a legally impermissible killing in most other cases and one we’re insane if we don’t accept as legally permissible (and I presume morally permissible) in the case of rape.  What objective standard enables her to determine that, for lack of meeting a minimum criterion of grief and unhappiness, a different mother’s decision to abort her child must be prohibited by law?  The only measurable criterion she’s described is, in cases of  conception of a child by rape, there’s a higher degree of tragedy and suffering involved for the mother.

We’ve had forty years to learn just how liberals apply abortion-metrics without an objective standard: grant liberals their argument that a mile of trouble entitles this woman to destroy her unborn child, and they’ll insist that only a half inch of trouble entitles that woman to the same thing.  If not, why not?  That’s where drawing gradations on a line gets us in this fight.

No one on our side is denying the measure of tragedy implied in a pregnancy caused by rape.   From what I’ve read of it, neither Akin nor Mourdock ever intended to deny, nor did deny, any such thing.  Both men were caught short trying to ad lib debate answers when they stepped in an ethical quicksand that, frankly, only the most morally shallow person could have attempted to cross without sinking. If anything got the two of them off balance, it was their own logical consistency. Didn’t they both hold Ann’s own opinion that the child of a rapist is “every bit as much a life as an unborn child that is not the product of rape”?   Ergo . . .

The difference is, they wrestled with the logic of it under pressure and very publicly stumbled, while she has, at her leisure, now thrown logic aside  in favor of a sliding scale of pathos.


Saturday, November 03, 2012

Don’t Mind the Maggots

I wouldn’t have thought there was enough left of this old apple for anyone to try another bite, but CAIR – Michigan is taking yet one more chomp out of the death of Imam Luqman Abdullah.

CAIR attorney Lena Masri is co-counsel on a federal wrongful-death and civil-rights lawsuit filed last Friday on behalf of Abdullah’s estate. Abdullah, was killed by FBI agents three years ago after opening fire during an FBI raid. Abdullah was leader of a radical mosque in Detroit whose “primary mission is to establish a separate, sovereign Islamic state (“The Ummah”) within the borders of the United States, governed by Shariah law.”  Last Friday’s lawsuit

is based on an affidavit of Muhammad Abdul Salaam, 48, a Detroit man with multiple criminal convictions who was with Abdullah at the time of the shooting. The suit says federal agents used excessive force to take down Abdullah and failed to give him medical attention after they shot him. In the affidavit, Salaam said Abdullah didn't have or use any gun, and was killed by gunshots as he was trying to protect himself from the police dog. The FBI has said the dog was shot dead by Abdullah, which the lawsuit denies. (“Family of Detroit Muslim leader files suit challenging official story”).

Salaam, according to the federal complaint filed against Abdullah in 2009, “is a devout follower and close associate of Luqman Ameen Abdullah . . . [and] had a significant position of authority within the Masjid Al-Haqq, the Detroit mosque that Abdullah led.”

Salaam also has:

 “’at least five prior felony convictions’ from 1977 to 1985, according to the complaint filed by the FBI in October 2009. The convictions included carrying a concealed weapon, larceny and fraudulent activity. He was known as ‘the gun man’ because of his ‘large cache of weapons stored at various residences, including pistols, AK47s, Mini 14s, 45 Commandos, 12-gauge shotguns and other rifles’ the complaint said.”

None of which means he is lying under oath now, of course.  We must be fair.  But there were at least three other people along with Salaam  arrested that day, and none of their affidavits are included, which means Salaam is the best witness CAIR has, and undoubtedly the only one willing  to perjure himself in this way.  As a general matter, key witnesses who have prior fraud convictions don’t usually help win lawsuits.

According to a report prepared by the Michigan Attorney General after all the numerous other investigations had concluded, Abdullah began the fire fight when he shot the FBI
K-9, Freddy, who had been unleashed onto Abdullah only after  Abdullah refused several agent orders to show his hands. Abdullah’s gun that day was a stolen 9mm handgun. The AG reports said:

The 9mm firearm recovered from Abdullah was analyzed by the FBI lab. There were no usable latent prints found on the handgun-a finding not uncommon with firearms. However, the bullet fragments removed from the K-9 were found to be consistent with bullets fired from the handgun and not consistent with those fired from FBI rifles. Further, the three spent handgun casings were positively identified as having been fired from the handgun  recovered from Abdullah. A 17-round clip was in the handgun and had 14 live rounds remaining.

It is noteworthy that the ammunition loaded in the handgun was compatible, by brand and caliber, with ammunition later seized from Abdullah’s residence. This physical evidence is consistent with the statements that Abdullah, not the agents, shot the dog.

The AG report also points out that the FBI team were all armed with .223 rifles. All the FBI rounds that hit Abdullah were .223 rifle rounds, and were all accounted for.  That left only the handgun rounds that killed Freddy.

We’re aware that the skeptical audience at whom this lawsuit is aimed are more than willing to accept that the FBI brought that handgun with them that day for the very purpose of planting it on Abdullah’s corpse. Such things have been known to happen. That would require, if one takes into account the physical evidence, also believing the FBI shot their own K-9 while “assassinating” Abdullah.  That, in turn, requires believing that some sharpshooting agent managed to shoot Freddy with a stolen handgun simultaneously as other agents fired 20 rifle rounds into Abdullah, an event that was established to have lasted not longer than four seconds.   This deadeye agent also had to manage to shoot Freddy without putting any tell-tale handgun rounds into the imam, who was allegedly mauling Abdullah.  And then one has to believe that Salaam and the other eyewitnesses were spared by the 30 ruthless FBI conspirators and agents-provocateurs to live and tell the tale.

Far-fetched as Salaam’s sworn statements are, the purpose of his affidavit is strictly to prevent government lawyers from getting this suit stopped in its tracks as lacking any factual merit. Because Salaam’s statement on the record contradicts the official accounts (and the evidence), the resulting dispute over the facts will force the trial judge to allow the lawsuit to proceed to a jury. Even if CAIR and Abdullah’s survivors ultimately lose, that still means at least a two-year process full of opportunities for publicity, grandstanding, and CAIR mischief -- and Dawa.