Sunday, December 28, 2008
J-7--It's been one hell of a year, hasn't it? From my work for the Palfrey defense, to my paralegal classes, to the inevitable collapse of world capitalism, to incredible revelations of Bush II administration wrong-doing and the resultant inaction from Congress and the Judicial branch, there's every reason to feel hopeful. What kind of a year did you have? Not one like mine, I can state with complete certainty.
I even had the well known Libertarian "Reason magazine" quoting me next to Val Kilmer, and conspiracy-theorist Alex Constantine has threatened to sue me for having negative opinions about him. This isn't even counting the hacking of my email account (I have my suspicions here), the phony "cease and desist" emails regarding the Palfrey information on my site about two noteworthy former clients, or the other harassing ones that came my way.
Yes, there's every reason to feel hopeful about reasonable change. That doesn't mean we just sit back and let it happen, because then, it won't. Demand, demand, and demand again what you need to survive. Band together, make friends with people you might never have, and organize and act for change.
I've written on quite-a-few subjects this year, from attempts to desecrate the memory of Edgar Allan Poe, to issues of the geopolitical and of illegal surveillance. What's been most alarming is the inaction of Congress and the courts against Bush II crimes, but I have a newer take on this: they only did it to save a dying system, it was never really about protecting Bush and Cheney, and it's not working. With every revelation...nothing, no action to hold anyone truly accountable. That's desperation, kids.
American Empire is ending and history cannot be fought or denied when the currents are as strong as they are against established power in North America. It's over, now it just has to play-out, and all the king's horses and all the king's men aren't going to fix it. As a matter of fact, the more they keep doing what they always have to preserve their power, the faster they're going to lose it. Empires fall and things are moving faster than they have in decades, and can be counted on to move faster than in the past thanks to widespread access to telecommunications technology.
This decline is affecting everyone. There's nowhere to run for the jaded and the apathetic anymore. Yes, things will become ugly at times, but if you have it in-mind to help others, we can avoid a catastrophe as we have in the past. Use your head and have a safe and happy 2009. Understand that this won't always be the case, have realistic expectations, and stay honest if you can. And remember that the children are counting on us not to blow it, we owe them a better world where people look out for each other. Helping others is the most important thing.
On Jeane Palfrey: Watching a woman die from a distance after being driven to it by federal prosecutors was horrible, but I did help her as much as I could and she told me that she appreciated it, she even told went as far as to ask me if anyone had ever told me I was smart. God knows that I wish she had survived her ordeal and that her suicide will haunt me until the day I die. One can only hope it does that and much more to her tormentors. I intend to keep digging into these matters regarding everything that happened to Deborah Jeane Palfrey, and will continue to publish primary materials on this site since it's still my right as an American to do so. The vast majority of my contact with the deceased "DC Madam" was off-the-books, it wasn't under attorney-client privilege, and the public has a right to know what happened. Eventually, everything I have will be online in one form or another.
There must be accountability in this matter, and eventually, there will be. If that means people like Federal District Judge James Robertson looks like the goon and lackey that I suspect he is in the history books after his death, then so be it. The same goes for Jeffrey A. Taylor, a most unusual U.S. Attorney for the fact that he's an interim appointment that was never approved of by the Senate, as the Bush II administration sneaked him in when they were on recess in 2006...during the U.S. Attorney firing scandal. He prosecuted Palfrey. At the very least, future generations of Americans are going to view her trial as the abomination it was, a fraud that was a matter of selective prosecution in a time when there were more than would be statistically normal. Had Palfrey lived, we might know more about what happened, although she wasn't the last word as some are painting it to my mind.
At this writing, the Palfrey Estate is working against disclosure, and it's understandable. They want things to rest and for their loved one to rest in peace. They've had enough of the circus, the press, the media, and the lawyers. So have I. They're tired of others (starting with Bill Bastone, an individual they should take to court for defaming their loved one) dragging the name of their loved one and their family through-the-mud. I concur. But that doesn't mean every revelation is going to make Jeane look bad--that's not even the point. From what I know, she's beginning to look more and more heroic, or at least edging beyond being an "antihero," which in this society isn't a bad thing to be either. She was that and a whole lot more, and she was very complicated, just like the rest of life itself.
I enjoin the Palfrey Estate to move towards transparency in the matter and to realize that the government isn't going to give them what's theirs (Palfrey's remaining assets) without a major fight. Having counsel that does contract work for the government in other capacities isn't going to help them towards this reasonable goal which their loved on died for in-part. My opinion.
Astonishingly, Palfrey's will wasn't discovered until September 2008--what took so long? Why is Orrick going around and threatening various players in the Palfrey saga with lawsuits and invoking attorney-client privilege? One could imagine it has a lot to do with brokering a deal with the government, and one still hasn't been completed in the arena of asset seizure and forfeiture The abatement issue created by Palfrey when she killed herself before sentencing created problems for the State, and a semi-secret Trust created by Palfrey is causing problems for the Estate itself. She knew what she was doing. I have to wonder if her family does, but I wish them well and empathize with their suffering. There are so many unanswered questions in the Palfrey scandal, but I don't think Jeane's death closes-the-door entirely: there were many things she simply didn't know about her predicament, things that should have been included in discovery (sharing of information, what they have on you) from the prosecution. Eventually, some of these documents are going to surface, and we'll have at least a little clearer picture. I do not believe that she was innocent, I believe that she was denied due process.
The House Judiciary committee contacted Palfrey in the spring of 2008 through a "Ms. Oo," then didn't appear for a face-to-face meeting or respond to further calls and emails. Oo wouldn't do. Why? Who or what put-the-skids to their inquiry into the effect that forfeiture had on her rights to due process? They--and others--might tell me and the public, but I'm not holding my breath on that one, it's going to take years, and it's going to take persistent demands. It was quite a year, 2008. I don't expect any miracles from President-elect Barack Obama, but it's on him and Congress to initiate lengthy and serious probes into every crime committed by the Bush II administration, to rollback the precedents, and to allow justice to be served in the matter rather than in the obstruction of it. Palfrey is a part of all of this. There's reason to be hopeful, but not without demands.
Postscript, 12.29.2008: Add to the list that Larisa Alexandrovna gave me a good review on a satire about her marrying Yakov Smirnoff, which surprised the bejeezus out of me.