Tuesday, March 02, 2010


Well, there’s even more on the Alabama shooting that I Posted about on February 16th.

To recap: the female U/Alabama prof who recently shot and killed several of her faculty colleagues at a Department meeting (she was being denied tenure) had, it turned out, shot and killed her brother in 1986, in the Massachusetts town of Braintree (where her mother was then a major elected official). The police found evidence in her room of her interest in a TV plot (“Dallas”) where one family member did the same thing to another family member. Oh, and after killing her brother – with a shotgun at point-blank range – she then took the gun, went to a local car dealership, and brandished the weapon while demanding the keys to a car. Oh, and then she aimed it at a local police officer responding to that scene.

He got the gun – thankfully - and arrested her and wrote a report.

Things get sketchy after that. The mother showed up demanding to speak to the Chief (still alive, retired, in his 80s now) at which point a call came out to the booking sergeant from the Chief’s office to let the shooter go home with Mommy. Whence she proceeded on with her life unmolested, as it were, by law or reality – and thus to a U/Alabama faculty meeting in February, 2010.

The Chief claims – among other things – that he doesn’t understand how "the Braintree Police Department" lost the files and police reports on the case, and that the call to the booking officer must have come from a Captain in the room with himself and the VIP mom, but then refuses to admit that he had just for all practical purposes blamed the release on the said (and now deceased) Captain.

He also seems to want Us to imagine that "the Braintree Police Department" was somehow an entity separate from and independent of himself, though he was Chief, and there weren’t as many officers in it as – say - the NYPD and maybe only a few more than worked for the famous force in Andy Griffiths’ Mayberry.

Then the ace prosecutor, ADA Kivlan, still above ground, chimed in – when cornered by the press – that he signed off on closing the case as an “accidental shooting” because his State Police investigative officer recommended it.

Then the DA at the time – now US Congressman William Delahunt – said that he trusted Kivlan and knew nussink, saw nussink, heard nussink and trusted his guy Kivlan. IKivlan, by the by, still works for his old boss - as a special assistant of some sort - but no doubt they haven't discussed any of this to get 'align' their recollections.)

So now – after weeks of publicized doubt and uproar – the aforesaid retired State trooper, one Brian Howe, suddenly decided – after weeks of being “unavailable” – that his integrity and reputation were perhaps involved and that he had to stand tall and speak out.

Which he has now done. And he says that the culprit is a good friend and trusted police detective in Braintree. Who - by sad coincidence – is also long deceased. It was this friend, the late Det. Theodore Buker, who – may I say it? – ‘victimized’ poor trusting Howe by assuring him (verbally of course) that there was ‘nothing to see here’ (including no police reports of the incidents). Howe, bluff and burly macho-man and seasoned professional State trooper, took that for the final word in the case.

Do these people think We are all idiots?

But they might be forgiven for making that assumption – look what the Beltway thinks of Us.

Howe is now upset at the current DA for calling the investigation less-than-impressive (will he sue for libel or slander, d’ye think?) and cahn’t think why folks would think ill of himself for closing the case.

The Soviet-trained citizen-reader will note a few things that are not in the press reports but are present by their absence.

First, so much time has passed since the February U/Alabama shooting that you get the distinct impression official or formerly official persons were a) hoping to escape notice and then b) taking their time comparing notes and getting ‘strategic’ advice, perhaps from counsel.

Second, they all seem to point the Sergeant Shultz finger at some other guy, but without ever quite accusing the other guy.

At least, not if he’s still alive. It should come as a surprise only to pre-schoolers that the alleged official culprit turns out to be the only major player who’s now safely dead. (The mother – former elected official – is also still above ground but refuses to grace the public with her comments.)

I recall David Brinkley mentioning – in his 1980s book “Washington Goes To War” – that not long before Pearl Harbor there was a small Army mule that was lost over a cliff during field maneuvers; by the time the Army supply sergeants got through filling out the forms, the little critter turned out to be have been carrying several tons of equipment … all the stuff that had been carried on the unit’s books as ‘missing and unaccounted for’ since the end of World War 1.

You get the idea.

Apparently the consensus calculation has been made that the late Det. Buker’s relicts aren’t in a position to sue on behalf of his good name, or perhaps are themselves now deceased. Neat.

Also, all of these stand-up, stand-tall officials of badge and courtroom, apparently expect Us to believe that they had utterly no communications with each other except through the medium of official reports. No conversation - in a meetings, at a party, in the official car on the way somewhere, in a bar after work ... zip, nada, zilch. They only communicated by official reports (which, having all mysteriously disappeared, means that they heard nuzzink, saw nuzzink, said nuzzink, knew nuzzink ... ja). Who knows at this point what a little 'sharp interrogation' might reveal - but such tactics are for the bad-guys, not the good-guys; although Shultz, Klink, and even Burkhalter knew enough to fear the Gestapo's methods if they ever gave Major Hochstetter half a chance.

Anyhoo, while leaving Trooper Howe’s ‘story’ up there on the public flagpole where he has put it, I move on to a couple of thoughts.

As part of the Regulatory-Preventive State’s gameplan, but also as part of the Law-and-Order State’s gameplan – the two work in cahoots, the former from the Left, the latter from the Right – and with the benefit of publicity provided by Fox News first and foremost, the police have been raised up as a national icon of integrity and goodness, and the prosecutors (and even the military lawyers and military investigators with them!). Or, at least, they get their own great TV shows.

And who can forget Horatio Cane – David Caruso’s statuesque character on “CSI-Miami” – lecturing his aspiring underlings that “we, the police, are the moral guardians of Miami”? Willy-Tango-Foxtrot? The moral guardians should be the Citizens’ shared values and culture, lived out in the lives of the local society. The police enforce the laws, with as much integrity as any humans entrusted with lots of formal and informal power can muster and sustain (which, in the Framers’ considered opinion was Not So Much As To Trust Government With Great and Permanent Power).

But given all the ‘deconstruction’ that’s been going on around here the past 40 years, there really isn’t a whole lotta ‘common values’ left. Indeed, there weren’t intended to be any, according to Identity Politics and Multiculturalism.

So you wind up relying on the police – as agents of the Regulatory-Preventive State – to provide whatever ‘goodness’ there’s going to be out in the civic, public forum.

And you need to equip and arm them with a whole lotta heavy stuff (military-like stuff) because there are increasing numbers of folks who have been raised under the frakkulous delusions of ‘deconstruction’ and Identity Politics and Multiculturalism and now, under-socialized and under-parented, they can’t really muster the competence to behave civilly and legally.

And this is before you start wondering how the tsunami of economic decline is going to affect them in their already-unripe condition.

So this darkly whackulous Braintree-Alabama shooting case can serve – among other things – to remind Us just how – ummmm – ‘human’ police and prosecutorial agencies and agents can be.

Lest anybody too easily agree that the solution to civic order is simply ‘more police’.

More police are surely needed.

But then We The People must recall - though they were nothing but dead, white European males even when they were alive - what the ancient Romans knew well enough to ask: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Or in a somewhat less elite and oppressive language: Who is going to guard the guards themselves?

Do We need more prosecutors? It would depend on what they’re teaching in law schools these days, where both the Left and the Right (can you say Bush-Cheney-Yoo-Bybee-Gonzalez ?) seem to have convinced themselves that the modern major legal-eagle considers the Constitution to be “quaint”.

When the Constitution becomes “quaint” then The People become “quaint” soon thereafter.

It’s ‘just the next logical step’, as both Chardonnay-swilling and beer-swilling ‘authority figures’ like to say.

Oh, and if it hasn’t already occurred to you, I’ll mention it: If she ever winds up coming to trial for the shooting of her brother, how much ya wanna bet she’s gonna suddenly recover memories that he had molested her? Not only are ‘recovered memories’ pretty much considered gold-standard with Massachusetts juries, but the poor kid’s reliably dead.

And it would be the perfect ‘sensitive’ out to get everybody – even Mommy and Daddy – off the hook. And gather sympathy creds as well.

O Death, where is thy sting?

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