Howard Dean as scapegoat for a 9/11 tragedy.
Full title for this article --
"Howard Dean as scapegoat for a 9/11 related tragedy of a police shooting/killing."
Scott Huminski is a man with a mission -- a vendetta against Howard Dean to somehow exorcise the demons that circle around the 9/11 mythology. To be sure, Huminski seeks to find more than the one tragedy of a police shooting/killing in a small town in Vermont two months after September 11, 2001, but a look at the other stories he has dredged up clearly show that Huminski must really be consumed by hatred of Howard Dean over an event that Dean had no control over whatsoever. Sometimes a political figure serves as a lightning rod for negative energy in the dimension of media reality, just as the victim in the police shooting/killing served as such a lightning rod in the most intimate dimensions of physical reality.
I can't see that there was anything that Howard Dean as governor of Vermont could have done to prevent the tragedy or to somehow cure it, once it had occurred. Perhaps, Howard Dean should have said something. I don't know. But do we really want politicians to feel obliged to become involved in every high-profile tragedy? Or in any such personal tragedy? (Yes, I am thinking of the current mania surrounding Terry Schiavo.)
Anyway there's a story going around and around and around on various IMC's from Tampa to Hawaii, and in many blogs, that is presented, if you look at it, as a huge story -- comparable to 9/11 itself in complexity and import -- based upon a lengthy list of URL's that accompany it and endless details sketched out in confusing disarray about completely unrelated matters. (Unless, of course, you are predisposed to relate everything in a kind of "Seven Degrees of Howard Dean" exercise.) See, article posted today as "Howard Dean, Extortion, Bribes and other problems"
(author: Scott Huminski) --
Clearly someone, perhaps only Scott Huminski -- although possibly some others with a more overtly political agenda and the financial incentives that can go with such -- want us to think:
"Wow, this is really well researched. Must be something to it! So, Howard Dean is the man behind all the injustice in this country!"
I have just spent two hours checking out ALL the URL's and researching into this thesis found tacked up on the door of Indymedia, as Martin Luther once presented his charges against the Pope on the door of a cathedral in Germany.
In reality, the story isn't particularly well-researched and it is presented in such a way as to maximize confusion in the minds of any interested readers. Check it out for yourselves, if you doubt what I am saying -- the links lead back to each other in circles, ultimately amounting to 4 actual news items. The whole brouhaha leads time and again to one "Scott Huminski" and articles that Huminski is posting repetitively around the iNet (beginning at FreeRepublic.com but continuing in circles around various blogs and IMC's) Huminski identifies himself as, or associates himself with, "Vermont Justice Coalition," or "Friends of Woody" or "Judicial Watch, Inc."
All of Huninsky's charges are based on four court cases and can be presented coherently, as follows:
CASE A. (Huminski as "Vermont Justice Coalition"). From article posted by Huminski at FreeRepublic.com, the case is unnamed but involves some unnamed criminal defendant who has filed a civil action in U.S. District Court against the victim alleged in the criminal case because of the alleged victim's participation in the criminal case.
Based on this case ("CASE A"), Huminski posted, 3/17/2005, an article at FreeRepublic.com titled "Howard Dean, Extortion, Bribes and other problems" -- but what is the basis for the charges of extortion and bribes? Here are Huminski's accusations:
1) Under the heading of "other problems," I suppose, Huminski accuses Dean of poor judgment in nominating William Sorrell for Chief Justice of the Vermont Supreme Court, based upon the fact that "Sorrell had no judicial experience" -- that is, Sorrell had never been a judge. The word "judicial," however has two meanings relevant in the context of Huminski's statements: first, "of, pertaining to, or proper to courts of law" and, second, "pertaining or appropriate to the office of a judge." Thus, a reader might suppose that Sorrell had no legal experience. But portland.indymedia in 2003 gave this info on Sorrell:
"A native and resident of Burlington, Vermont, Attorney General William H. Sorrell graduated from the University of Notre Dame (AB, magna cum laude, 1970) and Cornell Law School (JD, 1974). Bill served as Chittenden County Deputy State's Attorney from 1975-1977; Chittenden County State's Attorney, 1977-78 and 1989-1992; engaged in private law practice at McNeil, Murray & Sorrell, 1978-1989; and served as Vermont's Secretary of Administration, 1992-1997. As State's Attorney, he personally successfully prosecuted several significant matters, including the first case allowing the admissibility of DNA evidence in a Vermont State Court and a ten-year-old homicide in which the victim's body had never been found."
2) THE CHARGE OF EXTORTION is based upon that a "subordinate of Sorrell's" (some attorney working as a prosecutor in the Vermont Attorney General's office) made a statement to a defendant's attorney that the defendant would be "charged with additional crimes if he did not clam [sic - "calm"?] down." According to the prosecutor, that statement was "a reference to the defendant's continued harassment of the victim and the investigating officer in this case through the court process." Additionally, the prosecutor said that the "State [Vermont] is currently reviewing a contempt charge against the defendants because of this activity."
Because the defendant involved "has filed a civil action against the victim because of his participation in this criminal case" -- Huminski states that the statement was "tantamount to extortion . . . concerning a matter before a federal court [the civil action between the defendant and the victim]."
Now, even if we go along with the Huminski's theory that the statement was "tantamount" to extortion, it involved Howard Dean ONLY by way of a prosecutor working for the State (Vermont) where the AG had been nominated by Dean.
3) THE CHARGE OF BRIBERY is based on a "plea agreement that specified the dismissal and non-pursuit of civil lawsuits" which Huminski interprets as "an item of monetary value benefiting Sorrell's underlings" and, therefore, "tantamount to acceptance of a bribe by state prosecutors."
Seems to me that if anyone cared much about Huminski's allegations, since extortion and bribery are felonies, Huminski (and PIMC) could be sued for libel. However, no Democratic politician, especially Howard Dean, would want to do that to any IMC. So, IMHO, Huminski is hiding under the skirts of his Indymedia mama to provide cover as he distributes his diatribes over the iNet.
(To prove libel all you have to do is show that a newspaper of other publishing entity stated that someone committed a felony when that someone has never been convicted of the felony! Of course, Huminski leaves himself plenty of wiggle-room by way of carefully remembering to use the word "tantamount" and, also, the alleged felonies ARE NEVER EVEN ALLEGED OF HOWARD DEAN AT ALL. They are alleged of people that Huminski himself identifies as "Sorrell's underlings." Dean, of course, as a prominent public figure, cannot bring a libel charge for treatment that would warrant such a charge if made against any ordinary "non-public" individual.)
CASE B. (Huminski vs. "145 boxes of documents", brought by Huminski with "Judicial Watch, Inc.") This case is fully identified as "JUDICIAL WATCH, SCOTT HUMINSKI, Plaintiffs, V. STATE OF VERMONT, DEBORAH L. MARKOWITZ, GREGORY SANFORD, HOWARD DEAN, Defendants." It appears that on January 5, 2004, when Dean was in a race with Kerry and others for the presidential nomination, Huminski filed in Washington County Superior Court (Vermont) to force Dean to release 145 boxes containing hundreds of thousands of government documents. That information is based on what Huminski has posted, and repetitively continues to post, at www.blogforamerica.com and elsewhere. Huminski posted a comment at esoterically.net on January 16, 2004, saying "I won remand on that case." That presumably refers to that the case was decided for Huminski such that Dean would have to release the 145 boxes of papers. However, that decision by the Superior Court has been appealed to the Vermont Supreme Court by the Vermont AG. The case is now not only on the docket of the VSC, but is even being featured this month as a kind of show trial to take place at Vermont's only law school in the "Annual Vermont Law School Event." With lots of googling, I cannot find anything beyond that the case is now in the docket at the "Event."
IF ANYONE CAN FIGURE OUT WHAT THIS CASE HAS TO DO WITH EXTORTION AND BRIBERY, PLEASE LET ME KNOW ! ! ! The best I can figure is that Huminski is desperately hoping to find some kind of evidence to support his allegations -- because, so far, he has no evidence whatsoever to accuse Dean of extortion or bribery or any other behavior that could be considered criminal.
CASE C. (Involving Dean appointees as judges in Vermont and courthouse access.) The primary source of information on this case, as far as publicly accessible information on google, is Huminski himself. Here's what Huminski has said, as of February 14, 2005, when he posted an article at FreeRepublic.com --
From "Federal Court Finds DNC Chair Howard Dean's Judicial Appointees Guilty" by Scott Huminski
<<[In 1997] Howard Dean appointed Nancy Corsones and Patricia Zimmerman to the Vermont bench. Shortly afterward, Vermont prosecutors set their sites on a local "activist," [filing against the "activist" before Judge Corsones.] Later, the Vermont Supreme Court sided with the "activist" and threw out the bogus criminal charges.
<<[Background -- ] One spring morning in Rutland Vermont, the "activist" appeared at Judge Corsones' courthouse with signs on his van [alleging that Judge Corsones was a] "Butcher of the Constitution". Judge Corsones became angry and apparently [according to Huminski] attempted to banish the "activist" from the courthouse - for life!
<<"In January of 2005 the United States Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan found that judgment should issue against Judge Corsones and her colleague for violation of the First Amendment rights to free expression and to courthouse access.">>
DEAN ISN'T A DEFENDANT AND ISN'T EVEN MENTIONED IN THIS CASE AT ALL ! ! It happens that the Governor of Vermont makes nominations of judges to the Vermont bench -- and it happened that when Dean was Governor of Vermont, his nominees included two women. Those two women are Nancy Corsones and Patricia Zimmerman, against whom the United States Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan has decided "judgment should issue." I don't know for sure if that is "tantamount" to being found "guilty" of any crimes, but I very much doubt it. More likely, the Second Circuit simply decided in favor of courthouse access, based upon the First Amendment.
CASE D. (Involving Robert "Woody" Woodward, victim of police shooting.) This case is a tragic story of a police killing of a man at a West Brattleboro Church about three years ago. This is a real case, well covered by various sources available through google. The best source, as far as I can see, is an article carried as commentary in the Vermont Guardian, on March 24 of this year, by a close friend of Woodward, Stephen Monroe Tomczak. The only law suit or case involved was a wrongful death civil suit filed by Woody's parents. That case was dismissed by U.S. District Court Judge for the District of Vermont, J. Garvin Murtha, (who, of course, was neither appointed nor nominated by Howard Dean).
Tomczak's article is mostly about the "climate of fear" that followed upon the 9/11 events and passage of the U.S.A. PATRIOT Act, all of which is criticized and condemned by Tomczak. Tomczak mentions "then-Governor Howard Dean" as taking no action in the case, although exactly what action a governor could have taken is unclear. (State governors are not able to bring charges or even disciplinary action against local police, nor is any governor empowered to intervene in the preparation of an incident report by a state AG.)
Here is what Tomczak states:
"[F]ear is what led to Woody's death -- Woody's fear, the parishioners' fear of an unfamiliar person in their midst and the heightened fear of "terrorism" following the 9/11 attacks two months earlier ... This climate of fear, which had reached almost absurd levels at the time, caused people to view others with suspicion, distrust, and, indeed, dread."
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