Saturday, December 28, 2013
I received the following from a reader and thought I would address the questions in more detail.
“Thanks for sticking with this case, True, after 3 1/2 years, for doing your part to keep Kyron from being forgotten. I have a few questions. Was anything gained, to your knowledge or in your opinion, from Desiree's dropping her suit? Do you think LE pushed her to do that to save their own egos in the event that the suit would be successful at getting further information? And, from what you know of the admissible evidence, would the DA have much chance of succeeding if he/she brought charges now?”
In answer to your questions:
No, I do not think that anything was gained ‘by Desiree dropping her suit.’ Desiree Young had the opportunity to open this case and push for significant progress. She chose to back-out for no immediately discernable reason – at least from the public’s perspective. It is my opinion that she ran up against a potential line of questioning concerning her background that she was not prepared to deal with. And / or, the attorneys could not see how Desiree and her supporters would have paid reasonable attorney expenses and fees – something they may have agreed upon, but ultimately did not materialize.
Let’s think about this, and some of you may have a different opinion; but Desiree filed a $1 million suit against Terri Horman, who could not possibly pay that amount even if she lost the suit. Furthermore, Terri could have refused to be deposed, citing self-incrimination issues; and, even if the Judge decided that Terri had to undergo some sort of limited deposition, she still could have refused. What’s the worst that could have happened? She would have lost the civil suit. But, collecting the money, could have proven impossible for Desiree and her attorneys. Her attorneys would not have been interested in that potential conclusion; and it would have been, moreover, a hollow victory at best.
Some might opine that, once the attorneys for Desiree completed some preliminary work, they decided that the civil suit was going nowhere. That might be true, but that doesn’t say much for the competency of Desiree’s attorneys, who should have foreseen that eventuality.
In my opinion, Desiree missed the boat by not including the Portland School District, the deep pocket defendant. A case could have been made that, if Terri Horman was not responsible for Kyron’s disappearance, than the elementary school was. It had to be one or the other. The school district would have ultimately settled out of court, afraid that a jury would not look kindly on a situation involving a child entrusted to their care and disappearing without a trace.
Some perhaps feel that the Sheriff’s Office and County Prosecutor pressured Desiree and her legal team. I find that hard to believe; and, actually, I don’t know how they would have accomplished that in view of law enforcement's dismal record thus far.
Would the DA have succeeded if he had brought charges against Terri Horman? I don’t know. It is apparent that he does not think so. Now, it is a given that some prosecutors are more aggressive than others. It appears that this particular prosecutor is not prepared to take-on Houze – at least for the foreseeable future. And, I might add that Steve Houze is a formidable opponent.
The one thing that I’ve never been able to understand is how does Terri afford her attorneys? Who is bank-rolling her? Some say her parents? If so, I feel sorry for them. They will be stripped clean. I doubt that Houze et al are doing this gratis.
Friday, December 20, 2013
Who is Responsible for Cutting Veterans’ Retirement Benefits? Senator Ron Wyden, Senator Jeff Merkley, and Representative Greg Walden
I was prepared to use that, now overused, invective: ‘I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.’ This has to do with the recent federal budget deal, and the provision which cuts the cost-of-living adjustment for military retirees’ pay by 1 percentage point a year – until they turn 62. Oh, I know some of you will say, ‘what’s this got to do with the theme of your blog?’ Well, as most of you know by now, I sometimes wander.
In the way of disclosure, I am a veteran; but I did not retire from the military. So, I suppose I have a fraternal interest in this budgetary decision, but I do not have any vested monetary interest. This decision, budgetary deal, seemed so blatantly unfair that every veteran should speak up, contact their congressman or woman; and get this provision reversed.
Anyway, I decided to do some research. That didn’t change my opinion; but what I found was interesting – the politics that is. I thought I could completely blame the Democrats for this, but that would be an error. Politicians are a cunning lot. They make their money, and sustain their power, in anticipation of public reaction. It is, as we know, always about them: Democrat or Republican.
First the facts of the provision, as I now understand it. The cost-of-living cuts would apply to retired military pensions for those individuals under age 62, and who are not disabled (the degree of disability seems to be a mystery – as far as I can determine). If for example, the calculated, across-the-board inflation rate was 1.5% per year, as it was recently found to be, veterans under 62 would only receive an increase in their pension of .5%. Over the course of a veteran’s retirement, this could potentially cost him or her $70 to $80 thousand.
These cuts are unlawful, as far as I’m concerned. The current cost-of-living provisions were promised benefits to those in the military upon enlistment. And, the obvious question is why our military guys and gals? Why not all federal employees? Why not all of us currently on the receiving end of Social Security, social welfare programs, farm subsidies, etc. making a little sacrifice, if sacrifice is necessary? Why must our military, once again make all of the sacrifices? An easy target, I suppose. Military people are often reminded: ‘Ours is not to reason why, ours is but to do or die.’
Regardless of how the bill’s provision is worded and certain exemptions included, I still feel this is unfair, even unconscionable. Of all the people designated to have a cut in their pensions, our veterans should be the last. They and their families were the ones who truly suffered while the rest of us went on with our lives – dare I say fat, dumb and happy. OK, maybe that is a somewhat dramatic overstatement – most others in our society are not fat, or dumb or happy for that matter – and they are, day to day, working very hard in a productive manner. I’m sorry. Yes, I’m still a little angry.
But, here is the interesting part. When you check out who voted for or against the budget deal, including the cuts for retired veterans’ benefits, I found that the politicians in both parties are smarter than I thought. In the House, almost all the Republicans voted for the deal, and almost all the Democrats voted against it. However, in the Senate, almost all the Democrats voted for the budget deal, and almost all the Republicans voted against it. Why? On the surface, that doesn’t seem to make sense.
It’s about them, my friends. Election time is fast approaching. And, all the politicians are running for cover. If they can hide in the herd, maybe no one will notice, and they will be back in Washington unscathed for another term.
So who are the Oregon politicians who voted for the budget deal, including cuts in retirement benefits for our veterans? They are Senator Ron Wyden (D), Senator Jeff Merkley (D), and Representative Greg Walden (R).
I’m still kind of angry, but I am also definitely conflicted. How about in this coming election, we vote all of them out and start anew.
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
There is another, somewhat confusing, ‘development’ in the Terri and Kaine Horman divorce / custody battle involving the estranged couple’s five-year-old daughter (Kiara). Terri Horman has not been able to have personal contact with her daughter since the mysterious disappearance of Kyron (her stepson), and the subsequent allegations concerning the ‘murder-for-hire’; resulting in a ‘Restraining Order’ being issued against Terri.
Advisory: For those of you not familiar with Kyron Horman’s disappearance and the resulting criminal suspicions being focused on Terri, this is going to be a bit confusing. Perhaps, you might want to read some of my previous posts for background.
Today, in The Oregonian newspaper, an article by Maxine Bernstein, it was reported that the judge officiating over the divorce hearing will allow the deposition of Rudy Sanchez (the landscaper) to give his testimony about Terri approaching him, five months before Kyron disappeared, to ‘get rid of’ Kaine. The Judge (Henry Kantor), however, drew a line. It appears the Judge will allow Terri’s attorneys to question Sanchez about those circumstances, but they will not be allowed to question Sanchez about the subsequent bungled ‘sting’ carried out by the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office.
I’m not sure what the Judge is thinking; but it might go something like this. The Judge appears to agree that the testimony of Sanchez, regarding his meeting with Terri, and the discussion about ‘getting rid of’ Kaine, is relevant to evaluate the suitability of allowing Terri unsupervised custody of her daughter. And, that makes sense to me. The Judge wants to hear the story directly from Sanchez – under oath.
Nonetheless, the Judge has stated that Terri’s attorneys (Houze et al) cannot question Sanchez about the subsequent ‘sting’ by the Sheriff’s Office. This is getting very close to legal gamesmanship, but the Judge is probably correct. The SO attempted to trap Terri by sending Sanchez to talk to Terri, accompanied by an undercover deputy and/or with Sanchez ‘wired.’ That operation failed. Terri acted as if she didn’t know what Sanchez was talking about and promptly called 911. So, this whole ‘sting’ episode has really nothing to do with whether or not Terri would be a good custodial parent. If Houze could go after Sanchez regarding the ‘sting,’ it would be, however, a good opportunity to lay bare the SO’s investigation – a great benefit to Terri’s lawyers in any subsequent criminal trial.
So what’s going on here?
Terri obviously passed the ‘sting’ test. But, this occurred sometime after Kyron’s disappearance and Terri was under a lot of scrutiny. If she had fallen for the ‘sting,’ she would have demonstrated an IQ of less than her body temperature. Her thinking would have had to go something like, ‘OK, my stepson is missing and I’m a suspect; but, hey, I’ve got some time so let’s talk about ‘offing’ my husband. And, by the way, why are you bringing this up now, and who is this other guy with you?’
On the other hand, is it possible that Sanchez made the story up to cut some sort of deal with law enforcement? Maybe. If so, he would be not only an opportunist, but a wily one at that. This is, of course, what Houze would like to know.
Sunday, December 15, 2013
I’ve been thinking about Robert Levinson. He is the retired FBI Agent who disappeared in 2007 on the Iranian Island of Kish.
Levinson, who was operating as a private investigator, was initially described, by government officials and his family, as investigating cigarette smuggling. He was to meet with a potential 'source' of information on Kish.
Kish Island is located approximately 12 miles from the Iranian mainland and falls within the territorial jurisdiction of Iran. It is considered to be a rather attractive tourist destination. And, is relatively free-wheeling compared to mainland Iran. The island is a money maker for Iran – hence the relaxation of the strict standards that ordinarily apply to Iranian citizens and visitors to their country. Make no mistake, however, it is part of Iran - a country that cares little for Americans, particularly those Americans connected with American intelligence agencies.
As we now know, or at least what has been reported as accurate, Levinson was working as a contractor for the CIA. Apparently, Levinson had been recruited by certain CIA Analysts, and was collecting information on the CIA’s behalf. What is concerning is that his actions were not appropriate under CIA guidelines, and were apparently hidden from higher-ups in the CIA bureaucracy. I tend not to believe that, but that is the official story – at least for now. Several CIA employees were fired or disciplined. All the fired employees seemed to immediately land on their feet – obtaining other government positions outside the CIA.
Regarding Levinson, personally, he was from reports within the Bureau, very well liked, and an outstanding Agent. He had a wife and seven children. Post retirement, he was trying to make extra money as a PI to help his seven children through college.
The CIA was paying him very well on a contractual basis. His last contract with the CIA was worth $120,000. Interestingly, the CIA gave Levinson’s family a $2.5 million annuity to keep, early on, Levinson’s actual purpose in going to Kish a secret. So, Levinson’s family will be taken care of financially. This is, as we all understand, small comfort to the family.
Should Levinson have gone to Kish? Well, in retrospect, we all know the answer to that. In this day and age, all any foreign government needs to do is run a basic Google search on an individual’s name; and, bingo, they know Levinson was a retired Agent. That would be enough to pick him up and find out what he was really doing in Iran. Under questioning, he would quickly reveal his purpose. FBI Agents are not trained to thwart intense interrogation techniques. Furthermore, the more professional CIA operatives apparently did not know Levinson was even in the region – and, of course, he had no backup. He probably was not even missed for several days.
On a personal note, it’s been many years since I was an Agent; but I would not accept an assignment or attempt to ‘vacation’ in any number of present-day countries; particularly Iran and North Korea. To voluntarily go there, as far as I’m concerned would be fool-hardy, if not downright stupid. I assume that the FBI advises their current Agents of that; just as I was advised not to have FBI credentials in my possession if an airplane on which I was traveling was ever hijacked to Cuba. That was the advice given in the ‘70’s. As a supervisor once told me, “eat your credentials if you have to.”
I want to be very clear here. I have deep sympathy for Levinson’s family. In a perfect world, the Iranians would now have all the information they need; and would return Levinson if and when the US had admitted their error – which the CIA has done – sort of. My advice to the President is that he has to stop playing Mr. Nice Guy. Someone in the CIA high-up needs to be fired. Perhaps, it should be the Director. The President’s position should be, ‘I don’t care if you didn’t know. It’s your job to know. I want your resignation.’
But, as we are all discovering, President Obama couldn’t really do that. If he had such staunch principals, he would have to also resign.
And, so it goes. Robert Levinson may not be alive. Nonetheless, the FBI is offering $1 million for his return. It’s been approximately three years since his family has heard anything. They continue to keep his name before the public; but hope is dimming. Of course, the CIA and our government continues to play footsie. It’s their nature.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
I just finished a book that I’d like to recommend to my readers. The book is The Myth of Martyrdom by Adam Lankford. It is a thoroughly researched book on “suicide bombers, rampage shooters and other self-destructive killers.” Lankford is a Criminal Justice professor at The University of Alabama.
What his research has documented would seem to be intuitive to the average American citizen. However, Lankford has taken the time and made the effort to bring the evidence to the table – interesting.
Many have erroneously compared the courage or motivations of suicide bombers and mass killers with war heroes; that suicide bombers are the equivalent of the soldier that throws himself on a grenade to protect his comrades. Far from it. However, this is a fiction promoted by many liberal scholars, prominent apologists, as well as radical Islamists.
In fact, it is the radical handlers who use troubled individuals to do their unholy work. Suicide bombers, according to Lankford’s research, demonstrate little courage in their actions, are almost always deeply depressed, isolated and have previously indicated suicidal tendencies.
In the Muslim faith, suicide is considered a ‘mortal sin’ – if that is the appropriate designation. However, potential candidates who volunteer for bombing attacks are convinced by handlers that strapping explosives to their bodies and detonating the blast in some public place is a final-exit technicality, or loophole, that will allow them to escape a hellish afterlife. The frosting on the cake is that they will be considered a martyr – at least in some circles.
As Lankford stated: “Today, there are more than ninety million people around the world who believe that suicide bombings are often or sometimes justified. Within the United States, more than 200,000 people share the exact same view.”
There must be tens of thousands of potential mass killers available for the proper grooming (manipulation). A sobering thought, don't you think?
Saturday, December 7, 2013
I would like to introduce you to a friend of mine, Justice Tall. No, that is not his real name; but he is a former Special Agent for the FBI. Justice Tall is his pseudonym or nom de guerre. Reason, he spent a couple of years working ‘undercover,’ and it’s probably best that he remains anonymous in his retirement.
I never worked ‘undercover’ for an extended period of time. Every Agent, at one time or another, does some of this type of work for a day or two, or perhaps a week. But, only a few Agents did it full-time for years. I happened to handle a ‘beard’ (an undercover Agent) while I was assigned to Berkeley. I expect that he and I accomplished little, except that it did enable the Bureau to keep some sort of loose tabs on what was going-on in the Berkeley scene – at the street level.
Anyway, Justice had some things that he wanted to get off his chest. I hope he will continue to offer his opinions on subjects related to my blog’s theme. Please understand that he and I will not necessarily agree on everything; but you might be interested in his opinions. I am.
The following from Justice is about the Weather Underground, the domestic terrorists that plagued the country during the seventies:
The following hyperlinked article sure impacts me after all these years.
I fought these people with everything I had. I gave up my life for almost 2 years, my friends, my personal material items, my mother, dad, brother, my name, and my values. One's self identity is not just your driver’s license or your birth certificate. It's who we are. It's your soul.
I am depressed that we lost that war (referring to the Weather Undergroud). Our side didn’t have the patience of their side. Take Mao's Red Book, and trace the radical left's path to success. I try to describe this to people, to my young nieces, and I get this blank stare and a shoulder shrug. A country’s values, history, character, can be changed by one generation and important past facts and conditions forgotten completely after two or three generations.
Our generation talks about the ‘greatest generation’s’ accomplishments. However, this generation is throwing those accomplishments and those values away. The generation after that will not even know what the greatest generation accomplished or valued.
Patience is the key to (political) success, when a change is desired or necessary. We can't reclaim our country with the elections of 2014 or 2016. We need to reclaim our country over a couple of generations, like they (the left) did over the past 40 years when their particular ideals and values were infused into our colleges; which trickled down into our high schools, and is now in our elementary schools promoted by a generation of teachers influenced by liberal college professors.
Our Constitution seems to have been undermined by activist judges and lawyers, again products of our liberal college environment. Added to that is our ever changing demographics both legally through unsustainable multiple births, and illegally through our porous borders. We, I, see our political balance shifting further to the left; a political structure held together with a recipe of entitlements, poverty, and White guilt.
I was once the good guy in the white hat, who was applauded by the Greatest Generation, our fathers and our uncles; and I am now 40 years later, the extremist, the bad guy in Robert Redford's movies. Based on my past, people like my nieces see me as being used by the Government, which at that time consisted of members of the Greatest Generation. They, this younger generation, now categorizes me, in many subtle ways, as a racist, homophobic, and a biased puppet of a formerly corrupt regime.
Yes, I would say that the referenced article has made an impression on me. It tells the truth in a manner that should make people realize where this country is headed. Back then, I was there! I studied the "Red Book.” I spent hours talking to ‘dissidents,’ who called themselves Revolutionaries in the image of Che Guevara, in cells where the enemy was anyone outside of that cell. What the article says is the truth. Deception was the tactic of the Weathermen. Justice Tallman
Some of you may feel that Justice’s comments are extreme. Some of you may look at Bernardine Dohrn, Bill Ayers and Kathy Boudin and say, they don’t look so bad. They’re elderly now, soft spoken, well-mannered. They drink tea. But you would be wrong. It’s a carefully constructed illusion. Don’t believe it. They were and are domestic terrorists. Never forget that. Some of us who were there, at the time, will not always be around to remind you. If, at times, we sound overwrought, it is because of our frustration.
Thanks Justice. Hope to hear more from you.
“If you don't know history, then you don't know anything. You are a leaf that doesn't know it is part of a tree. ”
Sunday, December 1, 2013
Desiree Young Organizes Public Demonstration in Front of Terri Horman's Current Residence / Re: Kyron Horman
Last weekend, Desiree Young and some friends or associates staged a demonstration in front of the Moulton residence in Roseburg. This is, as we all know, the current residence of Terri Horman. Carol Moulton, mother of Terri, called the police and reported acts of vandalism and trespass. The police responded, but no arrests were made.
The apparent vandalism consisted of writing with chalk on the sidewalk in front of the Moulton house. No significant trespass was noted. Generally speaking, the demonstration was peaceful, but troubling.
I’ve been thinking about this. It’s hard to generate sympathy for Terri – all things considered. Kyron is gone. I, personally, think she knows where he is. Say what you may, but Terri Horman has not conducted herself as an innocent person might.
On the other hand, I feel Desiree Young’s behavior is inexplicable and inappropriate. I think law enforcement should talk to her about her conduct, and make it very clear that her conduct could lead to repercussions, even violence. This latest action is in my opinion kind of silly, even childish. If she wants to demonstrate, perhaps she should do it in front of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office. After all, were they not the ones who dropped the ball?
Desiree can’t actually believe or expect that her actions will cause Terri to confess. If anything it will harden Terri’s position. It appears that Desiree has decided that it is her duty and responsibility to punish Terri. I really think Roseburg PD should tell Desiree to back-off.
Furthermore, Desiree Young had an opportunity to gain a lot of information on this case by pursuing her civil suit. As I’ve said before, she should have named the Portland School District as a co-defendant in the civil suit. It would have been her opportunity to investigate the entire disappearance – publish her findings, and keep the matter in front of the public on a continuing basis. But, she and her attorney decided to discontinue the suit – with no good explanation offered. I think that Desiree was not prepared to face the counter-scrutiny of Steve Houze et al.
Herein lies the predicament. How do you expose all the facts, without exposing the facts you don’t want exposed?