Howard Dean, Extortion, Bribes and other problems

Written by Scott Huminski

In 1997 Howard Dean announced his desire to appoint judges willing to subvertrepparttar Bill of Rights or in Howard Dean lingo “legal technicalities”. Two judges appointed within months of Dean infamous 1997 statement have been found guilty of civil rights violations by a federal court in Manhattan. (fn1) Dean’s top appointee and lawyer, Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell, was defense counsel forrepparttar 125854 corrupt government employees in this case where Sorrell has expended vast public funds to forwardrepparttar 125855 goal of underminingrepparttar 125856 First Amendment in Vermont.

To get a true feeling ofrepparttar 125857 judicial and law enforcement climate fostered by Dean in Vermont, it is instructional to look at his # 1 Vermont appointee and life-long friend, William Sorrell. Dean owed a great debt torepparttar 125858 Sorrell family for mentoring his ascent in Vermont politics. Dean’s first notable gubernatorial appointment in Vermont was to install Sorrell as Secretary of Administration in 1992. In 1997, it became time to thankrepparttar 125859 Sorrell family again and Dean attempted to appoint Sorrell asrepparttar 125860 chief justice ofrepparttar 125861 Vermont Supreme Court. As Sorrell had no judicial experience, Dean’s zeal to appoint his favorite crony was met with a legislative roadblock. Dean had a backup plan, appointrepparttar 125862 Attorney General torepparttar 125863 Supreme Court and then appoint Sorrell to fillrepparttar 125864 Attorney General vacancy. All was well with Vermont Cronies. (fn2)

In describing Sorrell, Dean was quite generous with his praise of his friend’s character and abilities, illustratingrepparttar 125865 nature of their relationship: “I have an enormous amount of respect for Sorrell as a human being and as a really smart lawyer.”

A subordinate of Sorrell’s issuedrepparttar 125866 following prosecutorial written threat in a Vermont state court proceeding,

"The last claim involves a statement made to attorney Capriola warning thatrepparttar 125867 defendant would be charged with additional crimes if he did not clam down. The statement is a reference torepparttar 125868 defendant's continued harassment ofrepparttar 125869 victim andrepparttar 125870 investigating officer in this case throughrepparttar 125871 court process. The defendant has filed a civil action againstrepparttar 125872 victim because of his participation in this criminal case. The State is currently reviewing a contempt charge againstrepparttar 125873 defendants because of this activity. The statement was a proper warning made throughrepparttar 125874 defendant's representative."

Sorrell approvingly has stood behind and defendedrepparttar 125875 above threat which now has become part of a prosecutor’s toolbox in Vermont. The above threat isrepparttar 125876 epitome ofrepparttar 125877 government’s coercive use ofrepparttar 125878 power of criminal prosecution to influence and manipulate civil court proceedings tantamount to extortion and obstruction of justice concerning a matter before a federal court. Dean’s “really smart lawyer” and top appointee at work.

Sorrell’s conduct doesn’t stop there, his subordinates followed uprepparttar 125879 above threat with a plea agreement that specifiedrepparttar 125880 dismissal and non-pursuit of civil lawsuits againstrepparttar 125881 prosecutors themselves. The dismissal of a lawsuit is an item of monetary value benefiting Sorrell’s underlings – or to put it bluntly this conduct is tantamount to acceptance of a bribe by state prosecutors. Dean’s “really smart lawyer” strongly approved and defendedrepparttar 125882 conduct. One can’t assign full responsibility concerning this government corruption to Dean’s friend alone because two of Dean’s hand-picked anti-“legal technicality” judicial appointees presided over and approvedrepparttar 125883 government misconduct.

Then there wasrepparttar 125884 police shooting of Robert (“Woody”) Woodward in Brattleboro, Vermont in 2001. The massacre involved 7 shots from police revolvers fatally wounding Mr. Woodward – with some ofrepparttar 125885 shots fired into his body while he was bleeding onrepparttar 125886 ground inrepparttar 125887 fetal position. Dean and Sorrell, both irrationally obsessive police advocates, putrepparttar 125888 cover-up machine into gear. Sorrell authored a biased report overlooking much ofrepparttar 125889 testimony and evidence. When Dean was asked to appoint a special independent investigator he backed up his old crony and stated that Sorrell was a “really smart lawyer”. One of Dean’s so-called “legal technicalities”,repparttar 125890 Fourteenth Amendment, prohibits a biased decision-maker. Something as trivial asrepparttar 125891 Constitution didn’t stop Dean from deciding not to usurp his friend’s report by refusing to appoint an independent investigator regardless of his very public conflict-of-interest with Sorrell. Pursuant torepparttar 125892 constitution, Dean should have disqualified himself. (fn3)

Return to Ouvea, New Caledonia

Written by David Stanley

"Ouvea is everything you'd expect in a South Pacific island. Twenty kilometers of unbroken white sands borderrepparttar lagoon onrepparttar 125853 west side ofrepparttar 125854 island and extend far out from shore to giverepparttar 125855 water a turquoise hue. The wide western lagoon, protected by a string of coral islands and a barrier reef, isrepparttar 125856 only of its kind inrepparttar 125857 Loyalties. Onrepparttar 125858 ocean side are rocky cliffs, pounded by surf, but fine beaches may be found even here. At one point on this narrow atoll only 450 meters separatesrepparttar 125859 two coasts. Traditional circular houses with pointed thatched roofs are still common inrepparttar 125860 villages."

Those words appeared inrepparttar 125861 1985 edition of my South Pacific Handbook after a visit in 1983. Just over 20 years later I returned to Ouvea to discover that little had changed in this large French colony east of Australia.

Most Ouveans still live in traditional thatched case (houses) andrepparttar 125862 beach is as dazzling as ever. On my first evening there, as I watchedrepparttar 125863 red fireball set slowly acrossrepparttar 125864 lagoon, I felt a strong affinity with my previous visit.

Yet something terrible had happened in my absence. On May 5, 1988, 300 French elite troops stormed a cave near Gossanah in northern Ouvea to rescue 16 gendarmes captured two weeks earlier by Melanesian freedom fighters.

Nineteen Kanaks (the collective name used byrepparttar 125865 indigenous peoples of New Caledonia) died inrepparttar 125866 assault, including several who suffered extrajudicial execution atrepparttar 125867 hands ofrepparttar 125868 French police after being wounded and taken prisoner.

None ofrepparttar 125869 hostages had been harmed. Thus began one ofrepparttar 125870 final chapters of what is now known asrepparttar 125871 evenements (events) ofrepparttar 125872 1980s. Three years earlier independence leader Eloi Machoro had been murdered in cold blood by police snipers as he stood outside a rural farmhouse near La Foa, on New Caledonia's main island, Grand Terre.

By 1987 France had 14,000 troops stationed in its mineral-rich Melanesian colony, one for every five Kanaks. The independence movement was to be crushed one way or another.

When I tried to visitrepparttar 125873 cave at Gossanah on my recent trip, I was told thatrepparttar 125874 area was taboo to allowrepparttar 125875 spirits time to rest.

Instead I was permitted to visitrepparttar 125876 grave of Djoubelly Wea in Gossanah and allowed to take pictures of his home. My host on Ouvea told merepparttar 125877 story. Evidently,repparttar 125878 hostages had been taken by young Kanak activists from other parts ofrepparttar 125879 island, andrepparttar 125880 captive gendarmes were brought to Gossanah only becauserepparttar 125881 cave was considered remote.

Residents ofrepparttar 125882 area weren't involved. Yet whenrepparttar 125883 French police arrived in search of their comrades, they rounded uprepparttar 125884 people of Gossanah and assembled them on a football field in front ofrepparttar 125885 village church.

There they were tortured for information, and Wea's father was among those who died of shock. Later 33 Ouveans were sent to prison in France, Djoubelly Wea among them.

These events chastened Kanaks and French alike, andrepparttar 125886 heads ofrepparttar 125887 main political parties,repparttar 125888 Kanak leader Jean-Marie Tjibaou andrepparttar 125889 representative ofrepparttar 125890 French settlers Jacques Lafleur, were called to Paris by Prime Minister Michel Rocard to negotiate and eventually sign a peace treaty known asrepparttar 125891 Matignon Accords.

A referendum on independence was promised in 1998, and massive economic aid was to be channeled intorepparttar 125892 Kanak regions. An amnesty was granted to all those arrested duringrepparttar 125893 troubles, and no investigation intorepparttar 125894 Ouvea massacre orrepparttar 125895 murders of several dozen other Kanaks by French settlers or troops would be required.

Fast forward to May 1989, asrepparttar 125896 top Kanak leaders Jean-Marie Tjibaou and Yeiwene Yeiwene arrive on Ouvea for a commemorative ceremony exactly one year afterrepparttar 125897 massacre.

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