U.S. v. Flaherty – Part 3 of 10: The Wyshak Affidavit Problem

2015 08 21_3000It got curiouser and curiouser sitting in the federal courtroom last Wednesday listening to the request by Tim Flaherty’s counsel, Martin Weinberg, for more discovery. As Weinberg made his argument the magistrate, Donald L. Cabell, questioned him closely about his assertions. Each point made by the magistrate was answered convincingly by Weinberg even to the point when the magistrate raised a point that he suggested rebutted Weinberg’s argument. Weinberg without hesitating pointed out that what the magistrate just suggested completely supported what he had been saying.

If Weinberg presented his position in a clear, concise, calm and compelling manner for twenty-five minutes, the prosecutor, a middle age man in a dark suit with a big dark mustache, spoke for less than five minutes. At the one point during this time Magistrate Cabell raised a question. The prosecutor said to him in reply as if shutting down any further discussion that Mr. Wyshak had filed an affidavit relative to that issue.

United States v. Flaherty. Part 2 of 10: In A Nut Shell

2015 08 21_3000Behind the scenes: It appears that after Attorney Flaherty called the victim in an attempt to settle the suit the victim went to the police. I assume he alleged that Flaherty was trying to bribe him from going forward with the case. He ended up on December 22, 2014, dealing with the state police who were assigned to the unit of state police in the district attorney’s office in Middlesex County. It is common for each district attorney’s office to have a state police unit assigned to it. In my day they were called CPAC units. They were mainly used to investigate homicides, do organize crime and some drug cases, and appropriate other tasks in conjunction with the state prosecutors with whom they work on a daily basis.

After the incident occurred as noted the old man was placed under arrest. He was charged with assault and battery, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (the victim alleged when he had his wrist he pulled away thus using the car in the assault), impersonating a police officer (the victim said he told him he was a Cambridge cop), assault and battery with intent to intimidate (Massachusetts hate crime statute) and several motor vehicle offenses.

United States v. Flaherty – Part 1 of 10: In A Nut Shell

2015 08 21_3000The best way to understand this case is to identify the players and the incidents which caused Timothy Flaherty to be sitting in the federal district court last Wednesday as a defendant listening to motions being argued. I set it out from the beginning to the present time.

The defendant: Tim Flaherty is around 50 years old, has been practicing law for twenty-five years in the hardest part of the law which is the trial of criminal cases. He started as an assistant district attorney where he worked for several years and then became a defense lawyer. He has a reputation as a clean, well-liked, hard-working, highly effective defense attorney who is not afraid of taking on the most difficult criminal cases. There is no pubic record of discipline against him and it goes without saying he has no criminal record. He is facing one count in federal district court in Boston of interfering with a witness. That charge exposes him to a potential penalty of 20 years in prison.This is the same type of penalty Mafia gangsters face when charged with racketeering.  If convicted he will lose his license to practice law. It is the federal prosecutors intent that his lose what has been his livelihood. Surely, you think, this is a grave matter.

U.S. V. Timothy Flaherty – Will Be Covered Next Week

2015 08 21_3000Motions in Timmy Flaherty’s case were heard in federal court last Wednesday. When I opened the door of the courtroom to enter about two dozen eyes turned my way, quickly assessed me  and recognized I was no threat. They turned back to their business.

A defendant was being arraigned. He was a big dude with powerful looking shoulders and arms. Those eyes belonged to about a dozen marshals in casual clothes who surrounded him.

When the arrangement finished the defendant was asked by one of the marshals to stand. He didn’t move. You could feel the tension in the room. Asked again, he stayed put. I started to assess my options if the defendant kept refusing.  I had no desire to get into the brouhaha. The marshals closed in and the defendant finally rose and was handcuffed. I didn’t understand why the handcuffs were taken off him if he was such a threat. All in a days work for those guys but they certainly earned their pay then.

Then the Flaherty case was called. It was quite interesting  and informative. I have made some observations about it. I will finish them up over the weekend even though I am supposed to be on vacation. I will publish them beginning Monday so most of next week may revolve around the Tim Flaherty prosecution up to this point.

Thinking of Oil and Gas: The Iranian Deal

IMG_4439The Iranian deal throws Russia right back onto the world stage. For years all it could boast of was its huge supply of oil and gas which it fed to the industrial powers of Western Europe developing their dependency on it. Things went well for a while as Russia used the money to improve the well-being of its people; to make close friends of Putin into the super-super-rich; and to improve its military which had been down in the dumps.

The United States did not depend on Russian petroleum supplies. We had our own source that included Saudi Arabia which pretty much controlled the price of world oil. The price of oil and gas rose steadily over the years as did the dependency on it. More and more nations including China continually raised their demands.

The price rose to the level that it became financially feasible for a new push for oil in the United States. The cost of pulling oil out of the earth was higher here than in other parts of the world but the gain to be made with the price so high was substantial. Drilling went on full blast.

Rethinking the Obama/Kerry Iran Deal: Did We Give Away The Store? Part 2 of 2

mackinder_natural_largeOn Tuesday I made reference to  the article that spoke of a speech given by Sir Halford Mackinder in January 1904. In his talk, “Mackinder argued that the future of global power lay not, as most British then imagined, in controlling the global sea lanes, but in controlling a vast land mass he called “Euro-Asia.””  It is described as a “broad, deep “heartland” — 4,000 miles from the Persian Gulf to the Siberian Sea.”

Zbigniew Brzezinski wrote in 1998: “Ever since the continents started interacting politically, some five hundred years ago, Eurasia has been the center of world power. A power that dominates ‘Eurasia’ would control two of the world’s three most advanced and economically productive regions… rendering the Western Hemisphere and Oceania geopolitically peripheral to the world’s central continent.”

How then does the Iran deal play into the idea that by entering into it the United States is causing probably irreparable damage to itself. It is because the deal will caused the realignment of world power. It is the one thing that Putin needs to carry out his dream of a greater and more powerful Russia.

Rethinking the Obama/Kerry Iran Deal: Did We Give Away The Store? Part 1 of 2

kerrystaxfreeboatI must admit I should have had a premonition that this was coming.  A source of mine over at the Island of Nantucket told me about a month or so ago he heard Secretary of State John Kerry singing that old song that begins with the words: “Days are long since you went away, I think about you all through the day, my buddy, my buddy, my buddy – Sergey I miss you so.”

I laughed when he told me that. I told him: “How could he miss Sergey Lavrov? Putin’s Russia is not our friend. Putin’s the world number one troublemaker even trying to let Greece collapse so that he could bring it under his control. He has been preaching that the United States is the great Satan even more so than the Ayatollah in Iran.”

Saying the word “Iran” made me stop short in my tracks! The negotiations had not been completed but were at a critical stage as we were talking. My fisherman buddy nodded: “You got it. We need Russia to get the Iran deal. You got to figure we’re going to pay a big price for it.”

The Worlds of Dr. Kissinger and Dr. King Collide.

hare_2074103iThree days after April Fool’s Day in 1967 Martin Luther King spoke at the Riverside Church in New York City. His speech was titled: “Beyond Vietnam – A Time to Break Silence.”   At that time about 15, 000 American had died in Vietnam.

Lyndon B. Johnson was president at the time. He would remain in office until January 20, 1969. It is reported that after he read the speech he went ballistic.

At the time LBJ left office about 40,000 Americans had lost their lives in Vietnam. Between April of 1967 and the end of President Nixon’s first year in office the total American deaths were about 41,500 with 11,780 occurring on Nixon’s watch. (1967:11,363 deaths;  in 1968: 16,899, and 1969: 11,780)

I don’t suppose there was much Nixon could have done upon immediately taking office but to continue the plan that was in effect until he figured out his next step. The final three years of Nixon’s first term saw a steady decline in  deaths: 1970: 6,173; 1971: 2,414; and 1972: 759; a total  of 9,500.  In the years 1973 to 1975 another 131 deaths would occur.  The death toll diminished because Nixon began bringing down the number of troops from over 500,000.