Reed Irvine - Editor
  December A, 1998

HYPOCRITES PILLORY PINOCHET

 THIS ISSUE:
  • Comparing The Broken Egg Count
  • An Authoritarian Transition
  • If Spain Cuffed Castro
  • WHY DON'T THE MEDIA UNCOVER THE COVER-UPS?
  • Why The Media Ignore Whistleblowers
  • Reporters ’Quality Questioned
  • What Should Be Done
  • The Cover-up Pros And Conse
  • What You Can Do
  • Notes
  • On October 17, Britain arrested General Augusto Pinochet upon getting a request that he be extradited to Spain for questioning about crimes allegedly committed in Chile. After welcoming the 83-year-old former president of Chile as a VIP, the Labor government put Pinochet under house arrest. It ignored protests from Chile and British conservative leaders, including Lady Thatcher. Pinochet's appeal was rejected by a panel of five Law Lords. The deciding vote was cast by a judge with ties to Amnesty International, which is pushing for Pinochet's extradition. On Dec. 9, the Home Secretary said the extradition hearings could begin. They may take months or even years.

    Pinochet has long had a bad press, with the liberal/left media accusing him of serious violations of human rights during the 17 years he was president of Chile. The New York Times was quick to publish editorials supporting Spain's effort to have Pinochet extradited. David C. Unger, who writes the Times' editorials on Latin America, taught at the New York Marxist School until 1981, when this came to the attention of the publisher and he was told to give up the teaching job. Marxists hate Pinochet, not only because he overthrew President Allende, a Marxist who was hell-bent on transforming socialist Chile into a full-fledged Communist state, but also because he converted Chile into a model free-market economy.

    As the commander of the Chilean army in 1973, Pinochet saved Chile from becoming another Cuba. He thwarted the plans of the Communists and their allies to make Chile a totalitarian state. He ended the persistent hyper-inflation that had afflicted Chile for decades, stabilized the currency, privatized government enterprises, and pursued policies that fostered the growth of industry and agriculture that could compete in world markets. The economy flourished, and when Pinochet surrendered the presidency in 1990, the new government wisely continued the policies that had brought Chile its greatest prosperity in history.

    Comparing The Broken Egg Count

    Communists have long justified killing their opponents and destroying civil liberties when they seize power. You have to break eggs to make an omelet, they say. Their revolutions have caused scores of millions of deaths and the “omelets” they made produced a lot of heartburn and gas. Pinochet had to break some eggs to rid Chile of Allende’s Marxist regime, but by Communist standards, the revolution he launched on September 11, 1973, was relatively bloodless. According to official reports, 3,200 people were killed or disappeared. Allende himself committed suicide with a gun that was a gift from Fidel Castro.

    By contrast, Fidel Castro had executed 22,000 people by the end of 1969, according to the estimate of an intelligence officer at the Spanish embassy in Havana. The bloodletting did not stop then. A Cuban scholar, Dr. Armando Lago, estimates that the total is now 30,000. Tens of millions were killed by Lenin and Stalin in Russia and by Mao Tse-tung and his successors in China. The butchers of Tiananmen Square may have killed as many in one day as the Chilean military killed in the 17 years of Pinochet’s rule, but their ringleader, Jiang Zemin, was recently an honored guest at the Clinton White House. Washington Post syndicated columnist Richard Cohen didn’t suggest that he be cuffed and put on trial for crimes against humanity. That’s what he suggested for Pinochet.

    When the North Vietnamese army seized control of Hue in February 1968, they proceeded to round up and execute 5,000 civilians in one month, a massacre that our media didn’t report. When the man responsible, Ho Chi Minh, died 17 months later, The New York Times portrayed him as the George Washington of Vietnam.It didn ’t mention this or any of his other horrendous crimes against humanity.Pol Pot ’s effort to exterminate all educated Cambodians had been underway for five months at the time of Allende ’s overthrow.It continued for five more years,taking the lives of 1.5 million people.At the time,this went unreported,much less condemned,by liberal journalists like Larry Stern,the Marxist national editor of The Washington Post.They thought Pol Pot was just breaking eggs to make a better omelet.But they want Pinochet to be punished for what they call his “murderous repression.”

    An Authoritarian Transition

    To establish order and free Chile from the socialist programs that had long kept it from achieving its economic potential, Pinochet instituted curbs on civil liberties.His regime was not unlike the occupation governments we imposed on Germany and Japan after World War II.As a former Chilean minister of economy had said,Chile had been plagued by inflationary policies for decades because there was always an election coming up.Pinochet,like General MacArthur in Japan,imposed economic policies that caused hardship but paved the way for the stability,prosperity and freedom that Chile now enjoys.So far,its freely elected leaders have not dared to revert to the failed economic policies of the pre-Pinochet era.

    Allende was rapidly taking Chile down the road to communism, shredding the constitution and wrecking the economy.Three weeks before the military coup,the Chamber of Deputies over- whelmingly passed a resolution charging him with a long list of crimes,including usurpation of the legislative prerogatives of Congress and systematic violations of the Constitution.The resolution called on all members of the military in the government to act to bring an end to these illegal actions.

    The country was paralyzed by a transport workers strike. Housewives demonstrated in the streets,banging their pots and pans.The Washington Post reported that Chile was in crisis because Allende was trying to carry out sweeping changes that did not have the support of the majority of the people.He had been elected in 1970 with only 36 percent of the vote.His support came not from the Chilean people,but from Cuba,the Soviet Union and their supporters around the world.

    If Spain Cuffed Castro

    Fidel Castro was in Spain when Pinochet ’s arrest was announced.He applauded it,but he must have wondered if it would be safe for him to visit Spain if he were to become a former head of state.He knows that his crimes are far worse than anything Pinochet has done.In addition to executing 30,000 people,he incarcerated and tortured thousands of political prisoners for years.It is estimated that 5,000 of them died from maltreatment.Over a million Cubans have fled their homeland, and it is estimated that 60,000 died in the attempt.Castro has obliterated the civil liberties of the Cuban people.Cuba,once one of the richest countries in Latin America,has been reduced to one of the poorest today.Chile,thanks to General Pinochet, has become one of the most prosperous and most free.

    If all those who are supporting the Spanish effort to prosecute Pinochet were concerned more about enhancing human rights and less about avenging Allende,they would be asking how Castro might be brought to the bar of justice.The arrest of Pinochet,a retired head of state and life-member of Chile ’s Senate who saved Chile from becoming another Cuba,sets a dangerous precedent.It could result in arrest warrants being issued and perhaps enforced against any former head of state who had used lethal force to suppress terrorist activity, rebellion or other threats to order and national security.

    Issuing international arrest warrants for former heads of state and officials on charges that they violated human rights will do little,if anything,to improve the human rights situation in Cuba, China,North Korea,Iraq,Afghanistan and Sudan,to name only a few of the worst offenders.What is needed is more effective pressure on the current rulers of those countries.It would help a little if our media would switch their hatred of Pinochet to Castro and join in the effort to topple him.Cubans might then begin their journey back to freedom.They might even choose to follow the trail that General Pinochet blazed in Chile.

    WHY DON'T THE MEDIA UNCOVER THE COVER-UPS?

    “The Clinton White House has wreaked havoc in this town.....He has abused,he has used,he has thrown out his friends,his colleagues,his party,his wife,his daughter.”Those are the words of Christine Dolan,who describes herself as a member of the liberal mainstream media and a former friend of Bill Clinton and the late Ron Brown.They were spoken at AIM's “Epidemic of Corruption ”conference where Dolan was one of three veteran journalists who participated in a spirited discussion with the audience on the performance of the media. The other two were Ed Turner,former VP of CNN,and Reid Collins,former correspondent with CBS and CNN.

    Dolan,a former CNN political director,claimed that there were meetings prior to the 1996 campaign at which “senior aides sat with Bill Clinton discussing his sex life and telling him,`You need to get this in order because it is ruining the office of the presidency.'”She said the Lewinsky story was no great surprise to these Clinton aides.They knew what was going on,she said, but “they were playing this game ”as if nobody knew anything.

    Having compared the first White House response to various scandals with what was learned later,she said,“I just know that whatever comes out initially from the White House is just dead wrong....I realized over time that what they said at the beginning is an absolute lie.These people do not know the truth.They will not say the truth.They will do whatever they have to do to survive,and in the meantime,they ’re destroying the press,they ’re destroying individual rights,they ’re abusing the IRS.”She said,“This is a very threatening, intimidating White House.”

    “It wasn ’t that easy for people in the White House press corps,”Dolan said.“There were so many lies all the way around,and so you can ’t totally blame the press for this....I know one network correspondent where they actually called the network.The White House picked up the phone and said, `Your guy's got to back off.'He's got two or three kids in college.He's going to back off."

    Dolan concluded with this observation about the Lewinsky affair:“The only good thing that will come out of it is that maybe everything else will come out because of it.This isn ’t something that just happened.It ’s an ongoing pattern,and it ’s a pattern that Clinton operated when he was down in Arkansas.”

    Why The Media Ignore Whistleblowers

    “Whistleblowers are up against the apathy of our times.”That was the explanation Reid Collins,a former correspondent for CBS News and CNN,gave the conference for the poor treatment whistleblowers get from the media.He said,“A whistleblower succeeds only when the target doesn ’t have a lot of PR going for him in the first place.Blow them too much and too often, there are no consequences.There are none now.”

    Collins said it was a mistake to think that the makers of TV documentaries have open minds.He said they set out to prove a hypothesis and that they prefer to go with the flow,not against it.“The networks are not going to start out like a salmon upstream.They don ’t do that,” he said..He explained their minds are not open to the hypothesis that there was chicanery in the death of Foster or that there was a missile in the downing of TWA 800.In the case of Foster,he said,“Factotums of government have told the people twice now that it was a suicide.”In the case of TWA 800,the FBI ’s charismatic James Kallstrom in his frequent appearances on TV had been able to convince the public that there was no evidence that a missile or bomb was involved in the crash of TWA Flight 800.

    Ed Turner,former managing editor and executive vice president of CNN,said he agreed with Collins ’analysis for the most part. He explained that everything from documentaries to extended take-outs on the news programs were the result of producers or reporters becoming wedded to an idea and selling it.He said, “You start with something is wrong here,or I wonder why thus and so happened.Why did (TWA)800 go down?”He said that at CNN,he had a lot of reporters spending an awful lot of time on the Foster and TWA stories.“Had I been told by any of them that there was additional information that merited us remaining on the story I would have done so,”he said.“Not to have would have been foolish.”What he had heard at the conference had somewhat aroused his interest in the story,he said,but his reporters who had worked hard on it for months had never told him they had found anything that would justify staying with it.

    Reporters ’Quality Questioned

    The quality of those reporters was questioned by Patrick Knowlton,a panelist who is a key witness in the Foster case, and by Reed Irvine.Irvine pointed out that all the mainstream reporters had been taken in by the CIA animation that was aired to show that the hundreds of eyewitnesses had really seen TWA 800 rise like a rocket when it actually fell like a rock.He wondered why they hadn ’t asked if it was possible for a jumbo jet to climb like a rocket after losing all its power.

    Irvine pointed out that Jim Sanders was a reporter who actually got a whistleblower,a pilot assigned to the investigation,to provide him with valuable information that enabled him and others to find major flaws in the official findings.Irvine had tipped off Tim Russert,NBC ’s Washington bureau chief,that a big story based on Sanders ’work was going to break in the Riverside (Calif.)Press-Enterprise.He had helped NBC obtain an advance copy of the story.Russert assigned it to Bob Hager, a veteran correspondent,but Hager did nothing with it.When he asked Hager why he had done nothing with the story,Hager explained that he had checked it out with his government sources,and they told him it wasn ’t true.End of story.Irvine asked,“Is that the way it works?”

    Dolan said that was not the way it worked with everybody. Naturally reporters would check out information they were given with sources they trusted.She said some people will believe anything their sources say,stay with it,but others would seek out new fresh faces.She said there was no doubt that some journalists are lazy and stupid and don ’t follow through,but others try very hard.She said one problem with the Clinton administration is that “you don ’t know who to believe.”

    Patrick Knowlton asked why the media constantly accept the government line.“Why do you always believe the govern- ment?”he asked.“You should oversee the government.You should be reporting this stuff such as Cmdr.Donaldson has.” He said,“The news I hear constantly is from the government ’s side.”Turner responded,saying,“I can assure you that we did not take the government line.The whole point of a lively news organization is to challenge it.And you can point out the failures of why didn ’t CNN specifically do X and Y on these two stories,and I say why didn ’t you clamor louder to talk to me?” He said that showing a government spokesman speaking only means that the government position is part of the story,not that the government line has been accepted by the media.

    Turner did not square that with his agreement with Reid Collins' earlier observation that statements by government “factotums ” had closed the books on the Foster case as far as the media were concerned,and that James Kallstrom had killed interest in the missile theory in the TWA 800 case.Dolan indicated that once the media had closed the books on a story it was very hard to get their interest again.

    What Should Be Done

    Suggestions about what could be done to improve the performance of the media were made by Cmdr.Bill Donaldson and Col.Joseph Cafasso,who has been working with Donaldson and the Associated Retired Aviation Professionals (ARAP).This is an ad hoc group assembled by Donaldson and AIM to assist in the TWA Flight 800 investigation. Bill Donaldson,who has spearheaded the private investigation of the TWA 800 crash,told the panel that what was missing in the media “is the technical capability to smell a rat.”He asked if the TV networks,when confronted with something like the TWA 800 story,ever hire outside investigators with technical expertise to do the leg work and provide them with the technical analysis that is lacking in their own staffs.

    Turner said that was not done as far as he knew.Collins said there had been quite a lot of technical work commissioned by the networks after the Kennedy assassination,specifically testing of the Carcano rifle,the type Oswald had used.This has been glaringly absent in both the Foster and TWA 800 cases.In both cases,critics of the official findings have relied on work done by outside experts —homicide detectives and handwriting experts in the Foster case and airplane crash investigators in the case of TWA 800.

    The establishment media reporters have been unwilling to report the findings of these experts and they have shown no interest in engaging comparable experts to study the evidence.Col.Cafasso expressed his frustration with them.He said ARAP was not a bunch of wackos.In addition to Donaldson and Cafasso,it includes Adm.Thomas H.Moorer,former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,another flag-ranked retired Navy aviator,a retired Air Force general who designed missiles,a retired major who witnessed the shootdown from his helicopter,and two retired 747 pilots.They have had the assistance of numerous military and civilian aviation experts and eyewitnesses to the crash.

    No government agency or media organization has tried to refute the evidence presented in Donaldson ’s detailed report showing that TWA 800 was downed by missiles.Cafasso said,“We have what we believe are solid,reasonable facts,and the reply we get (from reporters)is,“Well,I talked to these guys,”meaning their government sources.He issued this challenge,“You bring your guys to the table,and we ’ll bring our guys to the table,and we ’ll have a constructive session on the air crash.....Let ’s debate the facts,whether it ’s (TWA)800 or any other investigation.”The refusal of reporters to debate or report the facts led him to say,“I have to wonder about the quality and the sincerity of reporters today.”Dolan responded,saying,“Everybody says it ’s the right wing,and I say,`Let ’s just get rid of the messenger and take a look at the facts.'”

    The Cover-up Pros And Cons

    Dolan said it was quite possible that Clinton would cover up something in July 1996 because of the campaign.At the Clinton White House,she said,“They don ’t breathe without political expediency all over the place.”A lot of the facts she had learned at the conference pointed to a cover-up.She said she had not known that the Navy divers who had participated in the TWA 800 salvage operation were not allowed to talk about it and that the NTSB crash investigators had not been allowed to question the eyewitnesses.She said,“You can ’t tell people they can ’t talk to eyewitnesses.”Donaldson explained that the orders came from The Justice Department and that they violated Title 49 of the U.S. Code,which gives the NTSB authority over all civilian airplane crash investigations until the cause is determined to be a criminal act.

    Donaldson pointed out that an assistant U.S.attorney in New York ordered the NTSB to disband its eyewitness group and leave the interviewing to the FBI.The FBI is still keeping those eyewitness reports secret.Donaldson said,“Those eyewitnesses are dangerous to Bill Clinton,and most of them are now scared.”Jim Sanders pointed out that the assistant U.S.attorney who gave that order also had him and his wife charged with felonies for asking a whistleblower for further evidence of government wrongdoing.He said,“There ’s a story there somewhere.”The establishment media have yet to find it.

    Joe Cafasso commented that Sanders "is being prosecuted on less information than we have in our report.If I wanted to prosecute I could probably get an indictment just based on a summary of our report.He ’s being prosecuted for far less." Christine Dolan recognized this as one more indication of a cover-up.She wondered why Sanders was being prosecuted if there was nothing to his reporting on the cause of the crash.

    Reid Collins raised the common question :How could there be a cover-up when there were Navy ships in the area and many Navy personnel would have knowledge of what happened? Some of them would be bound to talk.Dolan suggested that it should be possible for the retired officers with ARAP to find out the names of the ships.She didn ’t see why they couldn ’t find and interview someone who had been on one of them.

    Donaldson gave her a very candid explanation why this was so difficult.He said friends of his in the service were now in high positions.One with whom he was particularly close is now a fleet commander who may have knowledge of what transpired.He said,“I ’ve tried to call him three times over the last six months,”but his friend would not take or return his calls.“If a vice admiral is scared to talk to a retired commander,there is something wrong,”he said.

    Indeed there is,and this conference showed that it is a myth that it is impossible to cover-up official wrongdoing because whistleblowers will come forward to expose it.It revealed that whistleblowers are punished by their employers and generally ignored by the media.That is why so few people risk their careers to expose wrongdoing.

    What You Can Do

    Send the enclosed cards or your own cards or letters to Ted Turner at CNN,Ed Turner at Freedom Forum and to the editor of a publication of your choice. When you make your year-end charitable donations, please remember that AIM needs and appreciates your help.

    AIM Report NOTES FROM THE EDITOR'S CUFF

    IT IS SAD TO SEE HOW LITTLE THE JOURNALISTS WHO WRITE NEWS STORIES AND COM-mentary and pontificate on TV talk shows have learned from the history of the last 50 years. Their failure to learn is revealed in their treatment of Fidel Castro and Augusto Pinochet. They no longer publicly idolize Castro as many of them used to do, but they do not revile him as they do Pinochet. If their feelings correlated with the good or evil done by each man, the roles would be reversed. They say that 3,000 violent deaths and disappearances in Chile over 17 years are indefensible. Millions who have fled Cuba or stayed there and suffered would say that many deaths would have been a blessing if they had saved Cuba from 40 years of Castro's tyranny.

    CASTRO HAD TOLD ALLENDE THAT IT WAS A MISTAKE NOT TO TAKE CONTROL OF THE armed forces quickly, and he was hastily trying to correct this error. Arnaud de Borchgrave, in a column in The Washington Times, said that with Allende's support, some 14,000 foreigners had come to Chile and were "orga-nizing revolutionary brigades to take on the Chilean army." They had secretly declared war on Chilean democ-racy, but the military struck first and overthrew Allende. Armed communist guerrillas continued their terrorist warfare for many years. A group calling itself “Urban Militias and Forces of Popular Revolution” took responsi-bility for assassinating the governor of Santiago 10 years after Pinochet took office. Five of them were killed in shootouts with the police. One of the favorite terrorist tactics was bombing electric power pylons to cut off electricity supplies. In December 1983, they succeeded in cutting off power to 5 million people, nearly half of Chile’s population. In March 1984, 19 bombs exploded in Santiago, Valparaiso and Concepcion. A state of emergency was reimposed, but on April 1, a 700-mile stretch of the Chilean coast, including Santiago, was blacked out by a power pylon bombing. The New York Times reported that the bombers were mostly trained in Cuba. A state of siege was imposed in October 1984, and, get this, six opposition magazines were ordered to suspend publication. Fidel Castro has never tolerated any opposition, much less any opposition magazines.

    THE STATE OF SIEGE WAS LIFTED IN JUNE 1985, AND THE TERRORIST BOMBINGS RESUMED. Although The New York Times said Pinochet was ruling Chile with an iron hand, terrorist bombs again blacked out much of the country. Communist guerrillas temporarily took control of two radio stations, and 8 bombs exploded in Santiago. To show what good people the terrorists were, on Aug. 4, 1986, CBS showed footage of them hijacking a meat truck and distributing the meat to the poor. A month later, on Sept. 7, they attacked Pinochet’s motorcade with high-powered rifles on a highway outside Santiago. Pinochet was wounded only slightly, but five of his police and military escorts were killed and ten were wounded. Even the stridently anti-Pinochet New York Times was forced to admit that this assassination attempt and the discovery of large caches of arms “suggest that the violent left is more organized and determined than previously thought.” It also reported that U.S. intelligence had concluded that the arms had come from Cuba because the quantity was too great for the Chilean terrorists to have acquired without foreign help.

    THIS IS THE BACKGROUND AGAINST WHICH THE 3,000 VIOLENT DEATHS AND DISAPPEAR-ances in Chile under Pinochet should be judged. The communist terrorists were the agents of Fidel Castro, not the Chilean people. Most Chileans were grateful to Pinochet for having overthrown the Allende regime. Plebi-scites in January 1978 and September 1980 showed that Pinochet had the support respectively of 75 percent and 67 percent of the voters. Losing a referendum in 1988 that would have permitted him to remain in office another ten years, Pinochet did something Fidel Castro has never dared do. He ran in a free election in 1989. He was defeated, and he gracefully yielded the presidency of a stable and prosperous Chile to the victor, who was committed to continuing Pinochet’s economic reforms. Pinochet retained control of the army until last March.

    MANY COUNTRIES HAVE FOUND THAT TERRORISM SUPPORTED WITH FOREIGN MONEY and arms is very difficult to combat. Some have treated it as a war, fighting fire with fire even though that meant violating the law and depriving people of their liberty and life without due process. This first came to my attention some 30 years ago when India was having great difficulty with one of its many minority groups that was wreaking havoc in West Bengal.Prime Minister Indira Gandhi adopted very harsh countermeasures that were illegal but very effective.Our media reported the terrorist problem but not Mrs.Gandhi ’s solution.I learned about it from a U.S.embassy dispatch.I mentioned it to a friend who was then an Argentine diplomat in Washington,and I have wondered ever since if this is what led the Argentine military to adopt similar tactics to solve the terrorist problem in Argentina.Uruguay and Chile followed Argentina ’s example.All three have been condemned for doing so,and Pinochet ’s arrest has resulted in an outpouring of condemnation of his record here and abroad,with no acknowl- edgment of the extenuating circumstances or the good that he did.

    ON DECEMBER 2,A WASHINGTON,D.C.JURY ACQUITTED FORMER SECRETARY OF AGRI- culture Mike Espy of all the charges of accepting illegal gifts brought against him by Independent Counsel Donald Smaltz.Espy had accepted many gifts from companies subject to Department of Agriculture regulations.The total value was estimated at $35,000.He didn ’t deny having accepted the gifts.The givers had been prosecuted, convicted and had paid fines and penalties totaling $11 million,enough to cover two-thirds of the cost of his investigation.The companies included Tyson Food,Sun Diamond Growers,Oglethorpe Power Corp.,Smith- Barney and Quaker Oats.The jurors apparently were satisfied that the expensive gifts these companies gave Espy were given solely out of friendship or a desire to establish warm feelings.

    DONALD SMALTZ HAD ONE OF THE BEST RECORDS OF ALL THE INDEPENDENT COUNSELS. He had won 15 convictions,building his case against Espy by first convicting the gift-givers.Attorney General Janet Reno had appointed Smaltz to investigate the charges because she agreed that there was evidence from credible sources that Espy had violated the law in accepting the gifts.President Clinton concurred.Espy resigned under White House pressure,and when Clinton accepted the resignation he said,“I am troubled by the appear- ance of some of these incidents and believe his decision to leave is appropriate.”Smaltz did not charge Espy with accepting bribes.He charged him with 30 counts of violating laws and regulations that prohibit government officials from accepting gratuities.He presented 70 witnesses during the seven-week trial.

    SINCE THE GIVERS HAD ACKNOWLEDGED GIVING GIFTS AND ESPY DID NOT DENY RECEIV- ing them,it appeared to be an open and shut case.Why did the jury acquit Espy on all counts after deliberating only nine hours?Espy did not take the witness stand,and the defense had presented no witnesses.The Washing- ton Post commented in an editorial:“The verdict speaks not only to the weakness of the case...but also to the excesses of the prosecutor,independent counsel Donald Smaltz.Harsh things have been said about Mr.Smaltz since his appointment to investigate what seemed to be relatively simple corruption allegations against Mr.Espy. But nothing is quite as damning as the jury ’s 30 not-guilty verdicts.”In a news analysis story,the Post quoted Smaltz ’s detractors saying that he should never have brought the case because he was short of evidence that Espy had done anything in return for the gifts.He was accused of pursuing Espy because he was black.

    THE NEW YORK POST QUOTED ONE OF ESPY ’S ATTORNEYS AS SAYING HE WAS CON- cerned that some people would say,“Espy was acquitted because it was an all-black jury.”Apparently other papers shared that concern,because none that I saw quoted that statement or mentioned the make-up of the jury prominently in their first-day stories.Those in The New York Times,The Washington Times and The Wall Street Journal didn ’t mention it at all.The Washington Post buried it deep in its news analysis story,reporting accurately that the jury was composed of 11 blacks and one white.The white was a 25-year old woman.The Washington Times ran a prominent story the next day about the denials by the jurors that race had influenced their verdict, mentioning the composition of the jury.It reported that the white juror said race never came up in their delibera- tions.Two of the jurors said the only counts on which there was any disagreement were three under the Meat Inspection Act,which clearly prohibits all gifts with no requirement of proof of intent to violate the law.A black juror said they decided to acquit on those counts because Agriculture ’s ethics guidelines were ambiguous.

    THE OTHER PAPERS DOWNPLAYED THE JURY'S MAKE-UP,NO DOUBT SHARING THE CON- cerns of Espy ’s attorney.A lawyer who observed the trial told me that it was obvious from the composition and demeanor of the jury that Smaltz had no chance of winning a conviction.The difficulty of getting black juries to convict blacks in Washington is well known.Paul Butler,a black criminal-law professor at George Washington University says that in non-violent criminal cases,black jurors should disregard the evidence and the law and acquit black defendants as a protest against what he perceives as a racist system.He calls it “jury nullification.”


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