“Shared Bureaucratic Misery”
The solution of the difficulty is that the two mental pictures which experiment lead us to form – the one of the particles, the other of the waves – are both incomplete and have only the validity of analogies which are accurate only in limiting cases.”
Let me back up just a little bit and recall some ground already covered. On December 22, 2009, in the morning, I faxed a letter to the judge in the preliminary hearing requesting that there be no trial. In preliminary examinations (similar to a grand jury hearing but where the judge makes the decision as to whether or not to proceed), the judge is permitted to hear opinions and other things that he would not normally allow at trial. (The next morning was the Conway fire around 3 or 4 am and the strange smoke incident nearly in front of Jeremy Scahill’s place around 9am; there was enough time in between to drive from Michigan to New York from the morning or afternoon of the 22nd and arrive by early morning of the 23rd).
The letter explained how I had heard of Peter Watts, a little about my background (many soldier relatives, a few cops, and at the time I did not consider myself a pacifist nor particularly progressive–more moderate–where security was concerned), and several reasons why I thought the case should not proceed. I mentioned tourism and the economy (it’s self-defeating). I mentioned the behavior of Homeland Security’s division ICE (recall I spent New Year’s with one or two such fellows nine days later) with regards to immigrants and cited a Nation article about them  (is this the country we want to live in?). I also pointed out that the notion that the 9/11 hijackers came across the Canadian border was incorrect. This lie likely originated on FOX, likely Bill O’Reilly tooting his own horn for having been shouting for border patrol prior to 9/11 . And yet Republicans in the legislature criticized and asked DHS Secretary Napolitano to step down when she repeated this falsehood.
I didn’t have the chance to sign it because I sent it over the Internet. It occurred to me as I got on the subway that it might be rejected as a result. I learned from Peter’s girlfriend and.future wife later that the letter did not get read during the preliminary examination. I also learned that many, many friends and/or relatives of the accusing guard attended that event, applying pressure to the judge. Also, the original preliminary examination was supposed to be earlier that this, but that judge, Monaghan (who was not the one who presided over the eventual trial), had “heart issues” just two cases in line before he got to Watts.
Note the between-the-lines references to electronic means to accomplish this cited in a DoD response to a FOIA request , not to mention plain ol’ drug slipped into food or drink, absorbed through the skin to emulate the same.
There are so many obvious and possible Cold War era ploys throughout all of these events that I marvel that anyone could think it anything other than what it is . Shows like Bones and 24 depict these people as caring about actual citizens, so you are up against a mass delusion held by the public through entertainment, the lies of politicians, and a news media that only asks the criminals what happened and reports the answers as fact.
I also would like to note something else here that should have been mentioned in previously. The accusing guard’s voice was deep and rough. The kind of thing action film commercial voice-overs are made of. The kind of thing that winds you up in Westerns and any other macho genre.
Once the judge turned the case over to the jury on Thursday morning, we waited patiently. There was no immediate verdict, no indication of what was going on.
We took a break for lunch. After I returned, I overheard the accuser talking to the assistant DA. These were the first words I heard him say apart from on the stand testifying.
“I thought this would take ten minutes! I don’t get it.”
By that time, he and some other people were starting to wonder who I was, why I was there.
We spent some time waiting. Soon, the frustration of not knowing was annoying the border guards as much as it was Peter, his girlfriend, and myself. What was taking so long?
We even wound up having a few conversations in the hallway. Peter discussed jogging with the assistant DA and the female border guard who stayed for the trial. He said he ran seven miles (10 km) every day. I noted (wide-eyed) that I was more of sprinter than a long distance runner in order to protect my wounded, probably ten miles per week, dignity.
The lady guard mentioned that the guards have to pay for their own gym memberships. I said I’d write my reps about that (especially in light of a recent article stating they were going to be issued shotguns on Uncle Sam’s dime). Think I probably sent one of those to the White House as well as Schumer, Gillibrand and Velazquez.
I suggested rather cannily that there was always the fire department. (That which I did not say aloud, “Perhaps the accuser missed his calling…charging like that through a burning building could earn someone a medal.”)
Peter’s attorney threw in, “Yeah, if you don’t wind up getting burnt and in the hospital.”
“Yeah, there’s that.”
This reference to the Conway fire, which I had mentioned on Peter’s blog was completely lost on this guard. No visible reaction at all. Further evidence to my mind at the time that it wasn’t likely them in any way, keeping in mind that I had not yet seen the accusing guard’s dad and brothers and had no ideas about who might have been in the truck doing the smoke trick on the morning of December 23.
The jury requested to see the video again and asked for clarification on some legal point. First, because of the technical requirements for the former, the judge took care of the second. He very, very carefully read the statute again and provided no guidance whatsoever apart from it being up to them. The jury was in essence in an argument and was looking to the judge to settle it. He refused and wisely so.
I think the video was scheduled for first thing Friday morning. We adjourned. I started to walk out.
Now, the guards were curious about who I was. We wound up walking out together. The front doors being locked due to having knocked off so late, we had to seek a way out the back of the building. They followed me and seemed oddly excited about the mystery of who I was.
When we finally emerged, my eye was caught by a cherry red Mustang convertible. It was without a doubt the only car I’d seen in Port Huron that I might have wished to have been driving instead of the Eclipse.
“That’s the judge’s car,” the accusing guard said to the others.
“This is the judge’s?!?” I asked.
“Yep,” he replied.
We had had a human moment. Another one beyond being frustrated with the jury taking so long and political policy of giving handouts to shotgun manufacturers but not gyms (imagine the relative sizes of those lobbies on Capitol Hill).
I waited for Peter and his entourage. They did not immediately emerge. Instead, the judge did and caught me redhanded salivating over his set of wheels.
“You the young man I’ve seen sitting in my courtroom?”
Young is a relative term. Look who had the better hotrod.
I followed up with questions about the car. We discussed a vacation he and Mrs. Judge had taken in his previous Mustang, an older model. Then he took his leave to go pick up or meet with the missus some place.
Then the defense, defendant and friends emerged. I walked over, but they had seen me talking to the judge. Frightened over the prospect of what this nut might have said to him, they avoided eye contact. I found that humorous for some reason.
Back to the hotel, dinner, and actually I don’t remember where I wound up. Think that might have been the night I found a seafood place. It’s the Great Lakes area, so I expected the food to be more like a freshwater Boston. Isn’t like that, but that place down the road was tasty (and expensive).
1 The Nation, “America’s Secret I.C.E. Castles”, Jacqueline Stevens, January 4, 2010 (paper date, web date was earlier):
Throw in NDAA prisons and you have a place to throw your holocaust party. “Build it and they will come” (to be tortured, raped, killed, experimented upon).
2 This is due to the fear that Hispanics, largely Conservative Catholics but also very pro-labor due to already having.lived through what’s going to happen here, would create a permanent Democratic majority. Fortunately for the powers that backed GOP, the Democrats are the new Republicans while the Republicans are the new nazi party. Unfortunately for the American people, they are no longer significantly represented unless they happen to be nazis or blind Obambot types.
3 DoD 2006 FOIA response:
4 Alternet, “United States of Paranoia: How the FBI Lied to Make Conspiracy Theorists Sound Crazy” (book excerpt):