WND Pretends Aaron Klein Isn't A Birther Topic: WorldNetDaily
Aaron Klein has a new book coming out, and WorldNetDaily desperately wants to present him as a serious writer. So much so, in fact, that it's freaking out about Media Matters remindingpeople of who he works for and what he's done.
So WND devoted a Sept. 7 article to responding to Media Matters' claims by trying to explain away Klein's extremism. It claims:
Media Matters also takes issue with factual articles penned by Klein regarding the general legal definition of “natural born citizen,” the constitutional requirement to serve as president.
Media Matters wrongly claimed those articles makes Klein a “birther” who doubts Obama’s citizenship.
Klein only cited legal arguments about the constitutional definition of “natural born citizen,” pointing out some mainstream scholars believe both parents must be U.S. born.
Regarding Media Matter’s false “birther” charge, in Klein’s book, “The Manchurian President,” he wrote there is “no convincing evidence that Obama was born in Kenya, nor that his birthplace was any place other than Hawaii, his declared state of birth.”
WND is lying. First, a onetime concession that Obama was born in Kenya doesn't make him not a birther. Second, he has effectively retracted that concession.
As we documented, Klein declared on a July 2012 edition of his radio show that "I personally also hired three independent forensic investigators. ... All three came back with the same conclusion, and that was there was modifications on the PDF file that they could not explain, that are not consistent with a normal scanned document."
Klein never identified these so-called "forensic investigators," nor has he ever publicly released a full accounting of the conclusions they reached. Nor, we can probably assume, has Klein ever conceded the fact that those purported "modifications" in the PDF scan have been easily reproduced through the use of a Xerox scanner.
It says something about the state of WND's reputation that it has to defend one of its writers by insisting he's not a birther. Mostly, that nobody believes WND, and it's people like Klein who have helped make sure of that.
Climate Change Misinformation Spreads To Another MRC Website Topic: Media Research Center
One thing about the Media Research Center's multiple web platforms is that it provides more opportunities to spread misinformation. Mike Ciandella writes in a Sept. 2 MRC post:
The same year that former Vice President Al Gore predicted that the Arctic sea ice could be completely gone, the ice has actually reached its highest point in two years. This revelation comes from a report by the Danish Meteorological Institute.
According to the report, which was cited by the British publication the Daily Mail, “[t]he Arctic ice cap has expanded for the second year in a row.”
As we documented when fellow MRC employee Tom Blumer parroted the Dail Mail report at NewsBusters, Slate's Phil Plant debunked the Daily Mail's reporting, pointing out that Arctic ice reaching "its highest point in two years" is a meaningless claim given the overall decades-long trend of declining Arctic ice:
Like Blumer, Ciandella makes no effort whatsoever to fact-check the Daily Mail, choosing instead to bash perennial right-wing punching bag Al Gore.
CNS Promotes Scientology-Linked Attack On Psychiatric Drugs Topic: CNSNews.com
Barbara Hollingsworth devotes a Sept. 4 CNSNews.com article to Dr. Bart Billings, "a retired Army psychologist who has treated thousands of veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder," who claims that "there is 'a direct correlation' between the increased use of psychiatric medications to treat PTSD and the high rate of military suicides."
As per usual, Hollingsworth fails to allow anyone to rebut Billings' views. Perhaps she should have. This is how she ends the lengthy article:
Billings was the recipient of the 2014 Human Rights Award by the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), which has produced a documentary, “The Hidden Agenda,” on the use of use of psychiatric drugs in the military.
Hollingsworth doesn't mention that CCHR was created by the church of Scientology with the goal of attack the field of psychiatry. Despite the name, as Stephen Wiseman points out, it's not a human rights organization at all.
And the CCHR has returned the love, reprinting Hollingsworth's article on its own website.
Ironically, earlier this year CNS' Penny Starr criticized U.S. Health and Human Services and Planned Parenthood officials for holding an event about birth control at the Church of Scientology’s National Affairs Office in Washington, D.C.
CNS certainly knows what Scientology is all about. So why is it promoting a Scientology-linked attack on psychiatry?
NEW ARTICLE: Public Relations, Not News, At WorldNetDaily Topic: WorldNetDaily
WND teams up with the right-wing Rutherford Institute to tell the story of a supposedly wronged ex-Marine, ignoring inconvenient facts about the case along the way that make the client look bad. Read more >>
The Washington Post reported on Tuesday morning that publisher Katherine Weymouth was stepping down (as Amazon tycoon Jeff Bezos is now the owner), and former Politico executive Frederick Ryan is taking her place.
Post technology reporter Craig Timberg implied that the important/interesting part of Ryan’s resume is his “years rising in the Reagan administration, eventually becoming a top presidential aide and key leader in the construction of his presidential library and numerous other initiatives after Reagan left office in 1989.” This, he reports, will “raise questions about the direction” of the allegedly “nonideological” Post:
Laugh track, please, for the "nonideological" Post. Start with the incessant daily front-page coverage of former Republican governor Robert McDonnell's trial in Virginia right now, for example.
Remember, Graham doesn't think a high-ranking Republican accused of corruption is news.Which must be why the MRC has censored the story of McDonnell's trial.
Graham is being quite disingenuous about a newspaper publisher's politics not mattering because he's conservative. In a May 2012 column, he -- under the pen name of his boss Brent Bozell -- called New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger a "liberal twit." There would be no need to add that modifier to his insult of Sulzberger if politics didn't matter, right?
And the politics of the Post's owner certainly matters to Graham as well. In an August 2013 column, Bozell-slash-Graham wrote that the Graham family, in selling the Post to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, "were confident that he had all the right political values and social liberalism."
Funny how, according to Graham, the liberal politics of media owners always infuses the media the run, while conservative media owners never does. Apparently, Graham has never read the Washington Times or the New York Post.
Meanwhile ... Topic: WorldNetDaily
Salon has published an excerpt from the new edition of John Avlon's book "Wingnuts" that focuses on WorldNetDaily. Avlon quotes Farah portraying himself as not as extreme as his website but also defending likening Obama to Hitler (which WND loves to do): "Well, if the analogy fits, it would be irresponsible not to make it."
NewsBusters' Blumer Repeats Misleading Claim About Arctic Ice Topic: NewsBusters
Tom Blumer is very excited in an Aug. 30 NewsBusters post:
Ice, ice baby. That's what they have a lot more of in the Arctic.
The UK Daily Mail, one of those British tabloids the left has despised going back to the Clinton administration and its paranoia about a right-wing media conspiracy, reports from authoritative sources — the kind the U.S. establishment press uses when it seems to support the hoax known as human-caused global warming — that the Arctic ice cap has expanded rapidly in the past two years. In doing so, it has made up all of what was lost between 2009 and 2012 with a slight margin to spare. Seven years ago, former Vice President and leading global warming false alarmist Al Gore predicted that "It could be completely gone."
Because this makes Al Gore look bad, the story is too good for Blumer to fact-check. Maybe he thinks he doesn't need to because the Mail's sources are so "authoritative" that they don't need fact-checking. Slate's Phil Plait does a fact-slap on the Daily Mail, which he points out is "to scientific accuracy what a sledgehammer is to an egg":
This claim is a humdinger, and typical denial double-speak. It’s technically true, but also really wrong. It’s like examining someone who has a 106° fever and saying it’s really made their skin glow.
Mentioning Gore is at best a distraction, red meat to the deniers. Gore isn’t a climate scientist, and as we well know actual climate scientists overwhelmingly agree that the world is warming. One of the outcomes of this is the decline of Arctic sea ice.
Briefly: Arctic sea ice reaches a minimum in late September every year. The overall trend for the amount of ice at that time is decreasing; in other words, there is less ice all the time. Some years there is more than others, some less. But the trend is down, down, down.
In 2012, a mix of unusual causes created conditions where the minimum reached a record low, far below normal. The next year, in 2013, the ice didn’t reach quite so low a minimum extent, and this year looks very much the same as 2013. But saying the ice is “recovering” is, to put it delicately, what comes out the south end of a north-facing bull. You can’t compare two years with a record low the year before that was due to unusual circumstances; you have to look at the average over time.
Of course, if you do, your claims that global warming isn’t real melt away.
Plait cites actual authoritative sources, unlike the Daily Mail sources Blumer places his faith in, and even supplies a chart demonstrating the trend of declining Arctic ice over time and, thus what a bunch of bull the Daily Mail article is:
Since Blumer claims to know his authoritative sourcees, perhaps he can explain why "authoritative sources" that conform to his right-wing agenda are so much better than actual authoritative sources who don't.
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch, Mychal Massie Edition (Now With Extra Racism!) Topic: WorldNetDaily
Mychal Massie spews another word salad of Obama-hate in his Sept. 1 WorldNetDaily column. Here's a sample:
Now, except for those who are in a terminal state of denial based on an Erebusic ideology and color of skin, there is no longer any doubt that Obama is a neo-Leninist Muslim sympathizer who is committed to transmogrifying America into something that will be unidentifiable to the America our Founding Fathers provided for vis-a-vis our Constitution.
But there's more. As he's wont to do, Massie drops numerous falsehoods in his column. Like this: "And the utilities he has used to do so are right out of Saul 'the Red' Alinsky’s Communist handbook." Actually, Alinsky wasn't a communist, and Massie hismelf is following Alinsky's book "Rules for Radicals" to a T in his attacks on Obama, especially the part about freezing and polaring his target.
Massie also falsely claimed that Obama "sent an 'armada' of representatives" to "hoodlum" Michael Brown's funeral. In fact, only three low-level White House aides attended the funeral.
Then, Massie invokes his black conservative privilege to conclude: "As I stated, it is time to call a spade a spade and this one is named Obama." While Massie couches the "spade" reference through its use in the century-old play "The Importance of Being Earnest," he seems not to understand that -- or is being deliberately obtuse about -- the fact that language evolves, and Oscar Wilde's use of the term in a Victorian drawing-room comedy of manners has quite a different meaning when applied to a black man.
Ask yourself: Would Massie have gotten away with saying such a thing were he not a black man himself? Massie apparently believes he can, given that he has previously denigrated a black woman as a "Negress" and told blacks to go back to Africa. So why wouldn't he paradoxically hurl racial slurs at someone with whom he shares his race?
MRC Thinks Sharyl Attkisson Is A Credible Reporter, Despite Discrediting Her In The Past Topic: Media Research Center
An Aug. 27 Media Research Center item by Geoffrey Dickens carries the headline "Sharyl Attkisson Schools ABC, CBS, NBC on How to Cover the IRS Scandal." He writes:
Unlike her colleagues at the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks, investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson, on Tuesday night, actually dug into the finer points behind the big bombshells revealed in the IRS scandal this week.
Dickens appears to have let Attkisson's current mainstream-media martyr schtick blind him to the fact that the MRC's archive shows that Attkisson should not be schooling anyone about anything.
As we've documented, the MRC has repeatedly criticized Attkisson's reporting on the supposed link between vaccines and autism -- something the MRC has conveniently ignored as it promotes her anti-Obama reporting (which it turns out is at least as factuallydeficient as her vaccine reporting).
Dickens appears to think reporters at the "Big Three" networks are Attkisson's "colleagues," but that's simply not true. She left CBS earlier this year and recently signed on to work for The Daily Signal, the "news" outlet of the right-wing Heritage Foundation. An ideologically driven website is hardly the equal of a network news operation.
While Dickens notes that Attkisson issued her "schooling" on Fox Business, he didn't concede that her appearance there is another sign she's moved to outlets friendly to her anti-Obama agenda.
WorldNetDaily's Bob Unruh has longdone the bidding of the right-wing Rutherford Institute in promoting the case of former Marine Brandon Raub, portraying him as an innocent victim of overzealous officials while hiding the violent, threatening nature of the Internet posts that got him in trouble in the first place.
Unruh does Rutherford's biddingh yet again in an Aug. 26 article in which he highlights how Rutherford is "asking an appeals court to reinstate his lawsuit for damages." As expected, Unruh presents only the view of Raub's attorneys at Rutherford, playing up how "a psychotherapist hired by the local county said he believed the military man might be a danger – even though the two never had met and never had even talked on the telephone" while vaguely writing of Raub's writing:
The officers had contacted Raub mostly because of song lyrics he had posted on social media sites expressing distrust of the federal government and calling for the jailing of, for example, former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.
As we detailed, one of those "song lyrics" stated "Sharpen my axe; I'm here to sever heads," from a song by the obscure Canadian hip-hop group Swollen Members. Raub also penned a rant in which he rails against the Federal Reserve and the income tax and invoked 9/11 trutherism, concluding, "WE MUST TAKE OUR REPUBLIC BACK."
Unruh is also silent about the latest spot of trouble Raub has found himself in, which suggests he might not be the saint Unruh and Rutherford portray him to be. In July, Raub was arrested on charges of indecent liberties with a child, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Investigators said Raub and his brother, Brently, gave alcohol to two teenage girls. Later, Raub is accused of exposing himself to one of them and attempting to have her touch him inappropriately.
Those charges were dropped earlier this month after it was ruled that Raub was not in a "custodial or supervisory relationship" at the time one of the teenage girls performed oral sex on him. Raub's brother, meanwhile, pleaded no contest to two misdemeanor counts of contributing to the delinquency of one of the girls, who was 13, and was sentenced to six months in jail.
A real reporter would have told the full truth about Raub. But we're alltooaware that's not what Unruh is.
There used to be a popular radio show, followed by an equally popular TV show, called “The Amateur Hour.” Singers, comedians and musicians, including even accordion players, would seek fame and fortune by competing on the show. These days, that notion has morphed into any number of similar shows, the most successful of which is “American Idol.”
What led me to think about all this is the realization that by the time the next president is inaugurated, Barack Obama will have held office for 2,922 days. (Don’t forget to count leap years before writing to question my math.) Or in other words, we will have suffered through the equivalent of 70,128 amateur hours.
When was the last time We the American People heard President Barack Hussein Obama comment on the death of a white man at the hands of a black man? Indeed, in my native city of Philadelphia, alone, at least six white police officers have been slain by black men over the last few years. Not a peep from our Racist in Chief or his equally bigoted attorney general, Eric Holder, both of whom are not coincidentally black.
Despite the fact that Obama has continuously proven to be either directly or indirectly responsible for years of atrocities, it’s as if the universe sprayed PAM all over Barack Obama. Nothing sticks, and it probably never will.
What’s worse, the Obama faction has shown its disposition to exploit a violent domestic crisis (such as the riots in Ferguson) as an excuse for the establishment of a dictatorial regime, using military-style police tactics if necessary. This forces us to confront the distinct possibility that any foreign-made threat to American lives here at home now has its counterpart in the Obama faction’s pursuit of its domestic goal: to erase the our nation’s constitutional self-government.
All this raises a simple but deeply troubling question: For how much longer will America survive the possibility that the command center for the onslaught on our way of life may well be located in Obama’s White House?
I almost overturned my little bowl of Brunswick stew when Obama was leading the nation in recoiling from the beheading of American James Foley. I thought it was pusillanimous even by Obama standards. I honestly thought he was just getting to the point, namely what America was going to do, when he promised we would be “relentless,” and then thanked everybody and left.
The elephant in the room, of course, is the fact that for Obama, taking action against ISIS would be fundamentally self-defeating. He has facilitated the group’s rise, both overtly and covertly, whether through clandestine arms shipments via the CIA operation in Benghazi, conning Congress into approving funds for groups of “moderate” Syrian rebels, or unilaterally claiming the authority to waive provisions of the Arms Export Control Act, which was enacted to prevent the supply of arms to terrorist groups. His long association with Islamist groups (anti-American by definition), his insinuation of Islamist operatives within our government and his facilitation of their objectives speak for themselves.
Incoherence. Stupidity. Malfeasance. Who can put a muzzle on this guy and stop him from talking? Let him golf instead. He does less damage to the country when he’s driving and putting than when he’s ad-libbing about national security matters and military strategy to the whole world.
As millions of Americans returned from their Labor Day vacations, they found a few things had changed during their absence. President Obama had been hard at work and had issued these new executive orders:
1) Effective this Labor Day, the national religion of the United States of America shall be Islam.
2) The president is granted all necessary authority to “make it so.”
3) In accordance with my authority, the following changes are to be implemented forthwith by all three branches of the federal government:
3.1) Christians, Jews and all peoples of other religious faiths shall have 30 days to announce their conversion to Islam and present themselves at the nearest mosque in their city.
3.2) Shariah law shall become the law of the land. All nine Supreme Court justices have been sent to Syria, where they will be observing firsthand the proper procedures for implementation of Shariah law.
3.3) I have appointed Lois Lerner to a newly created position as chief of religious conformity within the Internal Revenue Service. She will determine the disposition of Christian, Jewish and other religious houses of worship.
MRC's Gainor Goes To Bat For For-Profit Colleges Topic: Media Research Center
Dan Gainor's Aug. 25 Media Research Center article is a lengthy puff piece masquerading as "media research." He complains:
The Obama administration continues its push to regulate for-profit colleges and national media outlets have joined in and overwhelmingly taken the side of bigger government.
Three top newspapers – The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and USA Today – portrayed for-profit education negatively by a factor of 15-1 in roughly three years of news coverage.
The outlets have been laying the groundwork for more regulations, repeatedly painting for-profit education as a problem in need of solutions. The industry has been criticized for “exploitive and fraudulent practices” that “prey on veterans with misleading ads.” The colleges were bashed for their cost, their lobbying and “woefully inadequate education.” Journalists paid little attention to the challenges of educating students that more traditional schools would not accept.
Gainor spends the rest of the article bashing those newspapers for reporting the facts about problems with for-profit schools and ignoring the actual problems.
Gainor attacked the New York Times for covering the issue, complaining that "It even called them 'predatory schools' in April 2014, and 'predatory colleges' in May." Perhaps that's because that's what some of them are. One of the Times editorials Gainor criticized highlighted one analysis finding that "of the 4,420 career programs ... examined, 114 (all at for-profit institutions) had higher loan default rates than graduation rates — a situation created in part by schools that enroll poorly prepared students who can’t do the work but who borrow to pay tuition before eventually dropping out." These schools are "predatory," the Times explained, because they "rely on federal student aid for up to 90 percent of their revenue and are well versed in the art of evading the law."
Gainor went on to portray one for-profit operator, Corinthian Colleges, as the victim of a government conspiracy to run them out of business:
Corinthian Colleges, Inc. was one of the largest companies in the for-profit education field. But government had set out to take it down. It largely succeeded in July 2014.
The Los Angeles Times reported heavily on problems at the Santa Ana, Calif.,-based company – 11 full stories about what the paper called on July 16, 2014, “one of the most problematic players in the troubled for-profit college industry.” The stories featured complaining former students and angry former employees, along with the occasional comment from a company executive.
But Gainor neglects to mention the actual allegations the former students and employees made against Corinthian and outlined in that article. They include predatory marketing practices and falsely inflating placement rates.
Gainor also makes sure to skew his methodology for full propaganda impact:
The Media Research Center’s Business and Media Institute analyzed education stories in three top general interest newspapers. The MRC examined USA Today, The New York Times and Los Angeles Times. The other two papers landing in the top five for circulation are The Washington Post and Wall Street Journal. The Journal was not included because it focuses mostly on finance. The Post was deliberately excluded because it had close financial ties with the industry for part of the study period.
Gainor didn't mention that the Wall Street Journal is owned by News Corp., which also operates Fox News and, thus, automatically gets a pass. While it's true that the Washington Post did have "close financial ties with the industry" -- until Jeff Bezos bought the paper in 2012, its ownership group also ran the Kaplan for-profit schools -- one suspects the Post's coverage of the issue was actually a little too balanced to fit snugly in Gainor's propaganda piece.
The issue of for-profit colleges has been essentially ignored by the MRC until Gainor's piece. That screams of Gainor either being asked, or paid, by the for-profit college industry to write it.
Any chance Gainor will explain what's really behind his sudden interest in the issue? Don't count on it.
MRC Thinks Jon Stewart Was Serious Topic: Media Research Center
Anyone who has ever watched "NewsBusted" knows that the Media Research Center is humor-challenged. But MRC writer Kristine Marsh may very well be the most humor-challenged of the bunch.
In an Aug. 27 MRC item, Marsh somehow chooses to interpret a "Daily Show" segment on the Ferguson, Mo., shooting by declaring that "Jon Stewart had a lot of hate to unload on Fox News, and a lot of sanctimonious posturing on race." Marsh added: "Stewart condescendingly lectured Sean Hannity, saying 'Do you not understand that life in this country is inherently different for white people and black people?'"
But Marsh failed to include the context of that statement -- the accompanying video clip includes only that statement. In fact, Stewart was responding to Hannity's statement that he would simply lift his shirt to let an officer know he had a gun if he were ever stopped by police.
Marsh then demonstrated her utter lack of a sense of humor:
All standard fare for the media’s race baiters, but then Stewart pushed the boundaries of reason and claimed that racial discrimination was something every black person in America faced on a constant hourly basis.
“I guarantee you that every person of color in this country has faced an indignity — from the ridiculous to the grotesque to the sometimes fatal — at some point in their … I’m going to say last couple of hours because of their skin color.”
It’s hard to argue with such an absurd statement that Stewart could obviously know nothing about, much less, “guarantee.”
Marsh has obviously never heard of exaggerated claims being the base of humor. Marsh's huffing that Stewart was making "such an absurd statement" contrasts with Rush's Limbaugh regulardefense of his repeated offensive remarks by claiming he was merely illustrating absurdity by being absurd.
How is it that Marsh can presumably see Limbaugh's absurdity for what it is but not Stewart's?
WND's Cashill Hides The Truth Of Activists' Fraudulent Liens Topic: WorldNetDaily
In his Aug. 20 WorldNetDaily column, Jack Cashill tries to besmirch Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon by recounting a story from his past:
For Heather Johnson* and 14 other Missouri citizens, there is no forgetting and no forgiving. Allow me to explain.
On March 30, 1996, the 22-year-old Heather happily shucked her apron at the suburban Kansas City McDonald’s where she worked and headed out with her fiancé to a potluck dinner at a Knights of Columbus Hall in mid-Missouri.
The potluck was organized by a group of folks who took the state and federal constitutions as seriously as fundamentalist do the Bible.
That evening they were holding what they called a “common law grand jury” to assess certain police actions in the area. They were one short of the necessary 24 and cajoled the apolitical babysitter into sitting in.
One fellow appeared before the jury to protest a judge’s treatment of his 17-year-old daughter after a traffic stop. The grand jury had also invited the judge to come explain his action.
Not surprisingly, the judge blew the constitutionalists off, and the grand jury decided in the plaintiff’s favor. They told the plaintiff that under Missouri law he had a right to file a lien against the judge’s property. He promptly did just that.
Bad move. Nixon, eying a Senate run, was looking for an opportunity to strut his anti-terror stuff, a then-fashionable strut among the party faithful.
Some months passed before Heather learned of Nixon’s ambitions, and she learned the hard way. The state police came to her home late one night, handcuffed her and hustled her off to jail.
The frightened burger-flipper would soon learn that she had “tampered with a judicial officer by engaging in conduct reasonably calculated to harass [the judge], namely, filing a lien with the Lincoln County Recorder of Deeds on the property of [the judge.]”
The fact that the lien had been immediately expunged did not deter Nixon. Nor did the fact that Heather had not signed the lien or filed it.
At the time of the incident, in fact, Heather did not know what a lien was. She would tell me later, in a St. Joseph prison, “The word had yet to come into my vocabulary.”
This was a real prison, by the way, a Show-Me Guantanamo with coiled razor wire on the tops of the walls and big fat mommas in orange jump suits wandering the halls.
Heather had already served one year of a two-year sentence when I interviewed her for a local TV station. (I still have the tapes.)
She had been tried as a group with 14 others in Lincoln County. Curiously, the two men who actually filed the lien were not charged.
Another curiosity was that the lien was technically legal at the time it was filed – the legislature would not ban common law liens until August of that year.
Given the thinness of the charges, Heather and the 14 others fully expected to be exonerated. They chose to defend themselves.
“We range from ages 23 to 78,” a Vietnam vet told the jury in his opening statement. “We are farmers, mechanics, carpenters, truck drivers, equipment operators, a cross section of America.” But they were also all white. So no one in the media gave a damn.
Nixon had no pity on these “paper terrorists,” the preferred media term of the day. Before a jury pulled from a well poisoned pool, Nixon and his crack team of assistant AGs hammered the 15.
All of them were convicted. Thirteen received two-year sentences. The two presumed ringleaders were given seven years each and denied bail, all for inconveniencing a judge.
This being Cashill, he's hiding the facts of the story that don't conform with his agenda.
This "group of folks who took the state and federal constitutions as seriously as fundamentalist do the Bible" are better known today as soverign citizens who believe they are above the law. And the "inconveniencing" of the judge for which they were sentenced was, in fact, the filing of a malicious, fraudulent multimillion-dollar lien on the judge's property.
The Associated Press reported in 1996 that the group of 13 men and two women Cashill is writing about "were part of a common-law court group that filed a $10.8 million claim in Lincoln County Circuit Court against Associate Circuit Judge Patrick Flynn. Prosecutors called it an attempt to harass Flynn, who was scheduled to preside over a traffic charge against another member of the movement."
Malicious, fraudulent liens against government officials are a common tactic by "soverign citizens" to take revenge on a government they reject. Far from being the mere inconvenience Cashill claims they are, they can tie up property and keep rightful owners from doing anything with it until the lien is dealt with. The New York Times reports that one couple who lost their home to foreclosure filed more than $250 billion in liens against local officials. One sheriff who was victmiized by a lien says, "“It affects your credit rating, it affected my wife, it affected my children. ... We spent countless hours trying to undo it.” The FBI has labeled the strategy “paper terrorism.”
Cashill's benign description of the malicious, fraudulent lien being a noble protest of "a judge’s treatment of [the protester's] 17-year-old daughter after a traffic stop" also belies the facts. Here's what really happened, according to a court proceeding:
The record viewed in the light most favorable to the verdict reveals that on February 3, 1996, Highway Patrol Officer David Flannigan (Flannigan) issued two traffic tickets to Amanda Brook Lenk (A.Lenk), which were assigned to the Honorable Patrick S. Flynn, Associate Circuit Judge of Lincoln County. On February 28, 1996, A. Lenk's maternal grandfather George Castle and Charles Detmer informed Judge Flynn in his chambers that it would be in his best interest to dismiss the case against A. Lenk and if he did not do so “․ they would have to proceed with their proceedings in their court.” Sometime on February 28, Judge Flynn received a document entitled “Caveat and Demand to All Public Officials” from Castle and Detmer informing Judge Flynn that he and all public officials would be violating her constitutional rights under 42 U.S.C. Sections 1983-1986 and 18 U.S.C. 41, 242, 2381, if they proceeded in the case of State of Missouri v. Amanda Brook Lenk. Judge Flynn did not dismiss the case.
On March 12, 1996, A. Lenk appeared with her father, Melvin Lenk (M.Lenk), Castle, Detmer, and Hobbs before Judge Flynn. A. Lenk stated that she represented herself and moved that the charges against her be dismissed because she had chosen not to live under the laws of the United States through a Declaration to Quiet Title. Hobbs informed Judge Flynn that he was there as A. Lenk's “counsel” but was not allowed to represent her because he was not a licensed attorney. Hobbs informed Judge Flynn that he had no jurisdiction, the case should be dismissed and Judge Flynn would be brought before “their court” if he did not dismiss the case.
On or about March 25, Judge Flynn received documents entitled “Order to Appear,” ordering him to appear before “Our One Supreme Court ․ at the Knights of Columbus Hall in St. Clement, Missouri at 7:00 p.m., March 13th․ If you do not appear at the time, date and place so ordered[,] a default will be entered on your behalf and judgment entered against you in the sum ․ of ten million eight hundred and four thousand dollars of United States of America currency.” Judge Flynn received two of these “orders,” one on behalf of A. Lenk and the other on behalf of Hobbs, each of which had affidavits attached from M. Lenk and Hobbs and a list of “jurors” who entered the order.
In other words, the protester was taking revenge on the judge for not dismissing a minor traffic ticket against his daughter. No evidence was offered that the events resulting in the ticket did not happen; rather, it was claimed that the judge had no jurisdiction and would be tried in the protester's own made-up court as punishment.
As for Cashill's claim that "Heather," his pseudonymous so-called victim, "had not signed the lien or filed it," the court proceeding notes that 24 members of this "sovereign citizen" group were "jurors" that signed the order authorizing the lien against the judge. "Heather" is in all likelihood one of them. The order rather laughably stattes that the order is "not reviewable by any other court of the United States as set forth under the 7th Amendment, nor subject to trespass upon the case, by the Judicial Power of the United States, per 11th Amendment, our national Constitution."
Cashill noted that "I have changed Heather’s name to protect her but no other detail." Given the the names of the defendants' names are all a matter of public record as a result of the court proceedings and were reported in contemporaneous news accounts, it's rather silly for Cashill to hide her identity. All were identified by name in a 1996 St. Louis Post-Dispatch article (retrieved via Nexis); given that we know two of the 15 defendants were women and one of them is identified in the article as a grandmother, we can deduce that the other named woman is Cashill's mysterious source: Ima D. Conklin.
Cashill has a habit of sidingwithcriminals while whitewashing their crimes, and this is just another example.