Jack Cashill Endorses Murder
The conspiracy-happy WorldNetDaily columnist hides facts to defend a Navy sailor convicted of killing a gay man -- and praised the death of an abortion doctor as "frontier justice."
By Terry Krepel
Jack Cashill has never been one to pass up a good conspiracy, no matter how how false.
After all, as ConWebWatch has detailed, he is the man who penned a seven-part series at WorldNetDaily asserting that anti-abortion activist James Kopp was being framed for the 1998 death of New York abortion doctor Barnett Slepian -- a conspiracy inconvenienced by the fact that Kopp eventually pleaded guilty to the murder. Cashill also falsely suggested that Eric Rudolph was similarly being framed for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics bombing and another bombing at an abortion clinic. He also believes "the Clintons and their operatives -- Richard Clarke, Sandy Berger, Jamie Gorelick among others -- finessed or fixed all terrorist investigations to enhance Clinton's reelection" in 1996, "turned Ron Brown into Martin Luther King while suppressing the investigation into his death" and "transformed the shoot-down of TWA Flight 800 into a mechanical failure."
Cashill spent much of the 2008 election and beyond peddling the claim that Barack Obama's memoir "Dreams From My Father" was ghost-written by former radical William Ayers, even as professional literary analysts proved him wrong. Surprisingly, Cashill found some vindication on this subject when author Christopher Andersen stated in his book on the Obamas that Ayers provided "help" and served as an "informal editing service” on the book. While Cashill gloated that Andersen presented the situation regarding Obama's book "just as I envisioned it," that's not quite true.
First, there's circular logic going on -- Andersen cites Cashill as one of the sources for his claim. Second, as the Washington Independent's David Weigel pointed out, Cashill has claimed that Ayers wrote “the better part” of “Dreams From My Father,” something not even Andersen suggested. Third, Andersen himself backed away from the claim in an interview on CNN's "Reliable Sources," during which he explicitly said, "I definitely do not say he [Ayers] wrote Barack Obama's book."
So beware of anything Cashill has to say -- it will be partially, if not completely, wrong.
Which brings us to to the case of Steven Nary, a former Navy sailor who is serving a prison term for second-degree murder in the 1996 death of Juan Pifarre, publisher of a newspaper in San Francisco. Cashill has latched on to Nary's case, which can only mean that he's hiding the truth somewhere.
Cashill's July 2, 2009, WorldNetDaily column lamented that Nary was denied parole despite "a near perfect prison record, a long-standing conversion to Catholicism, an excellent psychiatric report, almost enough college credits to graduate, numerous letters of support, several job and living offers -- including one from my wife and me -- and the imperative of California's empty coffers."
So Cashill has a very personal stake in Nary's case by offering to take Nary into his home. And it's interesting that Cashill seems to think California's budget troubles should give it license to release convicted killers onto the street willy-nilly.
Naturally, Cashill believed the decision against granting Nary parole is all part of a grand conspiracy:
Nary had killed a gay man, and San Francisco's political class is always eager to unruffle gay feathers.
Cashill went on to provide an account of the case that excuses Nary's indiscretions (Nary and a friend went "to buy some beer and drank, as sailors do, more than they should have") and tried to make Pifarre look as bad as possible by making claims not only not made during the trial but could never have been made given the hearsay nature of them. He claims that Pifarre "had too much to drink and done too much cocaine, both likely true" and was in "a sham marriage to keep him from being deported."
Cashill also claimed that Nary's description of an incident prior to the murder was "describing the precise reaction of a person who had been slipped a date rape drug, then all the rage among sexual predators in the gay community."
Needless to say, Cashill left important details out. The most salient one is that, as the San Francisco Chronicle reported, Nary allowed Pifarre to perform oral sex on him, for which Pifarre offered to pay Nary $40.
Cashill claimed that Nary "subdued Pifarre, likely by choking him, although the coroner's report is imprecise." In fact, Nary told police he choked Pifarre for five minutes, and the apartment where Nary killed Pifarre was strewn with blood.
Further, seemingly contrary to Cashill's claim that "Back at the ship, Nary told the chaplain and then turned himself in," Nary originally denied any sexual contact with Pifarre and told the Navy medic who treated the broken hand Nary suffered in killing Pifarre that he had hurt it playing basketball.
It seems that Cashill thinks killing a gay man shouldn't be punished as harshly as a non-gay man -- which dovetails nicely with WND's aggressive anti-gay agenda -- and that a killer who initially misled authorities should be somehow rewarded.
Cashill repeated many of the same points in his Aug. 13 column, then bizarrely complained that the district attorney at Nary's parole hearing "chastised Nary for not calling 911 after he had fled Pifarre's apartment in the early hours of the morning. That he had called the police of his own accord days later scored him no points."
So it's the thought that counts? Wouldn't a truly repentant killer with conscience have called 911 immediately, when there might have been a chance to save Pifarre's life? Waiting days to call 911 regarding someone who's been dead for pretty much that entire time is a meaningless gesture.
In his Oct. 29 WND column, Cashill expanded his line of bamboozlement to rant against the expansion of federal hate-crime protections for gays and, for good measure, embrace Matthew Shepard revisionism:
Consider the case of the bill's namesake, Matthew Shepard. As the media told and retold the story, Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson, two "homophobic" desperados, killed the helpless gay Wyoming University student in a fit of "gay panic."
Actually, the reason why the media reported that Shepard was killed in a "gay panic" is because, as ConWebWatch detailed, McKinney used the "gay panic" defense at his trial -- which most normal people would consider the "best evidence." And, according to the Matthew Shepard Foundation, during his in-custody interview after his arrest, McKinney gave "an un-rehearsed and unemotional anti-gay account of the events before, during, and after leaving Matt tied to the fence."
Returning to the Nary case, Cashill again tried to justify the crime by making Nary's victim look bad -- describing him at one point as "chunky" and "coked-up" -- ignoring Nary's own statements to police that he allowed the victim to perform oral sex on him for $40, and in the morning choked the victim for five minutes.
Cashill followed up with a Nov. 5 column is in large part a letter from Nary, which embraces that same kind of victimhood Cashill has been dishing out on his behalf, despite starting out by stating that "I have never been able to fully express to others what happened to me. The obvious reasons are my fear of judgment and my desire to not be labeled a victim."
Nary allowed that he's sorry for killing the guy, but adds, "However, I am frustrated that I have to keep saying that I am sorry because it takes away from what happened to me." Nary blames his victim for provoking him into a murderous rage, seemingly justifying his own actions: "Why is it so hard to understand the violation of one's body is enough to see the deepest of emotions come out?"
Finally, Nary lamented: "I may end up spending the rest of my life in prison because I have trouble articulating this to a parole board that somehow came up with the conclusion that I wanted this to happen." Nary doesn't seem to understand that his repeated deflection of blame may be one reason he's still in prison. And Cashill seems all too happy to perpetuate Nary's victimhood.
Cashill began his Jan. 7 column with more whining from Nary -- "If you want to see a place where Christmas is as non-existent as you can get, come to prison" -- before launching into another whitewash of his case. As before, Cashill bashes the victim, Pifarre, as "gay, ethnic and politically wired. The city of San Francisco would name a building after him," while Nary "was white, poor, powerless and alone," not to mention "Ill-educated and inarticulate."
Nary is now a model inmate, Cashill insisted, yet his parole was denied. "Shame on San Francisco," he sneered. Shame on Cashill for hiding the facts from his readers.
Nary isn't the only person whom he would like to see escape punishment for killing someone. He's also supportive of Scott Roeder, who last May shot and killed Kansas abortion doctor George Tiller in church.
Shortly after the killing, in his June 4, 2009, column, Cashill praised Tiller's death as "a kind of crude frontier justice," citing the failure to convict Tiller of alleged violations regarding his practice of performing late-term abortions. In case anyone missed his justification, he even referenced the John Kennedy quote "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
Cashill's Nov. 12 column again reveled in Tiller's death and refused to hold Roeder accountable for his actions:
Scott Roeder, the accused murderer of late-term Wichita abortionist George Tiller, admitted killing Tiller earlier this week in an interview with the Associated Press.
Got that? Cashill doesn't find Roeder's "necessity defense" morally reprehensible; he merely regrets it won't hold up in court.
As in the Nary case, Cashill went on to once again blame the victim: "Say what one will, Roeder was not a terrorist. There was nothing random about his actions. Nor was Tiller an innocent victim. Far from it." And again, Cashill blames politicians: "Had Tiller gotten the trial he deserved, he would be where Roeder is today, but at least he would be alive."
Jack Cashill kept up his endorsement of illegal acts in his Jan. 14 column, again citing "frontier justice" and believing that Roeder's deserves a ticker-tape parade or a national holiday or something:
Although no one would guess it from the fussy local coverage of Scott Roeder's trial for the murder of Wichita abortionist George Tiller, the Kansas-Missouri borderlands have a long-storied tolerance for frontier justice.
The funny thing is, Cashill is working at cross purposes with the publisher of his column. As ConWebWatch detailed, WND has largely run away from Roeder, depicting him as mentally unstable and "not associated with the mainstream pro-life movement" in order to downplay the movement's historic violence (which we saw again most recently at CNSNews.com, which stated that Tiller "was shot by a man known to have mental problems in May.").
But WND strangely doesn't seem bothered by this. Cashill's enthusiastic endorsement of murder only reminds us just how extremist WND is.