J.A.I.L. News Journal Los Angeles - February 24, 2001 ____________________________________________________ Listen to HotSeat4Judges daily on Internet RadioMessage 1 of 1 , Feb 24, 2001View Source
J.A.I.L. News Journal
Los Angeles - February 24, 2001
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Judge Has "Pseudologica Fantastica"Friday, February 23, 2001
Judge Wasn't in Agency, CIA Officer Says
Court: Testimony at hearing contradicts the jurist's claim of having served on secret missions in Laos during Vietnam War.
A CIA officer testified Thursday that a judge accused of fabricating parts of his academic and military record never served with the agency and that, contrary to the jurist's claims, no other outfit operated clandestinely in Laos in 1968 and 1969.
The appearance of the CIA officer was the latest bit of unusual testimony in a judicial hearing for Superior Court Judge Patrick Couwenberg, who could face removal from the bench if he is found to have intentionally lied about his past.
William McNair, an information review officer for the CIA directorate of operations, said Couwenberg never worked for the agency, which he said keeps lists of every operative on its computer system.
"If I want to know Couwenberg is with us, I simple do a name trace," McNair told a three-judge panel, which could recommend that the judge be censured, reprimanded or removed from the bench.
Couwenberg on Wednesday testified that he was recruited by a man called Jack Smith and went to Laos in 1968 and 1969 via Thailand as part of covert operations for a secret agency. That agency, he said, could have been the CIA or another clandestine U.S. government operation.
But McNair said such a story just wasn't believable. "The CIA had been given charge of operations in Laos," he said. "There would be no U.S. government entity conducting operations in Laos in 1968 and 1969 except the CIA."
Couwenberg admitted Wednesday that, although he claimed otherwise, he is not a Purple Heart-decorated Vietnam War veteran, does not hold a master's degree in psychology from Cal State Los Angeles and never attended Caltech or Loyola Law School.
Edward P. George Jr., Couwenberg's attorney, has said expert witnesses will testify that the judge has "pseudologica fantastica," a condition that compels its sufferers to tell stories to enhance their self-esteem.
Copyright 2001 Los Angeles Times
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