Dover board member Bonsell caught lying
Thank you, Robert Baty, for referring me to this one!
In Dover suit, a day to sweat
by Mike Argento
(York Daily Record/Sunday News, 11/1/05)
HARRISBURG — On the witness stand during Monday's session of the
Dover Panda Trial, Dover Area School Board member Alan Bonsell
accused the press of just making things up.
Keeping that in mind, here's a description of what happened Monday
Wearing a nice gray suit, Bonsell answered every question to the
best of his ability and was positively forthcoming and when the
lawyers pointed out certain inconsistencies in his testimony, he
thanked them profusely and offered expansive explanations for why he
may have been misunderstood and cleared up any misunderstandings
that may have arisen.
OK, all of that was made up.
Except for the part about Bonsell wearing a gray suit.
Actually, at the conclusion of his testimony, he was in serious
danger of ruining that suit.
That was when the judge started asking him to try to explain — um,
how should I phrase this? — certain gaps and problems with his
It was remarkable. Judge John E. Jones III asked for a copy of
Bonsell's deposition and started asking him questions about why he
felt the need to cover up where the money came from to buy the 60
copies of "Of Pandas and People" that wound up in the Dover high
Bonsell didn't explain very well.
At one point, he replied to the judge's query with, "I misspoke."
"I misspoke" wasn't working. So he tried to layer on some verbiage —
at one point, seemingly, speaking random words that had nothing to
do with what the judge was asking — to give the impression that he
was merely trying to answer the question.
When, in fact, he was merely trying to avoid answering the question.
The more he talked, the worse it got.
By the conclusion, it was clear to everyone in the courtroom that
the judge was pointing out that Bonsell might have lied under oath.
That's a problem.
Ask Scooter Libby.
Or Bill Clinton.
Bonsell wasn't being asked about who outed a CIA agent or whether he
had had sex with that woman. He wasn't even being asked about a
crime — the judge was asking about who bought the copies of "Of
Pandas and People" that were donated to the school.
And Bonsell really didn't want to say.
In fairness, Bonsell wasn't very believable even before the judge
started laying into him. He said, "I have never brought anything
forward to put creationism in the school district in any shape or
form" — despite notes from board retreats and other testimony
describing him bringing up creationism.
I was expecting him to say, "I did not have sex with that panda."
And so the Dover Panda Trial took an interesting turn. Certainly,
the big issues — mostly notably, separation of church and state —
remain. But now, members of the Dover Area School Board may have to
worry about those aforementioned gaps and problems in their
Of course, the defendants are going to turn this around and blame
those darned liberal activist judges. It doesn't work. For one
thing, Jones was appointed to the federal bench by George W. Bush,
not known for appointing liberals. And, you know, insisting that
witnesses tell the truth in court isn't exclusively a liberal
On the one hand, school board members can use this to defend against
the charge that they were motivated by religious belief in
introducing intelligent design or creationism into the biology
curriculum. If they were motivated by religion, how come none of
them ever heard of the Ninth Commandment — you know, the one about
bearing false witness?
On the other hand, it's really a sad day for America when public
officials can no longer lie convincingly enough to get it past a
I blame the public schools. I mean, just look at some of the bozos
in charge of them.
- --- In anti-CED@yahoogroups.com, PIASAN@a... wrote:
>lol. Looks like this would make a good t-shirt slogan.
> Thank you, Robert Baty, for referring me to this one!
> I was expecting him to say, "I did not have sex with that panda."