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JonBenet Hysteria

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  • Robert Sterling
    Please send as far and wide as possible. Thanks, Robert Sterling Editor, The Konformist http://www.konformist.com JonBenet suspect won t be charged By JON
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 2, 2006
      Please send as far and wide as possible.

      Robert Sterling
      Editor, The Konformist

      JonBenet suspect won't be charged
      By JON SARCHE, Associated Press Writer

      Prosecutors abruptly dropped their case Monday against John Mark
      Karr in the slaying of JonBenet Ramsey, saying DNA tests failed to
      put him at the crime scene despite his insistence he sexually
      assaulted and strangled the 6-year-old beauty queen.

      Just a week and a half after Karr's arrest in Thailand was seen as a
      remarkable break in the sensational, decade-old case, prosecutors
      suggested in court papers that he was just a man with a twisted
      fascination with JonBenet who confessed to a crime he didn't commit.

      "The people would not be able to establish that Mr. Karr committed
      this crime despite his repeated insistence that he did," District
      Attorney Mary Lacy said in court papers.

      The 41-year-old schoolteacher will be kept in jail in Boulder until
      he can be sent to Sonoma County, Calif., to face child pornography
      charges dating to 2001.

      The district attorney vowed to keep pursuing leads in JonBenet's
      death: "This case is not closed."

      Karr was never formally charged in the slaying. In court papers,
      Lacy defended the decision to arrest him and bring him back to the
      United States for further investigation, saying he might have
      otherwise fled and may have been targeting children in Thailand as

      Lacy said Karr emerged as a suspect in April after he spent several
      years exchanging e-mails and later telephone calls with a University
      of Colorado journalism professor who had produced documentaries on
      the Ramsey case.

      According to court papers, Karr told the professor he accidentally
      killed JonBenet during sex and that he tasted her blood after he
      injured her vaginally. But the Denver crime lab conducted DNA tests
      last Friday on a cheek swab taken from Karr and were unable to
      connect him to the crime.

      "This information is critical because ... if Mr. Karr's account of
      his sexual involvement with the victim were accurate, it would have
      been highly likely that his saliva would have been mixed with the
      blood in the underwear," Lacy said in court papers.

      She also said authorities found no evidence Karr was in Boulder at
      the time of the slaying. She said Karr's family provided "strong
      circumstantial support" for their belief that he was with them in
      Georgia, celebrating the Christmas holidays. JonBenet was found
      beaten and strangled at her Boulder home on Dec. 26, 1996.

      Defense attorney Seth Temin expressed outrage that Karr was even

      "We're deeply distressed by the fact that they took this man and
      dragged him here from Bangkok, Thailand, with no forensic evidence
      confirming the allegations against him and no independent factors
      leading to a presumption he did anything wrong," Temin said.

      In an interview Monday with MSNBC, Gary Harris, who had been
      spokesman for the Karr family, said he knew the DNA would not match.

      Karr has been "obsessed with this case for a long time. He may have
      some personality problems, but he's not a killer," Harris said. "He
      obsesses. He wanted to be a rock star one time. ... He's a dreamer.
      He's the kind of guy who wants to be famous."

      Earlier this month, Ramsey family attorney Lin Wood pronounced
      Karr's arrest vindication for JonBenet's parents, John and Patsy
      Ramsey, who had long been suspected in the killing.

      On Monday, the attorney said: "From day one, John Ramsey publicly
      stated that he did not want the public or the media to jump to
      judgment. He did not want the public or the media to engage in
      speculation, that he wanted the justice system to take its course."

      Wood said he still has great confidence in the district attorney.
      Patsy Ramsey died of cancer in June.

      JonBenet Ramsey's aunt, Pamela Paugh, said she was disappointed
      there won't be a prosecution of someone in the case, but added: "I
      think our justice system worked as it was supposed to."

      "We asked the DA to do her thing. She did it," said Paugh, who is
      Patsy Ramsey's sister. "My disappointment came about the end of
      December 1996 when we didn't have the killer then. We've had 9 1/2
      years of disappointment and waiting."

      Nate Karr, John Karr's brother, said he was elated by the
      news. "We're just going to be celebrating with family," he said.

      Scott Robinson, a Denver attorney who has followed the case from the
      beginning, said prosecutors may now be back at square one in the
      JonBenet case. He said Karr may be charged with lying about his role
      in the case.

      "Seems to me there should be some criminal consequences," he
      said. "He has cost the taxpayers an enormous amount of money."

      Karr was arrested in Petaluma, Calif., in 2001 on charges of
      possessing child pornography but fled before he could be tried.
      Colorado authorities said that after the Boulder case against Karr
      was dropped, California officials asked that he be turned over to
      them for prosecution.

      In court papers, prosecutors said Karr began exchanging e-mails with
      professor Michael Tracey in 2002, signing them "D" and
      later "Daxis." The meaning of "Daxis" was not immediately clear.

      At first, Karr seemed to be just someone with an intense interest in
      the case, but he soon claimed responsibility for the crime, and
      provided more and more detail about that night, according to court
      papers. He claimed that he accidentally killed JonBenet during
      sexual activity that included temporarily asphyxiating her,
      prosecutors said.

      He began telling his story in hopes of being included a book Tracey
      was planning to publish, according to the court papers.

      Authorities eventually traced his calls and identified Daxis as
      Karr, prosecutors said.

      The district attorney said there was no way to take a cheek swab
      from Karr without alerting him that he was under investigation, and
      that would have created an "unacceptable risk that he would flee."

      Also, Karr was about to start a teaching job in Thailand, and in his
      correspondence began to describe an interest in several girls "in
      much the same terms that he had described his interest in JonBenet,"
      Lacy said in court papers. Authorities confirmed he was involved
      with at least one of the girls, Lacy said.
      Associated Press writers Chase Squires in Boulder, Sandy Shore in
      Denver, Harry R. Weber in Atlanta and Scott Lindlaw in San Francisco
      contributed to this report.

      On the Net:

      D.A. filing: http://www.courts.state.co.us/docs/06CR1244MQUASH1.pdf


      Jeff Cohen: Sick Puppy Meets Media Beast
      Tue, 08/29/2006
      by Jeff Cohen

      John Mark Karr is one sick puppy –- a school teacher who fantasized
      that he'd engaged in consensual sex so passionately with six-year-
      old JonBenet Ramsey that he accidentally killed her.

      And television news in our country is one ravenous beast -–
      abandoning any notion of journalism, proportion or decency to again
      prey upon JonBenet's corpse for ratings and profit.

      God only knows what combination of hurt and mental illness went into
      producing the sick puppy. On the other hand, there's no mystery
      about what created the media beast: corrupt government policies
      combined with corporate greed.

      Make no mistake: The media beast is every bit as compulsive and out
      of control as Karr, who may yet end up behind bars for child
      pornography. But the beast is free to maul again and again.

      For 10 days, TV news has fixated on this imposter-culprit as if he
      were a world-historical figure –- like Nelson Mandela emerging from
      prison, only bigger. TV tracked Karr's travels across the globe,
      telling us what he ate for dinner, analyzing his attire.

      To extend Karr's allotted 15-minutes of fame into a 10-day ordeal,
      TV news ignored important stories of war, environmental degradation,
      corruption, citizen activism. Instead, TV viewers were offered
      hundreds of hours of single-minded examination and debate on one
      burning question: did Karr do it? The inquiry was relentless and
      aired all sides.

      If only we'd had such in-depth, full-spectrum debate when the Bush
      team was dragging our country into war based on pretense.

      I worked in cable news just prior to the Iraq war. As I describe in
      my book Cable News Confidential: My Misadventures in Corporate
      Media, journalists at MSNBC got into trouble with management for
      questioning Team Bush too strongly, for insisting on genuine debate.

      By contrast, no one will get into trouble for this embarrassing 10-
      day spasm of overwrought Karr coverage. . .as long as ratings were
      good and coverage was cheap. If so, news producers can expect
      congratulations for a job well done.

      Tabloid stories involving sex, crime or celebrity are preferred by
      TV news management today. These stories are inexpensive to cover,
      since speculation by alleged experts can fill fill up hours of
      airtime. And tabloid stories typically don't offend anyone in
      political or economic power, including corporate sponsors and media

      But aggressively covering an administration bent on war can cause
      all sorts of problems. Especially for a media conglomerate that has
      business pending before the Federal Communications Commission.
      Especially when that media titan is lobbying the FCC to allow it to
      grow even more titanic –- as was happening in 2003 exactly at the
      time the Bush White House was launching its invasion of Iraq.

      During the run-up to war, I was a senior producer on Phil Donahue's
      primetime MSNBC show, the most watched program on the channel, until
      it was terminated three weeks before the war began. An internal NBC
      memo soon leaked out, complaining that Donahue was "a difficult
      public face for NBC in a time of war. . .He seems to delight in
      presenting guests who are antiwar, anti-Bush and skeptical of the
      administration's motives."

      Stick to tabloid stories and your TV career will flourish. Be
      skeptical about officialdom's war motives and they'll show you the

      I'll never forget my first day of work at MSNBC headquarters in the
      spring of 2002. As I entered the building's central corridor, I saw
      a number of framed posters celebrating highpoints of the channel's
      early history. The first one: "The Funeral of Princess Diana."
      Then: "Death of JFK, Jr." On the opposite wall, I saw "Columbine
      Shootings, Live Coverage" and "The Concorde Crash."

      I remember thinking: If these are what MSNBC considers its
      highlights, what were its lowlights?

      TV news owners and management love stories that keep viewers
      passive, on the sidelines -- as spectators. They fear the ones that
      might motivate us to take action, on the field -- as citizens.

      Active, informed citizens seek out (and build) independent media.
      They're the kind of pesky activists who intervene in FCC decisions
      and fight to diversify a mainstream media system that's been
      surrendered corruptly to a half-dozen conglomerates.

      TV news is trying desperately to hold onto its audience of passive
      consumers: those who know everything about John Mark Karr's dinner
      of pate and chardonnay, and next to nothing about the court ruling
      that Bush's warrantless wiretapping is unconstitutional.

      Last night, with cable news anchors looking ridiculous over their 10-
      day JonBenet binge, one MSNBC host seemed to need a scapegoat. If
      not murder, she asked a legal expert, couldn't Karr at least be
      charged with "conspiracy to set off a media frenzy"?

      You see, the 10-day hijacking of the airwaves was not her fault, or
      her bosses' fault. It was Karr's fault. . .TV's version of "the sick
      puppy ate my homework" excuse.


      Published on Monday, August 28, 2006 by CommonDreams.org
      JonBenét Died - And Bush Lied?
      by Thom Hartmann

      I was on the air doing my radio program two weeks ago when the story
      came down the wire that the killer of JonBenét Ramsey had been
      captured in Thailand just hours earlier. I opened the microphone and
      said words to the effect of, "Today there must be something really
      awful going down for the Republicans. Maybe Rove really will be
      indicted. Maybe Cheney. Maybe some terrible revelation about Bush.
      And if there isn't, today will be the day they'll toss out the
      unsavory stories - like gutting an environmental law or wiping out
      pension plans - that they don't want covered."

      Apparently it was worse than I'd imagined.

      That same morning - just hours after the JonBenét information hit
      the press and just after I got off the air - it was revealed that US
      District Court Judge Anna Diggs Taylor had ruled that George W. Bush
      and now-CIA Director Michael Hayden had committed multiple High
      Crimes, Misdemeanors, and felonies, both criminal and
      constitutional. If her ruling stands, Bush and Hayden could go to

      As Judge Taylor said in her "ACLU v. NSA" decision (available
      here): "In this case, the President has acted, undisputedly, as FISA
      [the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] forbids."

      When somebody acts "as FISA forbids," the law is pretty clear about
      the penalties. As you can read here, when somebody - anybody -
      breaks the FISA law, they are subject to "a fine of not more than
      $10,000 or imprisonment for not more than five years, or both."

      Further, in the case of a president or NSA director, the law
      specifies that federal agents and courts have the authority to
      arrest and prosecute: "There is Federal jurisdiction over an offense
      under this section if the person committing the offense was an
      officer or employee of the United States at the time the offense was

      Judge Taylor went on to point out that Bush had not only broken the
      law, but that he had also violated the Constitution - which many
      legal scholars would suggest is clearly an impeachable offense. In
      Judge Taylor's words:

      "The President of the United States, a creature of the same
      Constitution which gave us these Amendments [the Bill of Rights],
      has undisputedly violated the Fourth in failing to procure judicial
      orders as required by FISA, and accordingly has violated the First
      Amendment Rights of these Plaintiffs as well."
      But the media didn't notice. They were too busy with the story of
      the child-killer who had finally, after a decade, been found and
      captured. As the Think Progress blog noted:

      Yesterday, a federal judge in Michigan issued "a sweeping rebuke of
      the once-secret domestic-surveillance effort the White House
      authorized following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001." The
      ruling was "a significant blow to Bush's attempts to expand
      presidential powers," but you wouldn't know that by watching last
      evening's network newscasts.
      Think Progress went on to chronicle how much time the three big
      networks had devoted to the two stories that first night:

      NBC - 7 minutes 39 seconds on the Ramsey story, only 27 seconds on
      the NSA
      CBS - 3 minutes 23 seconds on the Ramsey story, only 25 seconds on
      the NSA

      ABC - 4 minutes 3 seconds on the Ramsey story, only 2 minutes on the

      Within a few days, the story of the President being found guilty of
      both imprisonable felonies and impeachable violations of the
      Constitution had vanished from the mainstream media altogether.

      This isn't the first time bad news for Republicans has been
      coincidentally eclipsed by Suddenly Huge Stories.

      Keith Olbermann first compiled, almost a year ago on his "Countdown"
      program on MSNBC, a list of ten "coincidences" wherein bad news for
      the Bush administration (or, during the election, good news for John
      Kerry) was immediately followed by terror alerts that grabbed the
      headlines and diverted the attention, Teflon-like, away from
      Republicans and into a media frenzy.

      Olbermann's list is now up to 13 of these odd "coincidences." An
      administration that would out a CIA agent and bring down an entire
      counterterrorism operation just to punish a former ambassador who
      dared to speak out about administration lies may well be easily
      capable of cooking up news-grabbing "coincidences."

      And apparently there's some fire to go with that smoke. As USA Today
      reported ("Ridge Reveals Clashes On Alerts" by Mimi Hall, 10 May

      "The Bush administration periodically put the USA on high alert for
      terrorist attacks even though then-Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge
      argued there was only flimsy evidence to justify raising the threat
      level, Ridge now says. ...
      "'More often than not we were the least inclined to raise it,' Ridge
      told reporters. 'Sometimes we disagreed with the intelligence
      assessment. Sometimes we thought even if the intelligence was good,
      you don't necessarily put the country on (alert). ... There were
      times when some people were really aggressive about raising it, and
      we said, "For that?"'"

      By coincidence, when Boulder District Attorney Mary Lacy made her
      first announcement, transcribed by the Rocky Mountain News, she
      mentioned her work with Bush's Department of Homeland Security
      several times, naming agents of that department, and pointing out
      that her own investigator, Mark Spray, had been sent off to Thailand
      a week earlier "with little more than four hours notice."

      It probably took Judge Anna Diggs Taylor around a week to wrap up
      the wording of her decision, and if the NSA were spying on her
      without a warrant, the timing of sending off a Boulder agent just in
      time to generate a sensational headline a week later would be no

      In a way, it would be nothing new: Republican operatives working out
      of Utah Republican Senator Orrin Hatch's office successfully hacked
      into the computers of and spied on several prominent Democrats, most
      notably Massachusetts Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy, for over a
      year from the Spring of 2002 through April of 2003. As The Boston
      Globe noted on January 22, 2004, the memos were then leaked at
      useful moments to The Washington Times, Bob Novak, and others:

      "Republican staff members of the US Senate Judiciary Committee
      infiltrated opposition computer files for a year, monitoring secret
      strategy memos and periodically passing on copies to the media,
      Senate officials told The Globe.
      "From the spring of 2002 until at least April 2003, members of the
      GOP committee staff exploited a computer glitch that allowed them to
      access restricted Democratic communications without a password.
      Trolling through hundreds of memos, they were able to read talking
      points and accounts of private meetings discussing which judicial
      nominees Democrats would fight -- and with what tactics.

      "The office of Senate Sergeant-at-Arms William Pickle has already
      launched an investigation into how excerpts from 15 Democratic memos
      showed up in the pages of the conservative-leaning newspapers and
      were posted to a website last November.

      "With the help of forensic computer experts from General Dynamics
      and the US Secret Service, his office has interviewed about 120
      people to date and seized more than half a dozen computers --
      including four Judiciary servers, one server from the office of
      Senate majority leader Bill Frist of Tennessee, and several desktop
      hard drives.

      "But the scope of both the intrusions and the likely disclosures is
      now known to have been far more extensive than the November
      incident, staffers and others familiar with the investigation say.

      "The revelation comes as the battle of judicial nominees is reaching
      a new level of intensity. Last week, President Bush used his recess
      power to appoint Judge Charles Pickering to the Fifth Circuit Court
      of Appeals, bypassing a Democratic filibuster that blocked a vote on
      his nomination for a year because of concerns over his civil rights

      Investigations into the "computer glitch" have been blocked by
      Senate Republicans for three years now, and the data was used to
      successfully torpedo several of Kennedy's and other Democrats'
      efforts against Bush's federal judicial appointments of right-wing

      So we have Republicans who have admitted spying illegally. Who brag
      about it. And who have evidently - according to Tom Ridge - played
      the media like a violin for years. Could it be that the Karr/Ramsey
      case is another Soviet-style manipulation of the media?

      Or is that too paranoid to contemplate?

      Tragically, there are virtually no investigative reporters left in
      America, and the few who are still working find incredible
      roadblocks - and over the past year the threat of imprisonment -
      when looking into the workings of the Bush administration's
      intelligence services.

      So, at the worst for Republicans who trot out "news" and "terror
      alerts" to misdirect our attention, this will probably just be
      chalked up as Coincidence Number 14 on Keith Olbermann's list.

      Thom Hartmann is a Project Censored Award-winning best-selling
      author, and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk
      show carried on the Air America Radio network and Sirius.
      www.thomhartmann.com His most recent book, just released,
      is "Screwed: The Undeclared War on the Middle Class and What We Can
      Do About It." Other books include: "The Last Hours of Ancient
      Sunlight," "Unequal Protection," "We The People," and "What Would
      Jefferson Do?"
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