\What’s in a name?
1. What do you call a district court judge who rules in favor of police surveillance of people living in the United States based solely on their religion?
I’m sure the very erudite readers of Mantiq al-Tayr can come up with some very descriptive terms. But for the Shas Party members who try to read this blog, we’ll keep it simple.
Judge William J. Martini is a anti-constitutionalist Asshole. On February 20, 2014, he tossed out a case filed by 8 Muslims in New Jersey filed against the NYPD for its massive warrantless surveillance of people based solely on the suspicion that these people might be Muslims.
“In a summary 10-page opinion, and without oral argument, the case was dismissed for lack of standing and because the court considered plaintiffs’ claims of discrimination from NYPD’s Muslim surveillance program not “plausible.”
(I love the stuff Haifa chooses to highlight, but I digress.)
Now all the Tuyuur here at Mantiq al-Tayr find the fact that a right-wing Republican former congressman judge with an affinity for criminals ruled in favor of the NYPD’s gross violations of the constitution. After all, the NYPD is clearly a bunch of criminals too, so why not stand up for them?
Oh, and I can here you all saying “WTF Mantiq, why would you even consider that a judge in New Jersey, New Jersey of all places, would be fond of criminals?” New Jersey is wonderful state full of loving kind honest politicians like James McGreevey and his boyfriend Golan Cipel, for example. Or how about another former governor Jon Corzine. Quite a great fellow that guy was.
Oh wait, let me digress. Superior Court Judge Deanne Wilson in New Jersey seems kinda cool to me. Hope I’m right. Seems she had a court case last summer involving the real estate dealings of an obvious Muslim terrorist suspect named Zygi Wilf. Zygi owns the Minnesota Vikings, btw. Note to Shas Party members, both those in New Jersey and outside of the Garden State, red highlighting is by Haifa Wehbe, our guest editor.
The judge said she found that the Wilf family committed fraud, breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty and had also violated New Jersey’s civil racketeering statute.
“I do not believe I have seen one single financial statement that is true and accurate,” the judge said in court. The plaintiffs, Reichmann and her brother Josef Halpern, claimed in court that they were owed $51 million. The plaintiffs had earlier argued that the Wilfs had used “organized crime-type activities” in their bookkeeping practices.
Back to the Asshole.
“On April 16, 2008, Sharpe James was convicted on five counts of fraud by a federal jury for conspiring to rig the sale of nine city lots to his mistress, who quickly resold them for hundreds of thousands of dollars in profit. James (federal inmate number 28791-050) served his 2-year prison sentence in a federal prison camp in Petersburg, Virginia.”
Thanks to Martini, former Newark Mayor James Sharpe spent only 18 months in prison. But it gets even better. Oh yes.
“Paul W. Bergrin, the once-prominent defense lawyer and former federal prosecutor who was convicted of murder, cocaine trafficking, racketeering and other crimes, was sentenced early this afternoon to six life sentences.”
Here’s a bit more:
“After two days of deliberations in March, the jury convicted Bergrin of using his former law office in Newark as a front for a racketeering enterprise. That enterprise, prosecutors argued, was marked by Bergrin plotting the murders of witnesses against his legal clients, other instances of witness tampering, promoting prostitution and trafficking in kilogram quantities of cocaine.”
No thanks to Martini who did everything in his power to help Begrin and as a result we read the following about an appellate court’s decision:
In the Bergrin opinion, Judge Jordan noted that reassigning a case to a different judge on remand “is an extraordinary remedy that should seldom be employed” — and then proceeded to do just that.
So the appellate court took Martini off of the case. Bergrin was then convicted and sentenced to six life sentences.
On the same day that he got to boot on the Bergrin case, he got kicked off another case as well.
But I guess since NONE of the Muslims surveilled by the NYPD had been guilty of any crimes whatsoever, nothing, nada, not one fucking thing, it is still okay to violate their constitutional rights because, after all, they are Muslims.
Note the following about the case:
The Center for Constitutional Rights represented multiple plaintiffs in the lawsuit. Syed Farhaj Hassan, a New Jersey resident and US soldier who served in Iraq, worships at the Masjid-e-Ali mosque, Mehfile Shahe Khorasan mosque and the Imam-e-Zamana Foundation of North America mosque.
Each of the mosques are in New Jersey and became targets of the NYPD’s surveillance program. And, as a result, Hassan alleged that he had “decreased his mosque attendance significantly since learning that the mosques he attends have been under surveillance by the NYPD” because of the “reasonable and well-founded fear that his security clearance would be jeopardized by being closely affiliated with mosques under surveillance by enforcement.”
Ignoring this completely, well after all the plaintiffs are Muslims, Martini wrote:
“Nowhere in the Complaint do Plaintiffs allege that they suffered harm prior to the unauthorized release of the documents by the Associated Press. This confirms that Plaintiffs’ alleged injuries flow from the Associated Press’s unauthorized disclosure of the documents. The harms are not ‘fairly traceable’ to any act of surveillance.”
Yeah, AP is to blame for outing the NYPD’s illegal surveillance. Of course the plaintiff’s never complained that the AP’s stories harmed them, that connection was concocted whole cloth by the guy who defended Paul Bergrin, one of whose supporters seems to blame Bergrin’s plight for his record of defending US soldiers in Iraq charged with war crimes.
Now given the long and well-documented record of Jews committing all sorts of crimes in New Jersey and of engaging in outright espionage in the United States, what do you think folks would make of an outfit like the NYPD mapping out where all the Jews live, identifying their hangouts, synagogues, organizations and student associations, and then engaging in warrantless surveillance and actual infiltration off these groups without any prior evidence that these individuals had engaged in wrongdoing of any sort? Just asking.
Your fourth amendment protects are gone ladies and gentelman. Please let Martini know how much you appreciate this.
2. Wow it is video time already. But wait, I can hear you all bitching and moaning: “Mantiq, what the hell does this have to do with “La Rosa Blanca?” thought you’d never ask.
Just fucking wait a minute.
First of all, this video is just wonderful. This site is a big fan of Navil Mansour as you all know. Here’s a beautiful video we linked to some time ago with the soothing and charming Ronza Ismael. If you love Palestine, you’ve got to love this song and these two vibrant musicians.
La Rosa Blanca
It’s very hard to turn the other cheek. I’m not sure I believe in it as much as I once did. Still, the late Pete Seeger and his grandson give us reason to pause.
If you wish to skip the intro go to the 49 second mark.
Only a Shas Party member cannot be affected by this – that’s what the tuyuur tell me, and as is always the case, they are quite correct.