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Friday, 2 September 2011

The uselessness of a post facto alibi when weighed against a proven character of deceit

As reported in this blog, several people have come forward to testify, however informally, as having had direct knowledge of the circumstances surrounding Barack Hussein Obama II's birth. Inasmuch as no two of these stories agree, however, we are not constrained to believe a single one of them. The closest we can come to finding two or three witnesses is the clear evidence that within four days of August 2, 1961, the local birth* of Barack Hussein Obama II was reported in two different Hawaiian newspapers. But where the birth actually took place: three different versions. And who actually delivered the baby: three different versions.

Clearly, it's an easy thing to get someone to claim that they were present at any given time and place, in which they witnessed a particular event. Take, for example, the multiple testimonies that Caryl Chessman amassed proving that he was somewhere else when the Red Light Bandit struck his victims:

Chessman called a woman named Winona Phillips, who testified that on January 13, at the time Rose Howell's 1946 Ford was being stolen in Pasadena, that Chessman was at her home "helping her edit" a novel she was writing. A good alibi, but Leavy punctured it easily enough. When he asked the witness when she first recalled the visit, she replied that Caryl had reminded her about it the previous evening when she had visited him in the county jail.

Harold Ostran, Chessman's parole officer, testified that Chessman had made an in-person report to him that same day, and that he noticed nothing unusual in the parolee's demeanor.

Harold Doty, who repaired radios as a part-time sideline, testified that at two significant times when Red Light crimes were being committed, he was at the home of Serl and Hallie Chessman, picking up or delivering a radio that needed repairing, and had observed Chessman there helping his father lay linoleum and sitting with his mother.

It was a dreadful scene when poor Hallie Chessman was brought into court on a portable hospital bed. Hallie was an ill reed of a woman by now, having been an invalid since her back was broken in the automobile accident 17 years earlier. For some time she had also suffered from cancer of the spine, which was spreading slowly but unabated throughout her paralyzed back. When she testified -- answering questions put to her by Al Matthews, because Chessman explained to Judge Fricke that he "could not bear to do it" -- Hallie's voice was soft but impassioned. This was her son, her only child, and she would do her best for him.

Hallie alibied Caryl for several Red Light crime time frames that had not been covered. He was home with her, or she had sent him on an errand, or she could hear him talking in the back yard, or she had spoken to a friend on the telephone and Caryl was there with the friend. Hallie was certain of the dates, days, times. Leavy asked her several token questions on cross, but quickly saw that he would not be able to shake her resolve to help her very troubled son -- nor did he have the inclination to torment the poor woman that way -- so he let her go. The stricken woman seemed on the verge of exhaustion when she was wheeled out of the courtroom.

Helen Denny, a friend of Chessman's, testified that he was with her in Bradley's Bar on Hollywood Boulevard at the exact time that one of the Red Light Bandit crimes was being committed. Another friend, Ollie Treon, substantiated the story, saying she had seen them there. William Callahan, a garage owner, testified that Chessman had brought in a 1946 Ford on January 21 to have a collapsed front spring fixed. He had left the car there overnight.

Lucille Green, a friend of Hallie's, said she saw Chessman at home during one of the questionable times, when she came over to get a chair that Hallie was giving her.

The last witness for the defense was the defendant himself, who stated his name as "Caryl W. Chessman." In preliminary questioning by Al Matthews, he gave his age as 26, height six feet, weight 190, and marital status as divorced. Then, very methodically, Chessman gave his own version of where he had been when each and every Red Light Bandit crime had been committed.

At various times, he testified, he had been at the Hall of Records, checking on some real estate ownership; at Sears Roebuck buying new curtains for his mother's room; with Winona Phillips at her home, "helping her write a book"; working in the back yard of his parents' home; in Hollywood seeing a movie called "The Swordsman"; at Bradley's Bar drinking with various friends at various times; sitting up all night with his invalid mother -- and so on. He had a clearly remembered alibi for every Red Light Bandit crime time frame.
And yet, the jury weighed all this testimony against the known and conceded fact that Chessman had been an habitual criminal ever since he was old enough to get behind the wheel of someone else's unattended car and drive off, and overruled every last alibi as a condemned man's desperate attempts to save his neck. Instead, they believed the victims, every one of whom positively identified him as The Bandit. He was found guilty on all counts and sentenced to death. Interestingly, the Red Light Bandit Crimes, which began shortly after he had been released on parole, ended with his arrest.

The problem for Caryl Chessman is that none of these alibis had been brought up until after he was arrested. That so many people could remember so many details of seeing and interacting with him was amazing, that long after the fact. The key, brought out under cross-examination, was that "Caryl had reminded her about it the previous evening." Thus the power of suggestion: beginning with a vague memory involving a specific person in a specific place, the skilled interviewer was able to consolidate that memory around a specific time--which always coincided with one of the Bandit's attacks. Simply put, alibis that emerge during the investigation of a crime are not reliable, and wise jurors will take that into consideration.

What about a priori alibis, however? I was once arrested for a crime and there was no need to come up with an alibi; the officer who pressed the charges was fully aware that I was nowhere around the scene of the crime. Without any witness to my presence at the crime, there was no need to claim I had been elsewhere. I know of another case, in which cell phone records were produced at a trial to prove that the defendant could not have been at the scene of the crime; the testimony that placed him there was thrown out, and he was acquitted. The prosecutor was the laughingstock of the bar for trying a case in which his only witness could be proved a liar before the case even went to trial; the cell phone records pre-existed the arrest of the defendant, who had only to bring them out to show the futility of the charges.

Now we come to the case of the Obama Birth Certificates. There are three of them, and they all appear to have been based on the same original document. The only concrete differences are the place of birth and attending physician:

1. Kenyan archives hard copy: Coast Province General Hospital, Mombasa by James C. W. Ang'awa. Only reliable testimony (after the fact): His grandmother Sarah Obama, as translated.
2. White House electronic image: Kapiolani Maternity Hospital, Hawaii by David A. Sinclair. NO ONE has come forward, either before or after it became an issue, to offer personal knowledge as to the veracity of this account. Last digit of ID# 151 61 10641 is clearly falsified.
3. electronic image: Brief information derived from #2. "Negro African" shortened to "African." ID# 151 1961 010641, originally blacked out, later released.

Now, the testimony of witness #1 is contradicted by Obama I's INS record, which states that II was born in Hawaii; the testimony of #2 is contradicted both by published reports that Barack was born at a different hospital, and by published hearsay that he was delivered by a different doctor; both published after Obama became a national figure, but before the release of any of the above 3 certificates.
Witness #3, inasmuch as it provides no independent testimony, can be disregarded as being of any use to the defense.

Let's review the facts: There has been no legal testimony whatsoever as to Barack Obama's actual time, place, and manner of birth. He apparently has never been arrested, never undergone a security background check, never been the subject of a federal investigation. He has suppressed all sources that may shed light on his past. He appears on the scene in 1989, as if out of nowhere, a prominent and upcoming African-American politician. Facing Republican opponents in five consecutive elections, he wins every time. The only election he ever loses is a primary, while on two different ballots anyway.

And now for some speculation: Around 2004-2006 he decides to run for President. Having gotten away with everything so far, there's no reason to assume he will be caught now. But to continue the charade will require an extensive conspiracy:

- on the part of the Hawaiian Department of Health, to suppress release of any information regarding his original birth certificate until an altered copy could be come up with;
- on the part of the Secret Service, to ''lose' the original copy of his draft registration;
- on the part of the National Democratic Party (after the Party in his own home state refused to go along with the charade), to lock step behind the legitimacy of his candidacy;
- on the part of the Supreme Court, to refuse to hear any challenges to it.

Caryl Chessman was a career criminal. He never held a job outside of reform school, prison, and his father's business. He was also an ideal prisoner. His behavior inside prison walls was as exemplary as his life outside them was abhorrent. In other words, while free he lived to steal as much as he could before he was caught again. While imprisoned, he behaved as well as possible so as to get back to his life of crime more quickly. He always told prison officers whatever he thought would get him released the fastest.

It would be expected, given his criminal profile, that Caryl Chessman would plead innocent to a crime he knew to be possibly capital. It would be expected that, once arrested, he would maintain his innocence to the end. He was that rare combination of career thief and brilliant strategist who, acting in his own defense, could win nine stays of execution and stretch out his time on Death Row to an incredible (for the time--routine now) twelve years. He was even able to convince thousands, perhaps millions, of his innocence (not of being a career criminal, of course--just of being a violent rapist). But looking at his profile, we expect all this of Caryl Chessman; it's how he worked--the man didn't have an honest bone in his body. It was only due to the waning morals of the day that he was even able to carry out his fight so long--and no American since him has ever been even accused, much less found guilty, of capital rape. The law was abolished before he was even executed.

What do we know about Barack Obama's criminal profile? Precious little, really. About all we can pin on him is that he fraudulently swore on his 1991 bar application that he had no aliases. Why would he say this, when there were years of documentation of him as Barry Soetoro? It points to a deliberate pattern of hiding his past in hopes that it would never be found out. Or that if it was, it wouldn't matter. Note that unlike Liar-in-Chief Bill Clinton, he hasn't been held to account for this perjury. Yet.

*UPDATE September 2012: It turns out that in 1961, Hawaiian newspapers didn't receive birth reports from the local hospitals. Instead, they received birth registration records from the Hawaiian government. So the two or three witnesses only testify that one Barack Obama II was registered sometime around August 10th, 1961 as having been recently born to two Hawaiian residents. The address stated in the reports was actually that of Ann's parents. It's quite certain that Barack I and Ann did not live together there at that time--or at any other.

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