Thursday, October 4

"Magic Bullet" Theory "Explains" Handcuffed Woman's Self-Suffocation

Only in the American Cowboy West does "magic bullet" theories work. In reviving the Warren Commission ploy to explain a presidential assassination in Texas, Phoenix, Arizona's police department again wants to play Americans they we're all hayseed carnival rubes.

GOP Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania secured his academic beanie cap, replete with twirling propeller, and his place in American history for an unrivaled grasp of theoretical physics and the ballistics of Italian carbines.

Currently the ranking minority member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Specter in 1963 was general counsel to the Warren Whitewashing Commission then "investigating" President John F. Kennedy's assassination.

Specter's gift to humanity was a preposterous "Magic Bullet" theory to explain seven wounds shared by JFK and Texas Governor John Connally, who rode directly in front of Kennedy in an open-air presidential limousine that November afternoon in Dallas.

Specter's miracle bullet, which miraculously surfaced later in pristine condition on Kennedy's stretcher at Dallas's Parkland hospital, was the critical piece of evidence cited to "prove" Lee Harvey Oswald's three bullets alone inflicted the wounds killing an American president.

In accounting for the massive gaps in the investigatory panel's accumulated evidence, the bullet, so Arlen's Plutoian physics goes, made a handful of mid-air directional changes in repetitive penetrating wrists and collar bones to unlikely deposit itself unscathed beside Kennedy's body. Right, right....

Because the whitewashers successfully suppressed Abraham Zapruder's incredible film that shows a frontal head kill shot--and not one from behind the president where the panel claimed subpar marksman Oswald hit Kennedy with near-perfect rifle shots in less than six seconds through tree foilage from his kill nest on the book depository's sixth floor--and knew Americans wouldn't see countervailing evidence, Specter's moonshine had no problem passing muster among American knats, flies, goats, elementary school student, Congress or media.

Now the Phoenix police department is peddling their own cover-their-ass version of Specter's magic bullet spin for the mysterious airport death of Carol Anne Gotbaum last Friday (28 September).

Becky Akers at Lou questioned the police's fairy tale for what happened to the 45-year-old South African university grad, MBA holder and mother of three small children:
.... Mrs. Gotbaum was late for a flight on US Airways Express Friday afternoon.... Don’t even think of blaming the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and its senseless checkpoint charade; tardiness is always our fault, as the TSA’s website explains: "Be prepared and plan ahead for security. Passenger preparedness for the security process can have a significant impact on wait times at the checkpoint."

Nevertheless, something – and it’s a good bet those "wait times" played a significant part – kept Mrs. Gotbaum from reaching her gate until "the plane was already preparing to depart." She then made the fatal mistake of complaining rather than kowtowing when USA Airways personnel prohibited her from boarding. Thanks to the laws deputizing airline crews, most passengers smile and shuffle no matter how abusive those uniformed bullies become. Not Mrs. Gotbaum. As a customer who’d bought a seat on a plane still sitting at the gate, she apparently thought that the airline should accommodate her.

"Since Mrs. Gotbaum isn’t here to defend herself, we have only the word of US Airways and the cops on what happened now. 'She was rebooked on the next flight, but ‘she became extremely irate, apparently running up and down the gate area,’ according to Derek Hanna of US Airways.

That’s a no-no. The aviation industry no longer tolerates any reaction but subservience. It tacitly equates rage at its abuses with terrorism. This allows its myrmidons to call the cops when customers vent their frustration."

We aren’t told how many thugs piled on to subdue a 45-year-old mother of three. "Airport workers… said one cop put his knee in her back to restrain her while others grabbed her flailing arms." The New York Daily News quoted a witness: "I believe she was a little not-there. She kept punching. She kept screaming. She kept kicking. She looked really scared, really frightened. I think she was afraid to go to jail."

Meanwhile, poor Mrs. Gotbaum labored under another illusion as fatal as her belief that airlines should treat customers like customers: the totalitarianism at airports is meant to catch terrorists rather than to intimidate citizens while conditioning them to government searches. And so she sought to set her captors straight. "I'm not a terrorist! I'm a sick mom! I need help!" she "yelled."

Since 9/11, we've all been more than a little sick, Ms. Gotbaum. Continuing with Ms. Akers' account:

Wanna bet the cops laughed at her naïveté as they hauled her off to a cell? But Mrs. Gotbaum didn’t go gently into that dark night. Her kidnappers say she screamed and kept on screaming.

Astonishing, the mettle required of police. We civilians would feel responsible for traumatizing a fellow human being so badly that she shrieks without intermission. We’d try to relieve her distress by releasing her. Not Phoenix’s finest. They contented themselves with "[coming] in to check on Gotbaum every fifteen minutes. About five to 10 minutes had passed and the officers had not heard Gotbaum's voice, so someone came in to check on her, according to police." A woman healthy enough to "run up and down the gate area" an hour or two before now lay "unconscious and not breathing. Paramedics were unable to revive her." But "authorities" assure us that "neither a Taser nor pepper spray was used on the woman." Uh-huh.

The well-connected Gotbaum family immediately hired a attorney to handle the investigation into Carol Anne's death, which means the federales will have a more difficult time making the real story disappear.

According to CBS's 2 October Early Show:
Attorney Michael Manning, who was hired by Gotbaum's family to monitor the police investigation, said it doesn't seem possible she could have killed herself.

"She was handcuffed behind her back and shackled to a table," he said. "It doesn't make sense that she could have physically managed to strangle herself."

...Manning plans to send a representative to watch the county medical examiner's autopsy of Gotbaum's body Tuesday [9 October]. He'll conduct his own inquiry as to whether police followed proper procedure.
I'm find myself in the rare position of agreeing with the lawyer on this one, who has obviously been around the block more than once:
Manning, a high-profile lawyer who represented the government against failed savings and loan executive Charles Keating, has previously won settlements against Sheriff Joe Arpaio in wrongful-death lawsuits. He said the family hasn't decided whether it should file a lawsuit against Phoenix police.
CBS News also interviewed a pathologist about the likelihood of Gotbaum's causing her own death:
"The autopsy is going to need to be done to confirm there was a compressive force to neck and that the cause of death is asphyxiation. It is also going to need to exclude that drugs or alcohol played a role or she had some unknown natural disease which played a role," forensic pathologist Daniel J. Spitz said on CBS News' The Early Show.

"If this is an asphyxiation, it's because of that other chain which was obviously long enough or could have been long enough to allow a compressive force to her neck," Spitz said.

Spitz is Chief Medical Examiner of Macomb and St. Clair Counties in Michigan, and is not connected with the Gotbaum case.
I find myself also agreeing with a friend with a wicked conspiratorial bent, who emailed me her thoughts on Gotbaum's death: "If this lady hadn't been rich, we would probably never have even heard about what happened to her. Do you realize that? How many people are dying in airports post 911."

I don't know. But secrecy is the hallmark of the fascist Bush administration; there's so much we don't know. And I need no magic bullet to know that one.

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