Archive for the ‘Crime’ Category

U.S. Mercenary Killers Sent to Prison

April 14, 2015

U.S. Mercenary Killers Sent to Prison

Four Americans convicted of killing 17 innocent civilians while employed as private security contractors by the United States Government have been sentenced to lengthy prison terms. Nicholas A. Slatten, who fired the first shots during the 2007 mass shooting in Baghdad, was sentenced to life imprisonment; Paul A. Slough, Evan S. Liberty, and Dustin L. Heard were each sentenced to 30 year terms. Blackwater, the private security firm these men worked for, has changed its name several times, and heavily armed private mercenaries are still employed by the U.S. Government.

More:

“Why four Blackwater contractors were just now convicted of killing 17 Iraqi civilians in 2007,” Dara Lind, Vox

“A Blackwater World Order,” Kelley Vlahos, American Conservative

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Spring Break: Vacations for Villains

March 30, 2015

It’s Spring Break in America. While college kids head to the beaches of Florida, South Carolina, Texas and Cancún, career criminals are off to Arizona, Alaska, Wyoming, Louisiana and Montana. The college kids will come home with a tan, a tee shirt and a hangover. The bad guys will come home with guns — they plan their trips on CrimAdvisor.com.

More:

“The ‘friendliest’ state for criminals to buy guns?” Tim Devaney, The Hill

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Barbarians Vandalize Ancient Artifacts

March 9, 2015

Barbarians Vandalize Ancient Artifacts
As you may have heard, barbarians have defaced cultural artifacts thousands of years old. That’s right Isis militants destroyed statues in the Mosul Museum American tourists carved graffiti on Rome’s ancient Coliseum. 

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Image (“Vandalized Statue of Rameses II, AKA Ozymandias, after David Roberts”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Petraeus Pillow Talk Plea

March 3, 2015

Petraeus Pillow Talk Plea

David Petraeus, who resigned as CIA director after 2012 revelations that he’d shared classified information with Paula Broadwell, his mistress and biographer, will plead guilty to a single count of unauthorized use of classified material, and faces up to a year in jail. Perhaps General P. can continue to advise the White House on Middle East policy from prison, since that’s a pretty secure location.

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A Year and a Day in Prison for Maureen McDonnell

February 21, 2015

A Year and a Day in Prison for Maureen McDonnell

Maureen McDonnell, former NFL cheerleader and estranged wife of disgraced former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell, has been sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison for her conviction on 8 felony counts of corruption. The former First Lady of the Old Dominion accepted lavish gifts from nutritional supplement manufacturer Jonnie Williams and helped him shill his snake oil, even staging a promotional event at the state’s Executive Mansion.

Mr. McDonnell, the first Virginia governor convicted of committing a felony while in office, has been sentenced to 2 years in prison and 2 years of federally supervised release for convictions on 11 counts of political corruption. Mr. &  Mrs. McD are both on the loose while appealing their convictions, and the ex-Governor is bunking with his parish priest.

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Bob McDonnell Gets 2 Years in the Big House

January 6, 2015

Bob McDonnell Gets 2 Years in the Big House

Disgraced former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, convicted of 11 counts of political corruption, was sentenced to 2 years in prison and 2 years of federally supervised release today. Prior to his arrest, many Republicans had proposed Mr. McDonnell for federal office, not a federal prison cell. In December the U.S. probation office had recommended at least 10 years in prison, and Pat Robertson’s charity had tried to wangle a no-prison-time community service deal.

Mr. McDonnell will enter the pokey on February 9th. His estranged wife, former NFL Cheerleader Maureen McDonnell, who was ultimately convicted on 8 federal counts, will be sentenced on January 20th. In another big Republican crime story today, Rep. John Boehner was sentenced to 2 years as House Majority Leader.

Related:

“Unforgivable: The Governor and the Teen-ager,” Evan Osnos, The New Yorker

Updates:

“Court: Ex-Virginia Gov. McDonnell will be free during appeal,”  Michael Felberbaum, Associated Press

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,NotionsCapital.com

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Bob McDonnell Looking at 10 Years in Prison

December 15, 2014

Bob McDonnell Looking at 10 Years in Prison
Disgraced former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, convicted of 11 counts of political corruption, is due to be sentenced on January 6th. Based on Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the U.S. probation office is recommending at least 10 years in prison. His estranged wife, former NFL Cheerleader Maureen McDonnell was ultimately convicted on 8 counts, and will be sentenced on January 20th.

Prior to his arrest, many Republicans had proposed Mr. McDonnell for federal office, but he’ll be getting a federal prison cell instead. On the bright side, maybe he’ll get to play bridge with Bernie Madoff.

Ten years is a pretty long stretch, but it could have been worse for Bob McDonnell. He could have been caught selling loose cigarettes on the sidewalk. That’s punishable by death.

Update:

“Pat Robertson’s Charity Tries To Make A Deal For Bob McDonnell’s Freedom,” Larry O’Dell, AP via Talking Points Memo

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Since Newtown

December 14, 2014

Since Newtown

It has been 2 years since the gunshot killings of 20 young school children and seven adults in Newtown Connecticut. It the that time there have been almost 100 more school shootings, about one a week. We don’t know how many gun deaths and injuries have occurred since the gun lobby had Congress forbid the CDC from compiling that public health data, and crowd sourcing can’t keep up with the numbers. Nothing has changed; another Newtown could happen any day.

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Image (“Old Glory”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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McDonnell Trial Soap Opera Continues

August 28, 2014

McDonnell Trial Soap Opera Continues

“The more that he describes his wife as crazy, then it begs the question of well, if your wife was crazy, why didn’t you stop her?” — Andrew Cowan, former federal prosecutor.

“But the fact is, is the juror thinking this guy is a cad, or been-there-done-that, ‘I have a wife just like that, I come home and this is all I hear?'” —  Attorney Barbara Van Gelder.

Quoted in:

“McDonnell’s ‘Crazy Wife’ Defense Is Totally Unprecedented,” Catherine Thompson , Talking Points Memo

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Bob McDonnell: Cad or Rotter?

August 25, 2014

Bob McDonnell: Cad or Rotter?

Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell testified on his own behalf last week in his corruption and bribery trial. The devoted husband and father of five of the 2009 gubernatorial campaign explained that all the unfortunate events in question could be blamed on his screaming lunatic harridan of a wife, Maureen McDonnell.

There’s no real political downside for Mr. McDonnell, who already lost any chance of getting women’s votes when he backed a vaginal probe clause in a proposed Virginia bill. On the other hand, what Real American Guy wouldn’t want to drive a Ferrari and own a Rolex and doesn’t blame stuff on his wife?

Right before the trial, Mr. McDonnell moved out of the house he shared with his wife of 38 years. He’s been living with his priest at the rectory of St. Patrick’s Church in Richmond. He’s probably thinking that, if the couple are convicted, he can claim sanctuary and Maureen can plead insanity.

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