Monday, July 30, 2012

Freeh Group investigator trashes NCAA for Penn State sanctions and relying on Freeh Report to do it.

 The ranks of those involved in the Freeh Report investigation, a deeply dishonest set of conclusions by Louis Freeh that did not contain a single shred of proof to substantiate it, may be starting to fray with a source inside the Freeh group publicly and severely criticizing the NCAA for its sanctions against Penn State and for relying on the Freeh report to do so.

 The comments by a member of Freeh's inner circle not just severely damage the credibility of the report itself and how its been used by the NCAA, and by extrapolation, Penn State, the news media and others, but it questions what has been questioned here -- the basic competence and integrity of the report and the intelligence of those who swallowed and accepted it at face value without demanding proof of it's unsubstantiated conclusions.

 This member of Freeh's own team, speaking on condition of anonymity is saying much the same thing by implication with comments directed primarily at the NCAA and the mindless knee jerk reaction of Mark Emmert, their president who should probably resign because of his clear inability to lead and his abuse of authority, who, as this Freeh investigator points out, egregiously overstepped his bounds and authority in imposing the NCAA santions, clearly in order to mindlessly grandstand. Instead he has made a fool of himself and the NCAA.

 This investigator, who, by his or her statements clearly show they have both investigative and legal credentials, pointed out that the NCAA had no business imposing those sanctions and were wrong to rely on the Freeh Report to do so.

 As reported by the Associated Press, this member of the Freeh Group, in criticizing the NCAA sanctions said, "The NCAA's job is to investigate whether Penn State broke it's own rules and whether Penn State gained a competitive advantage by doing so" pointing out that the NCAA in sanctioning Penn State and punishing it and its football program for transgressions or crimes that had nothing to do with NCAA rules, guidelines or their authority, abused their authority and doing so has obviously rankled this member of the Freeh Group.

 The source also pointed out another crucial point, one that's been pointed out here time and time again in it's relation to Paterno and the flaws, perhaps intentional of the investigation. The source stated:

 "Since the Freeh Report didn't interview Paterno Schultz or Curley, the NCAA should have furthered the investigation to see how far this went. The NCAA took this report and ran with it without further exploration ( as did the news media and everyone else who chose, mindlessly, to believe it). If you really wanted to show there was a nexus to cover up, interview the coaches. See their knowledge and culpability".

 The source said the failure to do so by the NCAA and others has damaged Penn State unnecessarily.

 The source went on:

 " The sanctions against Penn State were really overwhelming, and no one imagined the report being used to do that. Instead Emmert took the report and used Penn State's own resources to do them in. And they don't deserve this".

 Emmert admitted as much saying he relied completely on the conclusions of the Freeh Report to impose sanctions - sanctions he did not have the authority to impose in any event --  proving again the assertions that the NCAA, like the news media and those who believed the report at face value, were more a collection of medieval minds, refusing or unable to think for themsevles and were nothing more than a torch carrying mob believing what they were told because they were told to believe it,  without needing proof, and without caring. Pope Louis the Freeh said Paterno was a witch and the mob which included the news media and the NCAA lit their torches and gathered in the square for the burning.

 The statement by this Freeh Group insider doesn't just trash the NCAA and president Mark Emmert but by implication undermines the Freeh Report itself and the way it was presented and received and acted on by the news media and even Penn State's president Erickson, all once again proving themselves to be incompetent, inept, and without real journalistic or moral values while thinking they are proving otherwise.

 The Freeh Group  insider's statement that the NCAA ( and by implication the Freeh Group itself) should have interviewed other coaches to see if there was a cover up suggests in its own way that the Freeh Report was negligent for not doing so themselves, and is saying that Freeh based his conclusions on an incomplete investigation. And perhaps intentionally so.

 This member of Freeh's team clearly thought interviewing other coaches should have been done before coming to a conclusion of a cover up and also pointed out the folly that neither Paterno, now deceased, or Curley and Schultz had ever been interviewed.  And the only plausible reason why other coaches werent interviewed was because Freeh didn't want it done.Even more incredibly,and a fact that raised no red flags with the mindless class who carry press passes, Freeh never interviewed one of the central figures in the entire matter - Mike McQueary. McQueary even asked to be interviewed. Freeh declined.

 It's not just possible but probable that Freeh didn't want other coaches interviewed because he didn't want anything that might interfere with his preconceived agenda of blaming Paterno and others to be on the record. So not only was the report factually and morally corrupt on the face of it ( making the media, the NCAA and anyone else like Roland Martin and others at CNN look the same,) it was anything but an honest and independent investigation.And did Freeh refuse to interview Mike McQueary because he knew McQueary would tell him things that would make his accusations against Paterno impossible?  Freeh clearly didnt want whatever McQueary could have told him.

 What also needs to be pointed out is that these statements from a Freeh Group insider commenting on the NCAA sanctions and the report itself,  should be a blockbuster news story. Instead it has barely been reported by the news media at all, appearing so far, only on ESPN mobile news though the AP report  can probably be found by doing a web search.

 By comparing the exposure this story has received so far, coming from someone inside Freeh's own circle, to the media coverage of the email leaked by Freeh which proved absolutely nothing, but was leaked to make Paterno look bad, the silence of the media is further proof of just how corrupt and dishonest they are and how they are more interested in an agenda, propaganda and their own self interest than anything resembling the truth. Because in this case the truth makes the news media, the NCAA, and a lot of other people look stupid. And less than honest. Which, as many people already know, is not news.

NOTE: a new site, has just been created which will serve as a clearing house for articles going back to November of 2011 when the story first broke,up to and including the Freeh Report and all its flaws and dishonest conclusions, as well as forums and other features, coalescing people from diverse backgrounds and ideas whose goal is to set the record straight and right the wrongs of both the media and the Freeh Report in regards to Joe Paterno.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

An open reply to someone defending the Freeh Report.

Almost all the mail I've received regarding my condemnation of the Freeh Report and its blatant falsehoods and dishonesty has agreed with everything I've written and have seen much the same dishonesty, manipulation and intentional distortion themselves. The only email I've received to the contrary was from someone who supported the Freeh Report and seemed to have more than a passing knowledge in the area of child abuse, not from a personal standpoint but professionally.

My overall reaction to the email which was intelligent, rational and knowledgable was sheer surprise at how someone with what sounded like professional credentials could be so willing to ignore the truth and ignore simple facts when the truth did not fit their preconcieved ideas of what the truth should be, and how little the truth, or finding out the truth as it pertains to a specific person and circumstance, mattered. It showed that the analogy to a torch carrying mob was apt, and that wanting to believe, or feeling compelled to believe and being part of a mob matters a lot more than pursuing the truth.

The subject head of their email was " Your defense of Paterno" . The basis for this person's defense of the report was the premise stated in their opening paragraph. They wrote: " I can only assume that you know little or nothing about the almost universal tendency of otherwise responsible,even moral adults, to disbelieve, downplay and ignore allegations that people they know and trust personally have molested...children".

 Yet in defending the Freeh Report and accusing Paterno, the writer undermines their own premise on which they base their belief in the findings of Freeh's report even from their own perspective.

Freeh hardly alleges that Paterno "downplayed" or "disbelieved" anything, but in fact according to Freeh, recognized the seriousness of it and according to his preposterous and clearly dishonest and unproved premise, lied about it to shield Penn State from "bad publicity".

In addition, according to this writer's behavioral model used to defend the Freeh Report, this sense of disbelief which the writer says is "almost universal" is a reaction to evidence that "people they know and trust personally have molested children.."

Paterno had no personal relationship with Sandusky outside of football in all the years Sandusky coached. They didn't socialize, and as far as the record shows, they weren't friends, their relationship wasn't personal and so there would be nothing about Paterno's relationship with Sandusky that would cause him to deny allegations against him as a pedophile because Sanduksy "was someone Paterno knew and trusted". Though that characterization might certainly at some point be applied to a lot of people at Second Mile. Yet completely discarding the facts, this writer applies their analysis to Paterno.

One further point regarding Freeh's preposterous and unproven (for those who care about little things proof) allegation that Paterno lied to the grand jury in 2010 to protect Penn State from bad publicity. Not only did the results of the 1998 investigation clear Sandusky of any wrong doing,(rightly or wrongly) but consider these facts: even if you want to say Paterno knew the results ( for which there is not a single shred of proof - something Freeh admits and hoped you would ignore), when Paterno testified to the grand jury he was 85, had a retirement package sealed, and knew this would probably be his last year coaching at Penn State. So he lies and commits perjury in front of the grand jury putting all that at risk including his legacy not to mention covering for a pedophile, a man with whom he had no personal relationship, to shield Penn State from the "bad publicity" of a report in which Sandusky was cleared and exonerated? Yet this is what the mindless mob has accepted as true. And accepted as proof to light the pyre to complete the witch burning.

Aside from all this I sent a reply back to this person who had defended the report based on their knowledge of "almost universal" behavior which the writer used to defend the report, and I thought the reply was worth reprinting here:


What you have completely missed is that you seem to know little or nothing about so called moral or responsible adults throwing away or ignoring the truth or not even caring when they are running with a mindless mob willing to believe anything a discredited dishonest authority figure tells them as long as they think it's going to make them look moral.

My defense isn't of Paterno but of truth and justice and there is not one shred of proof to substantiate one single allegation that Freeh tries to claim as fact against Paterno - none. Freeh saying it doesn't make it true and he presented no evidence to back up anything he said. Nothing.

There is nothing that Freeh alleged that would last a minute in a court room because it violates every tenet of the rules of evidence. Freeh says it and you believe it and you demand no proof and you talk about otherwise responsible and moral adults?

And I'll remind you this isn't the first time Freeh, a well known political hack during his time in Washington , a man you seem to put blind faith in, has smeared an innocent man with no proof and it seems, without conscience. Since today is the start of the Olympics in London it's a good time to remember that in 1996 as FBI director he authorized the leaking of Richard Jewell's name as the Olympic bomber without a shred of proof to substantiate it and stood back and allowed Jewell's life to be a living hell for 3 months before admitting he had no proof and dropping the investigation of Jewell and cleared him. Years later we learned Eric Rudolph was the bomber.

That is the Mr. Freeh whose easily proved dishonest report you swallow without question and assume guilt based on your view of generalities and suppositions.

It's the "otherwise responsible moral adults" that have believed this garbage without question and without scrutiny that ,like all mobs before them are the immoral ones committing one immoral act after another based on their certainty of their own morality and use Sandusky's victims, all of whom were available to Sandusky through Second Mile,not Penn State to do it. And again I will remind you that it has been adjudicated by a jury and a police investigation that no abuse took place at Penn State at any time. All of it took place outside Penn State. Sandusky brought the under privileged boys from Second Mile to use the facilities at Penn State and perhaps as is the pedophile's modus operandi, to groom. But according to all available information committed no acts of sexual abuse there and was exonerated, rightly or wrongly in the 1998 investigation.

So there is a police investigation, a grand jury investigation and a trial that contradicts every allegation against Paterno alleged in the Freeh report with no proof offered to the contrary. No proof of lying or perjury on Paterno's part, just Freeh's allegation. He is so flagrantly dishonest he states in his report "it is not known how the conclusion of the investigation was conveyed to Paterno" without a shred of proof that it ever was. He wants you to assume it was and says they couldn't figure out how they did it. In court that would be called assuming a fact not in evidence and a jury would be told to disregard it. But this isn't a court room, Freeh knew he could get away with it and he did.

One further point. I have been contacted by a former deputy inspector general who agreed with every point I made. He also told me something I hadn't thought of before:

With regards to Freeh's assertion that Paterno was given "constant updates" of the 1998 investigation and followed it closely even though Freeh could not provide a shred of proof to substantiate it, I was reminded by this deputy inspector general that it is standard policy in law enforcement, that details of an investigation into a sexual assault, especially when it involves a juvenile, is never divulged to people who are not authorized to have this information. While it's not a 100%, certainty, it is highly unlikely,that Paterno or anyone else would've been given any updates at all by Schultz no matter how much they asked and again, there is no evidence that Paterno did.

Had Schultz been providing Paterno with "constant updates", while I'm not familiar with Pennsylvania law, he would have either been breaking the law or violating law enforcement guidelines. This isn't 100% conclusive, but it is a far cry from Freeh's assertion for which he has no proof. And it is based on the quality of this kind of assertion that the mob in and out of the media have lit their torches and taken to the streets.

Your email was long and thoughtful and I felt you deserved the same, though I disagree with all your assertions as it pertains to this specific circumstance.

Regarding credibility and honesty, if you knew nothing else, and if you had to make a choice who would you believe? A man who had a platinum reputation for 60 years for honesty and integrity, a man who, in 1968, refused to play the university of Texas for the national championship because Texas didn't allow African Americans on the team, or the man who, without conscience and without proof, smeared an innocent man in Richard Jewel, in one of the most high profile cases the FBI ever had? Pedophiles have patterns. So do mobs. And so do people like Louis Freeh.


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Demolishing The Freeh Report and everyone who believed it one dishonest premise at a time.

The biggest reason for writing more about the Freeh Report is, like the news media and politicians on both sides I've written about in the past, the Freeh Report is dishonest, in many ways incomprehensibly incompetent, and had an agenda to fit a preconceived idea and it was going to fill that agenda even if it meant doing it not just with distortions but out and out fabrications. And the reaction of the mob and the press who swallowed it uncritically and without investigation, who accepted its conclusions blindly, is important because the Freeh Report itself, the reactions of the press and the people who believed it is in microcosm, everything that has gone wrong with the country and why the country as a whole is in the trouble its in in terms of politics and policies that aren't working.

 Everything about the Freeh Report and the reactions of the press and people who believe what they read without checking facts, or even applying common sense is how fascism took a foothold in Europe in the 1930's. A dishonest bureaucratic authority figure disseminating propaganda and outright lies to fit a preconceived idea, offering unchallenged "evidence" that wouldn't last a minute in a court room, an incompetent, spineless press, spreading and repeating the lies without bothering to see what is true and what isn't and not caring, and a mindless mob who wont think for themselves who swallow it and then, torches lit, go on their midnight rampage. The comments by the university president as to why the statue was taken down are worse than the statue being taken down ( like some mob pulling down statues in Stalinist Russia). His comments are a disgrace to an insittution of higher learning and if he thinks that committing gross injustices, throwing away one's ability to think and committing immoral acts in the name of morality is the way to help heal victims of abuse, by committing an abuse himself as the press commonly does, then if in the future, if facts that Freeh either chose to ignore or that he knew he didnt have prove otherwise, that will be the stain he has brought on himself and the lack of leadership at the university.

As for the press, they are ostensbily there to protect us from lies, distortions and abuses by those in authority. If someone doesnt have proof, they are supposed to dig until they find it and report the truth. They are so supposed to be adversial in their relationship with those who have even a modicum of power. Those characteristics are a bad joke when it comes to what we have as a press and its been the case for a long time.

This episode is not just about Paterno. Its not about one person. Its how lies spread, how the press fails miserably in their responsibilities, ( as they have for decades) and how the mob mentality, sure of their own moral rightness, commits crimes in the name of their morality and becomes every bit as immoral as a Sandusky while trying to prove to themselves and everybody else that the opposite is true.

 Far from exposing Paterno for any wrong doing, it exposes other things. It exposes the sheer stupidity and cowardice of journalists who have a history of stampeding like mindless cattle or acting like parrots. It exposes the people too stupid or too lazy to see how impossibly nonsensical and dishonest the report is, how as a legal document or investigation it fails on every level, because it would take away their one chance to exhibit their self serving but phony sense of morality. And it exposes the stupidity of the report itself, and the dishonesty of Louis Freeh whose name the report carries.

So the next time you see or hear anyone grandstanding about Paterno and the Freeh Report, know you are looking at or hearing a moral coward who has never stood for or up to anything in their lives, who look at the torch carrying mob of people just like them and think to themselves, "now's my chance".

 This level of stupidity even found its way to the city of Grambling, home to Grambling College. An attorney there with the support of the mayor petitioned the NCAA to vacate 3 Penn State victories based on the Freeh Report. Morality? Hardly. They want Eddie Robinson the famed Grambling coach to be able to claim the most victories by a coach in NCAA history. That is the morality in microcosm of the people who buy the Freeh Report. Its all based on what's in it for them. But here is a news flash for the mayor of Grambling and their obviously ignorant attorney. Paterno could have been convicted of mass murder and it wouldn't be grounds to vacate any victories by the Penn State football team. My advice to the mayor and this ignorant attorney would be to stop grandstanding and degrading yourself for your own self serving reasons. But this is the level of stupidity and immorality that the Freeh Report brings out.

Freeh's report at its heart is dishonest and decietful and Freeh uses deceit to make his point.  Freeh's report has as its heart the premise that Paterno knew of the abuse of Sandusky and the 1998 investigation and kept quiet about it and lied to the grand jury to protect Penn State from bad publicity. The premise is not just false its stupid and what Freeh calls, and which the mindless swallowed, as proof, not proof at all but what Freeh got away with because, unlike a courtroom, there was no adversary challenging Freeh's so called evidence, no judge to throw it out, no rule of law to follow and no rules of evidence. Freeh knew he had a kangaroo court and it was a matter of what he could get away with. And with an incompetent and ignorant press and those who believe them, he did.


 This is one of the cornerstones of the Freeh Report. Its the basis for Freeh's premise that Paterno knew of and hid Sandusky's activities, and the investigation and then lied about it in his grand jury testimony "to shield Penn State from bad publicity."

As you'll see the stupidity of the premise based on what Freeh calls "proof" which is no proof of anything, is mind boggling and in a court room with any competent lawyer would do more to undermine his case than prove it..


 The "proof" Freeh uses to claim unequivocally and with absolute certainty that Paterno knew about the Sandusky investigation in 1998 and so consequently perjured himself during his grand jury testimony, are three emails between Curley and Schultz which refers to Curley asking for updates on the progress of the investigation and a reference to "coach anxious to know".

 Freeh wants you to believe that "Coach" is Paterno.  Freeh's proof is that he says it. Not because he proves it. But barring any definitive proof that it is Paterno, ( not because Freeh says it no matter how much the lap dogs lap it up) the probability, the overwhelming preponderance of evidence, is that the "Coach" Curley is referring to is Sandusky.

 Sandusky knew he was being investigated. He was not only set up in a sting by campus police detectives who eavesdropped on a conversation initiated by the mother of one of the boys he showered and who confronted him while detectives eavesdropped in another room, he was also interviewed by a psychologist from DPW as part of the investigation, who interviewed  Sandusky to get his account of what happened in the shower. It was the fact that Sandusky's account was the same as the account given by the boys he showered with that led to the psychologists conclusion that no abuse had taken place, since there had been no genital touching, no touching of thighs or other parts of the body or anything that could be called abuse. So Sandusky knew he was under investigation. He was also approaching his 30 year benchmark as an employee at Penn State a milestone which, if he reached,  would have a profound affect on his pension, income and future.

 Does anyone think or believe that Sandusky would not want to know the progress of the investigation by Penn State police of the allegations against him? Does anyone think he wouldn't call on his decades long relationship with the Athletic Director Tim Curley to ask him to find out for him? And aside from what it might mean for him financially,  how about the potential legal consquences of the investigation? The investigation had to be the single most important event in Sandsusky's life at the time. So where is the documentation showing Sandusky inquiring about the progress of the investigation? Where are the emails? Where are the phone records showing Sandusky called Curley to find out? They don't exist because the email that from Curley to Schultz that says " Coach anxious to know" may be it.

 It's not possible that Sandusky would not have wanted to know. If there were some proof of his attempts at finding out, then at least we would have a distinction between that and the email Freeh tries to make you believe is Paterno. What makes matters even worse, and makes both the press and those who swallowed the report even dumber and well fitted for a brownshirt, is the fact that Freeh doesn't even state with certainty or claims of proof that "Coach" is in fact  Paterno. Instead the report states, " It is believed 'Coach' is Paterno". So alll this is about Freeh saying it is believed? They statue is to come down because Freeh says "it is believed" because he has no proof?  When there is more evidence to support that it is Sandusky?

 If anyone with even minimum intelligence doesn't thinks Sandusky wanted to know what was going on with this investigation that could change his life, stop reading and don't go any further. Nothing else will penetrate the concrete.

And who do you suppose would be more "anxious to know"? Paterno when Sandusky was no longer even part of the football staff having been replaced as defensive coach? Or Sandusky who had his whole life riding on it?

There is no getting around the fact that Sandusky had to have wanted to know what was going on with the investigation and his only conduit would have been Curley. If there are other emails or documentary evidence that clearly shows other attempts by Sandusky to find out, that might have been evidence that "Coach" could be Paterno. But Freeh didn't produce them. And he might not have produced them because they don't exist. And they don't exist because the email Freeh wants you to ":believe" is Paterno refers to Sandusky. At the very least it raises more than reasonable doubt, as to Freeh's premise and conclusion, something everyone in the press and many who didnt even read it, just swallowed without question.

But " it is believed ' is good enough. For some. But this is what makes Freeh's report not just dishonest but decietful. There is one thing Freeh knows, and that everybody knows about that email. And that is Curley knows who "Coach is". Its not a mystery. Its not unknowable. Curley knows. And we know he knows. But Curley has his own legal issues to deal with an upon advice of counsel has declined to talk to Freeh or make public statements. So at best an honest investigator would say that since Tim Curley has declined to be interviewed, the best that could be said is that the matter of who "coach" is, is unresolved. But Freeh doesnt do that. With no corroborating evidence, and with all the circumstantial evidence pointing to "coach" being Sandusky, but at the very least, knowing that he doesnt really know, Freeh says, "Coach is believed to be Paterno".

We will know eventually when Curley tells us who he was referring to when he wrote "Coach". But not till after his legal issues are resolved. And that could be some time. But Freeh doesnt want to wait. He wants to lynch Paterno right now because that's what he was paid $6 million to do. The last thing he wants to do is honestly say at the very least,  the issue is unresolved. Imagine the difference in the response to the report if thats what he had said.  But no time to wait for the truth. Get the rope and hang him now. And this from the man who was torn to peices by the 911 Commission for his bungling, mishandling and in some cases not taking seriously enough, terrorist related intelligence pre-911. And the press and the people who believed him swallowed every word as fact. This alone is what makes Freeh not just dishonest and incompetent but deceitful.

 The other preposterous point of the report deals with Paterno keeping it quiet to protect Penn State from bad publicity. How would Paterno be able to keep the investigation quiet with a full blown police investigation in progress and state psychologists from DPW already involved? To call Freeh's premise stupid is to insult stupid people. To call those emails proof of Paterno's knowledge is beyond absurd. At worst there is more than reasonable doubt as to who "coach" is, something Freeh never investigated to the point of actually having proof, and at best, barring further evidence, common sense says its more likely that "coach" is Sandusky not Paterno and that Freeh is something out of Les Miserables.

 One other point. Even if you wanted to say that Paterno knew of the investigation as Freeh tries to claim when all the available evidence contradicts it, then Paterno had to know the results of the investigation too, something pointed out in the previous article and something Freeh omits from his report -- because the results of the investigation exonerated Sandusky (rightly or wrongly) from any criminal behavior or child abuse. So if Paterno knew of the investigation ( which there is no real proof he did) then he also knew Sandusky was exonerated in the 1998 investigation. So what would he be trying to cover up? That Sandusky was exonerated? What was he trying to shield Penn State from in his grand jury testimony by committing perjury? That nothing happened and Sandusky was cleared? If Paterno really knew, it would be to his advantage to tell the grand jury he knew of the investigation and that the results exonerated Sandusky of any wrong doing, not lie about it and risk a perjury charge.

 This is how preposterous Freeh's premise is. It should also be noted that Freeh says in his report that " it is not known how the conclusion of the investigation was conveyed to Paterno". Why not, oh great sleuth? Did that one stump ya? Can't find one single piece of documentary evidence, not one email of the tens of thousands you went through that mentions that the conclusion of the investigation was "conveyed" to Paterno? And if you think Freeh's choice of words in using "conclusion" is an accident and not carefully and intentionally chosen, then you are a candidate for buying swamp land in Florida.

 Freeh uses the word " conclusion" and not "result" for a reason. He talks about Paterno "knowing" about the investigation but eliminates any comment about Paterno knowing the result, and instead uses the word "conclusion" as if the investigation just stopped with no result. Because the result of the investigation was that Sandusky was cleared of any wrong doing. And if Paterno knew that, there was nothing to protect Penn State from and throws Freeh's entire premise of Paterno covering up to protect Penn State completely out the window. Which is where anyone with a shred of common sense should have thrown this "report" a long time ago.

 Do these emails that reference "coach" refer to Sandusky? My bet is 2-1 that they do but let's be honest 2-1 shots lose. They are no sure thing. But even Freeh admits he cant say for sure and has no evidence to prove it. Which doesn't stop him from drawing the conclusion and doesnt stop the mob from wanting to take down the statue. Kind of like Paterno is now Saddam. Right?
Freeh was running a kangaroo court and intentionally distorting facts to fit his absurd conclusion,and people who have probably never stood up to or for anything in their lives and were chomping at the bit to pretend they were morally superior bought it.
 If Paterno was given the presumption of innocence that he was entitled to and a reasonable doubt standard applied, the Freeh Report would be a joke.Actually it's a joke anyway.
One other point about the 1998 emails. Freeh claims, and is central to one of his premises that Joe Paterno was the most powerful man at Penn State. He could do anything. But when it came to finding out the progress of an investigation he was supposedly "anxious" to know about" (even though the idea Paterno would be "anxious" to know is preposterous) we are supposed to believe that Mr. All Powerful doesn't pick up the phone and call Schultz himself to find out? He goes through channels instead and asks Curley to find out for him? If he's "anxious to know" why doesn't Paterno call Schultz himself? If Paterno isn't "anxious to know" then those emails refer to Sandusky not Paterno.
One last point about the emails. Every journalist and commentator in the country and the people who swallowed their nonsense criticized Paterno on only one major issue -- that "he didn't do enough". Every criticism of Paterno and their argument that he "didn't do enough" was based on their insistence that he didn't go to the police. Every criticism was based on their pontificating that Schultz "wasn't the police" even though he held the title of "Head of Penn State Police Services". It was the mob's mantra.

 But the emails produced by Freeh shows that in 1998 Thomas Harmon, the Capt. of Penn State police who was in charge of overseeing the Sandusky investigation reported directly to Schultz. It was Schultz to whom he gave constant updates as to the progress and status of the investigation. And when Curley wanted to get an update he went to Schultz. If Paterno going to Schultz was "not doing enough" because Schultz "wasn't the police", why was Harmon, the Captain of Penn State police reporting directly to Schultz ? Because he was vice president of Business and Finance?

 Would the mob have leveled the same criticism that Paterno "didn't go to the police" had he gone to Harmon, Captain of Penn State police? No. But the ignorant in the press, ignorant and too lazy to do the job they are paid to do, instead criticized Paterno for going to Harmon's boss. Lewis Carroll would be taking notes.

The rest of the report,especially the infamous "After talking with Joe"  Curley email that Freeh changes and misrepresents to fit his dishonest agenda,(Freeh writes that the email says one thing and actually changes the words in the report when the email clearly says another and the opposite of what Freeh wants to represent) an act which if committed in a court room might have gotten him disbarred, can also be demolished as it pertains to Paterno. And if it matters in the future it will be done.

 There is also now talk about the possibility of removing Paterno's statue. If they do they should at least have the intellectual honesty of doing the right thing and replacing it with a statue of Louis Freeh. And under it should be the inscription: " 'Coach' is believed to be Paterno' ".

 And if Penn State and the people who believe the Freeh Report  and want to remove the statue are really honest and don't want to be abject hypocrites, and a bunch of phonies don't stop at the statue. Don't be part time weekend moralists. Stand up for your beliefs and do the only honest and honorable thing based on your values and demolish the Paterno Library, the library built with contributions made by Paterno and has his name. But first take out every book and CD, DVD and document in the library, pile them up at the football stadium, pour gasoline on them, and burn them. Then demolish the building. And show that when it comes to morals you mean what you say. And that when you stand up for justice, virtue and morality you don't compromise. And don't forget to bring the marshmallows. And the swastikas.

 To paraphrase Forrest Gump, stupid is as stupid does.

And again, when another point of view by a political conservative who is on the opposite end of the political spectrum sees close to the same thing,its not smoke, its fire. That point of view can be seen here.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Red flags and personal fouls: the dishonest hatchet job of the Freeh Report.

The great irony of the Freeh Report is that one of its most quoted statements was that there were "red flags all over the place" that should have alerted people to Sandusky and were ignored.

But that applies even more so to the Freeh Report itself except the evidence of the report being incompetetent, dishonest and the product of polititcal hackery is more obvious than any red flags Freeh claims were apparent with Sandusky. And as expected these red flags are being ignored by the news media who have their own ground to defend, their own myths to perpetuate and then there are those who will swallow almost anything they are told by the media.

As for Freeh himself, the Board of Trustees who has botched every possible decison from the beginning couldnt have made a worse decision in choosing Freeh to do the investigation. As pointed out here the other day, Freeh had the reputation in Washington DC of being a political hack. He was excoriated by former Republican governor Tom Kane as Chairman of the 911 Commission who tore Freeh to shreds for his incompetence as FBI director in his handling of terrorist related intelligence prior to 911. And as recently as April of 2012, appearing before a congressional committee, Freeh was battered by the committee investigating the bankruptcy of MF Global for which Freeh and his group were overseeing, for Freeh's refusal to turn over relevant documents to federal regulators.
All indications were that the Freeh Report was going to be the product of a political hack. And the report did not disappoint.

First, the Freeh Report was not an impartial investigation. In fact it wasn't an investigation at all. It was a prosecution and an unscrupulous one, that misrepresented,and distorted evidence where it existed, eliminated anything exculpatory, took facts that clearly meant one thing and distorted them to mean something else and ignored the truth in almost every circumstance and any fact that didnt fit with the premise.

Freeh's central premise regarding Joe Paterno is that Paterno knew all about Sandusky and his activites as far back as 1998 through what McQuery says he witnessed and covered it up to shield Penn State from bad publicity. Taking a wrecking ball to that premise and his report using a wrecking ball made up of nothing but facts, logic, common sense and the truth, will demolish both Freeh's report and his credibility.

Before getting into specifics, and recalling the Woody Allen line that when you tell the truth all the time you never have to remember anything, when it comes to Freeh's central premise of Paterno being motivated by a desire to shield Penn State from bad publicity ( preposterous on the face of it),  Freeh forgets one important fact: within days of the story breaking back in November, Paterno called a press conference where he was going to tell everything he knew, everything he heard and everything he did regarding the Sandusky incident  and was going to take questions from reporters. It was Penn State university officials and the Board of Trustees who forced him to cancel it. So right from the beginning who does the evidence show was trying to shield Penn State from bad publicity? Joe Paterno or the Board of Trustees who paid Freeh $ 6 million for his report?

The Freeh Report has one central premise regarding Paterno and uses 3 main assertions to try and substantiate that conclusion. And he uses two in Freeh's words "critical" emails that ?Freeh says "proves" it.

Those two emails which are central to Freeh's report are a 1998 email from Curley to Spanier, the now nfamous "after talking with Joe..." email in 2001 from Curley to Spanier and incredibly, the interview Paterno gave to the Washington Post at the height of the media frenzy surrounding the story in which he claims Paterno statements prove he was trying to shield Penn State from bad publicity ( I dont know what rock Freeh was hiding under but by the time that interview was held the story was the biggest in the country and there was no sheilding Penn State from anything).

Freeh claims a 1998 email from Curley to Schultz proves that Paterno knew all about Sandusky and his activities contrary to Paterno's grand jury testimony and public statements. He cites one email from May 13, 1998 from Curley to Schultz which says only, " anything new is this department? Coach is anxious to know where it stands".

There is not one single corroborating email that Freeh offers, which,given the accusation Freeh is making based on this, you would think there would there would be in abundance. Does it raise questions? absolutely. Does the report answer them and provide proof? Absolutely not. To an ethical investigator that email would be a lead NOT proof. Why does Curley refer to Paterno as "Joe" in other emails and "Coach" in this one? How do we know this relates to the Sandusky investigation involving child abuse? Where are the corroborating emails that make this clear when on would think there would be many? Where are Harmon's emails confirming this? And most importantly why does the Freeh report say " the reference to Coach is believed to be Paterno".

"Believed to be"? A $6 million dollar investigation into what was the biggest story in the country for weeks, and an attack on a man's credibility, grand jury testimony and public statements on one of the two most crucial assertions the Freeh Report makes and it's based on "believed to be"?  Why doesn't he know?.Why didn't he find out?

One other crucial point: the 1998 investigation which included a psychologist interviewing both Sandusky and the children he showered with and said their accounts were the same found that NO ABUSE had taken place. If one wants to argue that Paterno knew of the investigation then one has to accept he knew about the results of the investigation and those results exonerated Sandusky of any wrong doing. In that case there would be nothing for Paterno to do.

On page 51 of the Freeh report, it says:

" After Curley's initial updates to Paterno, the available record is not clear as to how the conclusion of the Sandusky investigation was conveyed to Paterno".

 Freeh doesn't know how the results of the investigation was conveyed to Paterno but he insists they were. And notice how he uses the word " :conclusion"  of the investigation and not "results" of the investigation, Is this an accident? or is it because the results of the investigation undercut his very premise? Because the results of the investigation that would have been conveyed to Paterno would have been that Sandusky was exonerated of any abuse.

There is no fact in Freeh's written report that shows that the conclusion of the Sandusky investigation was ever conveyed to Paterno. He just says it. He just wants you to take his word for it. But he has no proof. Which may be why Freeh says, oops, he cant find any evidence of how it was done. If you're going to accuse someone of lying to a grand jury and lying in public statements you better have the goods to prove it. Freeh has, by his own admission, nothing.And he also ignores the fact that if Paterno did know the results, he would have been told there was no abuse by Sandusky.Which blows Freeh's entire premise out of the water. Why would Paterno feel the need to cover up or protect Penn State from an investigation that concluded nothing happened?  And for the Tinker Toy brains who can't see through that, it would have been to Paterno's advantage and Penn State's advantage to tell the grand jury that yes, he remembers the investigation and it completely exonerated Sandusky. The idea that Paterno was covering up or keeping Penn State from bad publicity by holding back on an investigation he knew about that cleared Sandusky is not just stupid, but anyone who believes that and has a college degree didnt get their moneysworth. Or stole it.

Now you see why "conclusions" by a witness are inadmissible in a court of law. A conclusion is not fact. It is not proof. It isn't even evidence.

This entire report could be cut to pieces by a 3rd year law student with one glaring example after another where Freeh draws conclusions without facts, makes statements about facts not in evidence and chooses to ignore anything that is in conflict with his premise.

There is one more crucial example of Freeh's dishonesty  that needs to be exposed and that is the infamous leaked  Curley to Spanier email where Curley says, "after talking with Joe and thinking about it more.." where Curley says he is no longer comfortable doing " what we decided in reporting it to everyone".

Freeh uses this email to assert flat out that this proves Paterno was involved in a cover up ( again contrary to Paterno's public statements and grand jury testimony) and Freeh draws the "conclusion" that this email. It is central to Freeh's "case" and central to every statement Freeh makes in his report about Paterno, every conclusion he draws and wants you to believe. Freeh's dishonesty and lack of ethics and his unscrupulous conduct is no more glaring than in how his report characterizes this email going so far as to change the actual words to conform with a meaning he wants to sell.

This is how the Freeh Report characterized the email:

"In critical written correspondence that we uncovered on March 20,of this year, we saw evidence of their proposed plan of action in February of 2001 that included reporting allegations about Sandusky to authorities. After Mr. Curley consulted with Mr. Paterno however,they changed the plan and decided not to make a report to authorities".

When you have to alter the facts to fit your point, it is not only the earmark of a hack, but someone unethical, unscrupulous and whose credibility has been shattered. Such is the case with Freeh and this email is one more glaring example.

First, Curley's actual email states. " after talking with Joe and thinking about it more..."
Freeh changes the wording of the email  to fit his conclusion of what he wants you to accept it means by substituting the word " consulted" for "after talking with..". A very different meaning can be taken from " consulting" which has sinister and conspiratorial overtones than "after talking with". He also uses the word "they" in referring to the contents of the email, the "they" being Paterno and Curley when Curley';s email consistantly uses the word "I", not "we" and never once mentions that his decison had anything to do with Paterno. The most logical conclusion from this email alone is that after the intital meeting with Paterno where Paterno told him of McQueary's accusations and it was decided that they would be "reported to everyone", Curley on his own, "after thinking about it more", decided against it and informed Spanier of such.There is not a shred of evidence anywhere that there was a second meeting with Paterno where they both decided to reverse course.

Let it be said that if the implications Freeh is trying to sell were actually true Joe Paterno would be guilty of a bad mistake, perjury, and certainly failure to report child abuse which is a crime. The problem with Freeh's statement and his conclusion is that it is nowhere to be found in Curley's email.

Nowhere in Curley's email does he say he consulted with Paterno. That is Freeh's word and he offers not a shred of proof to back it up even though that word in itself convicts Paterno of being part of Curley's decision not to report what McQueary says he witnessed. And Freeh makes the claim without one shred of corroborating evidence to support it.

Curley constantly uses the word "I" and not "we" in his email to Spanier. Freeh on the other hand,using the same email constantly uses the word " they" as in Paterno and Curley. And again he does it without one shred of evidence to back it up. Only the supposition of what an unscrupulous prosecutor wants you to swallow.

Not one corroborating piece of evidence, no phone records to indicate a second conversation between Paterno and Curley took place, no office or appointment logs to show Paterno met with Curley a second time. not one witness to a second meeting interviewed or cited. Nothing. Just Freeh deciding to use this email as "proof" of his own unsubstantiated conclusions which also happens to run contrary to every shred of evidence, testimony, grand jury testimony and public statement that does exist.

 And just to put a fine point on it, ESPN Magazine's senior writer,  Dan Van Nata did report a few days ago before the release of the report that a source, probably in Freeh's own group, who had seen all the emails told him that this email from Curley to Spanier was in the source's words,  "definitely taken out of context" and "chosen to put everyone in the worst possible light".

While a reasonable person could certainly say the email raises a potential question  of was there a second meeting and did in fact Joe Pateno influence Curley's decision not to report it Freeh doesnt answer any of it.  Not with facts. Not with proof. Not with anything.And all the facts and proof that does exist say Freeh's assertion is preposterous.

No evidence is presented that there was a second meeting that undid everything that was decided in the first -- a meeting that supported Paterno's later statements that he told what he knew to Curley and Schultz and was under the impression that the matter was " going to be handled appropriately:.

Adding to how preposterous Freeh's assertion is, if in the first meeting, they had decided as Curley said, "to report it to everyone", and in a purported second meeting of which there is no record "a change of plan was decided" on, common sense would tell you that it would have been to Curley's advantage to tell Spanier that Paterno was involved in the decision and would have helped sell the idea to Spanier. But Curley doesn't. He says "I" not "we".  Yet Freeh wants everyone to believe the evidence shows that Paterno  was influential in Curley's decision not to report it.

The bottom line with this email is that Freeh intentionally distorts and mischaracterizes it. And if you have to distort and misrepresent evidence to make your case, you have no case.

In the end, the evidence of the Freeh report's dishonesty speaks for itself.
The two emails cited can certainly raise questions in the minds of reasonable people. And though all the available facts say otherwise about Paterno being involved in any cover up or lying to the grand jury, or knowing what Freeh tries to claim Paterno knew, they would have been worth investigating to find the facts behind the emails and clarify them for the record, instead of using speculation and distortion and unsubstantiated conclusion to make a dishonest case. What these emails would be to an honest investigator would be  leads, something to follow up on to find the truth. Freeh tries to turn what might be a lead into something he wants you to buy as proof. And as in the case of the 1998 investigation, he wants you to believe Paterno knew of the investigation but says nothing and draws no conclusions from the fact that the results of the investigation he is alleging Paterno knew about, was that Sandusky was innocent of any wrong doing. Because that would spoil everything.

( NOTE: For those who want a point of view posted by someone at the other end of the political spectrum from myself,  but who sees much the same things I have, read what a conservative has to say about the Freeh Report here).

Monday, July 9, 2012

Penn State trustees hoping report will set them Freeh. It won't.*(comment on the released report follows this article.)

The report based on the investigation conducted by the private security and investigative firm headed by former FBI director Louis Freeh in the wake of the Sandusky incident is scheduled to be released this week and as might be expected, self serving leaks from Freeh are beginning to appear in the news media.

The first thing that needs to be said about Louis Freeh, the former director of the FBI whose firm was hired by Penn State to investigate and issue a report on the Sandusky matter, is that he was probably the least respected director of the FBI since Patrick Gray dumped a briefcase full of documents into the Potomac to help Richard Nixon's obstruction of justice during the Watergate investigation.

Freeh was considered to be a political hack by many members of congress, did not have a distinguished tenure as director of the FBI and does not have the squeaky clean and beyond reproach reputation as an objective observer that one would think Penn State would have insisted on to conduct, what is really nothing more than a PR gesture, a face saving attempt that was designed to ward off the criticism it suffered in the aftermath of the Sandusky revelations. Kind of like a politician or celebrity being caught in bed with a bunch of midgets and then announcing they are going into rehab. In other words the report will more political and PR show than anything else and the leaks coming from the report confirm it.

As recently as April 2012 Freeh was coming under attack by a congressional committee for his handling as a trustee for MF Global an invesment firm which went bankrupt after questionable dealings with its customers funds. Freeh was made a trustee whose responsibility included the return of misused customer funds in the amount of $1.6 billion something that still hadnt been done six months after Freeh became a trustee.

Ironically according to the New York Times report of April 18,2012, Freeh had come under harsh criticism because "he declined to share certain documents with regulators and his fellow trustee, James W. Giddens. In addition, a furor arose when it emerged that Mr. Freeh had been contemplating awarding bonuses to MF Global executives who remained at the firm". This after the firm bilked customers out of almost $2 billion.It is also a matter of record that Freeh was excoriated by the 911 Commission Hearings for his handling of terrorist related intelligence during his tenure as FBI director.  Former Republican governor Tom Kane, chair of the 911 Commission said of Freeh and the FBI under Freeh, " it failed, and it failed, and it failed and it failed". This is who Penn State officials hired to investigate the Sandusky incident, how it was handled and issue a report.

Given the mess already made by Penn State officials, it is almost comical that they would hire someone to do an  investigation by someone who themselves were attacked by a congressional committee for refusing to turn over documents to federal regulators.

Freeh's investigation and the report that will be issued, was entirely unnecessary in the first place. First because there has already been, if you want to believe in the competency of the DA's office and attorney general ( okay if you don't want to believe in their competency you'll find no argument here), an investigation by law enforcement and a thorough grand jury investigation that found no wrong doing on the part of Paterno, but indicted Curley and Schultz for perjury and failure to report child abuse ( adding to the Alice in Wonderland criticism of Paterno for "not doing enough" simply because the people he reported to didn't act on what they were told). And secondly because Freeh simply does not have the credentials or the credibility to conduct the investigation or judge anyone else's conduct.

So it should come as no surprise since Paterno was the cash cow in all this, the name and picture that rang the cash register, goosed the ratings and got the web hits, and since Freeh understands the politics and PR involved more than he understands anything else, it's expected that Paterno will be as much a focus of the report as he was the center of media attention and for the same self serving reasons. Its where the money is. ( if you doubt this, keep in mind that the ratio in the news media between Paterno's name and picture and Sandusky's during the first three weeks of the story was about 20-1 Paterno even though it was Sandusky who had committed the abuse).

The leaks  regarding the report from the Political Mr. Freeh that are starting to surface, primarily given to CNN, make the desperate overreaching of the report and its PR bent already apparent.

One of the aspects highlighted in the report and given to CNN is that emails will show that Paterno preferred to discipline football players who committed violations and infractions rather than turn that over to one time overseer of Student Affairs, Dr. Vicky Tripony, something that clearly infuriated her and made her enraged that her turf was being infringed upon by Paterno.

Tripony was in charge of disciplining students at Penn State and based on the calculated leaks from the report which included her emails, she was clearly the archetype of the disgruntled employee, infuriated that Paterno was allowed to be the one to discipline his players and not her.

The emails leaked by Freeh clearly shows a woman who feels her turf is being stepped on by Paterno and deeply resents it, something that Freeh exploits. In one email she complains to then university president Spanier, " I am very troubled by the manipulative, disrespectful, uncivil and abusive behavior of our football coach".

One can take that two ways. Either that is an accurate portrait of Joe Paterno as a man and coach over the span of 50 years and everyone knows it and just ignored it and covered it up, or Tripony as they say, has issues. Given that her reaction to Paterno is out of character with what everyone else has known about him for 50 years, its more likely Tripony has issues and might consider a newspaper delivered headline down as disrespectful.

Its pretty clear from what was leaked that Tripony had an ax to grind, and possibly with football players.Did she resent their receiving special treatment in other areas as they do at other schools and was looking forward to being particularly hard on them which was thwarted by Paterno? Maybe. And maybe the report will address these things but probably not.

One thing that would validate Tripony is if the report contains similar complaints by other vice presidents of Student Affairs at Penn State. After all Paterno was there for more than 50 years. But if she is the only one complaining, the only one disgruntled, the only one the report cites, then, she may be the one with the problem and everything she says can be dismissed.

Was Paterno protective of his players? Obviously. Overprotective? Possibly. Did any receive special treatment? Possibly. But what any of that has to do with Sandusky who was NOT a player and wasn't even part of the coaching staff at Penn State at the time of the incident having left years before, and making Tripony's tirade a part of a report about the Sandusky incident is beyond comprehension. Unless you realize its politics, PR, and an investigator with a predetermined slant.

Seizing on the ranting of a disgruntled employee who feels that her power was being usurped over an issue that is a million light years removed from the real issues at hand, is, in this situation as in countless others, the product of a political hack. Which is the reputation Freeh had in Washington. And Tripony, if subjected to cross examination on a witness stand, would probably be torn to shreds.

Somehow Freeh wants us to think that Tripony's frustration at her inability to discipline football players with the same authority she had over other students, has something to do with allegations against someone who was not a football player or member of the Penn State coaching staff, his predatory behavior, Paterno's reporting what he was told about it to higher ups, and their failures to do their job and do, according to one email by Curley " what everyone agreed we would do".

Unless the Freeh investigation results in new, substantial and heretofore unreported facts that are actionable, the report is nothing more than a political stunt and PR gesture bought and paid for by Penn State officials who have handled the entire affair miserably from the beginning.

Regarding the cache of emails recently discovered and the leaking of one in particular which CNN publicized and twisted for their own gain and profit, then pulled after 2 days, Don Vannata of ESPN Magazine reported that a source who has seen all the emails ( clearly someone either inside the DA's office or Freeh's organization) told him emphatically that the leaked email was "definitely taken out of context", and was selectively chosen because it was the one email that" put everyone in the worst possible light". Sounds like Freeh.

So there is no reason to believe that any "report" coming from Freeh is going to be free ( no pun intended) of politics, manipulation, public relations and bias. That, according to leaks,  the report is going to focus mostly on the Penn State football program going back decades and is going to be critical of the culture of the football program under Paterno, is pretty much proof that Freeh's report had nothing to say regarding anything that matters. Just pad it with irrelevancies so Penn State can think they got their moneyworth.And let it adhere to the already established storyline.

If anyone believes the culture of the football program had anything with do with Sandusky's predatory behavior and had anything to do with how Curley, Schultz and Spanier handled what Paterno and McQueary told them, good luck. And never play poker. Sandusky had been severed from the football program for years before the shower incident took place and almost all the victims Sandusky came in contact with came to him from his Second Mile charity.

If all the report has to talk about is the Penn State football program going back decades then it has nothing to talk about and has nothing to say about any of the facts that matter. And why this matters beyond Paterno and Penn State is because the news media has ruined politics and policy in this country for decades because they have an agenda that is designed more for their own money making self interest than anything else and fact don't matter.  And second rate politicians always play along. Paterno and the media's treatment of his role is just the most recent and visible example.

The issue in question was what McQueary witnessed in the shower, what Paterno told Curley and Schultz and what was and was not done about it. Not what the culture was at Penn State football twenty years ago. Or for the past 50 years for that matter. Again if that's all Freeh has to talk about he has nothing to talk about ( and let's not forget that what McQueary testified to under oath at Sandusky's trial was so vague and inconclusive, the jury acquitted Sandusky of the count against him based on what McQueary saw in the shower while convicting him of 45 other counts. One can only imagine how vague the account was he gave to Paterno).

If Freeh presents evdience that Paterno influenced Curley and Schultz not to report what McQueary said he witnessed, (which every shred of evidence collected by law enforcement, Paterno's grand jury testimony and public statements disputes) then Paterno would be guilty of not reporting child abuse and more  If Paterno did talk Curley into dealing with Sandusky "internally" which contradicts Paterno's public statements and grand jury testimony ( something that borders on the preposterous) he would be guilty. But one would think that under those circumstances, Curley and Schultz would have testified to that to the grand jury .

But the comment Paterno made that addresses this very issue was " with the benefit of hindsight I wish I had done more" ( not,by the way, that he "didn't do enough".) Being instrumental in keeping the allegation against Sandusky quiet and "internal" and talking Curley and Schultz out of reporting it when they had agreed they would is admittedly is a far cry from wishing he had done more. But if there is no evidence of that, then the Freeh report is a far cry from anything of value and is just a PR stunt and a waste of Penn State's money.

That Freeh turned up anything substantial or that will contradict what we already know regarding Paterno's actions which was part of  the key issue he was supposed to be investigating, is not likely considering he had no subpoena power,  no authority to investigate, could not compel cooperation from anyone, could not seize or even look at documents without the permission and cooperation of those in possession of those documents,( the emails of Schultz and Curley were the property of Penn State)  and anyone who wanted to tell him to go jump in the lake could have without any legal repercussions. That he came up with nothing new is why the advance word is that Freeh's report will focus on 50 years of the Penn State football program under Paterno.

There is no way the Freeh report is going to be objective about Paterno because Freeh being the political animal that he is,  will not leave himself open to media criticism that he let Paterno "off the hook". The media has their ground to defend, so do the trustees and Freeh, being a product of Washington DC politics, and not exactly revered for his objectivity during his tenure at the FBI, knows it. It is also beyond comprehension that he didnt interview members of the Paterno family, that they had to ASK to be interviewed and that he declined.

Freeh is very aware that the report will be the biggest news story in the country the day it's released, will be widely disseminated, widely read, reported on, picked apart and analyzed by the media in print, TV and radio, and talked about for days. His already shaky reputation and that of his business has a lot riding on the public  reaction to the report which will be publicly defined by the media.

So it goes without saying he is not going to issue a report that in any way deviates from the storyline already established by the press or risk criticism by the media. That would be a PR nightmare for him and his business. If you think otherwise you are exactly the kind of person the report will be designed to influence -- the press and people who cant or wont think for themselves. And as Freeh knows, and as we've already seen, there are a whole lot of those.

There is one overriding fact that needs to be kept in mind throughout all this. All of the criticism leveled at Paterno by the media stemmed from just one thing --  the idea that Paterno "didn't do enough" with what McQueary told him about the shower incident he witnessed, in "only" reporting it to Curely and Schultz.( though not one Paterno critic anywhere at anytime ever said what they thought was "enough".)

Yet a jury of 12 men and women, presented with all the facts in a court of law, more facts than Paterno ever had and who heard McQueary's full unsanitized testimony under oath, not the sanitized  version he says he gave Paterno-- those 12 men and women after hearing McQueary's testimony acquitted Sandusky of the charges of child sexual abuse against him stemming from the shower incident at Penn State that McQueary says he witnessed.

If 12 jurors after hearing McQueary's testimony, after being given all the facts, after convicting Sandusky of 45 other counts of child sexual abuse, and having all the time they needed to  deliberate, decided that Sandusky was not guilty of the criminal conduct in that shower that was behind all the media frenzy, what exactly was Paterno supposed to do with even less information  beyond what he did -- -- report what he was given by McQueary to Curly and Schultz as per Penn State guidelines and protocols within 24 hours and arrange for McQueary to tell them his story face to face.

 For anyone missing the common sense or honesty to answer that for themselves , 12 members of a jury answered it for them. And that answer was as valid six months ago when all this became public, ten years ago when the incident occurred, in 2009 when the grand jury began investigating and now. And the answer is: nothing more.

And for those who still insist on claiming that Joe Paterno himself said he "didn't do enough", that's not what he said. He said "with the benefit of hindsight I wish I had done more." Which when it comes to being accurate and honest about what was written about Paterno, and honestly reporting the facts, is what every member of the media should be saying to themselves now. And they don't need a Freeh report to know it The real report is already in.  Now with the Freeh Report, its time to send in the clowns.


The report was released this morning. As expected most of the conclusions drawn from the report are based solely on opinion, most of it laughable and wouldnt be admissable in a court of law. However there is one sentence that matters: According to the written report (most of which by the way reads like the political hatchet job that was expected),  "Curley consulted with Paterno following sex abuse allegations against Sandusky and they changed the plan and decided not to make a report to the authorities".

As written earlier, if that turns out to be true then yes, Paterno would be guilty of covering up and would have been derelict in his responsibilities. However all the concrete evidence does not, repeat,does not, support that  in any way, and that includes all the evidence, testimony, grand jury testimony and fact finding by Pennsylvania law enforcement.

Unless there is concrete evidence, and I mean evidence, not opinion, and not the kind of conclusion based on opinion that would be thrown out of court, unless there is proof of this beyond a reasonable doubt, the dishonesty of that sentence discredits the entire report and discredits Freeh as a political hack more than he already is.

That sentence if true,  if there are heretofore unreported facts and evidence to back it up, ( and given the report is 200 pages it will take time to see if there is), it would make the attorney general, Pennsylvania law enforcement and the DA a collection of incompetent clowns, make Joe Paterno a liar and make Curley and Schultz flat out guilty of perjury and child endangerment along with Spanier. Either that will be the case,  or  the incompetent clown who failed in his responsibilites will be Louis Freeh.

If that conclusion is based solely on a questionable,  intentionally self serving and distorted interpretation of that one email from Curley to Spanier that was leaked to the press and nothing else, if Curley, Spanier, Schultz and Paterno's family all deny there was a second meeting, if McQueary knew nothing about it, if there is no evidence of it, if Curley denies a second conversation with Paterno and denies he had anything to do with Curley changing his mind, if there is nothing but that email to assert that allegation,  then this report becomes one of the most insidious, discredited dishonest hatchet jobs and peice of self serving garbage in recent memory related to a public event and Louis Freeh's reputation will be mud for all time.

If on the other hand, the report contains evidence, the kind of evidence that would stand up in court, that this assertion is true, and not the product of self serving twisted speculation,  that with Paterno's knowledge and influence, the plan to report the abuse was changed and Paterno was complicit in the decision not to report the abuse to authorities contrary to his public statements then, while it does nothing to exonnerate the news media for its factually dishonest reporting on everything else in the past, it will be a sad day for Paterno's legacy.

But,on face value, given Paterno's lifelong reputation and integrity, and given Freeh's history of incompetence, lack of integrity, and reputation as a Washington game player,  the report will have to have concrete evidence, the kind of evidence that we, as a jury will find to be true beyond a reasonable doubt, and  not the opinion of a previously discredited political hack, that will decide that question.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Purported emails, Paterno and another black eye for the news media.

The CNN headline read: "purported emails suggest Paterno may have altered decision not to report abuse".

 This is of course from the news organization whose political polling division did a poll asking " Do you think Osama Bin Laden is in hell"? when the only thing that has really gone to hell is CNN as a news source.

 The CNN report which could only appeal to the terminally flat lining brain, was picked up only by one or two other media outlets ( it seems this nonsense was even too much for most other media outlets who so far have ignored it) .

It should also be noted that CNN has changed its headline since yesterday when it read, " Purported emails suggest Paterno may have influenced.." and today its "altered".

 This is what happens when a news organization reports on the contents of an email they cant even verify exists because they haven't seen it and so are reduced to calling it a "purported" email. Which is why CNN is only a purported news organization reporting on purported things, because they not only cant verify one single thing they are reporting on which naturally doesn't stop them from reporting it anyway, they can't even see how preposterous and illogical their "may have's" are.

 They have also referred to these as "alleged" emails, and "alleged contents" because the contents have been leaked by someone in the attorney general's office who obviously wanted to leak them to the media possibly to influence public opinion before jury selection at Curly's trial. The attorney general is now refusing to return phone calls asking about the leaks.

 For those not familiar, the purported email which no journalist has ever seen or held in their hands, and are being headlined based on something being read to them over the phone by an anonymous source, and then drawing a clearly brain dead conclusion is this:

 According to CNN, the email from Curley purportedly allegedly says:

 "After giving it more thought and talking it over with Joe yesterday I am uncomfortable with what we agreed were the next steps".

 Aside from the fact that only the brain dead, which most journalists seem to be, could draw from that email the possibility that Paterno somehow influenced Curley's damning decision not to report the abuse, it needs to be pointed out that ESPN, in also quoting from the same purported alleged email reported a slightly different quote:

 According the ESPN, Curley's email to then Penn State president Spanier said

 "After talking with Joe and giving it more thought I am uncomfortable with going ahead with what we all agreed upon and reporting it to everyone". The "everyone" included Child protective services.

 The "Boy Eats Foot" level of journalism and assumption and insinuation CNN was trying to sell for the sake of a headline  is that "after talking with Joe" means that Joe talked poor Curley into not reporting the abuse, even though every one of Paterno's public statements and his grand jury testimony is to the contrary and would not only mean Paterno lied, somethng not even remotely in his character, it also would have opened Paterno up to perjury and obstruction of justice charges and child endangerment along with the same failure to report abuse Curly and Schultz are facing. Is that what CNN wants everyone to consider is a possibility? That Paterno would lie over something like that and do it at a time when neither Paterno nor anyone else had any idea the Sandusky matter would become the biggest story in the country for more than a month? Is that supposed to make sense?

 When considering that Paterno's honesty and integrity has been beyond question his entire life, this shows the depths that CNN is willing to sink in it's desperate groveling attempts at commercialism.

The obvious conclusion to draw from those emails is that after Paterno met with Curley ( as he testified he did) and told Curley what McQueary had told him, and after everyone including Paterno agreed that it would be reported to who Curley describes as "everyone"  which included Child Protective Services, Curley on his own, "after thinking about it", changed his mind and told that to Spanier in an email, and Spanier supported the decision even mentioning the possibility that it could make them vulnerable for not reporting it.

 Paterno's public statement at the time, supported by his grand jury testimony was that he reported the allegation to his superiors, Curley and Schultz, and according to Paterno's statement, "..that was the last time the matter was brought to my attention until this investigation and I assumed that the men I referred it to ( Curley and Schultz) handled the matter appropriately".
If CNN's new smear attempt of Paterno was the truth, it would have meant Paterno hung Curley, Schultz and Spanier out to dry. And given the charges they were facing they would just let that happen? Is this CNN's idea of crack journalism?

 And while I have no desire or intention of defending Curley on anything ( the email, if it was followed through on, clearly makes him and Spanier culpable for not reporting it and he reversed his decison without bothering to inform Paterno he changed his mind ), it is more than possible that, given the sanitized and vague version of events Paterno passed on from what he was told by McQueary which ranged from "something sexual in nature" without getting specific,  to "horsing around", Curley wasn't comfortable with reporting Sandusky for sexual abuse ( the real problem was nothing was done about the 1998 accusations).

 And if that stirs up the zombies of the brain dead, keep in mind that McQueary's actual trial testimony was so vague and inconclusive, that while Sandusky was convicted of 45 of the 48 counts of abuse against him, one of the three counts of which he was acquitted was the charge of the rape of Victim 2 in the Penn State shower based on McQueary's eye witness testimony.If the jury didn't think what McQueary testified to under oath in court was credible or conclusive enough to convict Sandusky in a court room, one can only imagine the way he presented what he admitted was a sanitized version of what he saw to Paterno, Schultz and Curley.

 But  why this report by CNN is truly gutter journalism, is that without a doubt, if Paterno had in any way influenced or been involved in Curley's reversal of the decision to report it, Curley would said so. And the best case Curley could have made to Spanier to support his decision not to report the abuse, would have been to say that "Joe" agrees, or "Joe suggested". But he didnt.

 Nothing in CNN's report based on "purported emails", "alleged contents", ":maybe's" : "could have's" "suggests", and "may have"s without one shred of actual evidence or testimony or common sense to back it up, would have been allowed to be called news 20 years ago. And is probably why most other news organizations aren't even picking up the story. It is nothing more than incompetent gutter, "Boy Eats Foot" supermarket tabloid journalism to attract attention without a shred of intelligence or journalistic integrity behind it. And is probably why recent Neilsen ratings show CNN at an all time low.
The only real characterization of what CNN has tried to call news isnt that the emails "suggest" anything. Its CNN using them to make, not news, but insinuation. And making it for the sake of attention and commercialism.

After three days of this story appearing on the CNN site, there has not been a single report that anyone at CNN either called or tried to call Curley himself to ask him if Paterno did or suggested anything that caused him to reverse the decision to report the abuse to "everyone" as they had "all agreed on". They didn't call to ask if Paterno had anything to do with his decision to change his mind and not report it. They didnt call to ask if Paterno even knew about it. They could have called and asked about  all of this before they ran the story. But they didnt. Because that would have spoiled all the fun.

NOTE: Subsequet to this being written as of 5pm Eastern on July 3rd it has been noted that CNN has removed the Paterno "may have" emails story from its front page.

ADDENDUM: On July 7, Don Vanatta, a writer for ESPN Magazine, writing on the leaked emails wrote:

'A source who has reveiwed all the early 2001 emails said that the few that have been leaked 'are definitely out of context' " 

Vanatta went on to say that his source who has seen all the emails suggested that the one email used by CNN to make insinuations about Paterno was selectively leaked to put everyone in the worst possible light.