April 28, 2011

"[T]he courts have no obligation to entertain pure speculation and conjecture."

Said the Court of Appeals for the 2d Circuit, threatening sanctions against the plaintiffs' lawyer:
[T]he appeals court said, the plaintiff advanced inconsistent theories, including that the defendants may have ordered explosives to be planted in the Pentagon, may have hired Muslims extremists to carry out the attacks, may have used Muslims as dupes or patsies, or may have fired a missile into the Pentagon. Nor did the plaintiff cite any facts to support a conspiracy among the defendants, according to the opinion....
The lawyer, William Veale, said the judges were "dishonest" and "didn’t mention half of what we presented to them in the complaint. They simply disregarded mountains of evidence.”

Here's the opinion (PDF):
While, as a general matter, Gallop or any other plaintiff certainly may allege that the most senior members of the United States government conspired to commit acts of terrorism against the Untied States, the courts have no obligation to entertain pure speculation and conjecture.
The Untied States? Perhaps that's another clue for your imaginary mountain range, Mr. Veale.
Indeed, in attempting to marshal a series of unsubstantiated and inconsistent allegations in order to explain why American Airlines Flight 77 did not crash into the Pentagon, the complaint utterly fails to set forth a consistent, much less plausible, theory for what actually happened that morning in Arlington, Virginia. See, e.g., Complaint & 3 (alleging that defendants may have caused “high explosive charges to be detonated inside the Pentagon”); & 21 (alleging that defendants “may have employed Muslim extremists to carry out suicide attacks; or . . . may have used Muslim extremists as dupes or patsies”); id. (alleging that “four planes” were in fact hijacked on the morning of September 11); & 33 (alleging that “[i]f Flight 77, or a substitute, did swoop low over the [Pentagon], to create the false impression of a suicide attack, it was then flown away by its pilot, or remote control, and apparently crashed somewhere else”); & 40(d)(3) (alleging that apart from Flight 77 “a different, additional, flying object . . . hit the Pentagon”); & 43 (alleging that there “may have been a missile strike, perhaps penetrating through to the back wall, which helped collapse the section that fell in, possibly augmented by explosives placed inside”).

32 comments:

The Grand Inquisitor said...

Why can't truthers figure out that if CheneyMcHalliburton had planted bombs in all these buildings, they could have just detonated them and said Al Qaida was responsible.

The idea they would do all this and also let some kooks run around with airplane-missiles never made sense.

I know it's stupid to refute truthers with sense, but come on.

Triangle Man said...

Hard to decide if truthers or birthers are more pathetic.

vbspurs said...

Reading the opinion was great fun ("Perhaps that's another clue for your imaginary mountain range, Mr. Veale."), but I cannot read it without getting depressed, as well.

To think there are Americans who so contort their thinking to reaffirm their world view that "America is Bad", even when the facts are overwhelmingly against them, is very very sad.

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

Incidentally, it's been a good week for anti-conspiracists. First the Jack Stuef "Trig" scandal, then Birthers, now Truthers.

The Illiminati must be pissed.

John Burgess said...

Only $15K in sanctions? And that is doubly punitive? Is this in addition to government costs? I'd think the gov't spent in the $100Ks to defend and appeal the case.

Tibore said...

"Why can't truthers figure out that if CheneyMcHalliburton had planted bombs in all these buildings, they could have just detonated them and said Al Qaida was responsible."

April Gallop is a Pentagon no-planer, not a NY WTC conspiracy peddler.

That said, yeah, she is a freak. She's fallen in with the Pilots for 911 Truth (*snort*) crowd who's arguments are built around nonsense interpretations of the recovered flight data recorder information (they either want you to believe that it was faked, or that the jet actually pulled up and missed the Pentagon. Sometimes both at once. No, that doesn't make sense, but sense hasn't stopped them yet). And she also makes claims of antiair defenses at the Pentagon (a totally ludicrous proposal, which is obvious to anyone who's ever flown the "River View" landing to Regan International that flies right by the Pentagon... how many jets would've been shot down by accident now if those were truly there?), among other ludicrous claims.

I'd be sorry for her if I had any indication that she was being played for a fool by the truther crowd, but unfortunately the way she's gone about things makes it look like she found them, not the other way around.

The Grand Inquisitor said...

"Hard to decide if truthers or birthers are more pathetic."

Really? There's no comparison between the two. Truthers are obviously much craziers and stupider than even the most annoying and dense birther.

Let's think about what a birther claims happened: somehow, Obama was born in Kenya and managed to fake a credential somehow to facilitate his ambition to be president. Now, granted, the evidence this didn't happen was very convincing even before this long form certificate came out, but I guess part of the fuel for the birther fire was that Obama could have released that long form and didn't do so. Combine that with a lot of other aspects of Obama hiding what he's been up to, for example with Annennburg, or Columbia, and some people just too paranoia a few steps too far.

You'd think that we could trust a man to love America too much to lie about his basics, but then again, he happily attended Rev Wright's church. Only a freaking kook could do that.

That's not to say birthers aren't annoying as hell, or unreasonable. So many of them posit ridiculous theories about citizenship requirements, or even claim a conspiracy consistent of lots of Hawaiian officials. They aren't reasonable.

But compared to truthers? I mean, that's a far harder to understand conspiracy theory. It suggests mass murder, rather than merely trying to lie one's way into office.

Tibore said...

Oh, and as far as the lawyer goes:

"We hold that the District Court did not err in concluding that Gallop's claims were frivolous, and affirm the dismissal of her complaint. In addition, Gallop's counsel are ordered to show cause why sanctions should not be imposed under Federal Rule of Appellate Procedures 38, 28 U.S.C. 1927, and the inherent power of this court.

... the record on appeal leaves no doubt that this appeal, to say nothing of the original complaint, was "brought without the slightest chance of success", and therefore should not have been brought at all, even if authorized by the client. "


I need the professor here or any actually practicing lawyers to tell me how severe that really is. But from this layman's point of view, it sounds pretty harsh. The judge basically said that the appeal and original suit were so frivolous that the lawyers deserved to pay a penalty, an actual monetary penalty. Sounds like an open scolding to me.

traditionalguy said...

At last, here is a field where Katie Couric can be of great service doing her multi dimensional story telling. Does she need a law degree, or can she practice on a comity theory as holder of an honorary degree Making Illusions In multiple Dimensions for CBS?

Tibore said...

"Triangle Man said...
Hard to decide if truthers or birthers are more pathetic."


Truthers. Birthers are indeed pretty far down there, but truthers have invaded legitimate hearings (such as NIST's meeting for public comment on their findings regarding the Twin Towers collapses) and gone so far as to have created one sham "academic" journal and tried to prop up a vanity, self-publish "journal" as a legit science one. Not to mention the fact that they've heckled politicians and non-politicians alike at public appearances for merely not buying into their beliefs.

Also this: I only know of one birther who's making money off of Birtherism (Jerome Corsi... and oddly enough, despite his denials, he's a 9/11 truther too), and I have no idea if it's his sole source of income. But there's at least one person - Richard Gage - who's only means of support are 9/11 activities, and at least two more (David Ray Griffin and Steven Jones) who arguably make most of their money that way. Gage runs the laughable "Architects and Engineers for 911 Truth" group and it's sham "reports", and he tours giving speeches as well. DRG writes conspriatoid books. Steven Jones gives speeches as well, although he at least tries to give an appearance of having conducted genuine scientific research (my critiques of those can be found elsewhere). So that's 3 to 1 regarding the mythology being a source of income to the high-profile peddlers of it.

There are other reasons, but I've simply seen more sheer idiocy in trutherism than I have in birtherism. Mick here in this forum is as bad as it gets in birther lunacy, and all he does is misinterpret the Constitution and US law. But I can find "beam weapon" truthers (Judy Wood), mininuke truthers ("Dr." Bill Deagle, and a supposed anonymous russian intelligence officer (*snort*)), no planes at the WTC truthers, missiles used on the Twin Towers, missiles used on the Pentagon, no jet hit the Pentagon (Ms. Gallop has morphed into one of those)... it just goes on and on.

So yeah. Truthers win big time in my book. That doesn't excuse birtherism, but trutherism is simply the Asian landmass compared to Luxemborg's land area. It's just that much bigger, older, and most diverse in its craziness.

vbspurs said...

Tibore wrote:

That doesn't excuse birtherism, but trutherism is simply the Asian landmass compared to Luxemborg's land area. It's just that much bigger, older, and most diverse in its craziness.

Ah. That makes Trig Birtherism, Monaco.

The Grand Inquisitor said...

"So yeah. Truthers win big time in my book. That doesn't excuse birtherism, but trutherism is simply the Asian landmass compared to Luxemborg's land area. It's just that much bigger, older, and most diverse in its craziness."

Yep.

I think this is some sort of 'let me be fair' sort of thing, where we're supposed to pretend both sides have equal problems.

I do think birtherism was more rampant than trutherism. That USA Today poll makes it seem like a large majority of Americans had doubts about Obama's birth. so in that sense, maybe birthers were worse, but in every other, they weren't even in the same category.

Accusing someone of lying about his credentials, even when there is tons of evidence of those credentials, is not the same as accusing a group of a hugely organized plan to murder thousands of innocent people.

Tibore said...

"vbspurs said...

Ah. That makes Trig Birtherism, Monaco."


LOLOLOL!!!! :D

Tibore said...

"The Grand Inquisitor said...

Accusing someone of lying about his credentials, even when there is tons of evidence of those credentials, is not the same as accusing a group of a hugely organized plan to murder thousands of innocent people. "


Yep. Couldn't agree more. Trutherism just has a far larger scope in its sweep.

Chip Ahoy said...

You guys are very good.

rhhardin said...

The courts have no obligation to do anything.

They're gods.

PaulV said...

Loughter, the Holocaust Museum killer and the idiot who flew a light plane into TX IRS building were truthers. Just a coincidence?

Methadras said...

Good. I'm sick of these truthers trying to allege what really happened with actual eye-witness reports. These conspiracists are nothing more than paranoid schizoids. Just stop already.

Skyler said...

The judge's actions are proof that this is a government conspiracy. :)

cubanbob said...

This idiocy should have never even reached an appellant court. The trial judge should have dismissed this from the jump and severely sanctioned the lawyer that filed this.

Tibore said...

"cubanbob said...
This idiocy should have never even reached an appellant court. The trial judge should have dismissed this from the jump and severely sanctioned the lawyer that filed this."


The trial judge dismissed the original suit with prejudice. The appeal was to get that overturned.

It says something that Gallop and her lawyer got smacked harder at the appellate level.

I do agree that the plaintiff should've gotten sanctioned, but I believe this was a new lawyer. I think. I have to check, but there's a line in the decision that comes out and says "new counsel".

AST said...

Truthers are the only ones more bone headed than birthers. Plus, they're venal, accusing the government of murdering its own citizens.

It's really about time courts started smacking down idiots like this who waste their resources. Lawyers who have such a lack of either ethics or intelligence ought to be weeded out.

Tibore said...

"AST said...

It's really about time courts started smacking down idiots like this who waste their resources. Lawyers who have such a lack of either ethics or intelligence ought to be weeded out."


Agreed. And this appellate court appears to agree too. Quote:

"We hold that the District Court did not err in concluding that Gallop's claims were frivolous, and affirm the dismissal of her complaint. In addition, Gallop's counsel are ordered to show cause why sanctions should not be imposed under Federal Rule of Appellate Procedures 38, 28 U.S.C. 1927, and the inherent power of this court."

I don't know why the threat of sanctions didn't come sooner, but it's there now. 3 judges basically said "Explain why we shouldn't make you pay for wasting the court's time". That's a shot across the bow saying "Unless you come up with one HELL of an explanation, you're getting fined".

murgatroyd666 said...

"Ah, but the total absence of evidence simply illustrates how widespread and efficient the conspiracy really is!"

murgatroyd666 said...

Oh, and when you're talking about bizarre conspiracy theories, don't forget chemtrails.

Revenant said...

Chemtrails are one of my favorite conspiracy theories, especially since I've never actually bothered to look up the scientific explanation for contrails.

Robert Cook said...

"But compared to truthers? I mean, that's a far harder to understand conspiracy theory. It suggests mass murder, rather than merely trying to lie one's way into office."

One does not have to be a truther--as I am not--to see that those heading our government are mass murderers.

Robin said...

Triangle Man,

Birthers demonstrate all the most extreme versions of fantasy conspiracy thinking extent in modern conspiracy theory nuttiness.

But Truthers are the most vile. They construct a conspiracy theory that has major political figures in this country conspiring with hundreds or more people to murder thousands.

That's really vile to think that people would create that libel in their minds solely to entertain themselves with delusions of having secret knowledge.

Tibore said...

@Robin

Well, I don't know if I'd call truthers the "most vile" - remember, Holocaust deniers are also conspiracy theorists - but they certainly have a vile quality to them.

Melissa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lyssalovelyredhead said...

Imagine if truther and birthers were both right:

Birthers would have discovered that a guy lied about his credentials to get a job, and maybe had some help forging docs. Not exactly admirable, but at least understandable. He should be dismissed from office, possibly someone could be sued on fraud grounds (maybe?) or similar, but that's about it. You'd call him wrong and dishonest, but no where near evil.

On the other hand, if the truthers were to be correct, we would be discovering that the government, in a conspiracy which would have necessarily included hundreds if not thousands of people, murdered thousands of innocents in cold blood. Hundreds of government officials would need to be brought up on capital murder charges; many if not most would never make it to trial, as vigilantes would beat them to the punch (and those vigilantes would probably be lauded as heroes by most citizens).

There's simply no comparison.

- Lyssa

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