Mar 10, 2010

Wonderful Speech...

Remember the guy who got on a plane with a bomb built into his shoe and tried to light it?

His trial is over and he was sentenced.
Everyone should hear what the judge had to say.
Ruling by Judge William Young, US District Court.
Prior to sentencing, the Judge asked the defendant if he had anything to say. His response: After admitting his guilt to the court for the record, Reid also admi tted his "allegiance to Osama bin Laden, to Islam, and to the religion of Allah," defiantly stating, "I think I will not apologize for my actions," and told the court "I am at war with your country."

Judge Young then delivered the statement quoted below:

January 30, 2003, United States vs. Reid.

Judge Young: "Mr. Richard C. Reid, hearken now to the sentence the Court imposes upon you.

On counts 1, 5 and 6 the Court sentences you to life in prison in the custody of the United States Attorney General. On counts 2, 3, 4 and 7, the Court sentences you to 20 years in prison on each count, the sentence on each count to run consecutively. (That's 80 years.)

On count 8 the Court sentences you to the mandatory 30 years again, to be served consecutively to the 80 years just imposed. The Court imposes upon you for each of the eight counts a fine of $250,000 that's an aggregate fine of $2 million. The Court ac cepts the government's recommendation with respect to restitution and orders restitution in the amount of $298.17 to Andre Bousquet and $5,784 to American Airlines.

The Court imposes upon you an $800 special assessment. The Court imposes upon you five years supervised release simply because the law requires it. But the life sentences are real life sentences so I need go no further.

This is the sentence that is provided for by our statutes. It is a fair and just sentence. It is a righteous sentence.

Now, let me explain this to you. We are not afraid of you or any of your terrorist co-conspirators, Mr. Reid. We are Americans. We have been through the fire before. There is too much war talk here and I say that to everyone with the utmost respect. Here in this court, we deal with individuals as individuals and care for individuals as individuals. As human beings, we reach out for justice.

You are not an enemy combatant. You are a terrorist. You are not a soldier in any war. You are a terrorist. To give you that reference, to call you a soldier, gives you far too much stature. Whether the officers of government do it or your attorney does it, or if you think you are a soldier. You are not----- you are a terrorist. And we do not negotiate with terrorists. We do not meet with terrorists. We do not sign documents with terrorists. We hunt them down one by one and bring them to justice.

So war talk is way out of line in this court. You are a big fellow. But you are not that big. You're no warrior. I've known warriors. You are a terrorist. A species of criminal that is guilty of multiple attempted murders. In a very real sense, State Trooper Santiago had it right when you first were taken off that plane and into custody and you wondered where the press and the TV crews were, and he said: "You're no big deal."

You are no big deal.

What your able counsel and what the equally able United States attorneys have grappled with and what I have as honestly as I know how tried to grapple with, is why you did something so horrific. What was it that led you here to this courtroom today?

I have listened respectfully to what you have to say. And I ask you to search your heart and ask yourself what sort of unfathomable hate led you to do what you are guilty and admit you are guilty of doing? And, I have an answer for you. It may not satisfy you, but as I search this entire record, it comes as close to understanding as I know.

It seems to me you hate the one thing that to us is most precious. You hate our freedom. Our individual freedom. Our individual freedom to live as we choose, to come and go as we choose, to believe or not believe as we individually choose. Here, in this society, the very wind carries freedom. It carries it everywhere from sea to shining sea. It is because we prize individual freedom so much that you are here in this beautiful courtroom. So that everyone can see, truly see, that justice is administered fairly, individually, and discretely. It is for freedom's sake that your lawyers are striving so vigorously on your behalf, have filed appeals, will go on in their representation of you before other judges.

We Americans are all about freedom. Because we all know that the way we treat you, Mr. Reid, is the measure of our own liberties. Make no mistake though. It is yet true that we will bear any burden; pay any price, to preserve our freedoms. Look around this courtroom. Mark it well. The world is not going to long remember what you or I say here. The day after tomorrow, it will be forgotten, but this, however, will long endure.

Here in this courtroom and courtrooms all across America, the American people will gather to see that justice, individual justice, justice, not war, individual justice is in fact being done. The very President of the United States through his officers will have to come into courtrooms and lay out evidence on which specific matters can be judged and juries of citizens will gather to sit and judge that evidence democratically, to mold and shape and refine our sense of justice.

See that flag, Mr. Reid? That's the flag of the United States of America. That flag will fly there long after this is all forgotten . That flag stands for freedom. And it always will.

Mr. Custody Officer. Stand him down.

God bless Judge Young and God bless America.

Mar 6, 2010

Farewell, Jerry... We'll miss you.

We learned this week of the passing of an old friend, Jerry Holland. Perhaps I should say the unforgettable Jerry Holland. If your path and his had ever crossed, you would remember him. He was bigger than life.

I think I first met Jerry in late 1990. He had come to work for Camber Corporation and opened an office in Crystal City, a huge office complex in Arlington, Virginia. Jerry had presented a business concept to our CEO, Walter Batson, and Walter had hired Jerry on the spot. Jerry had an extensive and successful career in the Army, the last several years of which had involved the acquisition process. He knew the military acquisition process. His idea was to sell support services to program offices that are trying to wend their ways through the countless obstacles and roadblocks that slow down or kill them. He was very successful and soon had one of the largest, most successful Camber divisions.

On several occasions, I flew to Washington to provide support to Jerry's projects and programs. Jerry was a born leader. He exuded a well-founded confidence. A sign over the door to his office stated, "Do something! Lead, follow, or get out of the way." And he meant it. Jerry arrived at the office at or before 5:00 AM. By the time most of us arrive at work, Jerry had done a half-day's work! He was dynamic, concerned about everyone and everything under his management, and a great businessman. His integrity was beyond question. If Jerry made a commitment, it was gold-plated. Because of that, his clients loved him. They came back for further services at a very high rate.
Jerry was also a great judge of people. His bride, Av, was evidence of that! But in the business world, he picked great workers and leaders who became some of Camber's finest. Our president, Joe Alexander, was an early Jerry Holland protégé.

Jerry was a dedicated family man. More than once Margo and I visited Joe and Av (and their beloved St. Bernards!). We could feel the warm friendliness of their home. And Jerry spoke of his family in the most tender, caring terms.

It will take a while for Jerry's departure to sink in. He served on Camber's Board of Directors for many years after he retired, so I got to see him just about every quarter. It's a shame that we don't appreciate each other a little more while we can. Jerry, I will miss you. You have suffered your last. Enjoy the Glory.

Mar 2, 2010

Visitor from the North...

A week ago last Saturday, I proceeded on my normal morning routine, which includes feeding the dog and two cats. When I approached Sheila's dog pen, I spotted a huge animal, feeding at the cats' dishes. It was a full-grown Alaskan Malamute. If you've never seen one of these dogs, believe me, they are
very large.

I approached him cautiously, hoping that he was friendly, and he turned out to be so. I led him into Sheila's pen so that he couldn't attack our cats. He looked capable of making short work of eliminating them. He sniffed Sheila, but there was no sign of aggression. He did, however become very protective of the food dish.

I kept him in the pen and let Sheila stay outside the fence, since I didn't want him to run out in the road and get hit. I also began to realize that I couldn't keep him and hoped I could find his rightful owner.

Mary Ann and I placed an ad in the local newspapers and on the local radio station, to no avail. I realized that if I took him to the pound, he would most certainly be destroyed, an option I didn't even want to think about. I called Elsie West, who works in the gift shop, since Elsie is quite a dog rescuer, and she indicated she might know someone who could help.

Through a friend of a friend, we were put in contact with a young lady from Hartselle, Alabama, who saves Malamutes! Krista and her fiancé, Josh, came up to our home this afternoon and took the dog to their rescue site. They have four acres where they keep 14 Malamutes, Huskies, and wolf mixes. I can't tell you how relieved and happy I was to know that this animal has been saved.

Please spay and neuter your pets. Be a responsible pet owner.