Cindy Sheehan ”changed her story on Bush“? Tracking a lie through the conservative media
Cindy Sheehan, mother of a soldier killed in Iraq, has drawn significant media attention for staging an anti-war protest outside President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, where she is demanding to meet with the president. On August 8, Internet gossip Matt Drudge posted an item on his website, the Drudge Report, in which he falsely claimed that Sheehan ”dramatically changed her account“ of a meeting she had with Bush in June 2004; Drudge attempted to back up his false assertion by reproducing Sheehan quotes from a 2004 newspaper article without providing their context. After the story appeared on the Drudge Report, it gained momentum among conservative weblogs and eventually reached Fox News, where it was presented as hard news and in commentaries. Media Matters for America will examine how one false story on an Internet gossip site ended up the focus of prime-time cable news coverage.
Drudge's August 8 item claiming that Sheehan had changed her story used quotes from a June 24, 2004, article in The Reporter of Vacaville, California, where Sheehan lives. The Reporter article described a meeting that Sheehan and 16 other families of soldiers killed in Iraq had with Bush in Fort Lewis, Washington, earlier that month. Sheehan's son, Army Spc. Casey Sheehan, was killed in Iraq in April 2004.
Drudge quoted Sheehan seemingly speaking glowingly of Bush: ”'I now know [Bush is] sincere about wanting freedom for the Iraqis,' Cindy said after their meeting. 'I know he's sorry and feels some pain for our loss. And I know he's a man of faith,' “ and, ”For the first time in 11 weeks, they felt whole again. 'That was the gift the president gave us, the gift of happiness, of being together,' Cindy said.“ Drudge contrasted these quotes to Sheehan's statements on the August 7 edition of CNN's Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer, in which she said, of the 2004 meeting with Bush: ”We wanted to use the time for him to know that he killed an indispensable part of our family and humanity.“
Drudge, however, took Sheehan's quotes from The Reporter out of context in falsely claiming a shift in her position. The June 24, 2004, Reporter article also quoted Sheehan expressing her misgivings about Bush and the Iraq war:
”We haven't been happy with the way the war has been handled,“ Cindy said. ”The president has changed his reasons for being over there every time a reason is proven false or an objective reached.“
The 10 minutes of face time with the president could have given the family a chance to vent their frustrations or ask Bush some of the difficult questions they have been asking themselves, such as whether Casey's sacrifice would make the world a safer place.
But in the end, the family decided against such talk, deferring to how they believed Casey would have wanted them to act. In addition, Pat noted that Bush wasn't stumping for votes or trying to gain a political edge for the upcoming election.
Moreover, Sheehan was not referring to her meeting with Bush as ”the gift the president gave us.“ She was actually referring to the trip to Seattle, as Reporter staff writer Tom Hall noted in an August 9 article responding to Drudge: ”Sheehan also said the trip to Seattle helped connect her family to others that had lost a son or daughter in Iraq. Sheehan said sharing their story with those families was rewarding, as was the time she got to spend with her own family. 'That was the gift the president gave us, the gift of happiness, of being together,' she said in the story. Drudge included that quote in his Monday morning report, but didn't explain that it referred to sharing time with her family, not the president.“
Reporter editor Diane Barney also responded to Drudge in an August 9 column, in which she said that Sheehan's positions on Bush and the war have not changed since June 2004. ”We don't think there has been a dramatic turnaround. Clearly, Cindy Sheehan's outrage was festering even then,“ Barney wrote. ”In ensuing months, she has grown more focused, more determined, more aggressive. ... We invite readers to revisit the story — in context — on our Web site and decide for themselves.“ An August 8 Editor & Publisher article quoted Barney further clarifying the paper's position: ”It's important that readers see the full context of the story, instead of just selected portions. We stand by the story as an accurate reflection of the Sheehan's take on the meeting at the time it was published.“
Throughout the day on August 8, Drudge's false story needed little time to spread to conservative weblogs:
Drudge posted the Sheehan item on August 8 at 10:11 am ET. Right-wing pundit Michelle Malkin posted the item on her weblog one hour later, at 11:22 am ET. At 12:40 pm ET, the Drudge story appeared on C-Log, the weblog of the conservative news and commentary website Townhall.com. At 2:33 pm ET, MooreWatch.com posted the story. At 3:23 pm ET, William Quick of DailyPundit.com posted the story. Fox News then picked up Drudge's distortion of Sheehan's quote. On the ”Political Grapevine“ segment of the August 8 edition of Special Report with Brit Hume, guest anchor and Fox News chief Washington correspondent Jim Angle highlighted Sheehan's supposed contradiction:
ANGLE: Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a soldier killed in Iraq last year, who's now camped outside President Bush's Crawford ranch demanding to see him, said yesterday on CNN that a private meeting with President Bush last year was offensive, insisting, quote, ”He acted like it was a party. He came in very jovial, like we should be happy with that. Our son died for the president's misguided policies.“
But just after that 2004 meeting, she gave a very different account, telling her local paper, the Vacaville Reporter, quote, ”I now know the president is sincere about wanting freedom for the Iraqis. I know he's sorry and feels some pain for our loss. And I know he's a man of faith.“ She added that President Bush, quote, ”gave us the gift of happiness of being together.“
By August 9, various journalists and progressive bloggers revealed Drudge's distortion. On Salon.com, journalist Eric Boehlert noted on August 9: ”Put in full context, Drudge's claim of a flip-flop is easily dismissed.“ RawStory.com, a progressive news website, noted that Drudge ”grossly took Sheehan out of context.“
Nevertheless, Drudge's distortion again popped up on Fox News — this time on the August 9 edition of The O'Reilly Factor. Host Bill O'Reilly made Sheehan's nonexistent contradictions the focus of his ”Talking Points Memo“ segment:
O'REILLY: The fascinating saga of Cindy Sheehan. That is the subject of this evening's ”Talking Points Memo.“ Mrs. Sheehan is protesting in Crawford, Texas, trying to convince Americans the Iraq war is wrong and the president should be impeached. She is doing so because her son Casey, an Army specialist, was killed last year in Iraq. No one has the right to intrude on Mrs. Sheehan's grief. That's number one. She's entitled to her opinion on a situation that has deeply affected her. And she's angry at the White House.
Well, here's something very strange. Two months after her son died, Cindy and her husband Patrick did meet with President Bush, as she said. After that meeting, Cindy was quoted by a California newspaper as saying, ”I now know [President Bush] is sincere about wanting freedom for the Iraqis. I know he's sorry and feels some pain for our loss.“ So Mrs. Sheehan has apparently changed her mind about the president.
In an editorial today in The New York Times, it says, ”Mr. Bush obviously failed to comfort Ms. Sheehan when he met with her and her family. More important, he has not helped the nation give fallen soldiers like Casey Sheehan the honor they deserve.“ Well, let's go back to the California article. Cindy Sheehan was quoted as saying, ”That was the gift the president gave us, the gift of happiness, of being together“ It sounds like comfort to me. What say you, New York Times?
O'Reilly then introduced his guest to comment on Sheehan — Michelle Malkin, who proclaimed that Sheehan's ”story hasn't checked out,“ to which O'Reilly readily agreed:
MALKIN: I mean, the New York Times editorial board is all too eager to prop her up as some sort of martyr and to buy her line when, clearly, her story hasn't checked out.
O'REILLY: Yes, her story hasn't [sic] changed.
MALKIN: And so I think — and I think that angle you're emphasizing is absolutely right here, which is the mainstream media just lapping this up and perpetuating myths and inaccuracies when they know it's not the truth.
O'REILLY: Yup. They don't identify — in the New York Times editorial today, it was obvious they did not say her story has been inconsistent. And they did not pinpoint that she is in bed with the radical left.
On the August 10 edition of his syndicated radio program, The Radio Factor, O'Reilly continued to assert that Sheehan had contradicted herself, stating, ”In her first meeting with the president, she was happy with him, and we read you the article that the Vacaville paper — where she's from in California — printed."
Posted to the web on Wednesday August 10, 2005 at 7:21 PM EST
Cindy Sheehan Is Working To Bring Our Troops Home: ”Mr. President. You have daughters. How would you feel if one of them was killed?“
A BUZZFLASH INTERVIEW
Casey Sheehan re-enlisted with the Army in August of 2003, knowing that his unit would eventually be deployed in Iraq. Casey, a Humvee mechanic with the 1st Calvary, was killed in Sadr City on April 4th of this year. He was only 24 years old. He is and forever will remain an American hero.
Casey’s mom, Cindy Sheehan, is a hero too. Angered that her son was sent to fight and die in an unjust war for reasons that have proven to be lies, Cindy is speaking out about the Iraq invasion. Cindy has joined other moms and families who have lost loved ones in the conflict to tell Americans about the true costs of the war. Their group, Real Voices http://realvoices.org/rv/index.html , is running television ads featuring the voices of Americans like Cindy speaking directly to President Bush about the impact of his failed policies and lies.
We are honored to bring you our interview with Cindy Sheehan about her son Casey and why she decided to speak out about the Iraq war.
* * *
BuzzFlash: Your son Casey died April 4 in Iraq. Whom do you hold responsible for your loss?
Cindy Sheehan: George W. Bush.
Cindy Sheehan: I think he rushed into this war -–this invasion –- without having proper intelligence. And the reasons he went are so clearly wrong -–from his false claims that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction to there being no connection between Iraq and Saddam and Osama bin Laden. He diverted attention and troops and resources from Afghanistan and Al Qaeda to Iraq.
I don’t think Iraq has anything to do with the war on terror, except now terrorists are crossing the borders to go and kill innocent Iraqis and our troops. So he went almost unilaterally, with very little international support, to invade a country. They didn’t have a plan for the peace or for the occupation of Iraq.
My son was killed by Shiite insurgents. I believe George Bush created the insurgency by his failed policies and that’s why my son was killed.
BuzzFlash: Tell us a little bit about Casey. What kind of a young man was he? I know he was only 24 years old when he died.
Cindy Sheehan: He was an amazing person. He has been an altar server for 10 years. He finally quit when he graduated from high school and asked me, ”You know, Mom, can I quit altar serving? Can I be an usher or something now at Mass?“I was the coordinator of our youth Mass at our parish. And he was an Eagle Scout. He was a Eucharistic Minister, and he had trained to be a Eucharistic Minister in the field when they went to Iraq, to help the priest. But he was only there for two weeks before he was killed on Palm Sunday. He never missed Mass.
He had joined the Army because they promised him he could finish his college degree. He had already been going to college for three years before he joined the Army. My husband and I just went to Ft. Hood a couple weeks ago because the Catholic chapel he always went to was starting a new Knights of Columbus Council, and they decided to name it after Casey. It’s the Specialist Casey Austin Sheehan Knights of Columbus Council because they say that his love for his God, his church, his country and his family embodied what they want to stand for.
He was amazing. He was just the most calm and peaceful and gentle person that anybody would ever know. He was so quiet, but he had such an impact on everybody’s lives. And he was so brave. He saved American lives, but our question is, what are any of them doing there?
BuzzFlash: Casey, as I understand it, technically did not have to go to Iraq since he was a field mechanic. Is that correct?
Cindy Sheehan: He was a Humvee mechanic. He re-enlisted in August of 2003 because he didn’t want his buddies to do the job by themselves. It’s all about what they’re doing now — our soldiers are trying to keep themselves alive and trying to keep each other alive at this point right now.
BuzzFlash: When did Casey receive news that his unit was being sent to Iraq?
Cindy Sheehan: I think it was probably around last October, 2003, because they went to the National Training Center (NTC) at Ft. Irwin in the California desert in November. So we knew before he went to Ft. Irwin that they were going to be deployed sometime in March. Casey knew the First Cavalry was going to end up going to Iraq when he re-enlisted.
BuzzFlash: Did you have any correspondence with Casey while he was in Iraq before he was killed? Did he say or did you hear about what the situation was like on the ground?
Cindy Sheehan: He called me one time from Kuwait. They still hadn’t gone to Iraq. And he never complained. He said that it was hot and he was really busy because he had to get their vehicles ready to go on the convoy from Kuwait to Baghdad. He was on his way to Mass, and we talked about when he stopped in Ireland to refuel. We’re Irish, so he found an airport employee that was telling him about the history of our name, the Sheehan name.
He started writing us a letter on March 31st, because we didn’t know where we could send him mail or presents or supplies or anything yet. They didn’t tell them until they got to Saudi City where we could send them things. But he started writing us letters. And he said the convoy from Kuwait to Baghdad was real peaceful, and it looked like it was going to be an easy year of deployment. He wrote that on March 31st, and he was killed April 4th.
We never got the letter. It was in his things that we got from Baghdad. He didn’t even finish it.
BuzzFlash: President Bush told you, Casey, and every American, that we needed to invade Iraq to remove weapons of mass destruction — an assertion that, as you said, has proven to be a lie — and to fight terrorism, which is also untrue. When Casey left to go to Iraq, did the two of you talk about why you both felt that the United States was in Iraq, and what the United States was fighting for?
Cindy Sheehan: We didn’t understand why the United States was there. We never thought that Iraq was an imminent threat to the United States. But Casey told me, ”Mom, this is what we trained for. I’m ready. It’s my job. Because the sooner I get there, the sooner I’ll come home.“And he came home three weeks later in a flag-draped coffin.
BuzzFlash: Right now you, along with many other families who have lost loved ones in Iraq, are speaking out in various ways, part of which is a television ad criticizing Bush’s decision to mislead our country into a war. What made you decide to speak out, knowing the toll that it would take on you?
Cindy Sheehan: I have to. I can’t bring my son back. I can’t go back to April 3rd and bring Casey home. I can’t stand on the side while other mothers and families will have to go through what we’re going through. I have to speak out, and I have to help try to bring the troops home.
No matter who wins November 2 -–I hope it’s Kerry -–but no matter who wins, we have to hold them accountable. We have to start putting pressure on our elected officials to bring our troops home from the most unjust and mess of a war that our selected president has got us into.
BuzzFlash: Every month, there have been higher and higher American casualties.
Cindy Sheehan: Except for April, that was the highest. That’s the month my son was killed.
BuzzFlash: Right now, the situation is clearly deteriorating into a civil war. As a mom who’s lost a son in this war, how do you respond when you hear the president say that we need to stay the course in Iraq?
Cindy Sheehan: I respond: How can you stay a course that is so obviously not working? You’re going the wrong way. If you’re on a wrong course, you turn around and go the other way. He has betrayed us. He’s still betraying us, by telling us that everything is going well there. It’s shameful.
BuzzFlash: What would you say to President Bush if you could sit down in the same room and speak to him directly?
Cindy Sheehan: I actually got to meet face to face with the president. He called me ”Mom“ because he didn’t know my name, and he didn’t know my son’s name — he just knows that he’s meeting with these families that have lost loved ones. He said, ”Mom, I can’t imagine the pain you’re going through.“
I said, ”I think you can imagine it a little bit, Mr. President. You have daughters. How would you feel if one of them was killed?“
I told him, ”Trust me, Mr. President –- you don’t want to go there.“
He said, ”You’re right. I don’t."
BuzzFlash: Cindy, thank you so much for speaking with us.
Cindy Sheehan: Thank you.
A BUZZFLASH INTERVIEW
* * *
RealVoices.org Web Site http://realvoices.org/rv/index.html Cindy Sheehan’s TV Ad Speaking Directly to George W. Bushhttp://realvoices.org/rv/cindy.html
Obituary: Gary Webb, Prize-Winning Investigative Reporter
by Sam Stanton and Sandy Louey
Sacramento Bee Staff Writers
Published 2:15 am PST Sunday, December 12, 2004
Gary Webb, a prize-winning investigative journalist whose star-crossed career was capped with a controversial newspaper series linking the CIA to the crack cocaine epidemic in Los Angeles, died Friday of self-inflicted gunshot wounds, officials said.
Mr. Webb, 49, was found dead in his Carmichael home Friday morning of gunshot wounds to the head, the Sacramento County Coroner's Office said Saturday.
He left a note, but officials would not disclose its contents.
"I'm still in a state of shock," said Tom Dresslar, who works as a spokesman for California Attorney General Bill Lockyer and had known Mr. Webb for 15 years.
"He was a hard-core, no-fear investigative reporter," Dresslar said. "He wasn't afraid to stand up to whatever authority."
The two worked together when the Joint Legislative Audit Committee was investigating the Davis administration over the failed Oracle Corp. software contract.
Dresslar said Mr. Webb brought all the skills and tenacity that he had honed as an investigative reporter to his job as an investigator for the Assembly. "I was proud to work with him and call him a friend," Dresslar said.
Mr. Webb was divorced and had three children, according to Dresslar.
Most recently, Mr. Webb had been reporting for the Sacramento News & Review, covering politics and state government.
Mr. Webb had been working in the California Assembly speaker's Office of Member Services until February, when he was ousted after the new speaker, Fabian Núñez, took office.
Mr. Webb won more than 30 journalism awards in his career, which included stints with the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the San Jose Mercury News.
But it was Mr. Webb's tenure at the Mercury News from 1988 to 1997 that made his name in the business and eventually drove him from daily newspapers.
Mr. Webb, who was based in the newspaper's Sacramento bureau, authored a three-part investigative series in 1996 that linked the CIA to Nicaraguan Contras seeking to overthrow the Sandin ista government and to drug sales of crack cocaine flooding south-central Los Angeles in the 1980s.
The series, "Dark Alliances: The Story Behind the Crack Explosion," was controversial almost from the start.
Even as newspapers nationwide carried versions of Mr. Webb's reporting and congressional leaders called for investigations, the CIA director at the time visited Los Angeles for an unprecedented town hall meeting with area residents at which he denied the allegations and was met with loud jeers.
Three of the nation's leading newspapers, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post, followed up with reports questioning Mr. Webb's conclusions, and eventually his own newspaper turned on him.
In a letter to readers published in the Mercury News in May 1997, then-Executive Editor Jerry Ceppos told readers there had been problems with the series and that "we fell short at every step of our process - in the writing, editing and production of our work."
Within a month of that note's publication, Mr. Webb told the Washington Post that he had been pulled off the story, and his editors had told him they would not publish his follow-ups.
He also said he was fighting a transfer from the Sacramento bureau to a posting in Cupertino.
By then, however, his fate at the Mercury News was sealed, and he left the paper that year, eventually taking a job with the Assembly.
Mr. Webb later published a 548-page book based on his series, and in a 1998 interview with The Bee he said he still was befuddled over how he became notorious while the allegations in his stories were dismissed.
"That is an amazing phenomenon," he said. "I'm still not exactly sure how that happened."
About the writer: The Bee's Sam Stanton can be reached at (916) 321-1091 or email@example.com.
Police probe shooting death
The pregnant Central Point woman died while her husband and two children were away
By BILL KETTLER
CENTRAL POINT - Police said Sunday they have no suspects in the shooting death of the pregnant wife of a National Guardsman who was scheduled to leave the Rogue Valley this week for duty overseas. Kerry Michelle Repp's body was found Saturday afternoon in their Central Point home, near Crater High School. Central Point Police Chief Mike Sweeny would not say where or how Repp, 29, had been shot. Her husband, Gary Marvin Repp Jr., 33, was scheduled to leave this week with the 186th Infantry Battalion of the Oregon Army National Guard for the Sinai Peninsula. The soldiers leave Thursday for Fort Carson, Colo., for two months of advanced training and will then spend six months in the Sinai Peninsula on peacekeeping duty.
Sweeny said Gary Repp and the couple's two children were away from home on a trip with other family members when the shooting occurred. Kerry Repp was about three months pregnant with the couple's third child. Sweeny said investigators still had not determined how the shooting happened. ”We haven't determined if there's even a crime at this time. We haven't been able to conclusively determine if it was a self-inflicted wound or if she was shot by another person.“
Gary Repp had just finished recruit school with the Oregon State Police and had been assigned to the Lakeview district, said state police Lt. Dan Durbin. He was being trained in the Rogue Valley because the Lakeview district did not have enough troopers to give him field training time. Gary Repp, a 1987 graduate of North Medford High School, and a 1990 graduate of Southern Oregon State College, also had worked as a Jackson County probation and parole officer and a Medford police officer.
Investigators came and went from the Repp's Hazel Avenue house Sunday evening as the search for evidence continued. An American flag and a black POW-MIA flag hung beside the garage, and petunias bloomed in a planter box. Durbin said Repp's National Guard orders would most likely be canceled. ”My intention is to contact his superiors (today) and see what his status is.“
Gary Repp is a captain in the battalion staff office, said Maj. Ron McKay, chaplain for the Guard unit. He oversees the unit's operations, but does not command troops in the field.
”The mission will go forward,“ McKay said. ”If he's not available to perform his duties, there'll be somebody else to step into his place.“ Sweeny said Jackson County's major assault and death investigation unit will pursue the case. The unit includes police officers from Medford, Ashland and Central Point, Oregon State Police, Jackson County Sheriff's Department, and the Jackson County District Attorney's office. ”It's fairly obvious that we're scrutinizing this even more extensively because (Gary Repp) was involved in the criminal justice community,“ Sweeny said. Reach reporter Bill Kettler at 776-4492, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Kerry Repp’s autopsy points to homicide
By SARAH LEMON
CENTRAL POINT — An autopsy revealed that a 29-year-old pregnant woman found dead in her home Saturday was the victim of a homicide — not suicide, as some had speculated. Her husband, Oregon State Police Trooper Gary Marvin Repp Jr., was the only ”person of interest“ police named Wednesday. ”The case is a homicide, and it’s very complex,“ said Central Point police Chief Mike Sweeny. ”It’s all circumstantial.“ Kerry Michele Repp was shot more than once with the handgun found near her body, according to Sweeny. Sweeny declined to discuss where on her body Kerry Repp was shot or exactly how many bullet wounds medical examiners found in the autopsy, completed late Tuesday. Gary Repp, a 32-year-old Oregon Army National Guard captain, was scheduled to leave today for training and then a six-month peacekeeping mission to Egypt. But police expect him to stay in town, Sweeny said. The National Guard had no official statement on Gary Repp’s status Wednesday, said Capt. Scott Granger at the Guard’s 1st Battalion, 186th Infantry Brigade headquarters in Ashland. Granger said he could not comment on whether Gary Repp would depart with other Guard troops. ”We’re looking at the best interests of the soldier right now and his family,“ Granger said. Sweeny said he understood that Gary Repp’s orders had been changed or that he was given an extension for his departure date. Police did not request a change in orders, Sweeny said. Neither Gary Repp nor members of his family would comment. Kerry Repp’s family would not discuss the case Wednesday. Her brother, 32-year-old Mike Johnson, said that police asked the family not to talk to reporters. A memorial service for Kerry Repp has been set for 3 p.m. Saturday at First Church of the Nazarene, 1974 E. McAndrews Road in Medford. Gary Repp graduated from the Oregon State Police Academy last month and trained for seven days at the regional headquarters office in Central Point. He officially is on leave without pay because he was called up for Guard duty in the course of his training, said OSP Lt. Dan Durbin. Gary Repp was scheduled to return to the OSP — assigned to the Lakeview District — after a nine-month service with the Guard, Durbin said. Repp is a former county and state probation officer who quit in December to become a police officer. In addition to Gary Repp, police were working either to eliminate or identify several other persons of interest as suspects in the case, Sweeny said. They declined to name any suspects in connection with the case Wednesday. ”We’re working on multiple people,“ Sweeny said. ”Everybody is still a possibility.“ Investigators were still wading through ”a mountain of physical evidence and statements“ Wednesday, Sweeny said. Kerry Repp’s father, Ron Johnson, found her dead in her Hazel Street home at about 1 p.m. Saturday. Gary Repp and the couple’s two children were at a T-ball game when the body was found, police said. Investigators initially were unsure whether the death was a suicide, accident or a homicide. Kerry Repp had filed for divorce last month from Gary Repp, her second husband. But the papers were never served, and the couple was living together trying to reconcile. Friends told police that the two had a rocky relationship, Sweeny said. Donations to an education fund for the Repp children can be made at any branch of U.S. Bank. Reach reporter Sarah Lemon at 776-4487, or e-mail email@example.com Copyright © 2002 Mail Tribune, Inc.
Repp arrested for wife's murder
Repp arrested for wife's murder He is taken into custody at the state police office, where he was being fired from his job as a trooper
By SARAH LEMON
Former state trooper Gary Marvin Repp Jr. was arrested Wednesday and charged with murdering his wife. A grand jury will hear the case Tuesday, said District Attorney Mark Huddleston. Gary Repp was arrested at 10:45 a.m. in the Oregon State Police regional headquarters in Central Point, where he was being terminated from his employment with OSP, said Central Point police Chief Mike Sweeny. ”We had sufficient probable cause, and it was agreed upon ... that this was the best time to make the arrest,“ Sweeny said. Gary Repp was the only ”person of interest“ police had named in the case, although there were several others who were not identified. Investigators eliminated all others who either had alibis or who could not have murdered Kerry Repp, Sweeny said. Gary Repp did not confess to murdering his wife, Sweeny added. OSP runs extensive background checks on all recruits and, based on its investigation, had no reason to believe that Gary Repp wasn't an ”excellent candidate“ for OSP, Lt. Dan Durbin said Wednesday. He stressed that Repp was to be a probationary employee for 18 months. His on-duty conduct would have been continuously monitored by a senior OSP trooper. ”We're not so naive to think that there aren't issues in a person's background that would manifest themselves," Durbin said. OSP hired Repp in December last year. He graduated from the Oregon State Police Recruit School on April 12. Gary Repp also is a captain in the Oregon Army National Guard and was scheduled to deploy with his battalion on a peace-keeping mission to Egypt last week. No word on his official status with the Guard was available Wednesday. Officials will release little information about the case before it goes to grand jury, Sweeny said. Details about the autopsy, physical evidence at the scene and the timeline of Kerry Repp's death all are key elements in the grand jury testimony and cannot be discussed beforehand, Sweeny said. Police said last week that Kerry Repp was shot more than once with a handgun found near her body. Police would not say how many times she had been shot or the location of the bullet wounds. Police searched the homes of Gary and Kerry Repp and Gary's brother, Lance Repp, who lives in the 1000 block of Ingrid Street in Medford. The warrants were sealed. Kerry Repp's graveside service - planned for Friday at Eagle Point National Cemetery Interment Shelter - was postponed Wednesday. Kerry Repp's body was released to her husband after last week's autopsy, police said. A new date for the service was not set. The Repps reportedly had a difficult relationship, and Kerry Repp had filed for divorce last month. However, she asked that the papers not be served, police said. The couple reportedly was living together trying to reconcile. Kerry Repp's family would not talk about the case Wednesday. Gary Repp's family declined comment. Reach reporter Sarah Lemon at 776-4487, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
OSP Mike Barnett
Yes, there are many innocent people wrongly convicted of a crime every year. A very similar case is going on in Medford, Oregon right now. Gary Repp, a ”former“ State Police Officer, was arrested and charged with the murder of his wife. He was not at home at the time of the murder and there is absolutely NO evidence (physical, witnesses, otherwise) that link him to the crime. There is nothing at all, yet the police hold him in jail just because they can. His trial is set for May 2003, but it's very frightening to think that yet another innocent man could be sent to jail for life and possibly get the death penalty for a crime which the police KNOW HE DID NOT COMMIT. It is a shame with high quality people are falsley accused by the ”law“ in order to hide misconduct within the ”law". The system is out of order and needs to be changed. Posted by: M. Barnett (email@example.com) on January 14, 2003 07:51 PM Google cache link
February 5, 2004
Murder trial gets under way
By SARAH LEMON
While Gary Repp Jr. spent four months away from home training to be an Oregon State Police trooper, his wife told everyone how happy she was with him gone. While Kerry Michele Repp was going out to nightclubs and spending the couple’s money, her husband was learning how to protect and investigate crime scenes. While Kerry was having an affair with another man, conceiving his child, Repp was planning his strayed wife’s killing, said District Attorney Mark Huddleston. Prosecuting Repp for murder, Huddleston’s opening arguments Wednesday in Jackson County Circuit Court painted Repp, 35, as a cold-blooded killer who believed he could fool police with a staged death scene and fake suicide note. The crime would be carried out a week before Repp’s scheduled departure to Egypt with his Army National Guard unit. “On May 4, 2002, Gary Repp put (police) training to work, not to solve a crime but to commit one, Huddleston said. But Repp’s defense team portrayed their client as a victim of the very brotherhood to which he belonged. Botched police work led to Repp’s arrest, said defense attorney Jeni Feinberg. ”You will probably be shocked by the quality of this investigation,“ she told jurors. Attorneys for both sides will rely heavily on the timing of events that took place the Saturday morning when Kerry was found slain on her bed with Repp’s handgun in her right hand. A 9-1-1 call made from the Repp home at 8:23 a.m. will be key evidence for both the prosecution and defense. The call sounds like a woman screaming accompanied by several popping sounds, Huddleston said. Dispatchers disconnected that call when they didn’t get a response on the line. In violation of police protocol, the dispatcher did not send officers to the home. Kerry was alive when the call for help was made, but Repp and the children had already left the couple’s Hazel Street home in Central Point, Feinberg said. After taking the two boys to a Little League baseball field where Kerry’s oldest son was to have a team photo taken, Repp went to a campground where he had planned to meet his family for the weekend. Huddleston’s witnesses place Repp’s hurried appearance at the baseball field up to 15 minutes later than defense witnesses. The route from the Repp home to the baseball field on Hanley Road takes just 5 minutes by car, Huddleston said. Kerry’s absence that Saturday morning worried family and friends who had made plans with her the previous day. Repp said his wife was at home ”doing the pregnant thing.“ After numerous phone calls to the Repp home went unanswered, Kerry’s father, Ron Johnson, went to check on her at around 1 p.m. that afternoon. He found his 29-year-old daughter dead, her own blood soaking the plaid bed sheets and her light blue pajamas. She had been shot four times, in the head, chin, neck and chest. Etched in Kerry’s blood, a nearly invisible footprint links the crime to her husband, Huddleston said. Investigators discovered the impression of a bare foot, which appears to match Repp’s, halfway under the edge of the couple’s bed. Also found under the bed, the cordless phone used to dial 9-1-1 revealed Kerry’s blood and fragments of her teeth. However, not a speck of blood was seen on Repp when he left the couple’s home, Feinberg said. Not a trace of blood could be found on his clothing, shoes or wedding ring when police analyzed those items, she said. Detectives looked long and hard for any effort to show that the killer cleaned up in the Repp home, but that evidence just didn’t exist, she added. Kerry’s wedding ring was left on the kitchen counter along with a note to Repp apologizing for having hurt him. An e-mail suicide note sent at 8:15 a.m. from Kerry’s Hotmail e-mail account to her mother, JoeAnn Johnson, also was sent to Repp’s Hotmail account, Huddleston said. Although prosecutors have no direct evidence that Repp possessed the password for his wife’s e-mail account, a National Guard computer accessed both Repp’s and Kerry’s e-mail accounts the day before the murder. Details of the electronic message have yet to be revealed, but those who knew Kerry would say she didn’t compose the message, Huddleston said. The first witnesses to Kerry’s murder scene are expected to testify as the trial continues today in Medford. Reach reporter Sarah Lemon at 776-4487, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org You can find this story online at: http://www.mailtribune.com/archive/2004 ... 2local.htm Copyright © Mail Tribune, Inc. All rights reserved. February 7, 2004
Testimony heats up in Repp trial
By SARAH LEMON
Even if Kerry Repp could have warned police of her murder, 9-1-1 operators most likely wouldn’t have understood her cry for help. A shot to the back of the neck broke Repp’s jaw as she cradled telephone the morning of her May 4, 2002, murder, police said. The wound would have rendered Repp’s speech unintelligible, said forensic pathologist James Olson. A pillow held between the gun and Repp’s head muffled the shot. Investigators testifying Friday for prosecutors against accused murderer Gary Marvin Repp Jr. outlined the series of four gunshots that killed Kerry Repp in the bedroom of her Central Point home. The testimony was heard in Jackson County Circuit Court. Presenting an illustration of Kerry Repp at the time of her murder, prosecutors showed a woman sitting on the edge of a bed with a cordless telephone in her left hand, a gun aimed at a downward angle behind her head. Blood and pieces of bone and teeth were found on the phone’s mouthpiece. Emergency dispatchers got the call that Kerry Repp attempted to make at 8:23 a.m., but when no one answered, the operator disconnected the line. Officers were not sent to the house though they should have been, according to police protocol. The first shot to the back of Kerry Repp’s neck was followed by two others underneath her chin and below her chin in the center of her neck. The final gunshot to Kerry’s heart killed her, Olson said. One of the pillows found near the bed shows rips caused by the gun’s blast, Olson said. Forensic scientists said they caused similar rents in another pillowcase when test-firing the murder weapon. The evidence suggested the shooter placed a pillow between the gun and its target, Olson said. Using his knowledge of crime scenes, former Oregon State Police trainee Gary Marvin Repp Jr., set up his wife’s murder to look like a suicide, District Attorney Mark Huddleston has argued. However, recruits who attended OSP training camp with Repp described their study of crime scenes as basic. During the four-month session, which concluded about three weeks before Kerry Repp’s murder, recruits were instructed on how to scan a crime scene for suspects and secure it for further investigation, troopers said. An eight-hour course on latent fingerprints, particularly their presence on guns, was given, troopers said. Prosecutors noted that no fingerprints could be found at Kerry Repp’s murder scene. The killer could have worn gloves, investigators said. Prosecutors will present more evidence of fingerprints associated with Kerry Repp’s murder as the trial continues next week in Circuit Court. FBI officials who analyzed the May 4, 2002, 9-1-1 call also are expected to testify. Reach reporter Sarah Lemonat 776-4487, or e-mail email@example.com
February 11, 2004
Jurors learn of couple’s history
By SARAH LEMON
While accused murderer Gary Marvin Repp Jr. told police that he wanted to save his marriage, his wife apparently had different ideas. Prosecutors presented extensive audio and videotaped interviews between Repp and detectives during Tuesday’s continuing trial of the former Oregon State Police trooper, who is accused of killing his wife, Kerry. In the interviews, Repp gave lengthy accounts of his and his wife’s history, her alleged self-esteem issues and details of the week leading up to her death. Repp agreed to the interviews, conducted before his arrest, and before police told him his wife had been murdered. Kerry Repp was found shot to death in her bedroom on May 4, 2002. ”She didn’t think she was very pretty, but she was beautiful,“ Repp said of his wife in his first interview with police. Kerry Repp was a good wife and mother who kept the house clean, Repp said as he began to cry during the interview. Kerry worked numerous retail jobs and learned new sports with her husband, but she had confidence problems, he said. The couple had always had their problems, Repp said, but Kerry started to withdraw from him when she heard the family would be moving to Lakeview once he graduated from the OSP training academy. The couple also was awaiting his overseas deployment with his Oregon Army National Guard Unit. Due to leave about a week after the date of Kerry’s murder, Repp would be gone about a year. ”We had a lot of things hit us at the same time,“ Repp told detectives. Then Kerry Repp told her husband she had become pregnant with another man’s child. Repp admitted that the news hurt him, but said he didn’t believe in abortion and wanted to patch up the relationship. He eventually came to be excited about the baby’s birth, he said. Kerry, he said, vowed that she wanted nothing to do with the father of her baby. But friends and co-workers of Kerry Repp testified that she was never so happy as the week before her husband was to leave for Egypt with his National Guard unit. ”She had the biggest smile on her face. The smile actually went to her eyes,“ said friend Sheila Mapes, who worked with Kerry Repp at JC Penney. ”She was finally free.“ With the help of her father, Ron Johnson, Kerry Repp first consulted a divorce lawyer in March 2002. The divorce papers were filed in court a month later. But Repp, who had been at the OSP training academy from December 2001 to April 2002,was never notified. Serving her husband with divorce papers at the academy might have made him angry, Kerry told her attorney, James Mueller. ”She described Mr. Repp as a very controlling individual,“ Mueller said. Reach reporter Sarah Lemon at 776-4487, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find this story online at: http://www.mailtribune.com/archive/2004 ... 7local.htm Copyright © Mail Tribune, Inc. All rights reserved.
Jury not convinced
Letters regarding the Gary Repp murder trial show many opinions, but not a lot of knowledge.
One, from White City, calls the trial a ”rush to judgment,“ yet later says adjudication took two years. The same writer indicated his/her own feeling of reasonable doubt, yet calls the justice system (which exonerated Repp) ”criminal.“ I did not follow this trial so I won’t comment on the verdict. But I know a jury finding of ”not guilty" is not the same as being innocent. Not guilty simply means 12 carefully-selected people were not convinced. — M. Conens, Medford
Revealing E-Mail's Secrets Aug. 1, 2005 Tool lets analysts create a picture of communicators and can be used to fight terrorists and help businesses
With the threat of terrorism high, the intelligence community is investing in technology that can help analysts quickly examine communications, particularly E-mailed messages, in order to spot suspected terrorists. Backed by In-Q-Tel, the CIA's technology incubator, Spotfire Inc. this week will introduce a tool for uncovering patterns and relationships in information extracted from E-mail messages that will be as useful for anti-terrorism efforts as it will be for analyzing business data.
Homegrown programs and text-mining tools are available from a variety of vendors to extract data about an E-mail and information contained within a message. Spotfire's product, DecisionSite for Email Analysis, goes to work on that data and presents the results in tables or grids with different-sized splotches of color that indicate data patterns. DecisionSite's Email Portfolio feature allows analysts to store and link E-mail addresses and any other attributes to build a detailed picture of communicators and their activities. E-mail messages also can be mapped geographically using a variety of mapping technologies, including ESRI Inc.'s ArcGIS software.
Spotfire is looking to push business intelligence and reporting to the next level for both government agencies and commercial businesses, CEO Christopher Ahlberg says.
In-Q-Tel first approached Spotfire in 2003 when the CIA-backed venture-capital firm was looking to invest in technology that could find critical patterns by translating and analyzing data. “Unstructured information is at the core of the analysis that the intelligence community wants to do,” Ahlberg says.
Although In-Q-Tel is neither part of the CIA nor a government agency, it does receive input from the CIA regarding where it should invest. “We never know if the CIA uses the technology in which we invest,” says Eric Kaufmann, In-Q-Tel's managing partner and senior VP. “They give us a general direction, such as visualization.”
Kaufmann won't say how much In-Q-Tel has invested in Spotfire, but the firm sees the company's visualization technology as a breakthrough for E-mail analysis. “We identified Spotfire as a leader in the visualization” market, he says. That market is important because it's a place where visualization hasn't yet been used. “E-mail has become an increasing part of electronic discovery.”
Sent: Wednesday, August 24, 2005 10:21 AM
Subject: How to have the Burning Man experience from the comfort of your own home:
Tear down your house. Put it in a truck. Drive 10 hours in any direction. Put the house back together. Invite everyone you meet to come over and party. When everyone leaves, follow them back to their homes, drink all their booze, and break things.
Stack all your fans in one corner of your livingroom. Put on your most fabulous outfit. Turn the fans on full blast. Dump a vacuum cleaner bag in front of them.
Pitch your tent next to the wall of speakers in a crowded, noisy club. Go to sleep. Wake up 2 hours later in a 110+ degree tent.
Only use the toilet in a house that is at least 3 blocks away. Drain all the water from the toilet. Only flush it every 4 days. Hide all the toilet paper.
Visit a restaurant and pay them to let you alternate lying in the walk-in freezer and sitting in the oven.
Don't sleep for 5 days. Take a wide variety of hallucinogenic/emotion-altering drugs. Pick a fight with your boyfriend/girlfriend.
Pay an escort of your affectional preference subset to not bathe for five days, cover themselves in glitter, dust, and sunscreen, wear a skanky neon wig, and dance close naked;
-- then tell you they have a lover back home at the end of the night.
Cut, burn, electrocute, bruise, and sunburn various parts of your body. Forget how you did it. Don't go to a doctor.
Buy a new pair of favorite shoes. Throw one shoe away.
Buy a new set of expensive camping gear. Break it.
Spend a whole year rummaging through thrift stores for the perfect, most outrageous costume. Forget to pack it.
Listen to music you hate for 168 hours straight, or until you think you are going to scream. Scream. Realize you'll love the music for the rest of your life.
Get so drunk you can't recognize your own house. Walk slowly around the block for 5 hours.
Sprinkle dirty sand in all your food.
Mail $200 to the Reno casino of your choice.
Go to a museum. Find one of Salvador Dali's more disturbing but beautiful paintings. Climb inside it.
Spend thousands of dollars on a deeply personal art work. Hide it in a funhouse on the edge of the city. Blow it up.
Set up a DJ system downwind of a three alarm fire. Play a short loop of drum'n'bass fortissimo until the embers are cold.
Have a 3 a.m. soul-baring conversation with a drag nun in platforms, a crocodile, and Bugs Bunny. Be unable to tell if you're hallucinating.
And I might add: Do all that and spend a whole year thinking about doing it all again but bigger.
Christopher T. Heun for InternetWeek wrote:
Courts Unlikely To Stop Google Book Copying Despite objections from publishers and writers, copyright law appears to be on Google's side, legal experts say. The social value of Google's initiative to digitize library books, including those protected by copyright, will likely weigh heavily in the search engine's favor. Should the growing number of publishing groups, who oppose the plan by Google Inc. to digitize the collections of some of the world’s major libraries, fail to reach an agreement and turn instead to the courts, they may have a tough road ahead of them.
Although Google may appear to violate the law by scanning, without permission, entire copies of books protected by copyright, such an act is not illegal if it is considered “fair use” of the material. How a court interprets that doctrine will decide the fate of the company’s ambitious plans, according to lawyers and law professors with knowledge of intellectual property and copyright statues. They say the most important issues for a court would be the character of Google’s activity, its adverse economic impact on the copyright holder, and the amount of material it uses in proportion to the whole and if that is key to the work. Of lesser concern is whether the company makes a reasonable effort to contact copyright holders before copying their books.
“Google would probably win” a court case, says William Fisher, who teaches intellectual property law at Harvard Law School and is the director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society. “Google is a profit-making venture, that counts against it, but what it is doing is a highly socially valuable activity and that counts highly in its favor.”
A potential legal battle is slowly gathering strength. The Text and Academic Authors Association this week joined the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers in publicly stating it is ready to take on Google in the courtroom.
The two sides are playing a game of chicken over who should dictate what works are digitized: Google says it will not scan any titles publishers tell it not to; publishers insist it should work the other way around. “The solution we’d like to see [Google] heading toward is to say here is a list of books we’d like to include, may we have permission to do so,” says Peter Givler, the executive director of the Association of American University Presses. The scanning has stopped temporarily but will resume in November.
One law professor doesn’t think that’s necessary. “The principle that Google should have to ask [for permission] is proving untenable,” says Jessica Litman, a professor at Wayne State University Law School who has published a book on protecting intellectual property on the Internet, “Digital Copyright.” “The opt-out mechanism is pretty reasonable.” The source of the squabble is the Google Print Library Project, which aims to scan and store in the company’s search database copyrighted books from the libraries of Harvard, Stanford, the University of Michigan, the University of Oxford and the New York Public Library. Google’s ultimate goal, according to its Web site, is to build a “comprehensive, searchable, virtual card catalog of all books in all languages that helps users discover new books and publishers find new readers.”
If a work included in a search query is covered by a copyright, Google limits the amount of text shown to a few sentences adjacent to the search term; the full text is available for any book with an expired copyright now considered public domain – for instance, a novel published in 1905.
Sounds fair enough. But publishers don’t see it that way. They look at the library project not as an altruistic endeavor but a profit-making venture that will harm their own business. As proof they point out that Google, which relies on advertising for the vast majority of its revenue – a record $1.4 billion for the quarter that ended June 30 – allows sponsored links on the search results page for Google Print. It’s enough to make them wonder: if one search engine can appropriate a publisher’s intellectual property, then isn’t it logical to assume that others, like Yahoo! and Microsoft, will be next?
“If copyright law worked the way Google would like to see it working, then everyone in the world would be able to use the material unless the copyright holder explicitly told them not to, and even then it would be OK,” says Allan Adler, the vice president for legal and government affairs for the Association of American Publishers. “That would be a very strange copyright system.”
Regardless, there is a clear legal precedent for any potential court battle between publishers and Google, and it favors the Mountain View, Calif., company. In Kelly v. Arriba Soft Corp., a 2003 case in which a photographer sued a search engine, claiming copyright infringement for displaying thumbnail images of work originally posted on his site, the Ninth Circuit found in favor of the search engine: the act of copying the material, even though it was for commercial purposes, was not exploitative and therefore was fair use. “Everything the Ninth Circuit stated with respect to Arriba applies with equal force to the Print Library Project,” Jonathan Band, a copyright lawyer in Washington, D.C., who represents Internet companies and library associations on intellectual property matters, wrote recently in a copyright analysis of the dispute. Google’s copies of books will not replace the originals, and the company does not profit from the sale of any books it scans, he wrote. Band does not represent any entity with respect to the Google Print project.
“The Google Print Library Project will make it easier than ever before for users to locate the wealth of information buried in books,” Band concluded. “By limiting the search results to a few sentences before and after the search term, the program will not conflict with the normal exploitation of works nor unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of rights holders. To the contrary, it will often increase demand for copyrighted works.”
For further legal precedent, David Donahue, an associate at Fross Zelnick Lehrman & Zissu, a New York firm that specializes in trademark, copyright and unfair competition law, cites two cases involving the distribution of photocopies of articles from scientific and medical journals.
In American Geophysical Union vs. Texaco Inc., the Second Circuit Court of Appeals found in 1994 that a private company did not have the right to photocopy entire works and hand them out to its research staff. But in Williams & Wilkins Co. vs. The United States Records, an equally divided Supreme Court affirmed a lower court’s decision that it was fair use for a library to photocopy research journals and distribute them. “Google lies somewhere in between those two cases,” Donahue says.
Complicating the debate over copyright is the fact that publishers often don’t even know who has it. Their records can be incomplete, particularly if an author is deceased, in which case an estate or family member could hold the rights. A book with an unknown copyright status is known as an “orphan work.” Most works published prior to 1923 are now in the public domain, because the term of protection, the life of the author plus 70 years, is likely over. Conversely, works published in the last 30 years or so probably have an ISDN number and are tracked through a database, “so there should be little question about who holds the copyright,” Adler says. The tough part is determining the status of books published in those five decades in between. “Were talking about millions of books,” he says. “Orphan works are not in the public domain.”
The Copyright Office, at the request of Congress, has studied the “orphan works” issue and should publish its recommendations later this year, which will likely be passed into law. Publishers believe that copyright holders of orphan works, should they eventually make a claim, are entitled to a reasonable compensation, but Google using their works in the meantime shouldn’t be treated as infringement, as long as the company makes an honest effort to find them.
By now, lawsuits shouldn’t faze Google. Agence France-Presse, angry that its content appears in search results, filed a $17.5 million copyright infringement in March; adult magazine publisher Perfect 10 Inc. is asking a federal court in Los Angeles to prevent Google from displaying pictures and links to the company’s copyrighted photos; and two companies have sued Google over its practice of keyword advertising.
In the end, winning a fair use argument against Google could be tough, since its entire business model revolves around the principle. “Google couldn’t exist at all without making copies,” Litman says. “It’s a search engine. It makes copies in order to index content.
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