When the hostage is actually part of the shakedown, that’s when. The German government is learning that one the hard way, according to this Reuters report. Remember that German hostage Susan Osthoff? The one the Germans paid big bucks and freed a convicted terrorist and murderer to secure the release of? Seems she had some of the money used to make the payoff on her person when she showed up at the embassy after her “ordeal.”
|::::::::||Part of the ransom money alleged to have been paid by the German government to win the freedom of Iraq hostage Susanne Osthoff last month was found on Osthoff after her release, the German magazine Focus said on Saturday.
Without citing its sources, Focus said officials at the German embassy in Baghdad had found several thousand U.S. dollars in the 43-year-old German archaeologist’s clothes when she took a shower at the embassy shortly after being freed.
The serial numbers on the bills matched those used by the government to pay off Osthoff’s kidnappers, the magazine said.
Efforts to contact Osthoff for comment through her mother and a friend failed.
I can well imagine they did. Perhaps, in the memory of Robert Stetham, the German government can grow a pair of balls and ask Frau Osthoff just how the hell that money wound up on her person after she was “held hostage” as she was.
Hat tip: LGF
The Democratic operatives who engaged in the Wisconsin disruption of Republican “get out the vote” efforts have accepted a plea deal that reduced their felonies to misdemeanors. Four of the five accepted the deal and pled guilty while a fifth was acquitted. Read all about it here.
I cannot, for the life of me, imagine such an outcome of Republican party operatives in Texas accused of the same offense against Democrats going unchallenged and I don’t think it should be allowed here. These men did exactly what they’re accused of. They have now admitted it since the deal has removed any real punishment for the crimes. Read that carefully. They have admitted to engaging in a conspiracy and activities designed to manipulate an election. And the Democrats seems to think this is a hand-slap problem? Hypocrites. Every single one of them who isn’t offended that these men aren’t going to do jail time. And I hope circumstances in the future turn around and bite them all in the ass with these same teeth.
The only hope of having a fair outcome of this situation would be for the judge to set aside the deal and impose jail time on these men. And no, that’s not judicial activism.This isn’t a legislative issue since the laws involving these crimes are already on the books. This would be a judge using his legal power to apply the appropriate penalty to a crime committed in his jurisdiction. I hope he steps up, but given the area of the country we’re talking about I don’t have much hope for it.
Update: Sean Hackbarth over at The American Mind has a good roundup of the story and reaction to it.
I’m unsure why but the final results from the Iraqi elections are in and I can’t say I’ve seen much in the way of coverage on them. Omar at Iraq the Model has the numbers:
|::::::::||UIA ~ 5021000….109 seatsfrom the province +19 compensatory=128
Accord Front :~1840000 votes…37 from the province +7 compensatory=44
Dialogue Front (al-Mutlaq) : ~499000 votes… 9 seats from the province+2 compensatory=11
Iraqi List (Allawi) :~977000 votes….21seats from the provinces+4 compensatory=25
Kurdish Alliance : ~2642000 votes…43 seats from the rpovinces+10 compensatory=53
Islamic Union of Kurdistan : ~157000 votes 4 seats from the provinces+1 compensatory=5
Risalyoon: ~145000 votes 1 from the provinces +1 compensatory =2
Musalaha wal Tahreer (Misha’an al-Juboori) : ~129000 …votes 3 seats from the provinces.
Rafidain (Assyrian): ~ 47000 votes…. 0 seats from the provinces+1 compensatory=1 seat.
Turkman Front: ~ 87000 votes….1 seat
Mithal al-Alusi : ~32000 votes…1 seat from the provinces
Yazidi Movement: ~ 21000 votes…1 seat (compensatory)
TOTAL 275 Seats.
In an interesting update, he says the first objection was actually from the UIA who won the larger number of seats. Their objection is the distribution of the seats in the provinces.
If that’s the objection to the elections, then I’d have to say the elections – taken as a whole – were an unquestionable success. My American mind boggles at the thought of having a government comprised of 12 – count ‘em, 12! – political parties. I’m not sure if that would relieve the headache we’ve got with just 2 or turn it into a migraine. I’ll be interested to see how it works for them. I’m certainly not above learning from an Iraqi democracy. If they’ve got something that works better than what we’ve come up with, I’m interested in looking at it.
Today, however, my congrats to the winners and my hopes that they keep the people they represent firmly in their minds as they proceed with the business of government.
Anti-war and blame-America-first group Code Pink, best known for their staged protests outside of military hospitals laughingly waving signs to the wounded inside that they were injured over a lie, has attempted to appropriate images of truly courageous women protesting for their own needs. Publius Pundit has the proof. The group snagged an image of Iranian women protesting the mullahs in Iran – an action that requires true bravery – and performed a ham-handed photoshop on it to turn it into a Code Pink recruiting poster.
I note that Code Pink has taken the image down without so much as mentioning that one of their own had put it up to begin with and no apology for this obvious fraud. What does it say that the membership of Code Pink can’t generate their own imagery of crowd of supporting women? That they have to manipulate photos of other protests to make it appear that they are legion? It says they don’t have the membership they claim to.
And what does it say that they have no issue whatsoever snagging an image of a woman protesting the mullahs of Iran and the treatment of women there to advance their own agenda of protecting the rule of those mullahs? It says they don’t give a damn about women who are being mistreated so long as they can attempt to score points against the Bush administration. Sad. But not unexpected.
See also LGF for their post on the photos – Publius’s server is getting smacked around by all the traffic.