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[P]
Did He Know?

By medham in News
Sun May 26, 2002 at 11:47:09 AM EST
Tags: News (all tags)
News

A San Diego stock adviser has been accused by the Federal Government of possible foreknowledge of the 9/11 terrorist attack. Amr Ibrahim Elgindy, an Egyptian Muslim, tried to sell $300,000 in stock on 9/10.

The judge in the case considers Elgindy a flight risk, but not for any possible foreknowledge of 9/11. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenneth Breen did not present any non-circumstantial evidence at the hearing.


According to the Times article, Elgindy has been active in Muslim charities, arranging to bring 30 Muslims to the U.S. from Kosovo in 1999. He publically criticized the 9/11 attacks. His lawyer offered that Elgindy was worried that the Dow was going to fall below 3,000, based upon conversations Elgindy had with a broker at SS&B.

Elgindy has also transferred more than $700,000 to Lebanon since the attacks. With his lawyer arguing that he is a victim of racial profiling and circumstance, what further can be said now?

One interesting topic of discussion might well be the following: at what point does circumstantial evidence become overwhelming? It's entirely possible that far more suspicious coincidences than Elgindy's case could be imagined, and yet merely be coincidences. Without further corroboration, the Govt. has no case of course; but at what point could the rule of law be suspended in face of apparent improbabilities?

A national tragedy engenders a sense of what the Japanese call kikenshiso, "dangerous thoughts." Has 9/11 made it "dangerous"--or damaging to the social fabric--to even consider that Elgindy was merely (un)lucky? Again, details are sketchy at this point; but the case should be followed with care.

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Did He Know? | 112 comments (90 topical, 22 editorial, 0 hidden)
I would not be at all surprised to find that he.. (4.50 / 2) (#6)
by Weezul on Fri May 24, 2002 at 10:55:37 PM EST

..was aiding Islamic terrorists.  After all the U.N. was giving money to charieties which were funding Islamic terrorists.  Even the chareties which are supposed to buy history books for Palistinain school children,buy books which teach anti-semitism.  It dose not make him guilty or innocent of *intentionally* funding terrorists.  Individuals have always been duped (with or without their oww assistance in the dupping process) into supporting these kinds of orginisations.  Few of the American Irish who supported the IRA would have done so if they knew more about the exact path of their money.

OTOH, I see nothing wrong with permenently frezing the assets of any orginisations with historical ties to terrorists or which employ known ex-terrorists.. or even temporarily frezing the assets of individuals who have been making significant contributions to terrorists orginisations.  The point here should be that there is a boig diffrence between frezing someone's assets and filing criminl charges.

btw> Did anyone else read those articles which basically stated that they have a most likely suspect for the Anthrax indident?  It was basically claiming that they really did not what it to be this guy (since he worked for gov. biological weapons programs).  Anyone remember the details?

"Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power." - Benito Mussolini

Really? (3.85 / 7) (#9)
by Ken Pompadour on Fri May 24, 2002 at 11:02:18 PM EST

OTOH, I see nothing wrong with permenently frezing the assets of any orginisations with historical ties to terrorists or which employ known ex-terrorists..

I think Uncle Sam would want to have a word or two with you if you tried to freeze his assets. Choose your words more carefully next time.



...The target is countrymen, friends and family... they have to die too. - candid trhurler
[ Parent ]
you're so funny <st> (4.00 / 1) (#82)
by CodeWright on Sun May 26, 2002 at 03:45:44 AM EST

no really, i mean it.

--
"Humanity's combination of reckless stupidity and disrespect for the mistakes of others is, I think, what makes us great." --Parent ]
Palestinians Anti-semitic? (2.66 / 3) (#32)
by vectro on Sat May 25, 2002 at 02:43:19 AM EST

Semite: A person belonging to the race of mankind which includes most of the peoples mentioned in Gen. x. as descended from Shem son of Noah, as the Hebrews, Arabs, Assyrians, and Aramæans.
-Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition, 1989

Since the palestinians are themselves semitic, don't you think it find it odd to think they are anti-semitic?

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]

oh not that canard again (5.00 / 3) (#34)
by Lode Runner on Sat May 25, 2002 at 03:35:18 AM EST

Regardless of the fact that Arabs are considered semites, "anti-Semitism" still refers specifically to the hatred of Jews.

The same edition of the OED that you cited also provides the following definition:

    anti-Semitism: Theory, action, or practice directed against the Jews. Hence anti-Semite, one who is hostile or opposed to the Jews; anti-Semitic a.
Thus, when certain K5ers -- typically those trying to foist an anti-Israel political agenda onto the rest of the community -- claim that Arabs couldn't possibly be anti-Semitic because Arabs are semites, those K5ers are being
    disingenuous: The opposite of ingenuous; lacking in candour or frankness, insincere, morally fraudulent. (Said of persons and their actions.)


[ Parent ]
Oh boy (3.50 / 2) (#37)
by medham on Sat May 25, 2002 at 03:49:13 AM EST

Did you just link to a FAQ as an authority on the subject?

Most people are, by definition, anti-$STATE because of the oppressive nature of the state apparatus. This excludes intellectual apologists, of course.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.
[ Parent ]

don't go there (5.00 / 1) (#46)
by Lode Runner on Sat May 25, 2002 at 06:14:02 AM EST

Did you just link to a FAQ as an authority on the subject

The FAQ's explanation of the etymology of anti-Semitism is accurate and well written, so I linked to it. I never described it as an authoritative source, though. Nor did I carry on about it in the way that you've been championing our paper of record -- methinks you're trolling for Chomskybots and Fiskheads.

Most people are, by definition, anti-$STATE because of the oppressive nature of the state apparatus.

This is a different subject, but... Most Westerners are pro-$STATE, Rand-thumpers and cryptoanarchists excepted. Heck, I'd say that both salients of K5's bimodal political spectrum love the progeny of the via media (as Jimmy Kloppenberg calls it), although there is some debate as to which strain is the best.

This excludes intellectual apologists, of course.

But if you're brave enough to ram a few ideas through to their conclusions, then it also excludes most so-called dissenters, especially the self-proclaimed ones.



[ Parent ]

Inept sophistry (5.00 / 1) (#60)
by medham on Sat May 25, 2002 at 02:14:27 PM EST

Wrong re trolling accusation--Chomsky is frequently the first to admit (often while lambasting the pomo jargage you waste so much time reading) that reading papers like the Times are essential to understanding the world. You just also have to realize that it is more or less the official organ of the State Department, and react accordingly.

You should not confuse acquiesence and resignation with love, Lode Runner, whatever personal precedents there may be.

Re last paragraph, I've no time for the gnomic.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.
[ Parent ]

give over (none / 0) (#66)
by Lode Runner on Sat May 25, 2002 at 07:26:01 PM EST

Do take care not to mistake begrudging acquiesence to a particular order for opposition to the concept of order. Bob Wiebe was right when he remarked that every major political movement of the century constituted a search for order. Certainly it would be much easier for all of us if you'd just be up front about your desire to shape the state in your own image.

As for pomo, those who don't follow it will not only fall so far behind the professional discourses of the social sciences and the humanities that they'll have to retreat to places like K5, but they'll also only be able to engage the locals idiosyncratically. Just look at your exchanges with localroger.



[ Parent ]

Ah, self-righteousness (5.00 / 1) (#68)
by medham on Sat May 25, 2002 at 08:12:05 PM EST

Order does not imply the boot in the face, Lode Runner, however you wish that it did.

"Engage the locals idiosyncratically," is that supposed to mean something? I have been called, by some authorities, the "future of postmodernism," so I find your recriminations more than usually amusing.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.
[ Parent ]

if we're (none / 0) (#70)
by Lode Runner on Sat May 25, 2002 at 10:25:42 PM EST

going to trade anecdotes... I've been called "medham" on several occasions by a number of authorities. Now that's amusing!

Order does not imply the boot in the face...

A guy named Foucault made a career of pointing out that your argument is profoundly -- and dangerously -- incorrect. Order is about power. I'm eager to read your (sanctimonious) refutations.



[ Parent ]

And (5.00 / 1) (#71)
by medham on Sat May 25, 2002 at 10:57:35 PM EST

You should be thrilled.

Michel always overvalued pouvoir at the expense of savoir. It's a problem, how non-historical his notion of power is; and, miraculously, he refuses to grant that there are aspects of human nature that are transhistorical.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.
[ Parent ]

given (none / 0) (#76)
by Lode Runner on Sun May 26, 2002 at 12:56:21 AM EST

that he equated knowledge with power, it's hard to see how something could be overvalued vis-à-vis itself.

We're finally getting somewhere, but before we go on, could you clarify the term "non-historical"? By it do you mean ahistorical or anti-historical or something else?

As for the transcendence of history/text, Foucault acknowledged that text has its limits and that any number of things can exist beyond those limits. But we're as incapable of incorporating those things into the discourse -- or molding the discourse around them -- as we are of discussing what lies beyond the limits of the universe. This applies to even the most advanced social construction of the universe and, of course, the discourse/text/history. Thus, what you've set up is an appeal to the unknowable, the mother of all intellectual cop-outs.



[ Parent ]

Brief Lesson from "The Fist" (5.00 / 1) (#77)
by medham on Sun May 26, 2002 at 01:07:11 AM EST

For a long period, the 'left' intellectual spoke and acknowledged the right of speaking in the capacity of truth and justice. He was heard, or purported to make himself heard, as the spokesman of the universal. To be an intellectual meant something like being the consciousness/conscience of us all. I think we have here an idea transposed from Marxism, from a faded Marxism indeed. Just as the proletariat, by the necessity of its historical situation, is the bearer of the universal (but its immediate, unreflected bearer, barely conscious of itself as such), so the intellectual, through his moral, theoretical, and political choice, aspires to be the bearer of this universality in its conscious, elaborated form. The intellectual is thus taken as the clear, individual figure of a universality whose obscure, collective form is embodied in the proletariat.
Foucault, Michel. Power/Knowledge. Ed. Colin Gordon. Trans Colin Gordon, Leo Marshall, John Mepham (!), and Kate Soper. New York: Pantheon, 1980. 126.

We're standing just where he stood. Chain lightning, and it feels so good.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.
[ Parent ]

p --> d (none / 0) (#81)
by Lode Runner on Sun May 26, 2002 at 03:28:45 AM EST

We are both familiar with what Hayden White wrote about quoting Foucault. You know, "...[Foucault's] thought comes clothed in a rhetoric apparently designed to frustrate summary, economical quotation for illustrative purposes, or translation into traditional critical terminology." (The Content of the Form: Narrative Discourse and Historical Representation, 104)

So, although we both believe we're standing where Foucault did, we probably don't agree with each other or anybody else on where he stood.

The John Mepham coincidence is precious. Someday he's going to do a little ego googling and...



[ Parent ]

Yes, "coincidence" (5.00 / 1) (#83)
by medham on Sun May 26, 2002 at 05:11:29 AM EST

I've no use for White's chiasmic ramblings.

Metahistory is history enough.

If you were wise enough to get my last reference, you'd understand the implication I'm making about your rive gauche, au courant, over-zealous anti-foundationalism.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.
[ Parent ]

guilty as charged (none / 0) (#103)
by Lode Runner on Sun May 26, 2002 at 11:14:37 PM EST

You can call me an over-zealous anti-foundationalist any day!

You may want to reread that Foucault quote you posted, because I can't draw the connection between it and your "implication" about some aspects of post-structuralism.

If anything, Michel was putting in their place left intellectuals and their political rhetoric. Maybe if you'd read the rest of his book, you'd realize how indefensible your positions are and how silly your piety seems.



[ Parent ]

Ground Control (none / 0) (#105)
by medham on Mon May 27, 2002 at 02:13:17 AM EST

I was pointing out the unseemly aspects of Foucault's thought, which essentially amounts to a refutation of the possibility of engagement and political action. Did he go to Vincennes with Gilles? No.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.
[ Parent ]

Depends on your location (3.00 / 2) (#44)
by Weezul on Sat May 25, 2002 at 05:33:22 AM EST

Anti-semitism dose classically refer to hatred of Jews simply because the Jews were the clossest thing to semites living in Europe.  We have a choice now between going with new more pollitically correct langauge (ala USian) or sticking with classical terminology.  Personally, I think that American and anti-semitism sould retain their classical meanings.. the alternatives just stupid and don't get used enough.

Further more, its just stupid try and  distract the conversation by claiming that the Palistinians can not possibly be anti-semitic (as you point out).  I mean there is just absolutly no ambiguity as to which meaning of anti-semetic one is using when both groups are technically semetic.

That being said, if there ended up being lots of non-Jewish semites living in Germany or Turkey (I don't think Turks are semites) and they were suffering serious descrimination problems.  I might support the use of the word anti-semitic, as it would draw attention to the problem.

"Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power." - Benito Mussolini
[ Parent ]

watch your step (none / 0) (#47)
by Lode Runner on Sat May 25, 2002 at 06:26:36 AM EST

I might support the use of the word anti-semitic, as it would draw attention to the problem.

Okay... but you're stepping into a minefield of bad analogies and paradoxes. The squabble over the term "diaspora" is exemplary.



[ Parent ]

teaching anti-whatever (2.00 / 2) (#48)
by ragnarok on Sat May 25, 2002 at 07:21:12 AM EST

Why do they need to do that? Hatred is as natural as the hills, even more so when you can see with your own eyes your family casually shot down. How are the Palestinians supposed to react, other than with hatred? Tell us, please.

And while you're at it, tell us whether or not the Israeli school system teaches its pupils that the Arabs are lazy, unreliable, etc, and virually non-existent in Palestine until they dramatically appeared just when the Jews were planning to resettle their ancient stomping-grounds. Please tell us, we are so ignorant.


"And it came to healed until all the gift and pow, I, the Lord, to divide; wherefore behold, all yea, I was left alone....", Joseph Smith's evil twin sister's prophecies
[ Parent ]

Circumstantial Evidence (4.00 / 2) (#7)
by Cal Bunny on Fri May 24, 2002 at 10:56:45 PM EST

The law makes no distinction between the weight given to direct or circumstantial evidence.  Circumstantial evidence is used all the time to convict people, such as dna samples or other biometric information.

The obvious answer is that you conviect based on circumstantial evidence when the prosecution has met their burden of persuasion.

^cb^

DNA (4.00 / 2) (#11)
by medham on Fri May 24, 2002 at 11:25:53 PM EST

Is not circumstantial evidence, of course, but you knew that already.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.
[ Parent ]

Merriam Webster says... (none / 0) (#13)
by kerinsky on Fri May 24, 2002 at 11:49:23 PM EST

From Merriam-Webster
Main Entry: circumstantial evidence
Function: noun
Date: 1736
: evidence that tends to prove a fact by proving other events or circumstances which afford a basis for a reasonable inference of the occurrence of the fact at issue

Based on this defenition I would say that DNA and fingerprint evidence is usually circumstantial. They can only prove that someone was at a crime scene but are usually not directly linked to the crime itself. If the crime is murdering someone by knife and you find Alice's bloody fingerprints on the knife that killed Bob and the blood on the knife is Bob's as well, then you have direct evidence. If you find Bob's DNA and fingerprints on the steering wheel of the getaway car from a bank heist you can only say that Bob was in the car sometime recently, which of course "afford[s] a basis for a reasonable inference of the occurrence of the fact at issue" The fact at issue being that Bob drove the getaway car, or possibly that he drove the getaway car after being stabbed to death by Alice if you're in an episode of the X-Files.

Kerinsky

-=-
A conclusion is simply the place where you got tired of thinking.
[ Parent ]
How about this (4.50 / 2) (#16)
by medham on Fri May 24, 2002 at 11:53:57 PM EST

Sperm taken from a woman's vagina matches DNA of accused. But, I see what you're getting at. Accused could simply have had anal sex with man who had just had anal sex with himself and gotten other man's sperm on his penis, before the autosodomite raped again.

Let's try to be serious here, shall we?

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.
[ Parent ]

maybe she got it from a toilet seat? n/t (none / 0) (#50)
by trane on Sat May 25, 2002 at 08:51:12 AM EST



[ Parent ]
I am being serious (5.00 / 1) (#80)
by kerinsky on Sun May 26, 2002 at 03:21:38 AM EST

Or maybe the accused stands up in court and testifies that he had consensual sex with her. Here the DNA evidence would provide at best circumstantial evidence for her case. I actually considered this exact example for my original post but didn't want to make it too long.

It's fairly simple, the only thing fingerprint and DNA evidence actually prove is that there is a certain fingerprint or sample of DNA on a given item. Beyond this it may be reasonable to assume that person X was at place Y at time Z while engaged in activity A, but neither DNA nor Fingerprints alone provide any direct evidence. Finding sperm inside a woman's vagina proves only that there is sperm inside her vagina and nothing else. It could have gotten their as a result of rape, consensual sex or she could have gotten sperm on her hands and masterbated, perhaps she was abducted for some strange government experiment or some psycho in a cult who believes that she'll be killed by demons the next night if she's never had sperm inside her. Statistically the most likely cause is consensual sex, but the mere presence of sperm in and of itself provides absolutely no more evidence for any one of these explanations than any of the others.

Kerinsky, who finds it odd to be told to be serious by someone basing their argument off of autosodomites...

-=-
A conclusion is simply the place where you got tired of thinking.
[ Parent ]
compare to fingerprints (4.00 / 2) (#19)
by Cal Bunny on Fri May 24, 2002 at 11:57:37 PM EST

Fingerprints are considered circumstantial evidence to the fact that a suspect was at the scene of a crime.  They are the textbook example.  Why would DNA be any different?

Direct evidence would be an eye-witness to the fact.


Evidence which may allow a judge or jury to deduce a certain fact from other facts which have been proven. In some cases, there can be some evidence that can not be proven directly, such as with an eye-witness. And yet that evidence may be essential to prove a case. In these cases, the lawyer will provide the judge or juror with evidence of the circumstances from which a juror or judge can logically deduct, or reasonably infer, the fact that cannot be proven directly; it is proven by the evidence of the circumstances; hence, "circumstantial" evidence. Fingerprints are an example of circumstantial evidence: while there may be no witness to a person's presence in a certain place, or contact with a certain object, the scientific evidence of someone's fingerprints is persuasive proof of a person's presence or contact with an object.


^cb^
[ Parent ]
Eye-witness (5.00 / 1) (#20)
by medham on Sat May 25, 2002 at 12:01:24 AM EST

Is far more circumstantial than DNA. People's memories are malleable. You may think you are describing how the law is, not how it should be; but you are wrong. The law is a social construct, and it is molded by rhetorical force. Mine is greater, thereby let all men come before the new law. And the guy at the gate would actually let you in, if you had thought to try.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.
[ Parent ]

In the legal sense, you are wrong. (4.00 / 2) (#23)
by Cal Bunny on Sat May 25, 2002 at 12:08:24 AM EST

DNA and fingerprints are circumstantial evidence in the legal sense.  Ask any judge, lawyer, or even law student.

If you wish to say that is wrong, that is another debate.  However, please stop using terminology if that is not what you mean.  When you say "cicumstantial evidence" and "rule of law" there is a preaccepted standard definition.

You either you are wrong or you just love to abuse language to try and "prove" your point.


^cb^
[ Parent ]

Let's get something straight: (5.00 / 1) (#26)
by medham on Sat May 25, 2002 at 12:41:09 AM EST

There are different levels of circumstantiality. The level discussed in this case is ontologically different than the level of DNA testing, which is only circumstantial in terminology.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.
[ Parent ]

Circumstancial and Validity Are Different (4.50 / 2) (#43)
by Cal Bunny on Sat May 25, 2002 at 05:13:11 AM EST

First, you blatantly ignore how fingerprints are usually considered circumstancial evidence, then you go off on your own tangent of how eye-witness evidence is not as credible as DNA evidence.

Second, please reread the previous legal sense of circumstantiality.  There is not legal delineation created along ontological lines: there is not difference in what the evidence is used to prove only that it is not directly evidence of the ultimate argument.

Now on to the meat...


Evidence which may allow a judge or jury to deduce a certain fact from other facts which have been proven.

This was from my earlier post.  Pay close attention, now.  You said:


DNA testing, which is only circumstantial in terminology.

First, the adjective of circumstantial does not relate to the type of evidence, it related to what you intend to prove.  Or let me try it this way: to call something circumstantial evidence you need the evidence and the fact you are trying to prove; circumstantial is a relative claim.

An officer find some hair in a car.  If your argument was that this person was in that car, then it is not circumstantial evidence: it is direct support of your claim, placing the man at the scene.  If you claim was that the man participated in a murder in which the car was also used and it calls upon the judge to infer the man likely murdered the victim because his hair was found in the car, then it is circumstantial.

Second, something is circumstantial in terminology as compare to circumstantial in what other sense?  Please show me where in the explanation of circumstantial this claim of multiple ontological categories is validated.

Third, I see this coming, so let just stop you from contradicting yourself now.  Don't even try to argue that at some level all evidence is circumstantial, either.  In your article you ask when circumstantial evidence becomes overwhelming, creating the distinction yourself (or making the word circumstantial moot).

Your previous comment of:


Eye-witness Is far more circumstantial than DNA.

This phrase also doesn't make any sense.  You are confusing curcumstantial and invalid or suspect.  Eye-witness accounts can be very circumstantial if they are used to prove a point indirectly.

You can argue about weak evidence, invalid evidence, uncorroberated evidence, or suspect evidence all you want.  It is all irrelevant to the discussion.


^cb^
[ Parent ]

this seems a little confused (5.00 / 1) (#49)
by eLuddite on Sat May 25, 2002 at 08:28:32 AM EST

An officer find some hair in a car. If your argument was that this person was in that car, then it is not circumstantial evidence

Sounds like circumstantial evidence to me; the hair isnt the man.

it is direct support of your claim, placing the man at the scene.

The only way to directly place the man at the scene is for someone to *experience* the man at the scene. Who needs logic when anyone can see quite plainly that the glove dont fit, right? This is why a dumb *witness* is more valuable than an expert, nobel prize winning testimony[1].

First, the adjective of circumstantial does not relate to the type of evidence, it related to what you intend to prove.

No, circumstantial evidence for Fact X is indirect (inferential) evidence of Fact X. Direct evidence for X is unthinking, sensory experience of X. Nevertheless, such divisions between forms of evidence are a practical matter of legal doctrine and jurisprudence; notwithstanding legal definitions, the separation of thought and perception cannot appeal to any objective, independent principle of philosophy. The bottom line is a jury's *belief* in the evidence, circumstantial or direct.

[1] However, a jury isnt under any obligation to *believe* direct evidence, which is why the better part of cross examination is often (perfectly legitimate) ad hominem.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

Clarifications (4.66 / 3) (#72)
by Cal Bunny on Sat May 25, 2002 at 11:16:56 PM EST


Sounds like circumstantial evidence to me; the hair isnt the man.

Yes, this is what I meant.  The scenario I was proposing was unclear.  I have continued to claim that fingerprints and DNA are circumstantial evidence.


The only way to directly place the man at the scene is for someone to *experience* the man at the scene.

Yes.  A confession or video tape would probably also be direct evidence, too.


No, circumstantial evidence for Fact X is indirect (inferential) evidence of Fact X. Direct evidence for X is unthinking, sensory experience of X.

Are we in agreement?

This is exactly what I said.  Saying that evidence is circumstantial requires that you know what fact somebody is trying to prove.  If the evidence is an eye-witness account placing the defendant at a specific location, this would be direct evidence to the claim that the suspect was there, such as in a tresspassing violation.  However, if this evidence is used to prove the claim that the defendant was responsible for some vandalization in that same area, it would be circumstantial evidence.  Can we agree on this?


 Nevertheless, such divisions between forms of evidence are a practical matter of legal doctrine and jurisprudence; notwithstanding legal definitions, the separation of thought and perception cannot appeal to any objective, independent principle of philosophy. The bottom line is a jury's belief in the evidence, circumstantial or direct.

Yes.  In my initial post and the one you are replying to I have said this.  The strength of the evidence and the validity are unrelated to the classification as circumstantial, and describing evidence as circumstantial does nothing.

^cb^
[ Parent ]

Distinctions (5.00 / 1) (#58)
by medham on Sat May 25, 2002 at 02:08:18 PM EST

Are quite clear here: circumstantial evidence is secondary evidence. The concept of "circumstantiality" is always relative, as you correctly note.

The legal view is that all testimony is essentially circumstantial, being dependent upon circumstances for its support.

Obviously, there are different levels of circumstantiality in contradistinction to "positive" evidence.

Thus, eye-witness evidence, being dependent upon human memory and perception, is always already more circumstantial than "positive evidence," such as DNA or fingerprints.

Presumption arises from circumstantial evidence. Evidence is itself meaningless without the an intepretive framework. Thus, the level of circumstantiality of evidence is determined by its position within the interpretive hierarchy. You have a vague intuition of this idea, and try to stop it by claiming that I've contradicted myself somehow. In fact, recognition of this (and related) concepts is exactly what I had in mind while posting the story.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.
[ Parent ]

You are like a brick wall. (4.66 / 3) (#74)
by Cal Bunny on Sat May 25, 2002 at 11:49:14 PM EST

The theme of your posts so far have been to contradict yourself, ignore all previous arguments, and to troll.

We are not arguing your personal philosophy; we are arguing semantics of terminology that you knowingly use to try to make your rhetoric sound more persuasive.

In the legal sense you are wrong.  eLuddite's response is correct, and my response to him provides further clarification of my position.

I already warned you about trying to claim that all evidence is circumstantial.  First, you ask why "Breen did not provide any non-circumstantial evidence."  Second, you ask, "at what point does circumstantial evidence become overwhelming?"  This clearly creates the distinction.  Why not just say "evidence," "weak evidence," or "uncorroberated evidence"?  Third, you have said that "DNA is not circumstantial evidence."

Yet another contradiction in your last post.  First you say this:


The concept of "circumstantiality" is always relative, as you correctly note.

Then you follow with this:


Thus, eye-witness evidence, being dependent upon human memory and perception, is always already more circumstantial than "positive evidence," such as DNA or fingerprints.

You are still confusing the idea of the validity of the evidence and with the labeling it as circumstantial.  The label is purely for legal theory and makes no difference in the case.


Presumption arises from circumstantial evidence. Evidence is itself meaningless without the an intepretive framework. Thus, the level of circumstantiality of evidence is determined by its position within the interpretive hierarchy. You have a vague intuition of this idea, and try to stop it by claiming that I've contradicted myself somehow. In fact, recognition of this (and related) concepts is exactly what I had in mind while posting the story.

This is all irrelevant.  You are confusing circumstantiality with validity.

^cb^
[ Parent ]

Another Brick (2.00 / 4) (#79)
by medham on Sun May 26, 2002 at 01:22:10 AM EST

I will answer your paragraphs sequentially.

  1. It has been my experience that the last resort of the internet debater is to call "troll" before the inevitable ball-gathering.
  2. Speaking of contradiction, how can I "knowingly" use something you later claim I don't understand?
  3. Eluddite's response is not relevant here.
  4. I do not "create" the distinction; I describe the distinction.
  5. There is no contradiction in the two quotes you cite. Relativity of concepts does not imply that they cannot be hierarchical (in relation to one another, or in relation to a different semantic web, as it were).
  6. You seem to claim that "circumstantiality" and "validity" are independent categories within legal discourse. I see no reason to accept this claim. The self-described nature of a discourse and its actual function are two different things. All along, I have been discussing the latter.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.
[ Parent ]

MN Crim JIG (5.00 / 3) (#85)
by rigorist on Sun May 26, 2002 at 01:41:16 PM EST

On medham's #6:

You are simply wrong. Validity and "circumstantiality" are two separate concepts. If you had ever tried a case to a jury, you would know this. Do not confuse the discourse you have heard on TV with actual legal discourse.

Here is the legal discourse - the actual instructions to be given to a MN jury:

CRIMJIG 3.05

Direct and Circumstantial Evidence

A fact may be proven by either direct or circumstantial evidence, or by both. The law does not prefer one form of evidence over the other.

A fact is proven by direct evidence when, for example, it is proven by witnesses who testify to what they saw, heard, or experienced, or by physical evidence of the fact itself. A fact is proven by circumstantial evidence when its existence can be reasonably inferred from other facts proven in the case.

[ Parent ]

Attention (none / 0) (#89)
by medham on Sun May 26, 2002 at 05:43:06 PM EST

You did not keep reading. I said, as you'll note, that self-description of the rules of discourse (such as the amusing bit you cite) and actual function are two different things. Again, I have been discussing the second.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.
[ Parent ]

Both of you... (5.00 / 1) (#87)
by ti dave on Sun May 26, 2002 at 03:28:14 PM EST

Are approaching this thread from the wrong angle.
There are precisely two kinds of evidence.

Physical evidence
and
Testimonial evidence

Both of which may be evaluated and determined to be circumstantial.

"If you dial," Iran said, eyes open and watching, "for greater venom, then I'll dial the same."

[ Parent ]
But (none / 0) (#91)
by medham on Sun May 26, 2002 at 05:49:06 PM EST

As I've noted previously, all testimonial evidence is circumstantial--even within the self-described rules of legal discourse, which are different than the actual rules, yet again I must remind you.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.
[ Parent ]

An example... (5.00 / 2) (#100)
by ti dave on Sun May 26, 2002 at 10:25:35 PM EST

all testimonial evidence is circumstantial

Not necessarily.
Written and otherwise recorded statements containing confesssions or admissions of guilt are not circumstantial, yet they are testimonial evidence.
Just because they have a tangible form, doesn't mean they aren't testimonial evidence.

I've elicited some pretty damning statements from suspects during interrogations,
and you can bet that I had them placed in a fixed format.

"If you dial," Iran said, eyes open and watching, "for greater venom, then I'll dial the same."

[ Parent ]
Testimony (none / 0) (#101)
by medham on Sun May 26, 2002 at 10:49:32 PM EST

Is always dependent upon circumstances for support. Thus, it is "circumstantial" within the autological legal discourse.

I won't engage the fantasy material.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.
[ Parent ]

Yes, in a very broad sense. (5.00 / 2) (#102)
by ti dave on Sun May 26, 2002 at 10:55:31 PM EST

If I make a statement confessing that I killed some person and I detail the manner it was done, and the circumstances of the actual killing match my confession, that's pretty strong evidence.

Yes, people make false confessions regularly, but if the questioning is done correctly and that evidence is effectively presented by a prosecutor, then it may be the only piece of evidence required.

"If you dial," Iran said, eyes open and watching, "for greater venom, then I'll dial the same."

[ Parent ]
Get real. (none / 0) (#96)
by mindstrm on Sun May 26, 2002 at 07:51:52 PM EST

He made his points very clear.

Circumstantial does not equate to "Invalid" or "Suspect" or "Uncorroborated".

It just means it's not direct evidence. As he said...

If I find your hair in the murder getaway car, then that is direct evidence that you were in the car.

It is NOT direct evidence that you were in the car at the time it was used to run over a crosswalk full of baby carriages. In this case, it is circumstantial.

That's pretty damn clear to me.


[ Parent ]

And (none / 0) (#97)
by medham on Sun May 26, 2002 at 08:19:41 PM EST

What does this have to do with the parent? Nothing.

I find amusing your attempts to enlighten me with truistic irrelevancies, a time-honored tradition here.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.
[ Parent ]

He's a brick wall. (5.00 / 2) (#106)
by tekue on Mon May 27, 2002 at 04:51:34 AM EST

Please, tell us on which of those does your mind scream 'STOP!'.
  1. 'Circumstantial' is opposite to 'direct'.
  2. Evidence being direct means it is absolute and straithforward, like simply seeing someone rob a bank.
  3. Evidence being circumstantial means it is only related to the case, proves the circumstances of a crime, not the crime itself, like seeing person walk into a building and hearing shots after ten minutes, to prove that that person robbed a bank.
  4. Circumstantial evidence can be incorrect, for example if I claim I've heard the shots after a person walked into the bank, when in fact there were no shots taken.
  5. Circumstantial evidence can be correct, for example if I claim that shots were taken, and they were.
And if you've came to this point without disagreeing with any of above points, tell us, how can some type of evidence be "more circumstantial" by definition? Circumstantial evidence is evidence not directly proving what we're trying to prove. Testimony is direct when the person testifies s/he (usually) saw the crime when it happened. Testimony is circumstantial when the person testifies something indirectly proving someone's involvement or such.

But you are a brick wall, Medham.
--
Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature. --Tom Robbins
[ Parent ]

Interesting, but slippery. (4.50 / 4) (#8)
by Subtillus on Fri May 24, 2002 at 11:00:37 PM EST

While Circumstantial evidence shouldn't be ignored I think a witch hunt is much worse. It Would be nice if all the bad guys just wore name tags or wore capes, but they don't. When we look for name tags and capes what we find are our friends and neighbours, people.

or... (none / 0) (#12)
by fortytwo on Fri May 24, 2002 at 11:26:59 PM EST

<blockquote>Would be nice if all the bad guys just wore name tags or wore capes</blockquote><p>
Or if the <i>Star Wars</i> Imperial March played whenever they walked into a room...

[ Parent ]
better start watching your neighbors more closely (4.50 / 2) (#51)
by trane on Sat May 25, 2002 at 08:57:38 AM EST

and reporting them if they don't have a flag displayed in their window, or have untrimmed beards, or use drugs...

[ Parent ]
Drugs (none / 0) (#94)
by vectro on Sun May 26, 2002 at 07:07:52 PM EST

Or if they don't use other drugs.

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]
Try telling them that... (1.00 / 1) (#10)
by truth versus death on Fri May 24, 2002 at 11:07:43 PM EST

Without further corroboration, the Govt. has no case of course.

"any erection implies consent"-fae
[ Trim your Bush ]
Should have included more information... (1.50 / 2) (#15)
by Ken Pompadour on Fri May 24, 2002 at 11:53:16 PM EST

Like when did the FBI raid his home, before or after September 11th? And is there a separate case other than this circumstancial one? i.e. run of the mill fraud?

...The target is countrymen, friends and family... they have to die too. - candid trhurler
Read the article (4.00 / 2) (#18)
by medham on Fri May 24, 2002 at 11:56:06 PM EST

And quit posting eds as tops. There are rules and standards here, Jesus.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.
[ Parent ]

how about we sue the CIA for starting the jihad (3.20 / 5) (#21)
by turmeric on Sat May 25, 2002 at 12:06:15 AM EST

the mujahadeen is OUR FAULT.

Interesting (3.50 / 2) (#22)
by medham on Sat May 25, 2002 at 12:07:46 AM EST

Can you tell me more about your beliefs, young man?

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.
[ Parent ]

Wrong (5.00 / 1) (#24)
by KilljoyAZ on Sat May 25, 2002 at 12:14:45 AM EST

The mujahideen exist because the Russians invaded Afghanistan.

===
Creativitiy cannot be SPELT by over 98% of all American troops. - psychologist
[ Parent ]
... and because .... (3.50 / 2) (#41)
by fraise on Sat May 25, 2002 at 04:22:10 AM EST

... a wee country called the US of A gave funding and weapons to a wee radical group called the Taliban so they could root out the nasty commie Russians.

[ Parent ]
Yawn (2.50 / 2) (#42)
by KilljoyAZ on Sat May 25, 2002 at 04:29:03 AM EST

Maybe in the interest of fighting a wee thing called the Cold War to free a wee continent called Europe from the fear of a wee thing called nuclear annihalation you have to get involved with shady characters.

Besides, the Taliban didn't exist until well after the Soviet Union left and the US stopped giving arms and support to mujahideen.

===
Creativitiy cannot be SPELT by over 98% of all American troops. - psychologist
[ Parent ]

Untrue (5.00 / 1) (#86)
by daedal on Sun May 26, 2002 at 01:43:06 PM EST

What you meant to say was:

Maybe in the interest of preventing a wee country called the USSR to occupy a wee country called Afgahnistan which was only relevant to our not-so-wee egos and not to wee nuclear annihilations or wee continents called Europe on the other side of the world, the US funded shady characters in an effort to make a wee war weer.

[ Parent ]

Don't put words in my mouth (none / 0) (#88)
by KilljoyAZ on Sun May 26, 2002 at 05:27:55 PM EST

No, I said exactly what I meant to say. What you said doesn't take into account the huge costs the Soviet Union bore fighting a war in Afghanistan which accelerated its collapse. I consider that anything but 'wee.'

===
Creativitiy cannot be SPELT by over 98% of all American troops. - psychologist
[ Parent ]
No (none / 0) (#45)
by delmoi on Sat May 25, 2002 at 05:58:02 AM EST

But we did give them money to stop poppy production.
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
Citation please. (1.00 / 1) (#95)
by vectro on Sun May 26, 2002 at 07:12:14 PM EST

Or perhaps you're referring to the large package of humanitarian aid given to the people of Afghanistan, none of which was sent directly to the Taliban.

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]
Not quite (none / 0) (#98)
by wji on Sun May 26, 2002 at 08:43:54 PM EST

The people we funded were a motley band of Arab (ie, foreign) extremists and Pashtun warlords. Those Arabs are in various places now. Most have gone home to Egypt and Saudi and either gone back to life or became militants to a varying degree (OBL is in this category). The Pashtun mainly wound up being local warlords. Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, our favourite, was a huge drug lord and killed thousands of people in indiscriminate shelling of Kabul. It was the ISI, Pakistani covert ops, who actually made the Taleban and sent them in, not us. We just fucked up the country along with the Russians and set the stage for the Talibs.

In conclusion, the Powerpuff Girls are a reactionary, pseudo-feminist enterprise.
[ Parent ]
And Iran (none / 0) (#33)
by Betcour on Sat May 25, 2002 at 03:29:52 AM EST

The CIA was in Iran too (and screwed up big time as well). Or maybe Pinochet ? There are so many good reasons to sue the CIA...

[ Parent ]
Iran has a better reason to sue (none / 0) (#55)
by Ken Pompadour on Sat May 25, 2002 at 10:58:03 AM EST

$33 billion in stolen oil.

...The target is countrymen, friends and family... they have to die too. - candid trhurler
[ Parent ]
Just a note (2.90 / 11) (#31)
by Graymalkin on Sat May 25, 2002 at 01:32:09 AM EST

IANAL but I play one in a 1930s radio drama. You can't bring someone up on charged based entirely on circumstantial evidense. It violates the writ of habeas corpus. What habeus corpus engenders is in order for there to be a crime there has to be a body. Now you can if you're clever turn circumstantial evidense into real evidense by using it as a lead to something substantitive. Even a witch hunt trial has to follow the law and procedure. Circumstantial evidense can also be used as a reasonable inference that someone has done something illegal and can thus be held under suspicion of commiting a crime. If a store is robbed by a tall white guy wearing a black jacket and I am walking down the street in a black jacket the circumstantial evidense is thus that I can be held under suspicion for a limited amount of time. I cannot however be formally charged based on that evidense. This dude in San Diego can be held under suspicion for commiting a crime based on circumstantial evidense but unless more evidense showing he truely commited a crime he can't be formally charged and no case is going to get to trial.

There are very clear protections under the law for citizens for the specific reason that circumstantial evidense can be damning but merely a coincidence. In Brown vs. Vasquez the Supreme Court observed "[t]he writ of habeas corpus is the fundamental instrument for safeguarding individual freedom against arbitrary and lawless state action". The writ exists in order to remind the prosecution that without a body there is no crime and that circumstantial evidense does not itself prove someone commited a crime. Please less whining about the use of circumstantial evidense. It is often times the basis for a criminal investigation but it can't be the basis for criminal charges.

Habeus corpus (5.00 / 4) (#52)
by Anon 17933 on Sat May 25, 2002 at 09:15:43 AM EST

You completely misunderstand what habeus corpus is. The purpose of habeus corpus is to require that either charges be brought, or a person released. Example: If you are the "tall white guy wearing a black jacket" that you mention in your comment, and you're arrested because you were in the area, habeus corpus keeps you from being kept in jail indefinitely until the prosecutors find some real evidence. It DOES NOT mean that in the absence of "real" evidence you automatically go free. The prosecutors in this case can and probably will charge you with the robbery -- and then you get to go to court and you may very well garner enough "reasonable doubt" with the jury due to the fact that there really isn't any good evidence. In fact, the case may even be thrown out at the preliminary hearing by the judge -- but habeus corpus has nothing to do with what you're talking about. Charges have been brought, and people convicted on nothing but circumstantial evidence. When the circumstantial evidence is enough to "prove beyond the shadow of a reasonable doubt" that you committed the crime, then the jury should, and probably will convict. For some more info on what habeus corpus really is, check out this link: http://www.encyclopedia.com/html/h1/habeasco.asp

IANAL either -- but about 2 minutes on google based on what I remember from american history and reading the constitution several times turned up this info.

[ Parent ]

See also: (5.00 / 1) (#53)
by ip4noman on Sat May 25, 2002 at 09:59:13 AM EST

In the Lawful Arrest FAQ I found a brief mention of Habeous Corpus which is consistant with your comment, joshki.

--
Breaking Blue / Cognitive Liberty Airwaves
[ Parent ]
good sites -- thanks for the info (n/t) (none / 0) (#57)
by Anon 17933 on Sat May 25, 2002 at 12:52:43 PM EST



[ Parent ]
No (2.25 / 4) (#69)
by Graymalkin on Sat May 25, 2002 at 09:25:34 PM EST

IANAL but I was on a very good mock trial team for three years which I think gives me a bit more understanding of habeas corpus than two minutes of googling information about it. The petition does not exist in order to get charges filed against someone in a timely manner, that is the job of sixth amendment protections that requires that. Habeas corpus is a component of a criminal conviction, it is actual proof that a crime was actually commited. This is extended towards circumstantial evidense to prevent it from being used to be the sole basis of a criminal conviction. In this guy's case the coincidense of the guy pulling money out of the stock market a day before terrorist attacks shutting down the stock market is not enough for a conviction. It does not prove anything, it is merely a suggestion of a crime.

Circumstantial evidense must be thuroughly scrutinized in a trial and can't be used to prove the point of a criminal offense. Circumstantial evidense cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime has been commited. These cases being brought must meet a more stringent requirement than a guy having brown skin despite your cynicism. Circumstantial evidense can be the basis for an argument or a lead on to further evidense but cannot itself prove with legal certainty a point of a criminal act. In this case me bringing up habeas corpus pertaining to circumstantial evidense you point out is perfectly valid. The evidense you site would fall under a petition of habeas corpus because it does not show a body of evidense, it is merely a suggestion that something might have been done. There are plenty of other writs that exist for defending against circumstantial evidense which can often times be entirely specious. This is why I say don't whine about it. If you'll notice Elgindy is merely being accused with the circumstantial evidense being used NOT to convict the man but to show to a logical certainty that charges ought to brough against Elgindy. In a real trial the prosecutor would have to present more than just circumstantial evidense to actually prove Elgindy had commited a crime. These is a world of difference from being accused and being convicted of a crime. Don't confuse the two and make a bigger than necessary deal out of it.

[ Parent ]

No (5.00 / 3) (#73)
by Souhait on Sat May 25, 2002 at 11:26:30 PM EST

A writ of habeas corpus keeps a citizen from being held without cause.  How exactly does this apply to trials?  I understand that it could be used to free someone under arrest for slight circumstantial evidence, but a writ of habeas corpus does not directly pertain to trials or charges as it was explained to me by my government teacher and government book.  Dictionary.com defines habeas corpus as:

1. One of a variety of writs that may be issued to bring a party before a court or judge, having as its function the release of the party from unlawful restraint.
2. The right of a citizen to obtain such a writ.

I'll admit that I only had the required semester of government this year in high school, but I would hope that the state books and teachers are handing out accurate information.  Do you have proof somewhere that habeas corpus means what you say it does?

[ Parent ]

Umm.... NO... not quite.... (4.00 / 2) (#90)
by Anon 17933 on Sun May 26, 2002 at 05:46:37 PM EST

So you're saying you pretended to be a very good lawyer for three years, and that makes you an expert? I'd suspect that if you really had any experience as a lawyer you'd have learned at least college level english. Anyway -- to address your points: You may be correct that this person would not be convicted in a court of law, based on the circumstantial evidence listed. However -- your original post said that:

You can't bring someone up on charged(sic) based entirely on circumstantial evidense(sic). It violates the writ of habeas corpus.

This is the point that I was addressing. You can bring someone up on charges based entirely on circumstantial evidence -- in fact, there have even been murder convictions with death sentences where the body was never found, and the only evidence the prosecution had was circumstantial. Habeus Corpus has nothing to do with circumstantial evidence. It simply allows the accused to force the prosecution to let him go if they don't have enough evidence to charge him with a crime.

I don't know how things work on your "1930's radio drama" -- but that's the way things work in the USA.

[ Parent ]

CIA Executive Director Krongard Knew Also? (4.50 / 6) (#54)
by ip4noman on Sat May 25, 2002 at 10:35:21 AM EST

I +1 Section'd this story because it is an interesting topic, but frankly it is not nearly as interesting as the angle which implicates that the highest levels if the United States government knew.

For example, I suggest following this search. It seems that the Executive Director of the CIA had been Chairman of the investment bank A.B. Brown, which handled a "put" option on United Airlines stock just before 9/11. This 2.5 million dollar bounty for the 9/11 tragedy remains unclaimed, but indicates that someone had prior knowledge that UAL stock was going to drop.

What can be said about an economic system which allows someone to profit so greatly from someone else's loss?

--
Breaking Blue / Cognitive Liberty Airwaves
Ask an Objectivist (4.33 / 3) (#62)
by revscat on Sat May 25, 2002 at 04:56:02 PM EST

What can be said about an economic system which allows someone to profit so greatly from someone else's loss?

It tells me that the system has some serious problems, and that outside remedies are occasionally required. But I tend to get shouted down when I express such views, seeing as how so many of my fellow netheads are either active or passive Randroids. This just serves as another example of why a pure free market has never worked, does not work currently anywhere in the world, and probably never will.

Whatever. If evidence exists that someone had foreknowledge of 9/11 and a) didn't report it, and b) profited from it, I sincerely hope that we don't wait for market forces to bring justice. I want the cops involved.

(Aside: The belief that justice can even be achieved through market forces is absolutely laughable.)



- Rev.
Libertarianism is like communism: both look great on paper.
[ Parent ]
Profiting from from loss. (none / 0) (#110)
by lucius on Tue May 28, 2002 at 09:25:52 AM EST

What can be said about an economic system which allows someone to profit so greatly from someone else's loss?

Like undertakers? Or doctors? Or debt collectors? Or armaments manufacturers?



[ Parent ]

Statistical Significance (5.00 / 4) (#56)
by cameldrv on Sat May 25, 2002 at 11:37:23 AM EST

Lots of people sell lots of stock every day. Someone was bound to sell a lot of it on Sept 10. Some Egyptian Muslim was bound to sell a lot of stock that day. Furthermore, if he really had advance knowledge, one would expect that he would have sold in a less conspicous manner. Same deal with the UAL puts. Huge numbers of options are traded every day on all kinds of companies that have been harmed by the attacks. Unless there was a specific spike in activity before the attacks that is not attributable to other events, what makes you think it wasn't a coinicidence?

No (3.00 / 2) (#59)
by medham on Sat May 25, 2002 at 02:10:10 PM EST

This doesn't follow. Elgindy as an individual had not sold anywhere near that much stock on a single day. When he did on 9/10, questions arose.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.
[ Parent ]

You're missing my point. (5.00 / 3) (#61)
by cameldrv on Sat May 25, 2002 at 03:24:21 PM EST

Sure, but there is a selection bias. We aren't hearing in the news about all the people who sold $300,000 worth of stock on July 3, August 30, or Sept 3. Unless you can show that either he had specific knowledge about the attacks, or that this event is highly unusual, you can't even call this a coincidence. He just happened to be the Muslim that sold the most stock on Sept. 10. Someone has to fit that description for any given day.

[ Parent ]
Exactly! (none / 0) (#64)
by Spork on Sat May 25, 2002 at 05:20:04 PM EST

I think you're quite right, especially the part about how anyone with foreknowledge would be much less conspicuous about selling off stock. Now, if he reinvested all the money in airport security companies, biometrics, military contractors or such things, our suspicion might be justified. Failing that, this is nothing more than paranoia with an unhealthy tinge of racism. Nothing more to see here.

[ Parent ]
If he really had advanced knowledge... (4.66 / 3) (#67)
by dukethug on Sat May 25, 2002 at 08:01:46 PM EST

Why the hell wouldn't he just short sell the S&P 500 to the hilt? It would have been money in the bank, and we're talking 300 million dollars, not 300,000. The guy seems to me to be the victim of bad timing and unpopular opinions.

You missed a crucial point (5.00 / 8) (#75)
by CitAnon on Sun May 26, 2002 at 12:03:35 AM EST

From the New York Times article:

Mr. Elgindy and four other people, including one current and one former F.B.I. agent, were charged Wednesday with using confidential government information to manipulate stock prices and extort money from companies. Jeffrey A. Royer, who was an F.B.I. agent before joining Mr. Elgindy's stock advisory firm in December, accepted $30,000 from a partner of Mr. Elgindy's in exchange for providing Mr. Elgindy with information about current criminal investigations of companies, prosecutors allege.

The man isn't indicted on anything related to terrorism. He and two co-conspirators are charged with bribing and conspiring with two FBI agents to extort or short the stock of companies using damaging information illegaly obtained by said FBI agents. These charges are likely backed by solid evidence.

The likely bullshit terrorism allegations and insinuations are tools used by the Feds to keep him flailing over the fire in the hopes that he'll plea-bargain. It's a dirty trick, but hardly new considering the Feds threatened Lee Wen Ho with the electric chair during the Chinese nuclear spying fiasco.



Let us not "go there" (4.33 / 3) (#78)
by medham on Sun May 26, 2002 at 01:09:59 AM EST

I think you're opening a squiggly can of nightcrawlers that teleport their way onto your movie screens next summer.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.
[ Parent ]

If he were guilty, he'd be gone by now (3.00 / 1) (#99)
by cdupree on Sun May 26, 2002 at 10:00:47 PM EST

wouldn't he? I mean, if you were smart and organized enough to be involved in stock transactions that depended on some terrorist act your organization was about to commit, wouldn't you get the people who did it out of harm's way afterward? And wouldn't you invest more money than that? And how did they know this one would work, when other attempts at hijackings and bombings had failed?

All in all, it sounds to me like the guy is just the victim, as someone else said, of bad luck and racial profiling.

"Criminal: A person with predatory instincts who has not sufficient capital to form a corporation." --Clarence Darrow

This guy is NOT a victim (5.00 / 1) (#104)
by CitAnon on Mon May 27, 2002 at 12:40:41 AM EST

Read my post below. This guy is NOT a victim of racial profiling. He isn't even charged with anything to do with September 11 th. He's charged with conspiring with FBI agents to obtain and use damaging personal information on corporate officers for extortion and short-selling of stock. The bullshit Sept. 11th accusations were revealed by the prosecutor to get the judge to deny him bail. This is a prosecution pressure tactic designed to make him plea bargain.

[ Parent ]
Anthony Elgindy, heh (5.00 / 1) (#107)
by streetlawyer on Mon May 27, 2002 at 05:50:19 AM EST

What a crock. "Amr Elgindy" goes by the name "Anthony" in everyday life. Under the screen handle "Anthony@Pacific", I've had a few run-ins with him on various investment boards. He's occasionally a good guy when it comes to exposing stock promotions, but I have a few problems with the way he goes about things (specifically, I've called him on a few of his performance claims on the Silicon Investor board, back in the days before SI began to suck).

But the one thing one has to say about Anthony is that he is a short-seller. That's his investment strategy and it's his bread and butter. The fact that a guy whose entire business is to wake up in the morning, have a shower and then sell some stocks short, was short of a particular stock on a particular day, is rather underwhelming.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever

So (none / 0) (#108)
by medham on Mon May 27, 2002 at 04:20:25 PM EST

You think all of this business is Elgindy getting sold short? What with the bribery and the money to Lebanon and what not?

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.
[ Parent ]

nahh (none / 0) (#109)
by streetlawyer on Tue May 28, 2002 at 02:16:49 AM EST

He's got a lot of previous with respect to dishonesty; I seem to remember him serving time for mail fraud before, although the Times doesn't appear to have picked it up. I wouldn't be surprised if he turns out to be guilty as charged on securities fraud. But the evidence presented for this 11/9 connection looks weaker than beer piss.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
possible foreknowledge (none / 0) (#111)
by dinu on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 04:44:54 PM EST

How do you acuse someone of "possible foreknowledge". And as far as I remeber the stock didn't start falling on 9/11 but at least 6 months earlier. I would rather suspect him if he had invested 300K$ on 9/10 since some stock was climbing after 9/11. ;)

Correlation vs. Causality (none / 0) (#112)
by p3d0 on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 10:06:55 AM EST

How often to people sell $300,000 worth of stock? I bet it's not a rare thing. If it happens every day, then this guy's only mistake was to be a muslim who picked the wrong week to sell his stock.
--
Patrick Doyle
My comments do not reflect the opinions of my employer.
Did He Know? | 112 comments (90 topical, 22 editorial, 0 hidden)
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