Saturday, June 12, 2010

Brian Bothun

I have no idea. It doesn't seem inconceivable to me that he could have been framed - the bar for whether or not "framed!" is an outlandish concept is different for regular people and for newspaper editors who take down police chiefs and mayors, make enemies. O.J. wasn't, right, but didn't we learn in the O.J. trial that Fuhrman was a racist creep? It's hard to pull off the maneuver, hard to execute - you would need Watergate-burglars who were competent. So maybe it didn't happen because it's more likely to fail.

I worked with Brian at the Daily for parts of 2 years. I like the guy, he seems like a conscientious journalist. I have no idea whether or not he is a deliberate false positive. Maybe he isn't. But it's a bit disturbing how character assassination can work in situations where it actually is a deliberate false positive. Even for the acquitted, there could be permanent emotional harm, like a lite form of unjust death-penalty executions.

Caveat, caveat!! Yeesh. Apprehending true positives is a good thing! We have to split hairs, just like defending the right of the American Nazi Party to march in Skokie, if I have my facts right. True positives are good, false positives are bad.

True positives - Bad people get arrested. Good effective work on the part of law enforcement.

Accidental false positive - Ted Kennedy is on no-fly list

Deliberate false positive - David Iglesias is fired for not going after "voter fraud" hard enough. Rove, Sampson, Goodling are firing off emails back and forth, keeping lists. Maybe also Don Siegelman.

True negatives - Someone who is cleared of charges, and rightly so. Good disinterested work on the part of law enforcement. There was a chance to hassle them or trump up a pretext, and the officials conscientiously passed up that chance.

False negatives - Somebody walked who should have been pursued harder. "Okay, you've covered your ass now..."

No comments:

Post a Comment