More proof that people high on marijuana are more likely to break their diets than break the law.
When Colorado legalized recreational marijuana sales, Denver embraced the opportunity with open arms.
The city is now home to more than 62 percent of all Colorado recreational marijuana retailers, who cashed in on $14 million in sales in January alone.
Other cities weren't so eager: heeding legalization opponents' safety concerns, several pushed off licensing retail sales. Some banned retail sales altogether.
"There will be many harmful consequences," Douglas County Sheriff David Weaver warned in a September 2012 statement. "Expect more crime, more kids using marijuana, and pot for sale everywhere."
One California sheriff went on Denver television to warn that, as a result of marijuana in his county, "thugs put on masks, they come to your house, they kick in your door. They point guns at you and say, 'Give me your marijuana, give me your money.'"
Three months into its legalization experiment, Denver isn't seeing a widespread rise in crime. Violent and property crimes actually decreased slightly, and some cities are taking a second look at allowing marijuana sales.
"We had folks, kind of doomsayers, saying, 'Oh my gosh, we're going to have riots in the streets the day they open,'" Denver City Council President Mary Beth Susman, a supporter of legal marijuana, says. "But it was so quiet."
Since terrorists attacked the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, victims’ loved ones, injured survivors, and members of the media have all tried without much success to discover the true nature of the relationship between the 19 hijackers – 15 of them Saudi nationals – and the Saudi Arabian government. Many news organizations reported that some of the terrorists were linked to the Saudi royals and that they even may have received financial support from them as well as from several mysterious, moneyed Saudi men living in San Diego.
Saudi Arabia has repeatedly denied any connection, and neither President George W. Bush nor President Obama has been forthcoming on this issue.
But earlier this year, Reps. Walter B. Jones, R-N.C., and Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., were given access to the 28 redacted pages of the Joint Intelligence Committee Inquiry (JICI) of 9/11 issued in late 2002, which have been thought to hold some answers about the Saudi connection to the attack.
"I was absolutely shocked by what I read," Jones told International Business Times. "What was so surprising was that those whom we thought we could trust really disappointed me. I cannot go into it any more than that. I had to sign an oath that what I read had to remain confidential. But the information I read disappointed me greatly."
The public may soon also get to see these secret documents. Last week, Jones and Lynch introduced a resolution that urges President Obama to declassify the 28 pages, which were originally classified by President George W. Bush. It has never been fully explained why the pages were blacked out, but President Bush stated in 2003 that releasing the pages would violate national security.
While neither Jones nor Lynch would say just what is in the document, some of the information has leaked out over the years. A multitude of sources tell IBTimes, and numerous press reports over the years in Newsweek, the New York Times, CBS News and other media confirm, that the 28 pages in fact clearly portray that the Saudi government had at the very least an indirect role in supporting the terrorists responsible for the 9/11 attack. In addition, these classified pages clarify somewhat the links between the hijackers and at least one Saudi government worker living in San Diego.
Former Sen. Bob Graham, D-Fla., who chaired the Joint Inquiry in 2002 and has been beating the drum for more disclosure about 9/11 since then, has never understood why the 28 pages were redacted. Graham told IBTimes that based on his involvement in the investigation and on the now-classified information in the document that his committee produced, he is convinced that “the Saudi government without question was supporting the hijackers who lived in San Diego…. You can't have 19 people living in the United States for, in some cases, almost two years, taking flight lessons and other preparations, without someone paying for it. But I think it goes much broader than that. The agencies from CIA and FBI have suppressed that information so American people don't have the facts."
Jones insists that releasing the 28 secret pages would not violate national security.
“It does not deal with national security per se; it is more about relationships,” he said. “The information is critical to our foreign policy moving forward and should thus be available to the American people. If the 9/11 hijackers had outside help – particularly from one or more foreign governments – the press and the public have a right to know what our government has or has not done to bring justice to the perpetrators."
It took Jones six weeks and several letters to the House Intelligence Committee before the classified pages from the 9/11 report were made available to him. Jones was so stunned by what he saw that he approached Rep. Lynch, asking him to look at the 28 pages as well. He knew that Lynch would be astonished by the contents of the documents and perhaps would join in a bipartisan effort to declassify the papers.
"He came back to me about a week ago and told me that he, too, was very shocked by what he read,” Jones said. “I told him we need to join together and put in a resolution and get more members on both sides of the aisle involved and demand that the White House release this information to the public. The American people have a right to know this information."
A decade ago, 46 senators, led by Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., demanded in a letter to President Bush that he declassify the 28 pages.
The letter read, in part, "It has been widely reported in the press that the foreign sources referred to in this portion of the Joint Inquiry analysis reside primarily in Saudi Arabia. As a result, the decision to classify this information sends the wrong message to the American people about our nation's antiterror effort and makes it seem as if there will be no penalty for foreign abettors of the hijackers. Protecting the Saudi regime by eliminating any public penalty for the support given to terrorists from within its borders would be a mistake.... We respectfully urge you to declassify the 28-page section that deals with foreign sources of support for the 9/11 hijackers."
All of the senators who signed that letter but one, Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kansas), were Democrats.
Lynch, who won the Democratic primary for his congressional seat on that fateful day of Sept. 11, 2001, told IBTimes that he and Jones are in the process of writing a “Dear Colleague” letter calling on all House members to read the 28 pages and join their effort.
"Once a member reads the 28 pages, I think whether they are Democrat or Republican they will reach the same conclusion that Walter and I reached, which is that Americans have the right to know this information," Lynch said. “These documents speak for themselves. We have a situation where an extensive investigation was conducted, but then the Bush [administration] decided for whatever purposes to excise 28 pages from the report. I'm not passing judgment. That was a different time. Maybe there were legitimate reasons to keep this classified. But that time has long passed.”
Most of the allegations of links between the Saudi government and the 9/11 hijackers revolve around two enigmatic Saudi men who lived in San Diego: Omar al-Bayoumi and Osama Basnan, both of whom have long since left the United States.
In early 2000, al-Bayoumi, who had previously worked for the Saudi government in civil aviation (a part of the Saudi defense department), invited two of the hijackers, Khalid Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi, to San Diego from Los Angeles. He told authorities he met the two men by chance when he sat next to them at a restaurant.
Newsweek reported in 2002 that al-Bayoumi’s invitation was extended on the same day that he visited the Saudi Consulate in Los Angeles for a private meeting.
Al-Bayoumi arranged for the two future hijackers to live in an apartment and paid $1,500 to cover their first two months of rent. Al-Bayoumi was briefly interviewed in Britain but was never brought back to the United States for questioning.
As for Basnan, Newsweek reported that he received monthly checks for several years totaling as much as $73,000 from the Saudi ambassador to the United States, Prince Bandar, and his wife, Princess Haifa Faisal. Although the checks were sent to pay for thyroid surgery for Basnan’s wife, Majeda Dweikat, Dweikat signed many of the checks over to al-Bayoumi’s wife, Manal Bajadr. This money allegedly made its way into the hands of hijackers, according to the 9/11 report.
Despite all this, Basnan was ultimately allowed to return to Saudi Arabia, and Dweikat was deported to Jordan.
Sources and numerous press reports also suggest that the 28 pages include more information about Abdussattar Shaikh, an FBI asset in San Diego who Newsweek reported was friends with al-Bayoumi and invited two of the San Diego-based hijackers to live in his house.
Shaikh was not allowed by the FBI or the Bush administration to testify before the 9/11 Commission or the JICI.
Graham notes that there was a significant 9/11 investigation in Sarasota, Fla., which also suggests a connection between the hijackers and the Saudi government that most Americans don’t know about.
The investigation, which occurred in 2002, focused on Saudi millionaire Abdulaziz al-Hijji and his wife, Anoud, whose upscale home was owned by Anoud al-Hijji’s father, Esam Ghazzawi, an adviser to Prince Fahd bin Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, the nephew of Saudi King Fahd.
The al-Hijji family reportedly moved out of their Sarasota house and left the country abruptly in the weeks before 9/11, leaving behind three luxury cars and personal belongings including clothing, furniture and fresh food. They also left the swimming-pool water circulating.
Numerous news reports in Florida have said that the gated community’s visitor logs and photos of license tags showed that vehicles driven by several of the future 9/11 hijackers had visited the al-Hijji home.
Graham said that like the 28 pages in the 9/11 inquiry, the Sarasota case is being “covered up” by U.S. intelligence. Graham has been fighting to get the FBI to release the details of this investigation with Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and litigation. But so far the bureau has stalled and stonewalled, he said.
Lynch said he didn’t know how the Obama administration would respond to the congressional resolution urging declassification, if it passes the House and Senate.
“But if we raise the issue, and get enough members to read it, we think we can get the current administration to revisit this issue. I am very optimistic,” he said. “I’ve talked to some of my Democratic members already, and there has been receptivity there. They have agreed to look at it.”
Obama administration officials declined to comment on the congressional resolution or on the classification of these documents.
The 9/11 Families United for Justice Against Terrorism (JASTA), an activist group comprised of the attack victims, has been calling for the declassification of the 28 pages for more than a decade. The group plans to contact Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, this week to urge her to introduce a similar resolution in the Senate.
Sharon Premoli, a 9/11 survivor who was on the North Tower's 80th floor when the plane hit and is a JASTA member, says Jones and Lynch “share our objectives of seeking the truth behind 9/11 and bringing to justice those who bankrolled the attacks.”
Premoli said it was a “miracle” that she survived 9/11. “I found myself buried under dust and on top of a dead body,” she said. “It makes me angry that I still don’t know what happened or who was supporting these hijackers. The veil of secrecy must be lifted for the families, the survivors and for the American people.
Tamerlan Tsarnev, the accused Boston bomber who was killed, heard voices.
Slain suspected Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev said he heard voices in his head and believed in the concept of influencing others by way of “majestic mind control,” according to a new report.
Journalists at The Boston Globe published this weekend the result of a five-month investigation into the Tsarnaev family, and their report reveals new, never-before-released information about the 26-year-old Chechen boxer who, along with his younger brother Dzhokhar, is accused of orchestrating a terror attack at last April’s Boston Marathon race which killed three and left hundreds injured.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev died during a shootout with police days after the event, and his brother is currently awaiting trial in federal court in Massachusetts. With the high-profile terrorist case likely a long way from being settled, little attention has been paid to the story in the months since the dust cleared after the event.
Sally Jacobs, David Filipov, and Patricia Wen of the Globe have spent nearly half a year probing the Tsarnaevs’ past, and with their latest report they raise new questions about the brothers - particularly regarding the mental state of the supposed mastermind, Tamerlan.
“He believed in majestic mind control, which is a way of breaking down a person and creating an alternative personality with which they must coexist," Donald Larking, a 67-year-old man who attended a Boston mosque with the older brother, told the Globe.
Larking said that once he befriended the older Tsarnaev, the two quickly shared their thoughts on conspiracy theories and politics.
“He felt the US should not get involved in other people’s affairs and should stick to its own business,”Larking told the paper. “He did not like the country’s involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq at all.”
Then before long, Tsarnaev opened up even more.
“As their relationship grew closer, Tamerlan confided in Larking his troubling secret about the voice inside his head,” the Globe reported. “Tamerlan told him that he had been hearing the voice for some time, and that he had a theory of what might be afflicting him.”
“You can give a signal, a phrase or a gesture, and bring out the alternate personality and make them do things. Tamerlan thought someone might have done that to him,” Larking explained.
Others close to the bombing suspect knew about this secret too, but little was seemingly done to treat Tamerlan. He confided to his mother that it “felt like two people” were inside of him, and Larking said those voices got louder with time.
“He was torn between those two people,” said Larking. “He said that several times. And he did not like it.”
A family acquaintance told the Globe that he also believed Tsarnaev was suffering from a form of schizophrenia, which could have been exasperated by his frequent marijuana use and the physical toll of boxing. Tsarnaev’s parents did little to get their son treatment, however, and instead sought assistance for themselves. Anzor Tsarnaev, the boys’ father, reportedly suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder that developed after he fled embattled Chechnya “and often woke up screaming or weeping in the middle of the night." He, along with wife Zubeidat, made visits to a psychiatrist.
Their research, the Globe reporters say, “Establishes that the brothers were heirs to a pattern of violence and dysfunction running back several generations.”
Tamerlan's uncle, Ruslan Tsarni, worked (works?) for a Chechen rebel aid group out of his father-in-law's house. His father-in-law, Graham Fuller, was a key CIA figure during the Reagan Administration.
Not that this is surprising to people who've followed the JFK assassination, but it turns out that high-ranking CIA official David Atlee Phillips, while using the cover name "Maurice Bishop," was seen talking to Lee Harvey Oswald.
When he first confirmed that David Atlee Phillips was the CIA contact known as "Maurice Bishop," Cuban exile leader Antonio Veciana did so tacitly. But Veciana's meaning was so clear, and his guile so transparent, there was no doubt; both he and House Select Committee investigator Gaeton Fonzi began laughing.
Now, decades later, Veciana has explicitly stated that Phillips (right) was indeed Bishop, and that he did indeed see Phillips with Lee Harvey Oswald in September 1963 – thus formally linking a high ranking CIA officer with the JFK assassination.
Veciana's admission came in a written statementissued November 22, 2013, the fiftieth anniversary of the assassination. In a letter to Fonzi's widow Marie, Veciana, the aging, former leader of Alpha 66, said, "Maurice Bishop, my CIA contact agent was David Atlee Phillips. Phillips or Bishop was the man I saw with Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas on September 1963."
Fonzi wrote of his encounters with Veciana in his 1993 book The Last Investigation, which describes his experience with the House Select Committee on Assassinations in the 1970s.
At the time of his first meetings with Veciana, Fonzi was a staff investigator for Sen. Richard Schweiker (R-Pa.), a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and co-chair of the Sub-committee on the John F. Kennedy Assassination. Fonzi told Veciana he was exploring links between government agencies and Cuban exile groups.
On March 2, 1976, Veciana told Fonzi that two months before the assassination he rendezvoused with his CIA contact "Maurice Bishop" in the lobby of a downtown Dallas office building. Bishop was already there when he arrived, Veciana said, and in the company of a young man he later recognized as Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged JFK assassin.
In subsequent HSCA testimony, however, Veciana did not identify Phillips as Bishop. But Fonzi independently determined that "Bishop" and Phillips were one and the same.
Phillips was also called before the HSCA, and under oath, denied both using the name Maurice Bishop and knowing Veciana. That ended the matter. Although Fonzi believed they could make a case for perjury, HSCA Chief Counsel G. Robert Blakey declined to bring charges against Phillips.
In the early 1960s Alpha 66 was a leading anti-Castro organization, funded by the CIA. During the course of their meetings Veciana never explicitly told Fonzi that Bishop was really Phillips. Fonzi believed that Veciana would not make the identification because he thought Bishop/Phillips could further aid him in his goal of toppling Cuban leader Fidel Castro.
David Atlee Phillips was a CIA officer for 25 years. At the time of the assassination he was Chief of Cuban Operations, based in Mexico City. He died in 1988.
An 11-year-old boy was arrested yesterday for slugging his grandmother in the nose when she refused to buy him a toy at an Ohio department store, police report.
The minor was busted by Dayton cops after a witness called 911 to report an assault in progress at Rose’s Store. The victim, 60-year-old Barbara Weeks, told investigators that the boy punched her after she would not make the purchase.
Weeks told police that her grandson tried to land a second blow, but she fled from him to escape being hit again.
The child, who was not identified by police, was charged with domestic violence and transported to the Montgomery County Juvenile Justice Center. It is unclear whether the boy was seeking the toy as a Christmas present.
TMZ also confirmed that Zimmerman was involved in the domestic violence incident in Orlando.
WESH-TV’s Bob Kealing reported that Zimmerman had been arrested for domestic violence against his current girlfriend.
After being acquitted for the murder of slain teen Trayvon Martin, Zimmerman faced accusations over the summer when authorities were called to the house of his wife, Shellie Zimmerman, to respond to a domestic dispute.
Shellie Zimmerman accused him of threatening both her and her father’s life, but no charges were filed in that case. Zimmerman has also been pulled over twice for speeding in recent months.
Update, 3:30 p.m. EST: Law enforcement sources told TMZ that Zimmerman’s girlfriend claimed that she was pregnant, making the domestic violence charge an automatic felony. Zimmerman reportedly was not eligible for bail.
Update, 5:14 p.m. EST:ABC News reported that Zimmerman was charged with aggravated assault, battery and criminal mischief in connection with the incident.
Mexican-style South of the Border Justice has arrived in America with a vengeance, and is on display in a courtroom in Miami where three members of New York’s Gambino Family, Anthony "Big Tony" Moscatiello, Anthony "Little Tony" Ferrari, and James "Pudgy" Fiorello, are on trial for the murder of Suncruz Casino tycoon Gus Boulis.
The Boulis trial confirms the appearance on these shores of the kind of blatant immunity from prosecution that Mexican gangsters, politicians, drug cartel bosses and Generals—many of whom wear more than one hat—have long taken for granted in our neighbor to the South. Given the continuing devolution of the formerly-great superpower, this should not be considered an especially surprising development.
Yet it is still a shock to realize how much justice in today’s Miami resembles that in, say, Tijuana, fabled home of risque sex acts and now “stewmasters” making “Mexican meat soup” by dissolving bodies in 55-gallon industrial drums in auto repair shops placed strategically across the dusty landscape.
Tijuana is located in a semi-failed state that you could call a banana republic, if that weren’t a slur on nutritious fruit.
Guess what? So is Miami.
Maybe Miami and Tijuana should be sister cities. Because Gus Boulis' murder trial is almost too spookily similiar for words to a trial which took place in Tijuana twenty years ago.
Gus Boulis was a casino cruise operator who had recently sold his 11-ship operation to Jack Abramoff, the big-time Republican lobbyist who was at the time one of America’s most powerful men. After Abramoff and Kidan “forgot” to pay Boulis for the purchase of his casino cruise line, his continued existence almost instantly became inconvenient.
Héctor Félix Miranda was a well-known journalist in Tijuana. When he wrote something unflattering about one of Mexico’s most powerful men, his continued existence also became inconvenient.
Both suffered the same fate, in the same way. Also, the aftermath of the murders played out almost identically.
Hector Felix Miranda was ready to go to work. On a rainy morning in April, 1988, he left his house and climbed behind the wheel of his Crown Victoria LTD to drive to his job as co-editor of ZETA, a widely-read muckraking newspaper.
Across the street from Hector that morning sat a man watching from a black Pontiac TransAm with its engine running. Victor Medina was a burly former state policeman, an expert marksman, and a professional bodyguard to Jorge Hank Rhon, the son of Carlos Hank González, the most powerful man in Mexico at the time.
Parked facing Hector, maybe 150 feet away, was a brown Toyota pickup truck with two men aboard. One wore Levis and work boots, while the other, the shooter, Antonio Vera Palestrina, who had been Carlos Hank González’ personal bodyguard when Hank was Mexico City’s mayor, was decked out in cowboy boots, cowboy hat, an expensive suit, and a belt with a gold belt buckle.
The black TransAm pulled out in front of Hector, then suddenly stopped. Coming up behind him was the brown Toyota pickup, which pulled up beside Hector.
Gus Boulis was ready to go home. Finished with a later meeting that lasted until 9:15 p.m. on a cool breezy night in February 2001, he walked outside to his BMW, and pulled out of the parking lot and turned south, towards home.
Watching Boulis drive away, according to his testimony at the trial, was James “Pudgy” Fiorillo, described as a "dog-walking, food-fetching, car-washing, and baby-sitting wanna-be Mobster from New Jersey.” Pudgy got his nickname back in high school, where he stood 5’6” while weighing 260 pounds.
Prosecutors used to think Pudgy had been the gunman who killed Boulis. But they accused him only of spying on Boulis and reporting his movements to “Little Tony” Ferrari on the night of the murder. Two years ago, he pled guilty to murder and conspiracy charges, and got a light sentence in return for testifying for the prosecution.
Boulis had only driven a few blocks before a car pulled in front of his BMW, forcing him to slow down, and then stop. The car in front of him didn't budge. Boulis slammed on the brakes to avoid a collision. Just then, witnesses told police, a second car, a black Mustang drove up and pulled alongside him in the oncoming lane.
The Mustang's driver opened his window. Boulis turned to look, and made a grim discovery. The man in the Mustang was pointing a gun right at him. Boulis raised his hand as if to shield himself, but it wasn’t enough to stop three hollow-tip bullets from burrowing deep inside his chest when the driver opened fire, shooting Boulis at least three times with a semi-automatic weapon.
As the black Mustang front of him sped away, Boulis screamed, a loud blood-curdling animal sound that eyewitnesses said they will never forget. Bleeding and barely conscious, Boulis pressed the accelerator, headed south a few blocks, then turned a corner and blacked out, spinning across a median into oncoming traffic and crashing into a tree next to a Burger King.
Professional bodyguard Antonio Vera Palestrina rolled down his window and pulled out a powerful shotgun and shot Hector twice. The impact of the first shot threw Hector off his seat to the other side of the car, where his head bounced off the door as a second shot pierced his ribs, ripped his arm and almost tore it away. His body was left slumped under the dashboard, his gray “Members Only” jacket shredded, smelling of gunpowder, and soaked in blood and flesh.
In Tijuana, there were daily demonstrations. The public and independent newspapers across Mexico expressed skepticism of the investigation into Hector’s murder, and called for justice. “Unless politics or publicity interferes, money can buy innocence and freedom,” explained a journalist in Mexico City.
Authorities in Mexico soon arrested the two Jorge Hank Rhon bodyguards, Medina from the TransAm, and Vera from the Toyota pick-up truck, who they also identified as the shooter.
Despite persuasive evidence to the contrary, prosecutors theorized Vera’s motive for murdering the journalist was rage over something Hector had written about him. This mystified Hector’s co-workers at the newspaper, who could find no evidence that Hector had ever even mentioned him in his column.
Jorge Hank Rhon was known to have been incensed about Hector’s last columns, in which Hector had ridiculed him as a spoiled rich kid. Yet the relationship between Hector and Rhon went unexplored. The bodyguards' boss, Jorge Hank Rhon, was never even questioned.
And, most tellingly, on the day of the murder Vera—who was Jorge Hank Rhon’s head of security as well as his personal bodyguard—had cashed a $10,000 check from Rhon at Rhon’s Aqua Caliente racetrack.
Despite these major loose ends, authorities began to act as if the crime had been solved. There was an inexplicably long delay before the trial began, during which it was continually postponed. Slowly, the story began to disappear from newspapers. People no longer demonstrated. Journalists stopped showing up at noon every day outside the prosecutors office demanding justice.
When the trial finally commenced, witnesses had become considerably less certain of their facts than before.
After Greek tycoon Gus Boulis was gunned down in his BMW, Fort Lauderdale police immediately began scrutinizing SunCruz Casinos. Suspicion focused on the recent sale of his casino fleet, for a very good reason: Boulis, Jack Abramoff, and Adam Kidan had been carrying on a very public feud.
“We certainly aren't lacking in suspects,” said a Fort Lauderdale homicide detective with admirable understatement.
Later, detectives said they had basically solved the crime within 48 hours. However, they offered no explanation for why it took four years before three men who they had believed were involved in the murder since the day after the crime were finally arrested and charged.
Nor have prosecutors, since the trial began two weeks ago, taken the jury into their confidence about why—after taking an impossibly slow four years to bring charges—they took an additional eight years to bring the case to trial. Safe to say, something highly irregular was clearly going on.
Adam Kidan, a defrocked attorney who had gone bankrupt in both a bagel shop and a mattress store, became Jack Abramoff'spartner in what prosecutors say was a totally fraudulent purchase of Fort Lauderdale-based SunCruz casinos from Boulis.
Kidan and Jack Abramoff partnered to buy SunCruz from Boulis for $147.5 million, then reneged on paying as soon as the deal was final. Instead of paying Boulis, Kidan and Abramoff used $300,000 of SunCruz money for a luxury skybox at FedEx Field in Washington, D.C., where Abramoff entertained politicians and GOP fat cats.
Abramoff and Kidan also helped themselves to $500,000 salaries, as well as lots of expensive perks. But the best part of the deal was that the two men took control of the casino line without ever putting down a dime of their own money.
No wonder Boulis was suing to regain control of the business when he was killed.
Both men were later jailed after pleading guilty to defrauding lenders in the deal. As part of his plea agreement, Kidan pledged to cooperate with federal prosecutors.
“Mr. Boulis, who owned the casino boat fleet, was shot and killed in 2001,” reported the New York Times. “Mr. Kidan may be able to help state prosecutors who are investigating the slaying of Konstantinos Boulis.”
“Mr. Kidan may be able to help prosecutors investigating the Boulis hit” is like authorities asking O.J. Simpson for help figuring out who murdered Nicole. It's almost too droll for words. And far too ironic for the NY Times.
Now that the government shutdown is over, if you’re looking for a fresh source of outrage to bring a healthy flush to your face, try this: By stepping forward and bravely pointing an accusing finger at Gus Boulis’ "real" killer, who turned out, alas, and all too conveniently, to be already dead, Adam Kidan got his federal prison sentence cut… in half.
Despite having a string of well-documented character defects that mark him as a prime candidate for an invitation to Michael Milken's Sociopaths Ball, somebody in our government clearly wanted Adam Kidan to really really like him.
In an opening statement lasting over an hour, prosecutor Gregg Rossman described a scenario right out of a Hollywood movie — shady financial deals, powerful Washington D.C. interests, mob figures, convicted felons…All he left out was the real reason for the terrifying end of one of South Florida's most prominent businessmen.
Prosecutors said they "didn't believe" Kidan or Abramoff played any role in the murder of Boulis.
Because I found the statement so amazingly unbelievable, I collected examples of how various national newspapers had phrased it.
“Abramoff had nothing to do with Boulis' death,” said prosecutor Brian Cavanaugh, in a straighforward, if unconvincing, explanation. He went on to say he can understand why defense lawyers would want to look into it. "They have a right to investigate their case," Cavanaugh said. "They perceive things differently than we do."
"Prosecutors said they believe Moscatiello, Ferrari and Fiorillo had Boulis killed without Kidan's knowledge," read another, "then pressured the lad to continue paying protection money."
Elsewhere, prosecutors theory of the case suggested the Goombah Gambinos had killed Boulis to "encourage" Kidan to keep paying protection money.
“According to prosecutors, “Big Tony” Moscatiello saw Kidan and SunCruz as a continuous income stream. Boulis was a threat to that income. Boulis’ attempt to regain control over SunCruz, threatened lucrative contracts they had with the new owners.”
The prosecutor’s reasoning made no sense. Compared to the real stakes involved in controlling SunCruz, the Gambino torpedoes bodyguard contracts were strictly penny ante. Also, since Kidan was ostensibly paying for their bodyguard services because he was worried about being “rubbed out’ by Boulis, wouldn't eliminating the threat posed by Boulis also eliminate the need for the "lucrative" bodyguard contract?
Recall for a moment Tijuana prosecutors claim that Jorge Rhon's bodyguard killed journalist Hector Felix over something the journalist hadn't written about him. Jack Abramoff and Jorge Hank Rhon must have something powerfully compelling in common.
Determined to shield jurors from realizing that the people responsible for ordering the murder of Gus Boulis are not sitting in the dock—and never will be—prosecutors since the trial began have engaged in tortured reasoning that would be right at home in courtrooms in Tijuana.
They believe the gunman who shot Boulis to death was a man named John Gurino, who was killed in a dispute with a Boca Raton delicatessen owner two years later.
Eight years ago, some believed the Florida State’s Attorney’s Office was about to charge Jack Abramoff and Adam Kidan, then on trial for fraud for stealing the SunCruz line through blatant financial fraud, in the murder of Gus Boulis.
Wrote one optimistic pundit, “Murder trumps fraud in the prosecutorial world.” But neither Abramoff or Adam Kidan was ever named as a suspect. The answer to “why not Kidan?” is easy.
No one would be able to convince a jury that the buck stopped with him. (Kidan was the man, after all, who wrote checks(totaling $200,000) to pay for the hit.) That meant charging Abramoff.
The kid glove treatment both men received illustrated how little reason there was for ever believing that the result of the Abramoff Scandal would be a big broom sweeping everything clean.
The Abramoff Scandal, like the Jorge Rhon murder scandal in Tijuana, and like Iran Contra and every other recent American scandal,is deemed too big to ever be allowed to break.
Moscatiello told detectives that Kidan had ordered the hit. Prosecutors apparently don't believe him. Anyone doubting his assertion should perform a simple thought experiment:
“You’ve just bought a life insurance policy for $10 million on your spouse, who is then shot three times at close range with hollow point rounds by people authorities identify as Gambino hit men who recently cashed big checks from you.
Is writing a quarter million dollars worth of checks (for no discernible purpose) to Mafia hit men later charged with the murder of the check-writer’s biggest enemy just another in the long line of "freak coincidences" for which Florida is justly famous?