Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.
--Abraham Lincoln (1809 - 1865)
In Suffolk County there have been numerous Federal investigations into corruption over a period of decades – all of which were unsuccessful. One possible reason for this is that there was no corruption.
The other possibility is that it is so entrenched that the circle-the-wagons mentality, which maintains an elite club of crooked D.A.’s, repressive Police, bought judges and fearful media, makes Federal prosecutions very difficult. Political enemies must be willing to pay the price in Suffolk’s “Democracy.”
The Marty Tankleff case, for example, which the SoHo Journal has been writing about for several years is an example of how an innocent individual was targeted and deprived of almost everything we hold dear in this best of all possible New York counties. From the Suffolk D.A. on down the chain, including prosecutors, judges, and police – do not like to be called out on their behavior. Retaliation is the political norm in the Hamptons.
Currently there is more press freedom in the former Soviet Union than is tolerated in Suffolk County.
And, there is very little in the way of opposition in the media. True Journalism is becoming a dangerous profession. Bloggers write at their own risk.
In Russia and Somalia they shoot people for writing the truth.
In this country they indict them for anything that will get headlines.
As a result of numerous articles that exposed the shameful attempts to keep Marty Tankleff in prison for a crime that he did not commit; commentary on the cover-up and involvement in that travesty by the current D. A. Thomas Spota; the series of blogs by this writer exposing racism in the Hamptons and complicity by the D.A.’s outpost in Justice Court; and, as a result of the unconstitutional behavior by the Town of Southampton in dealing with New Yorkers, property owners and Latinos who live in these properties –- the Suffolk County D.A. ordered and executed a raid on the offices of the SoHo Journal and this blogger. It was a bold effort ordered by Spota to teach journalists that anyone who criticizes him or his corrupt administration can be reached with the aid of the New York City Police Department.
At least 20 Suffolk County Detectives with automatic weapons, supported by three 1st Precinct police including Sgt. Morales conducted the raid.
Business records were taken, personal property and valuables were confiscated and Detectives, who were seeking to silence any opposition to political corruption in Suffolk County and the Hamptons, removed computers containing articles and publication drafts. A child’s cell phone and an artist’s computer were also taken.
Detective Josef Miceli, of the D.A.’s Detectives division -rapidly becoming known to be an individual closesly associated with the corrupt political structure and repression - led the raid.
Miceli is a zealot run by Spota, who has fostered indictments and phony confessions from little old ladies, blacks and poor people for non-criminal violations – (such as the “Star Program” tax deductions). Convictions are obtained by threats of imprisonment and the impossible cost to fight a criminal complaint - which supports the D.A.’s “conviction rate” and subsequent budget demands for law enforcement. Detective Miceli, acted on a phony “tip” initiated by a former police officers working with Town Attorneys (who have already been sued in Federal Court for targeting and retaliation), in attempting to shut down the publication’s offices.
During the raid, one glock-weilding Detective stated, “You don’t like police in this magazine, do you?” as a SoHo Journal was picked up.
Well, Hello! Wonder why you would say that, hey fella?
You’re here for what, suppression of Free of Speech?
As Sol Wachtler once said, “district attorneys now have so much influence on grand juries that 'by and large' they could get them to 'indict a ham sandwich'." And, of course, that’s the plan.
As has been shown in “The Terror” during the days of Josef Stalin, pressure by the State using its unlimited resources can force confessions and threaten to create crimes where none ever existed.
Soon, the show trials will begin anew in America. Anything can be made to appear to be a crime in Suffolk County – especially against one is speaking the truth.
For eight years, civil rights and the Constitution have been whittled away by George Bush – and one can only hope that that will now change under Obama.
This is the current state of our Democracy in the Hamptons.
Freedom-loving tourists and New Yorkers, especially those who believe in Constitutional rights, should stay in Manhattan. Let the Suffolk politicians pay their own bills as they arrest anyone who criticizes them.