Senator Ted Kennedy find himself on the federal “no fly” list of suspected terrorists.

Now here is a news story from BostonHerald.com that doesn’t encourage much faith that the federal “no fly” list is a good idea. It seems that Senator Ted Kennedy, easily one of the more recognizable politicians around, was denied boarding on three U.S. Airways shuttle flights in Boston, D.C. and New York last March because his name was on the list of suspected terrorists. Now as much as some folks in the GOP may argue otherwise, Kennedy is hardly a terrorist and you’d think that someone with his clout wouldn’t have much trouble getting the situation resolved after the first incident with just a simple phone call to Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge. You’d think that, but you’d be wrong. It took three calls to Ridge before the issue was cleared up:

“It happened even after (Ridge) called to apologize,” Kennedy (D- Mass.) told a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. “He couldn’t get my name off the list for a period of weeks.” Kennedy is concerned average fliers face even worse problems, an aide said.

Gee, ya think? The response from Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman Ann Davis doesn’t do much to reassure me on the matter:

But Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman Ann Davis insisted Kennedy “is not on the list, not now or ever. His name was similar to someone else’s alias.”

She added that the senator “had to spend a little extra time at the ticket counter, which is unfortunate.”

Wait a minute here. Is she saying that your name doesn’t have to actually be on the list to have you kept off a flight, it just has to be “similar” to a name that is on the list? How is that in any way supposed to make us feel better? This whole system is pretty idiotic and that should be obvious when someone like Ted Kennedy can end up having a hard time flying because of it.

38 thoughts on “Senator Ted Kennedy find himself on the federal “no fly” list of suspected terrorists.

  1. It’s scary that someone like Kennedy has such a hard time dealing with the issue. If I came up “close” to a name on the list, what would I wind up doing? I certainly can’t call Mr Ridge to solve the problem.

    My first flight since 9/11 is coming up pretty soon. The idea of having to take my shoes off to prove that they are not bombs, just seems insane to me. There are so, so many other items we wear regularly that could be used as a weapon. A belt, for instance. Take it off, make a loop, and put it around someone’s neck. For that matter, shoe laces.

  2. If they keep treating people like criminals, people will start acting like criminals.  I can picture some pissed off rednecks taking potshots with .50 caliber rifles at low flying aircraft.

    Maybe it’s the sleep deprivation talking.

  3. I went flying as soon as the planes were back in the air after 9/11 and had no worries.  Obviously I left anything that could be construed as a weapon in my checked luggage.  Except…

    You could use detcord to tie your shoes. You could weave a belt out of detcord and make a buckle with an integrated detonator.  You could make a fountain pen that contained a hypodermic of some fast-acting toxin.  You could bring along a copy of the Patriot act and threaten to hit someone on the head with it.

    As long as the policy is never to give up control of the plane to an unauthorized person no matter what, you couldn’t repeat 9/11.  At most you could crash the plane in some random spot.

    So I’d have to agree the biggest threat to flyers is the security personnel who are apparently incapable of exercising common sense. (To avoid re-starting a pointless discussion from another thread, I am not advocating against security, but against idiots with badges, who make us less secure.)

  4. Then there are the fun securty agents that are taking advantage of their position. Stealing items from people claiming that they are on the list of items that can’t go on planes. (There was a story not that long ago)

    I wonder how long it will be before a security agent is hired that is secretly working for terrorists…

  5. It’s difficult to tell from the Herald story, but it’s not all that different, yes, from what happened to me.  On going to get my boarding pas, my name turned out to be the same as a name or alias on the No-Fly list.  They took my Drivers License and called back to the Mother Ship and confirmed that I wasn’t the evil dude they were looking for.

    The advice I got last time was to add in my middle initial to my reservations, and that’s what would keep my name from being flagged.

    Now, I suspect that Teddy doesn’t go to the counter himself to get his boarding pass (that’s what he has “aides” for), so if there were an “Edward Kennedy” or an “Ed Kennedy” in the system, it would probably be *more* hassle for him to get his boarding pass than for me (since there are, after all, procedures for clearing someone, and I actually feel a bit better knowing that someone can’t just wave their hands and get a pass). 

    And that it took a few weeks to clear that name out of the system doesn’t bother me, either; if there really *is* a Bad Guy using that as an alias, why should the name be removed just because it’s inconveniencing Sen. Kennedy?

    Of course, if there were a way for airlines to tie together the reservation holder with other commercial information and confirm electronically that the person in the TSA files wasn’t the same person as the guy asking for reservations, then there wouldn’t be a hassle.  But that sort of tying together of commercial and government databases has been apoplexy-inducing for privacy advocates.  Which means we’re down to tracking names and confirming them manually.  Which is what happened to me, and happened to Teddy, and, frankly, that’s just the way it goes.

  6. This has been one of my pet peeves since I had a lighter stolen by a TSA Worker, and I have ranted enough on this at my site, most of which are in the orignal post about getting ripped off , and other posts on TSA screeners being arrested for ripping off personal items from luggage, and mentioned in a post where i unabashedly whore for donations to replace the lighter that was stolen by the prick TSA Screener.

    Are we really surprised by an agency that cannot hire honest, compotent and humane individuals to screen passangers at airports cant keep its data fucking straight?

    There is no excuse for this but incompotence, something the TSA and DHS has no shortage of

  7. There’s a big difference between dishonest TSA agents ripping off passengers and how names are identified for purposes of further screening or restrictions from flight.

    According to the NY Times article on the matter, the name on the watch list was, in fact, “Edward Kennedy.”

    I don’t know how serious the no-fly flag was on that name, but, again, it doesn’t sound to me like the system actually failed in this case.  Unless, just because there’s an “innocent” Edward Kennedy then we should ignore that we know there’s a “suspect” Edward Kennedy, too.

  8. I guess the big question is how do these names get on this list? Does someone simply have to say: “I saw Edward Kennedy taking pictures of a bridge somewhere, or maybe talking about terrorist activities.” Or are these names on the list because Edward Kennedy has talked to so and so who talked to so and so who is a “known” terrorist.

    We all know how well “witch hunts” work.

  9. There are a lot of questions about how this works. Is it based on the same quality of intelligence that insisted there are WMDs somewhere in Iraq still… Or is it Iran whis week that we are invading?

    The problem here is not so much that he got caught in a SNAFU, but that it took three weeks to straighten out for a sitting Senator. How long would it take for me to get thigns worked out if there was a terror suspeect using my name as an alias?

    Also that there is no intelligence involved here (and I do not mean the Intell kind, but the brian sweat type).

    If a flagged terror suspect has a ticket to be on the 4:05 flight from WallaWalla Washington to East Bumfuk, then why are there not 20 agents waiting for his ass? They obviously knew someone matching a person they are looking for was heading to the Airport, why not be there just in case?

  10. Screening by name is pure bullshit nowadays.  Statistically there should be somewhere in the neighborhood of 200-400 thousand Les Jenkins running around the US today.  What should have happened and didn’t was a little bit of applied common sense.  They could have simply requested further identification, which I’m sure the airport is capable of verifying, and sent him on his inebriated way.

    What concerns me is the reliability of these systems and the proper implementation.  It’s fairly obvious that there are minimal audit procedures in place and anyone that has ever worked in normalizing data can attest to the nightmare of trying to resolve names in database.  I can almost smell a national identification system on the horizon.  Maybe everyone will just get chipped.

  11. I agree that the quality of the info going into the system is critical to the system being useful.  That’s a separate (though vitally important) issue.

    *I* evidently have a terror suspect using my name.  Which means that the last two times I’ve flown, I’ve had my ID checked at each check-in, and taken off somewhere for folks to call Central CENTRAL Intelligence to confirm that I’m not the person they’re looking for. 

    The advice given me was to keep from being a match by making reservations with my middle initial.  Which sounds kind of goofy, but, again, if a law enforcement agency knows about someone named X (however they know about it) as a threat,  what should they do about that?  What info should they communicate to the airlines, in particular what info that can help them differentiate between an EVIL “Edward Kennedy” and a GOOD “Edward Kennedy”—that won’t have privacy advocate pitching a fit, or that won’t disclose potentially damaging info about a *suspect* (as opposed to a *confict*).

  12. deadscot They could have simply requested further identification, which I’m sure the airport is capable of verifying, and sent him on his inebriated way.

    What concerns me is the reliability of these systems and the proper implementation.  It’s fairly obvious that there are minimal audit procedures in place and anyone that has ever worked in normalizing data can attest to the nightmare of trying to resolve names in database.  I can almost smell a national identification system on the horizon.  Maybe everyone will just get chipped.

    Kennedy was delayed but not denied boarding the flight(s) in question. He (or someone) was able to summon up a supervisor who OKed issuing his boarding pass so that he could ultimately stagger on board.

    Remember the two year old story about the activist nun whose name came up on the no fly list? At the time there was concern about the reliability of the data in the list and which agency owned it. I would like to believe that they are doing a better job maintaining the list, but I am more than a little concerned about the potential for abuse. 

    I have only a little bit of experience in maintaining a list of names in a database. But I can say that even a relatively small (dynamic)list requires continuous maintenance—sometimes requiring hand tooling. With the procedures in place, I see now way that a ticket clerk can match a unique identifier for Sen. Kennedy or ***Dave with a unique key in the no-fly list. Kennedy can call a head of agency and eventually get his name off the list. Dave and the rest of us can only hope to somehow make our names unique.

    If everyone gets chipped, the Rapture Ready Index will really go up because of the Mark of the Beast Component (unless it is capped.)

    (past)

  13. To be frank, it’s difficult to tell exactly what happened here with Kennedy, and I hope that nobody will assume that it happened with precisely the implications the senator is presenting.  In my past two flying experiences, I, too, was “delayed but not denied boarding the flight(s) in question,” and in at least one case *that I was aware of* a supervisor was summoned and reviewed/handled the okay of my boarding (still calling back to Central CENTRAL Intelligence to clear me).  It wasn’t a matter of Kennedy having special pull; I went through the same process, handed over my DL to let them check, and was eventually given a boarding pass.

    I won’t say it wasn’t annoying, but it wasn’t like I was actually forbidden to ever fly again, nor was I taken out and roughed up by rogue TSA agents.

    Nor do I know how Kennedy eventually got cleared—it could be that the Evil EK was apprehended, the alias was debunked, the senator’s staff was instructed to make reservations with his middle initial, or (worst of all) Tom Ridge had the record removed from the no-fly list just so that Teddy wouldn’t be inconvenienced.

    I do agree that it’s vital that inclusion into the no-fly list be more rigorous, and that there be the capability of auditing and challenging the info.  But given the apparent wall between linking things like DL records, credit card records, and law enforcement suspect lists, I’m not certain how we can avoid inconviences for folks like me and Teddy if someone uses our name as an alias.

  14. ***Dave- I agree that the truth regarding the Kennedy incident probably lies somewhere in the middle of the stories being told by the TSA spokesperson and Kennedy himself.  What I think this story does is raise awareness to the flawed concept of being able to keep and maintain an accurate and effective ‘no-fly’ list given the current data integration constraints.

    Besides, if they’ve got a list of people they don’t want flying, I’m not sure I want them driving around me either.  So why not start having these people bicycle everywhere butt nekkid until they’re cleared by the authorities.

  15. Pfft, if they can keep records of people down to the exact serial number of the telephone in their house and the brand of food they buy for their pets, they surely can can keep records on who is or who isn’t supposed to be on that list. (And yes, as a former employee of the State of Pennsylvania, I got to see exactly what the IRS, DOH, etc keep in their records on people…it makes CARNIVORE look like a fun game of Memory.) It boils down to lazyness, bilking more tax dollars out of an already over-taxed nation, and making the “appearance” of security without actually doing anything major to actually secure anything but their own jobs and associated incomes. Don’t let them fool you.

  16. Doesn’t the whole thing miss the point?  A “No Fly” list shouldn’t really be needed.  What’s needed are secure cockpits!  The Airline manufacturers and the Airlines were protected from lawsuits by the congress, If I am not miss-taken; to protect them from their own negligence.  Airline highjackings have been happeneing for 30 yrs.  When will we get an airliner where the cockpit cannot be accesseed from the passenger cabin?  Ohhh but it will cost too much!  What were the costs of 9/11?

  17. I think stronger cockpit doors have already been installed and policies have been changed to allow for defense against, instead of compliance with (!) the hijacker.  Just a couple more changes and we could have a secure cockpit this afternoon:

    1) a law that protects passengers and crew from lawsuits for piling on anyone who tries to reach the cockpit.  This alone would have prevented 9/11 as the hijackers only had token weapons.  Using their little boxcutters they couldn’t possibly have taken on an angry mob.  (Note to congress: you supply the law, we’ll supply the angry mob.  Anyone wishing not to be lynched at 36,000 feet should refrain from attempting to storm the cockpit.)

    2) an armed air marshall sitting outside the cockpit, facing the rear.

    (dusting off hands) There!  Wasn’t that simple? wink

    Wonder what anti-hijacking provisions will be built into the Boeing 7E7?  It’s a new plane so correct design would be cheaper than retrofitting older planes.

  18. My biggest worry about terrorist suspect lists is the abuse factor. I mean you tick off the government and bang your name is added to a list somewhere. Anyway I figure a lot of people are being monitored for this or that. Maybe we should make all our signatures on all our online stuff read Ashcroft Sucks! It might be worth a laugh anyway.

  19. 2) an armed air marshall sitting outside the cockpit, facing the rear.

    That would certainly work. But I suspect that the Department of Homeland Security doesn’t have the staff to provide 100% coverage. Therefore, the system has to rely on anonymity—Plan B—to provide a deterrent (there might be a Marshal on board).

    Unfortunately Plan B has problems of its own. According to an article in the LA Times, new rules requiring that Marshals stay in specified motels may further blow their cover. (They have to tell the desk clerk that they are Marshals in order to receive the discount.)

    The dispute is the latest turn in an increasingly rancorous relationship between the marshals and their federal bosses. The marshals already were upset by rigid dress codes and grooming rules that they say make them so conspicuous among today’s “dress-down” air travelers that passengers sometimes point them out publicly.

  20. But I suspect the Department of Homeland Security doesn’t have the staff to provide 100% coverage.  Therefore the system has to rely on anonymity…

    I bet US soldiers who object to going to Iraq would jump at the chance to volunteer for this duty.  Ditto for soldiers who are in trouble for “Don’t ask, don’t tell.” 

    It would make everyone happy except the most extreme “punish the people who have a conscience” hard-asses.  I’d love to see an armed US soldier sitting outside the cockpit and I bet they’d love to do it. 

    I cannot imagine a terrorist being deterred by the chance that there might be an air marshall somewhere on board.  Not if they’re willing to fly the plane into a building once they take it over.

  21. I’d love to see an armed US soldier sitting outside the cockpit and I bet they’d love to do it.

    Only problem is AFAIR the Regular Army is not supposed to act with in the borders of the US… and I would not want them to anyway … keep the army 20 leagues outside of Rome smile

  22. Only problem is AFAIR the Regular Army is not supposed to act with in the borders of the US… and I would not want them to anyway … keep the army 20 leagues outside of Rome

    I’m not sure that’s entirely the case, but even so, there are hundreds of thousands of reservists and guardsman being called into duty.  I would agree with DOF that a few thousand of these troops would love to have these stateside assignments.  Especially those guys that were former scouts, rangers, and other specialty operations before separating from service.

    It would definitely make for one hell of a deterrent to have a uniformed soldier sitting right outside the cockpit.  Let ‘em fly and give them the frequent flyer miles as a combat bonus.

    The only thing is that it might make those planes more attractive to radical terrorists.

    It’s either that or take on a stance as Turkey did back in the 70’s and just blow up any hijacked plane.

  23. Hmmm…
    Or just properly fund the Marshals program?

    Think about how much it will cost to put an regular army or reservist in every plane. Now add to that the cost of replacing him for what he was originally assigned to.

    Now, keep said soldier where he should be because they are not well trained to be police officers as we have seen time and time again, and properly fund the Air Marshal program and put them in uniform on every flight over X miles, and undercover on all short flights/smaller aircraft.

    This gives us 100% coverage on the airliners, and the same/better coverage on puddle jumpers/short flights.

    The air marshals are trained for this job, the army is not… don’t repurpose people for the sake of repurposing them… Not all tools are hammers, nor fasteners nails smile

  24. Having no idea what an Air Marshal earns, I can only speculate about cost savings.  If we put these guys in a military type uniform, sit them up front and maybe have one undercover marshal fly with him as a partner I would be all for it.

    As far as ‘re-purposing’ the troops.  This is already happening on the grandest scale.  I have friends that I trained with as Russian and Chinese linguists that are currently working as MP’s, mail clerks, admin, and escort detail.  Things they were never trained to do but have been called up from their civilian lives to backfill our strained regular army.

    If things proceed along the lines that they have in the last 10 years we won’t need so much of a large fighting force, but rather a small attack force and a very large police force.

  25. I think the idea of adding a visually-knowable TSA agent onto flights is an idea worth thinking about; However, it would have to be on all flights: “Gee, Honny, why doesn’t our flight to Bangalore have a TSA detail?”  Or, for the frequent fliers:  “I travel on business to Munchen all the time. But, only 3 out of 10 flights have TSA agents.”  If we have visible TSA agents (that accompany the silent runners), then we need them on all flights.  Money. And you sure can’t do that with tax cuts and two active war fronts.

    In Israel, the epitome of security in American culture, there is a slang term to describe security personel: Guerilla(sp?).  Rummaging through the contents of sweaty male student back-packs, mother’s purses, and garment bags doesn’t attract the brighest, nor the most ambitous.  Understandably, it pays poorly in all cultures.

    If we want better security, we’ll have to pay for it (in taxes or further budget cuts).  You can’t have security and not pay for it financially.

    rob@egoz.org

  26. BZW, more than one source issues a “watch list.”  And, each entity (e.g., air carrier) maintains their own “watch list.”  So, to make changes not only take time to identify the source, but to propagate the corrections, additions, and deleitions.

    If you want a more orderly, updateable, and maintainable “watch list”, then support a “license to travel” or some other national ID system.

    If you do not support the concept of a “watch list”, then sit down and watch some footage of 9/11, then think of worse.

    rob@egoz.org  (“why”)

  27. *doesn’t support nation ID’s or watch lists, sits down and thinks of worse things then 9/11*

    It’s not too hard either, I can imagine solders marching through our streets daily to “keep us safe” from this or that threat. I can see people being removed from their homes for saying, “I don’t like the way things are going now.” I think Benjamin Franklin put it best when he said, “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

  28. It’s not too hard either, I can imagine solders marching through our streets daily to “keep us safe” from this or that threat. I can see people being removed from their homes for saying, “I don’t like the way things are going now.”

    So can I, and Ben Franklin didn’t have to imagine it – he’d seen it.  But the slippery-slope argument can also make it impossible for us to think about what’s necessary when there is a real threat.  Get ready to start a precarious balancing act.

    We need to be thinking about how to ensure basic freedoms in the age of biometric-encoded smart cards and global databases – because that will soon be our reality.  Freedom of speech, in particular, will need bulletproof protection because no one should be persecuted for what they say or think.

    Such persecutions (and prosecutions) are happening right now – mostly lawsuits for saying things that offend someone but the precedent puts all political speech at risk. 

    Privacy?  Forget it – you don’t have any.  At least an accurate national ID system would prevent you from being confused with someone else.  And it would make identity theft nearly impossible.  But it would make correcting a successful identity theft far more difficult – again a legal aspect we’re overdue to start working on.

    I cherish the thought of being able to “disappear” and travel anonymously, off everyone’s radar, but the damage a single traveller can do now makes that a wistful dream.  The constitution has no guarantee of anonymity and the “right to privacy” is an interpretation, not explicitly spelled out.  The next best thing would be super-strong protection for the explicit freedoms.

  29. Get ready to start a precarious balancing act.

    We need to be thinking about how to ensure basic freedoms in the age of biometric-encoded smart cards and global databases – because that will soon be our reality.  Freedom of speech, in particular, will need bulletproof protection because no one should be persecuted for what they say or think.

    Privacy? Forget it – you don’t have any.

    Recently I saw two articles that bear on this. The first appeared in GOVEXEC.com, and it discusses an outfit called ChoicePoint (CP) that collects and markets data on individuals. About 40% of their revenue comes from business with the government.

    For years, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service, the Defense Department, the Social Security Administration and about three dozen other federal agencies have called on ChoicePoint to identify tax evaders by uncovering hidden assets, root out medical benefits fraud and help track down criminal suspects. ChoicePoint won accolades in 2003 for leading federal and local officials to the Washington snipers, by mining name and license plate data the company owns to identify the suspects.

    CP claims that they can reduce risk for their clients by separating dangerous people from trusted people.

    Here are some problems.
    – CP can and has made classification errors (as could anyone.) In one instance an individual had to sue to have her record(s) corrected.
    – The government, with suitable controls, can query privately maintained databases. However, the article hints that the FBI may sometimes operate in the gray areas of their own rules.

    After 9/11 CP, Verified Identity Card Inc., Transcore (an outfit that manufactures card readers) and a homeland security venture capital firm established a working relationship. They would like to market a voluntary, nationally accepted ID card. This fits in very nicely with the conservative’s notion that we should privatize everything.

    The second on line article, Fear for Sale by Greg Palast, presents a more sinister view of CP’s relationship with the government. Palast author of The Best Democracy Money Can Buy starts by recounting CP’s involvement in the 2000 election fraud in Florida.

    For ChoicePoint, with its 15-billion-plus records on every living and dying being in the United States, Ground Zero would become a profit center lined with gold. Contracts would gush forth from War on Terror fever not hurt by the fact that ChoicePoint did something for George W. Bush that the voters would not: select him as our president.

    Here’s how they did it. Before the 2000 election, Choice-Point unit Database Technologies, under a $4 million no-bid contract under the control of Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, was paid to identify felons who had illegally registered to vote. The ChoicePoint outfit altogether fingered 94,000 Florida residents. As it turned out, less than 3,000 had a verifiable criminal record; almost everyone on the list had the right to vote. The tens of thousands of “purged

  30. What’s wrong with treating criminals like criminals? Ted Kennedy shouldn’t be flying anyway. He should be in jail for what he did to Mary Joe Kopechni and obstruction of justice in the investigation thereof. And after all, if Ted Kennedy isn’t guilty who is??? By the way, it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that Kennedy and his clan, deliberatelty had Ted’s name place on the list just to create negative controversy on the subject. In my opinion, Kennedy and Kerry should be facing the charges of treason . . . not re-election!

  31. Reid (the shoe bomber) killed less people than Teddy Kennedy.

    They say Mary Jo lived for 2 hours after Teddy went back with buddies to decide what to do about her body.  She had an air bubble in the car underwater. .. . so she sat there while fatboy Teddy decided if he was going to tell the cops she was driving alone.  Go to Y T K.com its got the whole story.  Facinating and pathetic at the same time.

    I wish the man would meet his maker one day, and make right the wrongs he has done.  But that will not happen.  Ted Kennedy is an evil man and will never reach the pearly gates of heaven.  He covered up the murder, and I’m sure he looks back on the situation, sipping his Chivas, and laughs.

    I am ashamed to be from the Commonweatlh. . .born and raised.  This fat and stupid thing IS a terrorist.

  32. A little perspective here TBONE.

    For the record, I was more than a little upset about the MJK/Ted Kennedy business as the story unfolded, and Kennedy is not on my short list of favorite Senators.

    The difference between the two situations you described is intent. DUI or just driving recklessly, I cannot believe that Kennedy deliberately drove off the road to kill Mary Jo. Richard Reid (probably one of Islam’s stupidest converts) boarded that plane with the intent of killing people.

    Having said that, actions matter. In this life justice, whatever that is, will probably not be served in the MJK/TK matter. In the Reid case to a certain extent it will.

    Will Kennedy and Reid answer to their respective makers? A lot of people here think that is a mute question.

    As to the no fly list, the subject of the thread, why did Jim Moore, coauthor of Bush’s Brain, suddenly find himself said list?

  33. he drove drunk, he made a mistake.

    But he didn’t pay for it, justice was not served.  I have driven drunk before, I got caught. . . I didn’t kill anyone.  I took my punishment, I plead guilty too. 

    But I’m not a Kennedy so I can’t get away with murder.  In the eyes of many, if you commit manslaughter, which he did, you take your punishment instead of letting her suffocate while figuring out how you’re going to get out of the situation.

    Would you like to defend the Butcher of Boston some more or should I pick a murderer to defend? 

    T

  34. What did you not understand about my post?

    he drove drunk, he made a mistake.

    True.

    But he didn’t pay for it, justice was not served.  I have driven drunk before, I got caught. . . I didn’t kill anyone.  I took my punishment, I plead guilty too.

    But I’m not a Kennedy so I can’t get away with murder.  In the eyes of many, if you commit manslaughter, which he did, you take your punishment instead of letting her suffocate while figuring out how you’re going to get out of the situation.

    In a situation not involving injury or death, you stood up and took responsibility for your actions—admirable. In a much more serious situation Kennedy didn’t stand up—not at all admirable.

    There is a legal distinction between manslaughter and murder. I am not sure what the appropriate charge should have been but I don’t think it would have been murder. Also, I pretty clearly indicated that I did not think justice was served.

    Would you like to defend the Butcher of Boston some more or should I pick a murderer to defend?

    Major disconnect here—I didn’t defend Kennedy. To the “or” part of your question, no.

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