Monday, March 16, 2009

Afternoon Churchill trial

More Lane whacking on Wesson, but she appeared to have had a feist injection over lunch. As the Post points out, she called Churchill's 9/11 essay "cruel and gratuitous."

Lane put up the seven allegations of misconduct the investigative report covered, and noted that the first four (the GAA of 1887, the Arts and Crafts Act of 1990, Captain John Smith and smallpox, and the Mandan and smallpox) all originated with Professor John LaVelle (although actually brought by interim chancellor DiStefano) while the fifth allegation (the Dam the Dams article), was encouraged by him. I assume this signals a full-on assault on LaVelle later in the trial.

As lawyers do, Lane likes to hop around from subject to subject to keep witnesses off-balance. He moved to Rebecca Robbins, comparing what she did in allowing her name to be used as author when Ward had written the piece in question to a judge signing his own name to the work of his clerks. "It's her call, right?" he asked about her doing so. The investigative committee found otherwise, especially since Churchill subsequently cited the article he acknowledged he had written to bolster his arguments in other books and articles.

Lane got Wesson to admit that while the committee had said this fell below scholarly standards, she couldn't point to any standards that spelled out just what was wrong about it.

Lane then tried to get Wesson to admit that "extrinsic pressure" forced the committee to unfairly deny Ward more time to prepare his case. When she denied this, he put up an e-mail Wesson had sent to another committee member, citing a letter from "concerned parents" that had made her "panicky" at the slowness of the process. She said that was just her personal feeling, but that the committee as a whole had often given Churchill more time and finally decided enough was enough--they didn't want the process lasting another year.

Back to the General Allotment Act (like I say, Lane likes to jump around). He compared the absence of terms like "blood quantum" and the like in Churchill's account to the Constitution not containing the word "abortion" or "privacy." Wesson offered to explain why this was a false comparison, but Lane moved on, to ask if she knew what Churchill's motives might have been to falsify. She read from the committee report (p. 23):

To put it most simply, it was part of a pattern and consistent research stratagem to cloak extreme, unsupportable, propaganda-like claims of fact that support Professo Churchill's legal and political claims with the aura of authentic scholarly research . . .

Lane then played a clip of Wesson saying she didn't know what Churchill's motivations were. She replied that she meant she couldn't understand why someone so talented would resort to cheating. Blech.

To the Dam the Dams piece. Wesson admitted that the committee had never contacted Z-mag about the version that appeared in its pages to confirm, as Churchill had claimed, that it was their fault Churchill's co-author was left unnamed. But she didn't say what the report did: that it's the author's responsibility to straighten such problems out. Churchill didn't; more, he claimed sole authorship of the article on his CV.

Fay Cohen. Lane notes that Churchill admitted that the article Cohen wrote, "Implementing Indian Treaty Fishing Rights," was plagiarized for the book The State of Native America, but not by him, a mere copyeditor for the volume. Wesson pointed out, as does the report, that as Churchill was given credit for "taking the lead role" in the volume, and was general editor of the book Cohen's piece had originally appeared in just a year before, it was hard to take Churchill's assertion seriously. Again Lane asked what Churchill's motivation could possibly be(and this is the quote of the day):

Wesson: Professor Cohen gave us reasons why he would do this.

Lane She is at odds with Churchill, isn't she?

Wesson: I perceived that she was afraid of Ward Churchill.

More later, maybe, on the long wrangle about confidentiality, and whether CU broke it in Ward's case.

Did you know there's a journal called Insurgent Sociologist?

Update: Never mind about my recounting Prof. Lombardo's testimony from this morning. Race to the Bottom makes my coverage in general look quite sick. (On the other hand, I don' wanna cover it the way they do. )

Update II: Seen: Mike Littwin for the morning session; Ken Bonetti, a student advisor in economics at CU and organizer of the embarrassing National Emergency Forum in support of Ward back in 2007, for part of the afternoon; Churchill enforcer Josh Dillabaugh, ditto.

Update III: Rex points out in comments that the John Smith and Mandan allegations were put forward by Thomas Brown. Won't make much difference to Lane's (soon-to-be unveiled) argument that a couple of long-time Chutch-haters were behind most of the allegations.

Update IV: PB notes that the Silver & Gold Record has its special supplement on the Churchill trial out. It doesn't exactly break new ground.

Update V: Noj corrects again, pointing out that the Rocky's Kevin Vaughan was the source of the John Smith allegations. The more the merrier.

Update VI: Sorry, there WAS a journal called Insurgent Sociologist; it's now called Critical Sociology. Same Marxist claptrap, though.

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