Pistorius 72


The secret to commiting the perfect murder, killing someone and getting away with it, is to become a celebrity first. The media wave yesterday and today is that Pistorius is suddenly vindicated by the inarticulate policeman who could not cope with a very glib defence lawyer. It is like watching “Chicago” for real.

Botha was bamboozled by the defence counsel into saying that the police had no evidence that contradicted Pistorius’ version of events. But he had plainly given just such evidence – for example the height and downward angle of the shots indicating Pistorius was wearing his artificial legs. Pistorius had to walk right past the bed where he claims to have believed Steenkamp was to get to the place where he fired the shots, if he told the truth about where he was coming from. He did not bother to check on Steenkamp. He took the revolver from a holster by Steenkamp’s side of the bed. All of that contradicted Pistorius’ account of events. That a policeman was not verbally dexterous enough to put it together under pressure does not alter the facts.

Actually the prosecution had already made the most vital point right at the start of the trial. Even if the person locked in the toilet (and it appears it was a small discreet toilet, not a bathroom) had been a burglar, it would still be murder to pump four bullets in to them. Not to mention the fact that he made, by his own account, no attempt to ascertain who was in the toilet or where Steenkamp was.

Violence against women in South Africa, and gun murder, are both at epidemic levels. Anywhere else it would be astonishing that both the lead policemen and Pistorius himself had been involved in other incidents of shooting at people in the last two years.

I have always held that prison as a punishment should only be given to those who are an active danger to others. Even if you accept every word of Pistorius’ account, he should be in prison for it. I have a sinking feeling he will not be.


72 thoughts on “Pistorius

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  • Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    “Clearly this was murder. How many burglars hang out in the bathroom – was he supposed to be stealing the toilet paper? If I got up in the middle of the night and found the bathroom occupied, it’s rather likely to be the misses in there, not a burglar.

    Would there be any problem in saying, “You stay where you are until the police arrive – open the door and I’ll fire!””

    Glenn; It seems like Pistorius has a pretty flimsy explanation. Protecting home and hearth does come to the front, in some cases; like these two guys.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2002/sep/11/stevenmorris

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Martin_(farmer)

  • Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    Anon @ 3:01

    This is not really new, except for the bloggers, who are often treated like nuts and conspiracy theorists. Video, which used to be infallible, is increasingly subject to fraud, but still sometimes gives some traction to an alternative story.

    Walter Cronkite, who is viewed by many as a good journo, offered his services toward the propaganda machine in WWII, as did Ernie Pyle.

    It’s gotten worse, however. The ‘Embedded’ (a proper appellation) Journos during the Iraq war where totally in the tank for the military mission.

    Too often, the Journos are not the sharpest knives in the drawer.

  • jonny 2 jons

    And so it goes…..as The Sun spin doctor Higgins arrives Botha gets booted off the case….just like Goncalo Ameral and the vile McCann scam.

  • Anon

    Ben,

    I just linked it as it was an interesting story about Jamie Shea who was asked about above. Not arguing it’s a brand new thing 🙂

  • Mary

    A fence sitting apologia from Greenslade for the Sun and Mohan. We even have to read what Wallis thinks. WGAF:)
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/greenslade/2013/feb/15/sun-oscar-pistorius

    ~~
    Jonny2Jons mentioned Higgins. See how Rebekah Wade as she was then tried to warn Clive Soley off.

    The case of the Sun editor, sexual harassment and a £500,000 payoff

    David Hencke, Westminster correspondent
    The Guardian, Wednesday 12 November 2003 07.41 GMT

    Rupert Murdoch’s company, News International, paid £500,000 to silence allegations of serious sexual harassment against a former editor of the Sun newspaper, a Labour MP claimed yesterday.
    Stuart Higgins was accused of crude and offensive behaviour towards his executive secretary during the time he edited the paper between 1994 and 1998. The Labour MP Clive Soley told parliament that staff on Britain’s biggest-selling daily newspaper had suffered “sexual harassment and bullying”.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2003/nov/12/uk.pressandpublishing

  • Dreoilin

    “The media wave yesterday and today is that Pistorius is suddenly vindicated by the inarticulate policeman who could not cope with a very glib defence lawyer.” – Craig

    The “inarticulate policeman” turns out today to have Afrikaans as his first language – not English, in which he was giving evidence.

    “The cop leading the investigation is accused of murder………7 murders.”

    No, Ben, 7 attempted murders. I don’t think anyone died.
    But we know virtually nothing about that incident.
    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2013/0221/breaking1.html

  • bill

    She was also wearing shorts, despite having an ‘overnight bag’. Which suggests she hadn’t immediately been in bed as Pistorius claims, but had in fact got dressed, presumably to leave. It’s not difficult to imagine that this act of defiance prompted her murder.

  • Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    These detectives might eventually be charged with attempted murder, but i doubt it.

    BTW; When I saw this truck on the news I quickly counted 50 bullet holes from my viewpoint on the rear of the truck and cab, not the twenty people heard in the volley.

    COP RIOT? Trigger happy and angry cops looking to off the perp? Botha?

    “A team of Los Angeles police officers protecting the home of a high-ranking officer in the 19500 block of Redbeam Avenue believed a pickup truck that stopped in front of the house matched Dorner’s blue Nissan Titan. Police opened fire, wounding two women tossing copies of the Los Angeles Times onto porches.

    A neighbor said he heard as many as 20 shots.

    “Tragically, we believe this was a case of mistaken identity by the officers,” LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said.”

    http://tbrnews.com/news/redondo_beach/police-confuse-trucks-for-dorner-s-shoot-at-three-people/article_a4bf7840-71ba-11e2-8abe-0019bb2963f4.html

    No shite, Sherlock.

  • Dreoilin

    “She was also wearing shorts, despite having an ‘overnight bag’. Which suggests she hadn’t immediately been in bed as Pistorius claims …” — bill

    Pyjamas for young women often have “shorts” as bottoms, rather than full length pants.

  • Dreoilin

    “What’s this nonsense about the witness who heard screaming and shouting being declared unreliable, because they were 600 feet away?”

    Glenn, Botha originally said 600 metres. That was later amended to 300 metres. But he admitted that the witness(es) could not identify the voices.

    I think Pistorius was no angel. I think he had a temper and may also have been a bit trigger happy. He liked his guns. I doubt very much if he intended to kill her. I think he was just bloody stupid, in not checking where she was before blasting away at the toilet door.
    And then got the shock of his life.

  • Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    In Cronkite’s Bio, it was revealed that Cronkite, the liberal, not only supported Eisenhower in 1952 and and 1956; he worked hard in his job to defeat Adlai Stevenson.

    Greenwald on Press Bedfellows…..

    “A Pew poll found that in the week leading up to the 2012 election, MSNBC did not air a single story critical of the President or a single positive story about Romney – not a single one – even as Fox aired a few negative ones about Romney and a few positive ones about Obama. Meanwhile, Obama campaign aides who appeared on MSNBC were typically treated with greater deference than that shown to the British Queen when one of her most adoring subjects is in her presence for the first time.

    Surveying this assembled data, one does not need to be a veteran cable news executive to see what MSNBC has been so sorely lacking: people who loyally defend President Obama. Thankfully, MSNBC is now boldly fixing that glaring problem; they began two weeks ago with this:

    “Former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs has become a contributor for MSNBC. Rachel Maddow introduced Gibbs as a new member of her network’s stable in the final minutes before President Obama’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night. . . . Gibbs was White House press secretary from 2009 to early 2011, when he left to become a senior campaign adviser for Obama’s re-election.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/feb/19/msnbc-axelrod-gibbs-obama

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    Mary, in connection with the Pistorius story, writes (13h03) :

    “The girl was beautiful. She would have been a good choice for P. Harry.”

    Was that meant to be funny? Or a bit of social commentary?

  • glenn

    Ben wrote, “MSNBC did not air a single story critical of the President or a single positive story about Romney – not a single one…

    Might that not simply be because there was nothing positive that could be said about Bishop Romney? 😉

    *

    Habbabkuk wrote, “Was that meant to be funny? Or a bit of social commentary?

    Actually, I thought this was Mary checking that our collective gag reflex was working…

  • Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    “Might that not simply be because there was nothing positive that could be said about Bishop Romney? ”

    The White Salamander speaks highly of him , Glenn 🙂

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    @ Glenn :

    Are you the Glenn_uk who was once kind enough to persuade your algo something or other to calculate who posted how many times on a number of threads?

    If so, do you think you could persuade your algo to do the same thing again for, say, the last 6 threads?

  • Theo

    @Arbed and Mary – Sweden is not a member of NATO – yet. It has entered into closer and closer cooperation with NATO in the last few years, to the point that some within Sweden think they should just join and get it over with. I don’t know if this is likely to happen, but Swedish neutrality is dead – as I believe Carl Bildt himself said a few years ago. It died quietly and without fanfare sometime between 1990 and the present.

  • Arbed

    Thanks Theo,

    “but Swedish neutrality is dead – as I believe Carl Bildt himself said a few years ago”

    It would be nice to have a link to the actual quote, if you are able to lay hands on one please.

  • glenn

    @Habbabkuk: Yes, one and the same. And certainly – please find the results below. These are the top 8 for each of the last 6 posts.

    —–start

    Apple 00:53:37 # for i in `ls posts`; do ./auth-count posts/$i |head -8; echo; echo —————; echo; done

    Start count on Israel Grants Oil Rights in Syria to Murdoch and Rothschild

    7 Mary
    7 Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)
    5 lwtc247
    4 Arbed
    3 Dreoilin
    2 glenn

    —————

    Start count on Pistorius

    26 Mary
    5 craig
    5 Venceremos
    5 Habbabkuk (La vita è bella)
    4 crab
    4 John Goss

    —————

    Start count on Smoking Gun For Foreign Office/BBC Propaganda

    18 Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)
    15 craig
    13 Mary
    7 Jim
    7 Anon
    6 N_

    —————

    Start count on That Mitchell & Webb Crook

    36 Mary
    19 KarimovaRevengeFantasist
    11 guano
    11 Ex Pat
    10 doug scorgie
    10 N_

    —————

    Start count on John Bolton’s Fake Applause

    6 Jemand
    5 thatcrab
    3 craig
    3 Tom Welsh
    3 Mary
    3 JimmyGiro

    —————

    Start count on Arrested Development

    17 Mary
    11 Arbed
    6 Villager
    6 Courtenay Barnett
    5 John Goss
    5 Clark

    —————
    Apple 00:53:37 #

    ———end

  • glenn

    Whoops… by “the last 8” I didn’t take into account the title for each and a line break, so you’ve only got the top 6 for each thread 🙂

  • glenn

    @Dreoilin: Re: 600 meters vs 600 feet. I stand corrected, had misheard the report on the news the day before.

    All the same – sound travels a lot further at night, particularly in South Africa, because it’s much cheaper. Unless the witness had totally made it up, or the report been fabricated, it means they were awake and aware of each others’ presence in the house.

    Is it credible that this guy would have woken, thought there was a burglar about the place, got his legs and shooting iron, and set about blasting at the bathroom door (behind which he supposedly thought the burglar was hiding), without even checking for the presence of his misses? Without making sure she was safe first, maybe telling her to call the police – or to hide?

    This scenario sounds implausibly odd. Might this not be more likely: They were in a screaming match, she runs to the one place in where she can lock herself – in the bathroom. After some thumping on the door and still screaming at each other, he fires through the door. She’s pushing her weight against the door to prevent him breaking through it – he knows her exact position.

    Those carbon-fibre springs he uses as lower legs can get up a lot of speed, but they’re not going to provide much strength for heaving the door (not with her pushing back on it), and charging the door requires a distance to run up at it (which he didn’t have). Very frustrating for such a great man, to have a mere woman defeat him in this way.

    *

    Incidentally – it’s a mistake that people generally make, during some major in-house confrontation, to run and lock oneself in the bathroom. If the calculation is that the other person isn’t so desperate as to bust the lock, fair enough. But a violent criminal isn’t going to balk at a flimsy lock. Remember this – the place to make your last stand is the kitchen – the household armoury. There are more than enough weapons immediately to hand, and you can properly tool yourself up within a few seconds.

  • glenn

    Ben: I’m not sure why our friend Habbabkuk wants the figures, but is there any harm? It’s only boiling down that which is readily determinable anyway.

  • Theo

    Arbed – this was part of a talk by a Swedish journalist, Britt-Marie Mattsson, from memory, so I don’t have the source – and it is possible I have misremembered. Looking at Swedish Wikipedia http://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sveriges_utrikespolitik Bildt said in a 2010 statement on foreign policy that Sweden as a member of the EU has a mutual responsibility with other EU lands for security – Sweden will come to the aid of other EU countries in an emergency, as others will be expected to come to Sweden’s aid.

    The wiki article also states that since 2002 Swedish policy aims at remaining outside military alliances but can still cooperate with NATO, the UN and other EU countries against “threats to peace and security”. So they seem to be having their cake and eating it, officially non-aligned but still cooperating with NATO and others.

    At any rate, one of Mattsson’s main points was that the fundamental principle of Swedish foreign policy since WW2 – neutrality – had been abandoned without any public debate.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    @ Ben Franklin (01h05) and @ Glenn’s response (01h38) :

    Thank you very much, Glenn.

    Yes, I can’t see the harm either.

    I wonder if we’re coming to a situation where not only is one not allowed to disagree with the prevailing orthodoxies but also one is not even allowed to know which of the Eminences has posted how often and where….

    I also wonder (but not too much) what Ben could have meant with that slightly minatory “Glenn, you’re playing with fire, mate” ?

  • nevermind

    Exactly, well said Craig. Her should rightly go to prison for this murder and he will get off. Discrediting of the leading police officer, for an unrelated incident, when this must have been known before he was assigned this case, stinks of behind the scene machinations.

    I think that the last great white hope for SA will be bailed and get away with murdering his wife, his anger problems and previous shooting incidents will not matter much.
    Roll up the wagons and form a circle….

  • Mary

    Unbelievably I heard that they were using the example of Julian Assange taking refuge in the embassy as a reason not to grant bail to Pistorius.

    The court decision will be made 12.30pm our time.

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