February 13, 2013

We must assume that Dorner’s life has ended. He left quite a trail, and many loose ends, which we now have to pick up and make sense of. I plan to resurrect the record of his days in court, under the watchful eye of, and rejected by, Judge David Yaffe, who has just resigned, bowing to the pressure of the corruption exposed by 70 year old Richard Fine, whom he consigned to 18 months of solitary confinement in Men’s Jail, and was released last year. In a way, Yaffe started this whole thing.

We owe the following profound description and overview of what went down to Darwin Adikia, who posted it at CNN.com. It is very much worth reading, and shows how we are all involved, like it or not, by what we do, and by what we don’t do.

And so it ended in bloodshed and flames on the eighth day since Christopher J. Dorner allegedly embarked on a revenge killing spree, targeting LAPD personnel and their families. It was a predictable ending and many regular people had chimed in to say as much. Very few really believed that surviving long enough to see a court room was a plausible scenario for Mr. Dorner. But for many it became wishful thinking for a handful of days. And now the mop-up begins and for the family of the dead deputy the world has just become a much darker place.

What really transpired near Big Bear Lake, CA, may never be known but it will certainly be fodder for folklore and political opportunism. The spin is about to begin in earnest, although how to spin this one in any one direction is a real head-scratcher. One thing is virtually certain — there wasn’t just one set of charred remains in that burnt out cabin. Along with Dorner’s there were also the charred remains of the Potyomkin village that was the new and improved public image of the police. In the eyes of many, that too went up in smoke and the stench still hangs over us.

The LAPD will be dealing with the fallout of the Dorner case for a very long time, thanks to the surreal statements by its chief and an appalling lack of professionalism and restraint by some of its officers. A reputation can take decades of painstaking efforts to build by many but can be shattered in moments by a few. Whatever gains the department has made in community relations since Ramparts and Rodney King, these have now been severely undermined yet again. How can the rank and file be expected to exercise professionalism and restraint when the leadership does not? LAPD Chief Charlie Beck called Dorner a “trained assassin”, just a couple of couple of days after he told us “we trained him”. If you connect Chief Beck’s dots, evidently LAPD is in the business of training assassins? How splendid for the citizens of Los Angeles and the millions who visit the city! Beck didn’t stop there however. “This is an act — and make no mistake about it — of domestic terrorism,” he said. He stopped short of calling it a “Jihad” against the LAPD or the American people. Domestic terrorism? Really? A man that you had previously told us is out to get revenge against the LAPD and the LAPD only? A man who was never known to have articulated a gripe against America as a whole, its policies or way of life, and who has stated no intentions of harming anyone other than a specific group of people in an opaque organization with a blood-stained record that he believes treated him unjustly? A man who has stated absolutely nothing about politics or religion as a motivation for his grievances and actions? If this is the new criteria for labeling someone a “terrorist”, then Chief Beck, you are going to need a lot more space than Camp Gitmo to warehouse the millions of Americans that would fall under your definition. Or perhaps skip straight to the crematoriums.

It is illuminating how many Americans thought that he was laying the foundation for justifying to the public the application of President Obama’s infamous drone doctrine abroad within the borders of the United States. This is precisely what numerous news organizations were reporting — Christopher J. Dorner, a decorated veteran of the United States Navy, became the first known human target for airborne drones on U.S. soil. Their use, reported MSN, was confirmed by Customs and Border Patrol spokesman Ralph DeSio, who revealed the government’s fear that Dorner will make a dash for the Mexican border. That is some distinction! He was of course NOT the first known American citizen to be targeted and executed by drone strikes. Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan were killed by a missile strike in Yemen on Sept. 30, 2011, while al-Awlaki’s son, Abdulrahman, was killed in the country just weeks later on October 14, 2011. He was 16 years old. Again, he was SIXTEEN YEARS OLD. He was born in Denver, CO. During his presidential campaign, Republican Rep. Ron Paul criticized the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, saying: “Al-Awlaki was born here, he is an American citizen. He was never tried or charged for any crimes. No one knows if he killed anybody. … But if the American people accept this blindly and casually that we now have an accepted practice of the president assassinating people who he thinks are bad guys, I think it’s sad.

If this story has proven ANYTHING in a fairly definitive way it is that despite an overwhelmingly negative portrayal of the suspect by the authorities and the media, much of the public remained more than a little skeptical. Even as the flames consumed the cabin that Dorner was holed up in, echoes of Waco, TX and other dreadful episodes in the history of American law enforcement spread over the Internet like wildfire. That in itself says volumes. Whatever the truths in this case are, these are symptoms of a very troubled and divided society and these symptoms go hand in hand with a long line of other symptoms, including the recent events in Newtown. Too many regular Americans found it hard to swallow that this was a story about some guy named Chris Dorner, a killer of four. Even before Dorner burned to death in a cabin surrounded by cops, with no fire engines anywhere near the scene, this story had already become much bigger than any one man could have ever contemplated. It had become a story about how many Americans, maybe a majority or maybe a meaningful minority, have become skeptical or outright distrusting of the authorities that are ostensibly there to protect us. Too many regular folks have come to view the ruling caste as a necessary evil, while some view it as just plain evil. These are not symptoms of a healthy nation that the President contemplated in his State of the Union Address.

The Christopher J. Dorner saga has twisted the Rubik’s cube of American public opinion, revealing different angles of the recent Newtown events and the waves of public opinion and policy response that followed, and it is forcing millions of Americans to finally confront a set of issues that they were heretofore blissfully happy to ignore. Is what our leaders are doing outside of our borders using our tax dollars, including sometimes killing American citizens without an indictment, an arrest, or a trial by their peers, now becoming an American import? This operation was unprecedented in many ways in terms of its scope and the multitude of facts that had to be “managed”. Not surprisingly, total control was elusive and from the beginning facts began to slip out, leading many to scratch their heads. We may have become a complacent nation, too lazy and unwilling to exercise our fundamental rights much of the time, but even our latte-sipping-reality-TV-watching “culture” has its limits. We haven’t entirely lost or ability to lift our heads out of our cocoons and say “Hey, we weren’t born yesterday. What the hell is going on here?!?” Not for nothing, but in the vast majority of published pictures and videos, Christopher J. Dorner had the appearance of the nicest, warmest, most gregarious and well adjusted person — PRECISELY the kind of person that you could possibly want to show up at your door if you had to call 911. How on earth did he get from THAT to THIS?!?

Appearances can be wildly misleading, of course, and you can’t judge a book by its cover. O.J. Simpson had a great smile too. But in a country where African American suspects are usually delivered to the public a-la photos like that of Willie Horton, this was really quite surprising. Even astounding. Christopher J. Dorner was no Willie Horton and he sure as hell was no Adam Lanza. The horrific nature of the Newtown story made it easy for many to embrace the official version of the lone-wolf Adam Lanza, with virtually no scrutiny of mainstream media’s narrative. We were told that we know next to nothing about Lanza because there was nothing to know. That he was essentially an off-the-grid recluse. And many accepted this. Despite conflicting reports and a plethora of oddities, including a newsreel showing the police retrieving a long gun from the trunk of a car, whereas we were told that Lanza used a long gun in the slayings inside the school just before he committed suicide, the grieving public largely embraced the official story. To question it was taboo. When James Tracy, a communications professor at Florida Atlantic University, suggested in a blog post that the Sandy Hook school massacre may not have happened as reported and may have been part of a plot by the Obama administration to promote gun control, for a while it looked as if he may literally be crucified. Now, a month and a half later, we still know next to nothing about what happened in Newtown and who Adam Lanza was. Remarkably, aside from a few old grainy photos of Lanza, his mother Nancy, and his father Peter, our journalistic muckrakers have come up with nothing to document and reveal what the accused mass killer had done with his life in the twenty years that he reportedly spent on earth or in the twenty minutes that changed America. One might think we are talking about a ghost. Christopher Dorner was a very different proposition. A whole lot is known about him before he suddenly became a “murderer” and a “terrorist” and it just doesn’t add up very well. Any way you cut it, this story is a hideous construct and an unflattering reflection of our society.

It would be interesting to get more detail about his Navy service. From the bits and pieces that have been reported thus far, it would seem that he served well, was honorably discharged, and that at least some part of his Navy service overlapped with his employment and/or legal battle with the LAPD. If Dorner was really such a bad apple for so many years and “could not play well with others” within a structured military hierarchy, you would think that this would have been reflected in his Navy service record. Yet, he was honorably discharged barely more than a week ago and to date we have not seen or heard any credible evidence of any red flags during his Navy years.
Here is a summary of his service record released by the Navy just days ago:
Service Dates/Assignments: Arrived – Detached
– Various Reserve Units: 1 Dec 2009 – 21 Jan 2010
– Navy Reserve NAS Fallon, NV: 7 Mar 2009 – 30 Nov 2009
– *30 May 2007 – 6 Mar 2009: Gap of time where Dorner’s military assignment is undisclosed in information released by the U.S. Navy
– Navy Mobilization Processing Site (NMPS) San Diego, CA: 23 Apr 2007 – 29 May 2007
– Coastal Riverine Group Two Det Bahrain: 3 Nov 2006 – 23 Apr 2007
– Coastal Riverine Group One, San Diego, CA: 10 Jul 2006 – 31 Oct 2006
– Navy Mobilization Processing Site (NMPS) San Diego, CA: 6 Jul 2006 – 10 Jul 2006
– *29 Feb 2006 – 5 July 2006: Gap of time where Dorner’s military assignment is undisclosed in information released by the U.S. Navy
– Mobile Inshore Undersea Warfare Unit: 23 Jun 2004 – 28 Feb 2006
– Navy Personnel Command: 16 Jun 2004 – 22 Jun 2004
– Various Aviation Training Units: 4 Jul 2002 – 15 Jun 2004
Awards and Decorations
– National Defense Service Medal
– Iraq Campaign Medal
– Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
– Sea Service Deployment Medal
– Navy Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon
– Armed Forces Reserve Medal w/ “M” Device
– Rifle Marksman Ribbon
– Pistol Expert Medal
Even if every single accusation against him turns out to be true, we would be remiss to not scrutinize how a man gets on a path like this, given where he had been. Not because of Dorner but because of us. Because there are probably millions of Americans somewhere on the same path that Dorner was on ten years ago and we owe it to them and to us to ensure that they have a better outcome. What happened with Dorner does not honor America, it does not enrich the legacy that we will leave to our children.

The LAPD had “mistakenly” shot at three civilians, wounding two. We were told that Dorner ambushed two unsuspecting officers in a car, but in light of the LAPD’s apparent propensity to shoot first and ask questions later, we were left to wonder whether this was indeed what transpired. And now, another shooting and more deaths and we may never know what really transpired on that mountain. For the past few days, if you are a large black man in LA, it was far from clear whether you’d be better off running into Dorner or uniformed LAPD cops looking for Dorner? And here too things had gone from the sublime to the ridiculous. The Hollywood Gossip web site reported on how at least some Los Angelinos were dealing with this very question — a photo of a rotund African American man with a t-shirt that read “NOT CHRIS DORNER. PLEASE DO NOT SHOOT” and a photo of a pick-up truck bearing a sign that read “DON’T SHOOT! NOT DORNER. THANK YOU.” There were no reports of anyone wearing t-shirts or sporting signs that read “NOT LAPD. DON’T SHOOT. THANK YOU”.

This real life drama was eerily similar to Clint Eastwood’s fictional plot in “The Gauntlet” and the Al Pacino reality-based drama “Serpico”. There are also striking parallels with Sylvester Stallone’s fictional protagonist in “First Blood”. We rooted for John J. Rambo, a veteran Green Beret, because we saw him as an every-man hero betrayed by the corrupt establishment. We knew the cops were lying. We knew they were the killers and we wanted him to survive and to bring the war to them. Why? Because Stallone’s Rambo tapped into our insecurities about those who are supposed to protect us. They should be listening and trying to take this in and reflect. They are raising their children in this country too. They do not want to be “those guys”. And the great numbers of good and decent men and women who strap on a badge and a gun every day to serve their communities do not want “those guys” to define the narrative and the public image of the lot.

We wish we could readily believe the official version of the Dorner incident, but one has to consider the source. The same source that gave us Rodney King, among others. We kind of know that police agencies lie routinely and that once they commit to a lie, they keep digging and digging until the truth is either buried or the hole caves in on them. A vivid more recent example of proven cold-blooded murder and subsequent cover-up conspiracy by active duty police is the Danziger Bridge incident in Louisiana. We wish we could be confident that the cops are SEARCHING for Dorner and intending to APPREHEND him. But there didn’t seem to even be a pretense of a search, certainly not at the outset. It was billed as a “manhunt” and generally you hunt something in order to kill it. It’s 2013 and we were treated to a slow-motion televised lynching by fire. The police and some other nameless and faceless men with badges are the judge, the jury and the executioner. If there are doubts as to their motives or intentions, just ask the three civilians the LAPD had already fired on. The officers’ “probable cause”, according to LAPD Chief Beck, is that they were “on edge”.

Did any thinking person really believe that the end-game here was to apprehend Dorner and give him a trial? Was there even a serious doubt that given the choice of getting him dead or alive the cops would spare him? The lynching took place just as many had expected and the networks were thrilled to bring it live to your living rooms. Make no mistake — the LAPD is acutely aware of the fact that public opinion can reach a flash point, just like it did during the Rodney King riots, just like it did during Watts. It has been nearly twenty one years since the Rodney King riots, and for all the talk about reform in the LAPD, it would be a fool’s errand to proclaim that community relations today do not bear the scars of that era and many more recent scars. We haven’t seen anything on that scale in the United States in a while, but we have been treated to numerous televised images of austerity riots in Southern Europe, Western Continental Europe, and London. It’s disturbing and it’s ugly. No-one wants to see such a flash point reached here in the US again. No-one.
That said, however, even if we accept that the LAPD has the best of intentions here, the way it’s leadership has handled the PR aspect of this reminds one of the saying “The road to hell is paved with best intentions”. Instead of sticking to “just the facts”, the department right out off the gate embarked on a clumsy smear campaign of conjecture and spin. This, however, raised more questions and doubts than it has answered. In addition to the careless use of words like “trained assassin” and “domestic terrorist”, the department announced a $1 million reward. But it wasn’t until this afternoon, February 12, 2013, that the LAPD even put up information about Christopher Dorner on its home page. Instead, the LAPD’s home page featured at least three photos of the mustachioed Chief Beck and an advertisement for a 2013 “Calender”. The LAPD’s Top 10 Most Wanted page on its Web site STILL doesn’t feature Dorner. And the “Recent Additions” link on the department’s site’s Most Wanted page leads to a “Page Not Found”. What the department did put up on its Web site is a .PDF wanted poster. It doesn’t really tell one anything about Dorner that hasn’t already been covered in the press. It does state in bold red letters that Dorner is “CONSIDERED ARMED AND DANGEROUS” and that “Officers should use extreme caution when apprehending suspect Dorner”. Remarkably, the wanted poster, approved by Assistant Chief Earl Paysinger, did not provide any contact information for the LAPD, nor does it offer any instruction to civilians on how to proceed should they spot Mr. Dorner (or “Suspect Dorner”). The poster made no mention of the $1 million reward either. The LA Times was more generous with information (including a contact phone number for tips). It reported that the LA city council had added $100,000 to the $1 million previously announced, and stated that “County supervisors in Los Angeles and Riverside counties are expected to follow suit, raising the total reward to $1.3 million.” Interestingly, only one person on the current FBI Top 10 Most Wanted List has a $1 million bounty. The other nine have only $100,000 each. Evidently, Christopher Dorner was worth more in terms of bounty than nine out of the ten top most wanted criminals on the FBI’s list. ABC News reported that “the LAPD said at a news conference Tuesday morning that it is looking into more than 1,000 tips from the public.” Is that a lot? Or was the public at large not exactly rushing to get involved? Maybe it’s not really for the public. Mercury News reported that “TV’s Dog the Bounty Hunter predicts the $1 million reward will bring out the pros”. There you go — reality TV. It is, after all, LA. Chapman theorizes that since Dorner has not killed a new victim in the last week he may be testing LAPD, says Mercury Times. “It’s like a cooling off period, like he knows they’ll guard his guys for a while but will ease off with the 24/7 surveillance,” Chapman said. “As a cop he’ll probably wait now and make another move when he believes the LAPD is getting more lax.”

So, where has the media coverage been in all this? We were told that Dorner sent a CD or a DVD to Anderson Cooper at CNN. We were told that it was “chilling” but never shown what was on the disc. What could it have been that it “chilled” Mr. Cooper? While one cannot be sure, it is fairly safe to assume that it wasn’t a La Toya Jackson album. What was on it? You’d think that a man going on a suicide mission, right or wrong, would put whatever he considered to be the most important vindicating evidence on a CD to CNN. How someone in a news organization came up with the red herring of “Imagine a More Open America.” is a real head-scratcher. Who has ever heard of this “common abbreviation” before? Who in America has EVER texted “OMG, LOL, LMFAO, IMOA… BRB”?!? The writing on the coin covering OBVIOUSLY says 1 M.O.A. (separated by commas), which is a shooting acronym for “Minutes of Angle” or “Minutes of Arc”. Wikipedia will tell you that “1 MOA subtends approximately one inch at 100 yards, a traditional distance on target ranges.” The guy sends you a two inch coin with bullet holes in it and you think it’s a symbol for “Imagine a More Open America”? Really?

And where were Dorner’s friends, neighbors, brothers, sisters, LAPD partner, his military unit buddies, his commanders, basketball buddies, etc? He was a United States Navy officer after all. We heard some unflattering comments from an ex-girlfriend, but come on, how objective and reliable will ANYONE’s ex be? This guy is in his mid-30s and has led a pretty public life. How come we know only what the LAPD and other nameless and faceless government men are telling us? We know that he went to college and played football. Where are you, his teammates? Some are speaking out but their voices seem to not pass the screens of certain venerable news organizations. His former coach at Southern Utah University, Aaron Alford, said: “You know, I met him when I became a coach at Southern Utah University. That was 1999 and 2000. And in those two years, you know, the things you obviously are seeing on television and hearing in the news, don’t — obviously don’t fit. They’re ludicrous in that manner, just to think that he’s gone to this level of violence and anger. But he was a good kid. You never heard anything negative. He stayed out of trouble. He had good grades. You know, we talked quite often while I was there, and you know, there was nothing to speculate that he would have this kind of issue.” James Usera, now an Oregon attorney, played football with Dorner at Southern Utah University in the late 1990s and they became friends off the field. Usera told the media: “Just absolute befuddlement and shock when I learned about it this morning, and trying to piece things together and in being asked questions about what I know about Mr. Dorner, my experiences with him, and I try and think, was there any indication of this and, you know, there just isn’t… My experience with Mr. Dorner was overwhelmingly positive. I never saw any indications in him that he was violent or particularly aggressive, certainly nothing that would suggest to me that he could commit the crimes with which he’s been accused.” Where were the others?
We’ve learned that more than ten years ago Dorner was featured in an Enid News & Eagle article, about two men returning a bank bag containing nearly $8,000 in cash and checks to an area church. Dorner told the News & Eagle he was raised in La Palma, Calif., by his mother. Is she still alive? Where is she as her son is the subject of a “manhunt” using military drones? He said he wanted to fly SH-60 helicopters in the Navy, according to the News & Eagle story. About returning the money, Dorner said: “I didn’t work for it, so it’s not mine. And, it was for the church. It’s not so much the integrity, but it was someone else’s money. I would hope someone would do that for me.”

Where were the black civil rights leaders and celebrities before the Big Bear Lake bonfire? Where were you, Jesse Jackson? You showed signs of life a few days ago when your son accepted a plea bargain. Where are you, Al Sharpton? Where are you, Chris Rock? We know you’re alive because you were mumbling something to Congress about gun control a few days ago. Where are you Samuel L. Jackson, Denzel Washington, Will Smith, Jamie Foxx? How come none of you were out there saying “Hey, Chris Dorner, whatever you have done, you deserve a trial. Call my office. Let’s arrange a peaceful surrender in front of television cameras so at least you won’t be shot down in a revenge killing.”? To his credit, Charlie Sheen has stepped up… sort of. In a brief taped video message aired on celebrity website TMZ, Sheen said: “Christopher Dorner, this is Charlie Sheen. You mention me in your manifesto so thank you for your kind words. I’m urging you to call me and let’s figure out together how to end this thing. Call me. I look forward to talking to you.” Of course, had the “trained assassin” and “domestic terrorist” Christopher Dorner snagged Charlie Sheen, he would have had at his disposal a weapon of mass self-destruction.

Where was California Senator Dianne Feinstein? The most aggressive advocate of sweeping changes to American gun laws who stated on the record that she would, if she could, take all guns away from American civilians. The same Senator Dianne Feinstein who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee and as such, according to The Atlantic ” bears more responsibility than anyone in America for ensuring that Congress conducts vigilant oversight of President Obama’s targeted killing program.” The same Senator Dianne Feinstein who is at this moment the center of a controversy after having severely understated civilian casualties from drone attacks at the Senate confirmation hearings for John Brennan’s appointment to head the CIA. Well, Christopher J. Dorner was, among other things, one of your constituents, Senator. Just days ago you were showcasing “assault-style” weapons before Congress, telling the American public that only the military and the police should have these weapons. That American civilians do not need them and should not have them. Now officials in your state have told us that a “trained assassin” and a “domestic terrorist”, trained in the arts of warfare by the LAPD and the United States Navy, is armed to the teeth and was out there somewhere, evading capture for over a week despite one of the most intensive “manhunts” in this nation’s history. A “manhunt” that for the first time ever is using military drones to hunt a civilian on American soil. So, this horribly dangerous and well-armed killing machine was out there, you couldn’t catch him for over a week, you declared him to be of grave danger to us, regular Americans… BUT you think that we absolutely SHOULD NOT have any weapons in our homes that would give us any sort of chance of protecting our homes and families if your mythical antagonist, an accused “murderer”, “terrorist” and “trained assassin”, were to target us next? Would you be terribly offended if someone suggested that if everything that has been alleged about Dorner is true and if thousands of law enforcement officers armed to the teeth and using drones cannot catch him day after day, perhaps this is a really good example of why Americans SHOULD arm themselves with the most potent weapons available? Your “murderer”, “domestic terrorist”, and “trained assassin” happened to be six feet tall and weigh 270 pounds. And more than likely had access to ballistic body armor. But you don’t want anyone to have a magazine that can hold more than ten rounds and your esteemed colleague Andrew Cuomo, the Governor of New York, has already rammed through an unconstitutional law that limits magazine capacity in New York to just seven rounds. Do you really think that this is sufficient to stop a 270 pound terminator that Dorner was made out to be? Would it shock you if the folks at your dinner table asked you to pass a high capacity magazine?

Where were you, America’s first bi-racial President? When on July 16, 2009, your friend Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., was arrested at his Cambridge, Massachusetts home by a local police officer responding to a 9-1-1 caller’s report of men breaking and entering the residence, you chimed in Gates’ defense. You told the Chicago Sun-Times, asked President Barack Obama “Recently, Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. was arrested at his home in Cambridge. What does that incident say to you? And what does it say about race relations in America?” Obama replied, “Now, I’ve – I don’t know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts, what role race played in that. But I think it’s fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry; number two, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home. And number three, what I think we know separate and apart from this incident is that there is a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately. That’s just a fact.” This isn’t to say that you should have sprung to Dorner’s defense. But this certainly is to say that when local law enforcement seems to run amok, shooting innocent civilians at random and throwing around words like “domestic terrorism”, and when drones are deployed on American soil in police operations, you have a responsibility to not be missing in action. Unless of course you are skeet shooting at Camp David, in which case we totally understand. Charlie Sheen has it covered. His dad used to play the President on TV.

Maybe Dorner was every bit as bad as the LAPD says and guilty on all accounts. We wanted to see this proved in court. We didn’t want a lynching posse on a private vendetta. We didn’t want the authorities to insult what little remains of our collective intelligence by expecting us to blindly accept the official version of this incident, the invocation of the word “terrorist”, the historical precedent of using drones on American soil, the shootings of innocent civilians by LAPD officers who have thus far not suffered any publicly known consequences. You can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time, but please don’t assume that you can fool all of the people all of the time. LAPD Chief Beck announced on Saturday that the LAPD would re-examine its proceedings against Dorner. The review is “not to appease a murderer,” but “to reassure the public that their police department is transparent and fair in all things we do,” he said. Well Chief, having an organization with a long and sordid history re-investigate itself on allegations of corruption, racism, and character assassination, is hardly reassuring. It’s actually as pointless as it is absurd. Do you REALLY think that when eventually the LAPD says that having re-examined accusations leveled against it, it really REALLY is not guilty, this will boost its credibility? Far too many Americans already believe that the LAPD is the biggest organized crime franchise in California, if not the nation. If there is an investigation to be had here, surely it must be conducted by the Justice Department and the FBI. As for Christopher J. Dorner, the outcome was sadly predictable. Maybe he was guilty of everything that he was accused of, maybe not — we may never know the full story.

But they say a person dies twice. The first time is when his final breath leaves his body. The second time is when his name is spoken for the last time. This holds equally for very good men and for very bad men, for the saints and the Hitlers. Whoever he was and whatever he was, Christopher J. Dorner will live long past the moment when his final breath left his body and his impact on how we perceive our society and those who govern us will be discussed and debated for a very long time to come. We do ourselves and our children a terrible disservice if we all just collectively yawn, roll over, and go back to sleep.