August 18, 2002—Ground Zero Plus 340

Ooops--Where Did These
2,352 Missiles Come From?
The High Cost Of Death Over Safety

Cliff McKenzie
   Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

       GROUND ZERO, New York City, August 18--A couple of stories caught my eye today.  One was about federal officials seizing 2,352 unregistered missiles from an anti-terrorist, and the second about a judge who denied the prosecution the right to seek the death penalty in the murder of  20-year-old college student because "the death penalty trial" would be too expensive.
       While the two may not seem related on the surface, both have a lot to do with Terrorism and Vigilance.
       First, the missiles.

One of over 2,000 missiles found at HEAT

        This story is centered in "alien land"--Roswell, New Mexico.   A company called High Energy Access Tools, HEAT for short, conducts anti-terrorism and police training classes for foreign nations--favorable to the United States.    HEAT was training students from the United Arab Emirates and Yemen when the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) swooped into camp and seized 4,000 pounds of explosives and 2,352 unregistered small military missiles--the kind used to attack light armored vehicles and bunkers.
        According to Frank Fish, director of security for HEAT, he claims he thought the company was licensed to have appropriate equipment to train U.S. allies and export them to allied nations.   He also asserts the ATF and FBI have been invited to inspect their site in the past, and believed the Canadian-based company was operating "within the law."
        I guess what I find interesting in this story is that Canadians are training U.S. allies from the Middle East on U.S. soil, and shipping equipment to them--without proper permits.   The president of HEAT, David Hudak, was arrested August 15 for possessing missiles not registered to him.   Hudak, a Canadian national, is illegally in the U.S., said immigration officials who arrested him.
        It seems bizarre to me that someone from another country could amass an arsenal of weapons on our soil, and train our allies from the Middle East on how to use them, and then ship them to foreign countries--all without any notice.   According to Hudak's wife, three disgruntled employees called the ATF.   Were it not for them, perhaps no action would have been taken.
       This isn't to suggest that HEAT is a red herring, pretending to be pro-U.S. and really a front for training Terrorists and supplying them with weapons.  However, one could easily imagine such a scenario.    A Canadian national.   A few thousand M141 Bunker Defense Munitions, a couple of tons of explosives, and, well, who knows what else?   Plus, shipping the stuff to the Middle East.   It just kind of rubs like sand in an oyster's mouth, but instead of creating a pearl, it produces the shadow of Terrorism.
       Let's say some of those "allies" are not so "allegiant."    Maybe the ones being trained have other ties, or, maybe Hudak himself has other loyalties.   Certainly, he can't be a natural born "rah-rah-USA" guy because he's Canadian.   "Oh, Canada," takes precedent over "America The Beautiful."
       Something seems out of whack.   Why aren't Americans training our allies?   Why have we contracted it out to someone from another country?   Where did he get the missiles?   How many more does he have, or has he sold?

      You start to wonder if the guy down the street has M141 Bunker Defense missile under his bed, and maybe plans to use it on your house, or apartment building, or local office complex.   
       Terrorism is all about injecting Fear, Intimidation and Complacency in those it touches.   Certainly over 2,000 missiles in the hands of an illegal alien teaching Middle Eastern allies offers a raft of Fears, Intimidations and a huge dose of Complacency.     The latter being bred by the question:  "How?   Why?  Who?"
        While there's a lot going on in Washington D.C. these days about reshuffling all the security departments here and there, and giving them new facelifts to appear that they are Argus with a hundred eyes and can see everything and everyone threatening us, this little cog in the wheel upsets the apple cart in Roswell, New Mexico.  
         Maybe it's time for Captain Vigilance to don his cape and bring the American public the Courage, Conviction and Right Actions to find out how many more HEATs there are in this country, run by others who owe their loyalty not to the United States, but to their nation firs.
         As a Citizen of Vigilance, a Parent of Vigilance, and a Loved One of Vigilance, I sure want to know the answers, don't you?




        The second story is as scary as the first.      It involves a judge in Vinton County, Ohio shooting a "legal missile" at a decision to seek the death penalty.  He told the prosecution it could not seek the death penalty in the murder of a college student because the county's share of the defense costs would be too great.
       Death penalty trials require two lawyers for the defense and intricate legal maneuvering, including appeals, mandatory sequestering of the jury, and cautious legal management.   Estimating the cost of a murder trial that includes the death penalty, would cost nearly $400,000, said Judge Jeffrey Simmons of the Court of Common Pleas in Vinton County.
      With a population of only 13,000, Simmons felt the economic impact on the county coffers would be burdensome, even though the state and county split the trial costs 50-50, and despite the local Board of Commissioners voting in favor of budgeting the money for the trial.
      The mother of young girl who was allegedly killed by 25-year-old Gregory McKnight, isn't happy at all.  Neither are the prosecutors or county officials who seek justice.
      Michael Bledsoe, president of the Vinton County Board of Commissions, noted the county had a budget of $2.7 million, and while the case would strain the coffers, the board had approved the expenditures.   Despite the people's agreement to spend the money, Judge Simmons overturned the board's decision.

Emily Murray, murder victim

          Cynthia Murray, mother of the victim, Emily Murray, isn't concerned whether McKnight is given the death sentence or not.  Her goal is that he never leaves jail, or has the right to harm other innocent children.  McKnight is currently in jail for possession of stolen property and is accused of another murder.   Emily Murray's body was found in his trailer in 2000, wrapped in a rug.
        Ohio law is structured so that "life without parole" can only be issued in capital cases where the death penalty is at play.   If McKnight is only charged with aggravated murder, he would be subject to parole after serving a 20 to 30 year sentence.   Under complicated formulas, most convicted criminals can be eligible for parole in half their sentencing time, which could be ten to fifteen years, making Mr. McKnight 35 to 40 years of age when he is released.
         The Terrorism here is the judge violating the people's right.   Arbitrarily, the judge put the cost of prosecution ahead of the will of the people.   While those opposed to the death penalty may argue this is a good position, the idea that Mr. McKnight might be released after serving ten years isn't.    If convicted of the additional murder, he will be two-time murderer.
         Mrs. Murray wants to insure McKnight never sets foot out of a prison, and the only way that can happen is in a capital murder trial.  I vote with Mrs. Murray.
         Terrorism comes in small doses at times.   The idea that a vicious murderer could be set free to prey on others creates Fear, Intimidation and an utter sense of Complacency about the will of people over the opinion of a judge.
         At a much higher level, the United States government is making daily decisions about our welfare without our input.   Congress battles to understand what powers the Executive Branch has and has not regarding the decisions for America's safety.   It comes down to arbitrariness in the final analysis, a crippling of the public's Voice in issues that affect our neighborhoods and our security at home.
        That's one more reason I believe everyone should take the Pledge of Vigilance.   The judge in Ohio should be more concerned about the danger Mr. McKnight presents to the children, and their children's children than to how much money it will cost to prosecute him for a capital offense.

        By the time he has served his sentence and been paroled, another Emily will have been born and will be entering college.   She may be McKnight's next victim.    This kind of "generational" thinking should comprise the backbone of a judge's ruling, not the issue of money.   The money does not belong to him.  It is the citizens of Vinton County's money, and the Commissioner's approved the allocation on behalf of their 13,000 Citizens of Vigilance.  
         Where does the oppression of individual rights stop?
          It stops with a Pledge of Vigilance.  It stops when the government and judges and community leaders think in terms of what is right for the children, and their children's children, and then, only after that has been reviewed, look at the cost of protecting them.
         Is a child's life worth the $350,000 Judge Simmons hides behind to justify his ruling?   I don't think so.   When one kills a child--and certainly a 20-year-old college student listed as dependent is not outside the "child" category--then one must pay the highest price.   No crime is more vicious or cruel than snuffing out the life of a child.
         Greed cannot justify the absence of generational justice.  
         The people have a right to agree to stop the murdering of their children, and that's essentially what Vinton County did.  But one man, assuming not a Vigilant position, but one of a Terrorist In The Robes, killed that right, stomped on it, obliterated it on a whim.

          Judge Simmons's decision was Complacent, vacuous, myopic.   All he could see was the purse and not the purpose of justice.    Justice is about thwarting future crimes, not stopping current ones.    One on the verge of murder who considers the consequences of spending his or her life without hope of parole, may stop.
         Worse, anyone who wants to murder someone and escape the death penalty just has to go to Vinton County and do their killing.  The judge has invited all murderers to take up residence in his county.
         I sincerely hope the Citizens of Vigilance in Vinton County will either launch a recall or take appropriate action to deconstruct Judge Simmons's ruling.
         Vigilance requires the Courage to face Fear, the Conviction to not be overpowered by Intimidation, and to make the Right Actions that shove Complacency out of the way.    If the citizens of Vinton County think ahead to their children's children, and to the vulnerability that will occur when McKnight is paroled under a less than capital offense trial, I know Vigilance will win.
         It always does when people care more about the children than they do the money.


Go To Aug 17--Sexism & The Nanny Grampy

©2001 - 2004,, All rights reserved -  a ((HYYPE)) design