Betsy McDonald's article on James Kopp's request for a new lawyer.
In the recent article about Jim Kopp's continuing effort to have William Clauss replaced as his assigned counsel, Dan Herbeck erroneously reports that Kopp is demanding "a court-appointed defense attorney who agrees with his views on abortion." In fact, Jim Kopp has never made such a demand or even mentioned abortion in the context of his request for change of counsel.
After Magistrate Judge Hugh B. Scott denied Kopp's request, Buffalo attorney, Robert Convissar, was appointed to represent Kopp in his appeal of Scott's decision. At the hearing before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara, Convissar noted that, at no time, has Kopp mentioned Clauss's views on abortion as a reason for seeking the removal of Clauss or in any other
Herbeck's article is quite deceptive on this point, however. He quotes Judge Arcara as saying, "if he [Kopp] has a court-appointed lawyer representing him at taxpayer expense, he cannot insist that the lawyer agree with his anti-abortion views." But, Herbeck fails to report Kopp's and Convissar's response: That is NOT what we are asking. Jim Kopp is simply asserting the right of every defendant in a criminal case to be represented by an honest, competent, and zealous advocate.
Herbeck only quotes Clauss and Arcara. Neither Kopp, nor his attorney in the matter, Robert Convissar, were permitted to present Kopp's side of the dispute. This is reporting?
The real story here is that taxpayers have been forced to provide an attorney to defend the rights of a client, when that client's rights are threatened by his OWN attorney.
At the hearing before Arcara, the prosecutor in Kopp's case, First Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathleen Mehltretter, actually argued on the side of the federal public defender against Kopp and Convissar's position. Hint: Any reasonably intelligent person will know he is in trouble, when he sees his prosecutor and his own attorney arguing side by side against him in court.
If William Clauss genuinely wished to serve the best interests of his client, not to mention the taxpayers, he would have graciously stepped aside and allowed the court to appoint to Kopp's case one of the many, able, federal public defenders available in the Buffalo area.
So, why would any attorney waste the court's time and waste taxpayer money in an effort to beat HIS OWN CLIENT into submission? The answer may be found at the end of the article. Herbeck reports that Clauss "plans to leave his
job as chief of the federal public defender's office for a position in the private sector." Furthermore, he reports that the courts may permit Clauss
to "personally continue to represent Kopp in the future."
Anyone, who has opened a new law office, can attest to the fact that hanging out that new shingle and waiting for clients to appear can mean lonely -- and lean -- times. But, if he can hang onto Jim Kopp, Clauss won't be lonely OR lean. Bluntly put, with the possibility of a lengthy trial and appeals, the Kopp case will bring fat, government paychecks rolling in for years to
Leaving abortion aside, who wouldn't want a new lawyer, if they were in Jim
A Reply to "The Puppet Master 2"
I do know and respect the Rev. Michael Bray and feel compelled to answer some of the charges leveled against him in Steve Wetzel's article, "The Puppet Master 2".
Wetzel calls Michael Bray a "wimpy general who sit miles from the front lines, and order their recruits to their deaths...[T]hey are looking for gullible, susceptible puppets who will do their bidding for them. Hence the title of this article -- the Puppet Masters."
So, WHERE are the puppets? This metaphor fails right off the bat, because there have been no "puppets" in the ten year history of justifiable
homicides of abortionists. Jim Kopp and Paul Hill were certainly nobody's puppets. They were REAL men who did what REAL men do: defend women and children with force when necessary.
Furthermore, Wetzel asserts: "In their minds you have to advocate killing abortionists to be truly pro-life...Flip Benham is reviled. He does not
advocate shooting abortionists."
This is simply untrue. No pro-life leader, including Flip Benham, has ever been criticized for failing to speak in favor of the use of force in defense of babies. Benham and Scheidler could have simply stated: "That's not what we do." Instead, every time a group of unborn children have been defended with lethal force, the Benhams and the Scheidlers of the movement have fired off press releases denouncing the rescue and viciously attacking the character of the children's defender.
Not only Michael Bray, but many thoughtful people have rightly objected to these self-serving pronouncements, which effectively spit on the humanity of the unborn child. Bill Cotter, president of Operation Rescue Boston, put it well:
"These condemnations...strike me more as exercises in damage control than in moral accuracy, for they seem to dismiss a key moral truth: a genuine right to life -- which we insist the preborn have equally with the born -- implies a right to defense of that life. If we say that there is a right to the defense of life except in the case of the pre-born, then we agree that they are a separate class, and that lands us in "pro-choice" territory. For while many pro-abortion people admit to one degree or other that the pre-born child is a human being, their essential doctrine is that no one -- neither government nor private persons -- may protect that pre-born child once the mother agrees to his death. Advocacy by pro-lifers of defense by law only -- deeming private defense to be intrinsically evil -- differs with "pro-choice" philosophy only in degree, not in kind."*
This is a reasonable position and those of us who hold to it are hardly "a cult", as Wetzel charges.
It was in response to the first killing of an abortionist (David Gunn), that Michael Bray first posited his argument that the defense of unborn children by lethal force is justified. He recognized that, if ALL innocent persons are entitled to be defended when their lives are in imminent danger, then Michael Griffin's defense of Gunn's infant victims was commendable -- not criminal.
Being a courageous man, who loves the truth, Bray was not content to simply think this privately -- and safely. So, he said it out loud and he said it in print. As a result, he currently sits under a 10 million dollar judgment
(Planned Parenthood v. A.C.L.A.). So much for "with no personal consequences" --Wetzel, "The Puppet Master 2".
I would also like to set the record straight concerning Michael Bray's treatment of Jim Kopp. Wetzel charges that Kopp was "discarded". While this is certainly true of Neal Horsley, Michael Bray has proven himself a true friend. He has written to and visited Jim Kopp in jail. He was also one of the few who attended Kopp's trial. And at every opportunity, he has spoken and written eloquently on behalf of Jim Kopp and the babies. He has truly been a great source of encouragement and support.
Wetzel also states: "They have their belief system -- they just don't follow it. It's the classic "do as I say - not as I do" scenario."
Oh, really? Mr. Wetzel, did you know that Michael Bray's first books, which propound his "belief system" that unborn children are entitled to be
defended with force, were written while he was in prison serving five years for HIS OWN forceful defense of babies? The angels no doubt rejoiced as child slaughter houses on the East Coast were purged with fire.' In MY book, that constitutes "following his belief system."
So, is Michael Bray a "wimpy general", because he does not personally employ EVERY forceful means of defense, including lethal force, which he believes is efficacious and justified?
'Retired' rescuers, of all people, should think twice before making such an accusation, because, if we are honest, we will admit that WE have a belief system which WE do not follow. We know that blocking the doors of abortion mills is efficacious and justified. Yet we do not do it.
Can you say "hypocrisy", Mr. Wetzel?
Rev. Michael Bray
A Time To Kill by Rev. Michael Bray
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Chesapeake VA 23328