PAT LAMOUREUX - One episode in a person's life, does not define the person.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


from t r u t h o u t, 
by William River Pitts, Op-Ed
Wednesday 30 June 2010
..........all eyes were focused on the war in Iraq. The script has been flipped, Afghanistan gets the headlines now, and the ongoing war in Iraq has been relegated to the back pages, if it makes the papers at all.

It would be a hell of a thing if this country, its people and its "mainstream" media could focus on more than one thing at a time, wouldn't it? Because we are still at war in Iraq, too. Soldiers are still dying there - 38 this year, seven this month - along with dozens of Iraqi service members and policemen. Hundreds of Iraqi civilians are killed and wounded every month, just like in Afghanistan, but we have somehow allowed ourselves to accept the farcical notion that things are settled enough over there that we can ignore what's going on.

Think again, folks, because it's high summer in Iraq, and tempers are getting very short. According to a recent article in the Washington Post, the ugly effect of this ongoing conflict continues to grind the people into the ground:

At least three times a week, Maher Abbas brings one of his two young children or his elderly mother to the hospital to be treated for dehydration, stomach bugs or heat exhaustion. Lack of water and electricity are killing his family and his business, he said. Abbas's comments reflect a wave of fury that has erupted across this country of 30 million as Iraq's sweltering summer begins. Most people are having to deal with electricity shortages that leave them with no respite from the heat and no water when their household electric pumps shut off.

Seven years after the U.S.-led invasion, Iraqis are taking to the streets to demand basic services they have not received, despite many promises and the expenditure of billions of dollars by the U.S. and Iraqi governments. Their anger has forced the hand of Electricity Minister Karim Wahid, who resigned Monday. In a news conference the same day, Wahid said the ministry could not keep up with demand and did not have enough money, adding that the situation was out of its control.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki defended his government and Wahid. He blamed Iraqis for consuming too much electricity, squatters for tapping into and overwhelming the electrical grid, and the previous parliament for not approving billions of dollars for infrastructure projects to be undertaken with several foreign firms, forcing the government to take out about $2.1 billion in bonds this year. He also warned that Iraqis should expect power cuts for two more years.

Two years. Think about that. Americans will be voting in another presidential election before the Iraqi people can even begin to hope for more than a few hours of reliable electricity a day, and they've been dealing with this situation for a very long time already. Under the best of circumstances, a lack of basic electricity and water service for seven years would be an unbelievable burden on the people, but these are not the best of circumstances by any stretch of the imagination, because it's summer over there. Iraq in summertime is one of the hotter places on the planet; the average daily temperature during this season is 104 degrees, and on many days tops out at nearly 120 degrees.

The heat and lack of services has already led to an outpouring of violence in that already-violent nation. Earlier this month, a protest at the provincial government building in Basra over the lack of electrical service turned unruly; Iraqi police officers wound up firing into the angry, frustrated crowd after bricks and bottles were thrown, killing one protester and wounding three.

According to another Washington Post report, "Iraqis typically pay about $200 a month for generator power that can run one or two appliances in their homes when the electricity is out. Iraqis have taken to unconventional means to beat the heat. Some sit in their cars with the air conditioning on or drench themselves in water before sleeping on cool tile floors."

Of course, the heat is not the only thing causing violence in Iraq. In the last week, car bombs and shootings killed several Iraqi police officers, soldiers and civilians all over the country. But the heat is adding another dimension to an already-unstable and deadly situation. For the seventh time since we invaded, it is going to be another long, hot, murderous summer over there.

We might want to pay attention.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

"As many as 100 pending criminal cases could be affected by Beckett’s comments about one of the sheriff’s most active detectives. Unless a case doesn’t have Boruchowitz involved, everything is going to get stalled.” Harry Kuehn

Special prosecutor, not Beckett, will handle case against Nye County detective

June 21, 2010

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL PAHRUMP — Noting what he called a “clear-cut conflict of interest,” a judge on Monday disqualified Nye County District Attorney Bob Beckett from pursuing criminal charges against the sheriff’s detective who arrested him last month.

Senior Judge Robert Estes said he would appoint an outside prosecutor to handle the charges against Detective David Boruchowitz, whom Beckett has accused of abusing his authority and targeting political candidates for harassment.

The same special prosecutor also will decide whether to formally charge Beckett with embezzlement and the other crimes for which he was booked on May 5, the judge said.

“This is so clear-cut it’s not really necessary to dwell on it much,” said Estes, who was called in to settle the matter after Nye County’s two district judges recused themselves because of potential conflicts of interest.

The ruling came at the end of a 90-minute hearing that saw Beckett take the witness stand and his attorney, Leslie Stovall, lodge objection after objection.

Afterward, Beckett said the judge’s decision came as no surprise. “I think he did the fair thing.”

Dogged by negative publicity, the longtime district attorney lost his bid for a fifth four-year term during the June 8 primary, when he finished last out of five Republican candidates.

Beckett said he was “disappointed” by the election results, “but that’s politics.”

He believes the widening legal mess surrounding him probably played “a huge role” in his defeat, but said he is “not angry at anybody” about that.

“I’ve enjoyed my time in Nye County,” said Beckett, who will leave office in early January. “The voters did what they thought was right.”

Beckett’s arrest and the charges he quickly brought against Boruchowitz touched off a nasty public fight between the county’s top prosecutor and its chief law enforcement officer, Sheriff Tony DeMeo.

Now their squabble is threatening to stall or derail dozens of criminal cases in the rural county west of Las Vegas.

Citing public statements Beckett has made accusing Boruchowitz of perjury, attorney Harry Kuehn and his fellow public defenders have filed eight challenges so far in pending cases the detective helped investigate.

Estes granted a delay in one of those cases on Monday, after Kuehn argued that his client, on trial for murder, “cannot possibly be fairly prosecuted by parties including a (possibly) proven liar, a suspected liar and two accused felons.”

The attorney said his case might need an outside prosecutor, too.

“If any place should have extra scrutiny, it’s Nye County,” Kuehn told the judge. “As I’ve said to the press, we’re the laughingstock of the known universe.”

Estes stopped short of approving a second special prosecutor, but he echoed some of Kuehn’s criticism of the county.

“From what I’ve seen,” he said, “everyone down here talks to the newspapers more than they ought to instead of doing what they should.”

The judge went on to note the complex and apparently unique nature of the situation, which Nevada legal scholars and historians have called the first arrest of a sitting district attorney in state history.

“This has been kind of a strange day,” Estes said. “There have been issues today I’ve never even read about.”

After the hearing, Kuehn estimated that as many as 100 pending criminal cases could be affected by Beckett’s comments about one of the sheriff’s most active detectives.

“Unless a case doesn’t have Boruchowitz involved, everything is going to get stalled,” he said.

Beckett has denied the accusations against him, which involve a bank account his office set up more than a decade ago for restitution payments from people convicted for writing bad checks.

Boruchowitz, likewise, has denied any wrongdoing and remains on active duty. He sat in the audience during Monday’s hearings, often with a small smile on his face.

Estes did not say when he would name the special prosecutor, but an announcement could come in a matter of days.

The judge said the prosecutor will have the authority to hire his own investigators and clerical staff.

“It’s a pity in these times, but Nye County is going to have to foot the bill for this,” Estes said.

"Grandpa Pat & Kain"

"Grandpa Pat & Kain"
"Kain-man" the jokester....

Pat Lamoureux - Iraq 2003

Pat Lamoureux - Iraq 2003
"Pat is an extraordinary, thoughtful, kind and generous man...not to mention a wonderful friend, in which one could always count upon to be there when in need." (words of a long time friend)

Pat's Family

Pat's Family
Mica & Heather, grandson Kain