Graner's Defense Attorney's 'Colorful Past'

An editorial in the Houston Chronicle discusses Charles Graner's defense attorney Guy Womack,saying we should not discount his powers of persuasion, and gives some examples from his colorful past:

As an assistant U.S. attorney in Houston in 1996, he helped market a device to school districts and law enforcement agencies called the Quadro Tracker. It was advertised as a high-tech divining rod that used chips to activate an antenna that supposedly could track down missing people and discover drugs, weapons or other contraband. More than 1,000 of the devices were sold around the country for as much as $8,000 each.

In reality, the device was simply an antenna attached to an empty plastic box. A federal judge ordered the manufacture of the Tracker halted, and the FBI denounced it as a hoax. Prosecutors investigated Womack's role in marketing the device and he eventually resigned his federal post and paid a $5,000 settlement while denying any wrongdoing.

After giving another example, the Chronicle concludes:

Before military prosecutors chuckle at Womack's tactics, they might consider this: A lawyer who could market $8,000 divining rods to street-smart lawmen just might be able to sell Specialist Graner as a cheerleader in uniform to a military jury.

[hat tip KMC)

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  • "A lawyer who could market $8,000 divining rods to street-smart lawmen " Street smart? Who says?

    Re: Graner's Defense Attorney's 'Colorful Past' (none / 0) (#2)
    by Al on Wed Jan 12, 2005 at 09:02:38 PM EST
    Hmm, let's see...1000 "divining rods" at $8000 each, minus $5 cost per rod, minus $5000 fine, that's...$7,945,000 profit! Cool!

    Re: Graner's Defense Attorney's 'Colorful Past' (none / 0) (#3)
    by John Mann on Thu Jan 13, 2005 at 07:18:12 AM EST
    I wonder if Mr. Womack is the same guy who sold a low-cost lie detector to police in a small town in (I think) Pennsylvania. The device featured a head set made from a metal cooking pot with the handle removed. Two wires ran from it to an impressive -looking machine next to which the suspect was seated. A police officer would ask questions, and when the suspect replied, the officer would press a button on the machine and seconds later a piece of paper would emerge from the machine. Written on the piece of paper were the words "He's Lying". The suspect was then shown the results of the test. (Of course the device was nothing more than a photocopier). I can't provide any source for this anecdote; I just remember reading about it a long time ago.

    Re: Graner's Defense Attorney's 'Colorful Past' (none / 0) (#4)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Mon Jan 17, 2005 at 02:19:30 PM EST
    Above the law or outside it Beyond the legal limits of torture By D. Lindley Young The Modern Tribune - January 10, 2005 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- "Gonzales will do nothing but advance this country into a greater state of fascism. His commitment to follow the law and protect American rights means nothing if he views the rest of the law with the same lens that he used to view the 'torture' laws." WASHINGTON, D.C. (1/10) - The central issue during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings this past week on the confirmation of Alberto Gonzales as the attorney general of the United States, was whether White House policy condones torture and whether torture is justified. The official position of the White House is that there has never been a policy condoning torture. However, according to a number of authorities, U.S. and international laws against torture and inhume treatment of prisoners have been repeatedly violated by the U.S. The problem started at the top. According to Gonzales, there was a point that important information was needed to save innocent lives and a decision on torture had to be made. Bush and Rumsfeld approved the torture plan, over objections by the State Department and requests to reconsider the new policy. Gonzales admits that the President was involved in the debate and decisions on the White House torture policy which sought the outer limits of permissible lawful torture in order to obtain information and further the President's agenda. The widely disseminated Gonzales/Bush "torture memos" sent a signal to U.S. troops that torture is permitted. and resulted in torture in Iraq, Afghanistan, Gauntanamo and in other countries to which the U.S. delivered prisoners. The "torture memos" argued in essence that Bush was above the law in war. By seeking to redefine torture the President invaded the province of Congress by creating new Presidential laws on torture which were in complete contradiction to existing law. The dissemination of the "torture memos" - which instructed on guidelines for the outer limits of permissible torture - constituted de facto approval of torture by the President. George Bush directly tied to torture decision According to the testimony of at the confirmation hearings by Gonzales, Bush personally participated in the torture debates and decisions on the use of torture to get information from prisoners. Gonzales emphasized the issue of torture was important to Bush. "This was an issue that the White House cared very much about," Gonzales testified under oath. He went on to state that, "As we have debated these questions, the president has made clear that he is prepared to protect and defend the United States and its citizens and will do so vigorously." With regard to the decision not to apply the Geneva Convention to prisoners deemed to be al Qaida, Gonzales confirms the President's participation, stating: "And so I do believe the decision by the president was absolutely the right thing to do." So, Gonzales establishes that Bush was involved in the "debate" on torture and participated in the decisions that lead to application of torture and inhumane treatment of prisoners. The torture at abu Graid and elsewhere goes to the very top. If it involves just a few bad apples, that's where they are. Impetus is added to the fact that Bush himself approved methods of "torture" by the fact that he was informed of it an did nothing. Bush personally received a memo in January of 2002 that specifically advising him that "torture" was occurring at Abu Graid prison. After receiving this information he did nothing until after the story broke on CBS's 60 Minutes and in News Week and the New Yorker in May - four months after Bush was informed of the "torture." For the President of the U.S. to receive a memo, if not briefing, where the word "torture" was used in connection with action of U.S. military and then do or say nothing about it for four months, until the matter broke in the news, is evidence of the President's approval, not just of the methods employed, but, of "torture" itself. There should have been shock, not silence. There should have been action, not apathy. Just the words "torture" and "U.S." in the same breathe is a blow to American democracy. Silence by the President makes it all the more staggering. See full article:http://www.themoderntribune.com/gonzalez_bush_u_s_policy_on_torture.htm