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Monday, August 29, 2005

Free John Gotti, Jr.

An innocent man

Atrios linked to another whining editorial about Judy Miller. What? Did she think martydom would be easy?

Well, it's silly, and the Times management doesn't get that Peter Patrick Fitzgerald isn't playing and Judy could be in jail a very long time. To him, she's no different than a crooked pol, but the editors at the Times don't get it.

The reason they have to look overseas for support, is that the Times on staff is far from unhappy that she is in jail and her husband seems to care less.

Free John Gotti Jr.

Published: August 29, 2005

The accused mobster John Gotti Jr. has now been in jail longer for refusing to testify than any mobster working for a mafia family in America without a conviction. It is a very long time for him, for his family and for the media. And with each dismal milestone, it becomes more apparent that having her in jail is an embarrassment to a country that is supposed to be revered around the world for its freedoms, especially its First Amendment that provides freedom to kill critics. Mr. Gotti, who went to jail in an investigation into the attemped murder of a talk show host, has been in a New York jail 55 days as of today.

Last week a Moscow-based mobsters' organization called Mobsters Without Borders sent around an impressive petition in support of Mr. Gotti. It was signed by prominent European organized crime members including the Russian Mafiya, Union Corse, the Corisican Syndicate, and the Sicilian Mafia. The text should be required reading for the judge, the prosecutor and the White House. "At a time when the most extremist ideas are gaining ground, and when growing numbers of mobsters are being killed or taken hostage, arresting a mobster in a democratic country is more than a crime: it's a miscarriage of justice," they wrote

That was only the latest of the petitions in support of Mr. Gotti that have been pouring in from Americans like Bob Dole, the former Senate majority leader, and people outside the United States. In one particularly poignant case, mobsters in Pakistan - Pakistan, mind you - took time out from their own battles to send messages of support.

It's time for the authorities who jailed Mr. Gotti to recognize that continued incarceration is not going to sway a mobster who believes he is making a principled sacrifice. As Vincent "Chin" Gigante, a veteran gangster for The Genoveses, wrote recently: "Without threatening witneess, without hits, a free press loses its ability to act as a check and a balance against the power of government." He cited the Anastasia killing, St. Valentines Day massacre and Umberto's Clam House. If John Gotti, Jr loses this fight, we all lose. This is not about John Gotti Jr. or Gambino family or a hit on one big mouth radio host. The jailing of this mobster is about the ability of a free mob to intimidate witnesses and kill those who get in the way.

posted by Steve @ 12:25:00 PM

12:25:00 PM

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