Tuesday, February 9, 2010

My Thoughts on Massage-Gate

Another perfectly beautiful day in paradise! Blue skies with some white clouds. Sunshine, moderated by refreshing breezes. Cadena de amor, a pesky vine with very pretty, small pink-petaled flowers, is in bloom.

Before I go and read all the blogs and comments and talk with others, I'm just going to give some gut-level responses to the headline news that Judge Munson quashed the subpoenas in "massage-gate."

He's acted promptly. No one can say he dallied about on this.

He's articulated reasons that make sense (at least to lawyers). Separation of powers and the restraint of the court from participating in the government's investigation are not pretty or popular sound-bites, but they are important foundations of our legal jurisprudence and our system of government.

He's acted fairly and neutrally. I'm guessing he's as curious as the rest of us to actually find out what happened. But he didn't let his own curiosity or disgust about the situation overtake his judgment.

I don't like the outcome, but I'm not fair and neutral. I am disgusted and wanted some heads to roll. Still, I can't fault Judge Munson for reaching this decision.

Now, we'll have to see if this is the end of Massage-gate, or if there will be more federal investigation, more action by the court. I sincerely hope that the Governor is required to pay for his serious and flagrant abuse of power.

Because I don't agree with the Tribune's headline news or the Governor's take that "the truth has prevailed." We haven't heard the truth yet. It hasn't yet prevailed. Ed Buckingham represented the Governor, but he didn't represent the people in this matter. He has won nothing for us.

We did get this, though, from the order:
According to the declaration of Captain Georgia Cabrera, it appears that movant (Dolores San Nicolas) left and returned to the Governor's room several times during the treatment, presumably leaving the defendant unattended by any corrections officer for some periods of time...This conclusion is supported by the declaration of Corrections Officer I Abigail Borja...

So at least we know that the defendant was not really in custody all of the time. The spin of the Administration isn't fully supported by the existing factual record, as thin as that record is. And so there are still many, many unanswered questions.

And Stanley Torres is wrong. Shutting up and not disclosing in full public view the answers to the many questions does not put an end to the controversy. It will simply fester.


Anonymous said...

Any thoughts on Judge Munson's order quashing the evidentiary hearing? Would you have a copy of the order?

Saipan Writer said...

Wendy's got a link to it posted on her blog at Unheard No More. It's worth reading.

Wendy said...

Jane, I agree with your take. It will be interesting to see what happens or doesn't happen.

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