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Ron Brown revisited

Posted By Geoff Metcalf On 05/04/1998 @ 1:00 am In Commentary | Comments Disabled

Friday evening last, I attended an event at which the erstwhile Christopher Ruddy spoke to several hundred people regarding the botched Ron Brown death investigation. The week previous to the event I had occasion to interview on my radio talk show Ruddy, Larry Klayman (from Judicial Watch), and Chief Petty Officer Kathleen Janowski. Ruddy is the reporter from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review who first exposed the questions raised about the potential of a gunshot wound to the head of Ron Brown. Klayman is the founder and chief poobah of Judicial Watch. CPO Janowski is the former forensic photographer who observed the anomalous Brown had wound and photographed it.

Several things have become apparent to any reasonable observer:

  1. When examined by expert professionals there was a question of an odd head wound that appeared to some to be consistent with a gunshot wound. No one claimed it WAS a gunshot wound, but there was significant question about what could have caused the symmetrical .45 inch hole in Ron Browns head.
  2. I asked CPO Janowski if there was a routine standing operating procedure for dealing with deaths involving high government officials. “Yes,” she said, there was. In fact, there is a law which covers not only presidents, but Cabinet-level officials as well. The law and the official policy was violated.
  3. Anyone and everyone who questioned the process (not the facts, or the official story, but the routine) was vilified and punished.
  4. Lt. Col. Steve Cogswell, who has previously been rated as one of the most professionally competent experts in the arena of gunshot wounds, was transferred to a dental unit. A move which denied the military of his expertise, AND which placed him in a venue designed to result in a negative officer efficiency report.
  5. CPO Janowski was moved to a station which previously did not exist, and which requires no duties to be performed. Her 22 years of service, and developed expertise was again denied to the military and resulted in her premature retirement which is pending.

Frankly, I don’t know what caused the hole in Ron Brown’s head. I have no idea whether or not it was the result of a gunshot. I DO know (from personal experience of 20 years in the military) that the mere fact policy was ignored, and that whistleblowers were, and are subjected to punitive action is a big deal.

What IS significant is that AGAIN, we have a case of a high government official (first Vincent
Foster, then Ron Brown) where the normal course of investigation was ignored. It is noteworthy that despite specific written guidelines intended to preclude questions, the current administration chose to add fuel to the fire of conspiracy by their actions.

The controversy about the strange deaths of Vince Foster, Ron Brown, Jim McDougal and anywhere from 34 to 90 others could and should have all been put to rest were it not for the Clinton administration’s demonstrated penchant for dissembling, obstruction of justice, and abuse of power under the color of authority.

The net result is that good people are suffering sea change life trauma because of an administration’s policy of not only refusing to cooperate with expediting controversial death inquires, but with an apparent policy of deceit, abuse of power and a demonstrated habit of concerting every effort to ignore potential embarrassment in the hope it will go away. Sadly, and to our great shame, it is a policy which to date, seems to be working.


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