Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Still no evidence of jars of feces at Texas Capitol

Warning: scatological puns ahead.

The controversy that engulfed the Texas Department of Public Safety in July after leaders said troopers had confiscated jars of urine and feces from abortion activists at the Capitol prompted the agency's chief to urge the release of photos to prove it was not playing politics.

"I am tired of reading that we made this stuff up," Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw wrote in a July 14 email to another top agency official. "Let's get the photos we have to members and the media. Does anyone realistically believe we would fabricate evidence to support a political agenda? Amazing."

Except that the document dump does not seem to include any photographs of jars or bags of feces or urine.

Records released by state police Monday reflect the chaos at a Capitol abortion debate last month — when state troopers said they discarded urine and feces they took from activists — but do not conclusively show bodily waste was actually found.

Very strange. Six weeks after the fact, the DPS releases e-mail conversations that says they found jars of feces, and photos of... something. That no one in the media who has seen them is ready to declare jars of feces.

"If we have photos, let's push them out," Robert Bodisch, assistant director of the agency's Texas Homeland Security arm wrote to McCraw in a July 14 email.

Poor choice of words there, Mr. Bodisch. Maybe this will get cleared up today, or in the days ahead, but for now it still, ah, smells bad. The only bag of poop I could be sure about appears in photo #9 of the slideshow at this link. But the HouChron and the SAEN didn't go there.

Back to the pressing question: how is it that there could still be an unresolved controversy over this matter? Let's go back to DPS Director McCraw, from the excerpt at the top.

"Does anyone realistically believe we would fabricate evidence to support a political agenda?"

Sadly, yes. We most certainly do.

Update: From the TFN Insider...

So after weeks of smears directed at pro-choice activists, we see that there is no evidence at all that anyone brought jars of human waste to the Capitol. Moreover, out of the thousands of activists at the Capitol — both for and against the anti-abortion bill – it appears that a handful of people brought several bricks and a can of paint. And who brought those few items (which DPS officers were absolutely right to confiscate)? No one knows.

We now know, however, that DPS and other law enforcement officers were listening a lot to religious-right activists making wild and unsubstantiated claims. And those claims were meant to discredit the thousands of concerned citizens who went to the Capitol to protest — peacefully — yet another attack on women’s health care services in Texas.

...and Wonkette.

The rumor of jars of feces and urine being carried into the Senate seem to have originated with one lone officer at one checkpoint the day of the debate. Since anyone with higher brain functions (this of course leaves out the vast majority of wingnuts) thought it sounded ridiculous, reporters have been pestering DPS for weeks to confirm the stories. DPS had actually petitioned Texas’s attorney general to keep files on the matter sealed, which seems to us something an agency would do if its members did indeed have a political agenda. Not that it matters, because as we keep reminding everyone, a lie can get halfway around the world before the truth shits in a jar.

Update: #Poopgate ? No, I prefer Cacapocalypse. But Twitter is still getting over yesterday's hack by the Syrians, so I don't think my suggestion has much chance of trending.

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