Involuntary Manslaughter on the George Washington Bridge

February 13, 2014 at 4:26 pm | Posted in Abuse of Office, Dysfunctional Politics, Enemies of Freedom | Leave a comment
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"The George Washington Bridge, connecting Fort Lee to New York City, is the world's busiest motor vehicle bridge." (Wikipedia) Photo by Jet Lowe, April 1986.

“The George Washington Bridge, connecting Fort Lee to New York City, is the world’s busiest motor vehicle bridge.” (Wikipedia) Photo by Jet Lowe, April 1986.

“Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee”, said the email from Bridget Anne Kelly to David Wildstein.  Bridget Kelly was a top staff member to Govenor Chris Christie of New Jersey, and David Wildstein was one of Christie’s appointees to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which controls the bridge.

The goal: to punish someone who hadn’t fallen into line politically (the Mayor of Fort Lee), by punishing thousands of innocent people, namely, people who where commuting from New Jersey to New York City via the George Washington Bridge.

David Wildstein contrived to create a horrendous traffic jam for people traveling during rush hour from New Jersey to Manhattan via the George Washington Bridge.  An unneccesary ‘traffic study’ was devised, as a cover story.

A traffic jam in Delhi, India, taken by NOMAD.  It is a different traffic jam, but it gives you the flavor.

A traffic jam in Delhi, India, taken by NOMAD. It is a different traffic jam, but it gives you the flavor.

A woman died after a heart attack, because emergency personnel could not reach her.

Thousands were late for work, missed meetings, missed job interviews, missed appointments with doctors.

Thousands experienced the agony of not being able to reach a toilet.

Hourly workers lost wages.  Businesses lost sales, both to to individuals and to companies.

Those stuck in traffic, those wanting to help during a medical emergency, those waiting for delayed employees and customers, suffered worry and tension that was prolonged enough to cause subtle but real damage to the immune system, heart, and brain.

Besides Bridget Kelly and David Wildstein there may be additional culprits.  Bill Baroni – another Christie appointee to the Port Authority – appears to have been involved.  Bill Stepien, Christie’s Deputy Chief of Staff at the time, exhibited suspiciously inhuman callousness about the effects of the jam.

Chris Christie denies knowing about the scheme until he learned about it from news reports.  His denial may well be accurate.  He might have been told that a traffic study was taking place, without knowing that the traffic study was just a cover, and without knowing that his associates had instigated it only to trigger a horrendous traffic jam.

The actions of Kelly and Wildstein, and possibly of Baroni and Stepien, was goon-like behavior.  It is the behavior of gangland enforcers, of thugs, not of those who treasure an open society.  The only novel feature is that in this case the enforcers appear to have been self-appointed, rather than being directed from above.

This wasn’t a prank.  It was deliberately punitive.

Justice requires that all of those who suffered, economically and/or emotionally, from this maneuver should be compensated for their suffering and injury, and that all who can be made whole should be made whole.  There should be prison sentences for the misuse of authority by those culpable, and for the involuntary manslaughter of the woman who died.

In particular, a Grand Jury should decide whether whether Kelly, Wildstein, and possibly Baroni and Stepien, should be tried for involuntary manslaughter.

A Grand Jury should decide whether whether Kelly, Wildstein, and possibly Baroni and Stepien, should be tried for misuse of authority.

A Grand Jury should decide whether whether Kelly, Wildstein, and possibly Baroni and Stepien, should be tried for the economic and emotional damage to the thousands of affected travelers, and to those who awaited them.

Kelly, Wildstein and perhaps Baroni and Stepien should be required to monetarily compensate the woman’s family, and, indeed, all of those who were damaged by their scheme.

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