Monday, January 19, 2009

Why the use of torture is contrary to our national interest

The change in administrations is a good time for our government to rethink its torture or cruel and inhumane treatment of detainees, as well as other deviations from standard judicial procedure. Besides being morally wrong, here is why these policies are bad:

1. Such policies are against U.S. law. Harold Hongju Koh, Dean of the Yale Law School, testified eloquently on this point in the Gonzalez confirmation hearings ( No person, not even an enemy combatant is outside the law, despite this administration’s arguments to that effect. Jordan Paust’s book gives the most extensive discussion with which I am familiar.
2. These tactics hurt our troops in several ways. First it renders them more likely to be subjected to the same treatment. Second, torture makes it more difficult to gain the trust of he local population, as Iraq veteran Paul Rieckhoff pointed out ( Third, the possibility of harsh treatment makes enemy soldiers less likely to surrender and more likely to fight to the death ( Rieckhoff’s essay is not only eloquent, but he speaks from a position of authority.
3. Torture provides the information that the torturer wishes to hear, not necessarily the truth. John McCain’s experiences in Viet Nam give one example of this. The false information obtained from suspected Al-Qaeda terrorist Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi on the supposed Iraqi chemical weapons was used to justify the war in Iraq. This incident is only demonstrates how damaging it is to our nation to torture information out of suspects. Another example in the treatment of Abu Zubaydah. Ron Suskind gives an account of some of our practices in “The One Percent Doctrine: Deep Inside America's Pursuit of Its Enemies Since 9/11.”
The highest profile example of false confessions was probably the Central Park jogger rape case ( If one accepts that there is such a thing as a false confession, then it is inescapable that the problem will worsen when the interrogation methods are “enhanced.” Finally, unlike a more disinterested interrogator, the torturer has an enormous stake in believing that the intelligence he or she gleans is true: The torturer would have to confront that his or her objectionable actions served no purpose if the intelligence were lies told only for the sake of ending the pain, a colossal problem of cognitive dissonance.
4. These practices alienate our allies and our potential allies around the world. Iraqi support for the invasion dropped precipitously immediately after the Abu Ghraib photographs were published. The editorial page of the Economist wrote (11 January 2003), “The taboo against torture is also strongly and deeply supported by western public opinion. If America, covertly or openly, begins to use torture systematically against al-Qaeda suspects, there is bound to be a backlash, both at home and abroad. Many
of the subjects might be innocent people, which would be morally repellent--and
would hand a propaganda victory to Islamic extremists.”
5. These practices are inconsistent with the fundamental conservative tenet of not discarding principles and practices that have served us well since the time of the Revolutionary war. Our nation has been a leader in the humane treatment of prisoners in armed conflicts, starting with George Washington and continuing through WW II and Korea. Is Al-Qaeda a more dangerous enemy than Germany or Japan was in the 1940s?

These reasons make a compelling case for altering our present, seriously misguided course. Finally I should mention two treatments of the ticking time bomb scenario. I have reviewed Dr. Brecher’s indispensible book on this subject in an earlier post (12 December 2008), and Michael Kinsley’s article in Slate is an insightful response to Charles Krauthammer’s position ( The discussion of the arguments for and against torture here is abbreviated by intention; however, I will expand on some of these points, especially the ticking bomb rationale in subsequent posts.

“The One Percent Doctrine: Deep Inside America's Pursuit of Its Enemies Since 9/11,” by Ron Suskind.
“Beyond the Law,” by Jordan J. Paust.
“A Question of Torture,” Alfred McCoy.
“The Guantanamo Files,” by Andy Worthington.
“The Dark Side,” Jane Mayer.
“Torture and the Ticking Bomb” by Bob Brecher.
“Eight O’Clock Ferry to the Windward Side,” by Clive Stafford Smith.
“Guantanamo and the Abuse of Presidential Power,” by Joseph Margulies.

The Ghosts of Abu Ghraib
Standard Operating Procedure
Taxi to the Dark Side

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A new tune for Gideon's trumpet: indigent criminal defendants need more than a lawyer

I have been reading about a number of cases over the last several years, and I see a common thread through many of them. Patricia Stallings was convicted of killing her infant son, yet the boy died of a genetic disease that was misdiagnosed as ethylene glycol poisoning ( Laboratory tests that were unethically and incorrectly performed were the basis of her conviction, though the wrongdoing was later uncovered and she was released. Cameron Todd Willingham was executed for killing his children on the basis of since-discredited beliefs about the forensics of arson (,0,4934450.story). John Grisham’s nonfiction work, “The Innocent Man,” tells of a man on death row for a number of years when he should not even have been the prime suspect, partly due to errors made by his court-appointed lawyer, and partly due to faulty forensics. A list such as this could go on for a long time—too long.

In a number of ways, the Duke lacrosse case, a frequent subject of this blog, is different. The defendants faced an unethical prosecutor and a police force that repeatedly broke the rules. However, the defendants’ lawyers unmasked the prosecution’s attempt to bury exculpatory DNA evidence. Sadly, both the miscarriages of justice mentioned above and the Duke case illustrate a point made in Mr. Grisham’s book that I am paraphrasing: “In this country, you are innocent until proven broke.” There has been much ado over the wealth of these particular defendants’ families, but it is too infrequently noticed that these lawyers earned their paychecks the right way, by uncovering exculpatory evidence that the DA wished to hide. The shame is not that the Duke three came from wealthy families; rather, it is that we have tolerated a judicial system that sometimes cannot function unless the defendant is able to pay to play.

The sixth amendment to the constitution gives an accused the right to counsel. Given the great weight juries sometimes give forensic evidence, I liken putting a public defender in front of a jury without a meaningful ability to challenge possibly faulty evidence to sending a lacrosse player onto the field without gloves or a helmet. Therefore, I propose that for crimes that carry a sufficiently large maximum penalty, perhaps ten years in prison, that the public defender’s office should have available a sum of money. This money could be used to pay for DNA tests, clinical laboratory or other forensic tests, or a licensed private investigator. I propose a sum of $5,000 for most cases and $10,000 for capital cases.

It is vital to the success of this proposal that the judge trying the case be given as little authority as possible in directing the use of this money, possibly none at all. As indicated in “The Innocent Man,” a judge who approved public money on forensic tests could be tarred as being soft on crime. Voters might well punish someone who spent money on supposed criminals. However, I think that if we assent to the need of a public defender, we should also recognize the need to level the playing field between the prosecution and defense.

I have a strong hunch that this proposal could be considerably sharpened via amendments, particularly from those with more real-world exposure to the criminal justice system than I have. To that end, when I receive constructive comments, I will modify it accordingly. Therefore, comments are even more welcome than usual.

Update-1 (13 October 2009)
The 2009 Duke lacrosse book “Race to Injustice” has a chapter on the defense teams in that case. This author of this chapter, Rodney Uphoff, included a discussion of indigent defendants as the final section of his essay. His essay supports the general notion that indigent defendants often receive inadequate representation. I recommend his and a number of the other chapters. In the latter half of 2009, the case of Cameron Todd Willingham became national news, and I blogged twice in succession on this case ( I changed the word “stipend” to “sum” in the third paragraph.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Post-modern Presidency: An open letter to Fred Siegel

Dear Professor Siegel,

I read your essay “Acadeaniacs” in the New York Observer,23 March 2005 (, and I found a great deal with which to disagree. It starts off promisingly enough, by relating how a student you met called President Bush evil and then said that we had no standard by which to judge Saddam Hussein. You correctly noted this incongruity but then wrote an essay with an enormous error of omission. Your essay is written in opposition to postmodernism in academia, and at the same time in implicit defense of the Bush administration. Postmodernism is the view that there are no universal truths; instead there are only competing opinions. By failing to criticize the postmodernism that so pervades this administration, you lead me to wonder whether you really care as much about challenging the idea of postmodernism as you do about bashing Democrats and supporting Republicans.

This administration behaves as though there is no such thing as objective reality. Therefore, it uses words according to their ability to persuade, not according to their closeness to truth. An implication of political postmodernism is that it becomes impossible to advance the notion that reasonable men and women may disagree with each other on some point. Instead, disagreement is necessarily equivalent to disloyalty. A Texas Republican said that if you oppose Karl Rove on anything, you become an enemy even if you are not one (Mark Crispin Miller, Fooled Again, 2005, p.82). This administration’s actions have been corrosive to public discourse and action in at least three areas, the role of journalism in mediating between the government and the people, the justifications for war in Iraq, and science policy.

An academic thinker may approach a problem by studying it in a preliminary way, then developing a hypothesis, testing it if possible, and finally drawing conclusions. Something like this should also be the normal course of events in a democracy: presentation of a problem, analysis and debate to consider alternatives, then a decision. This administration reversed the process: First came the decision behind closed doors, then came forth the arguments (often false) in a sham debate.

To control public debates, this administration has applied postmodernism to journalism. Eric Boelert points out that this administration’s tactics have been to blur the distinction between responsible journalists and irresponsible punditry such as Armstrong Williams or nonjournalists such as Jeff Gannon ( When Jeff Gannon asking fawning questions is made to be as worthy as Helen Thomas to ask substantive questions at briefings and press conferences, the very idea of professional journalism is imperiled. Boelert quotes David Brock as saying "Their explicit goal is to get us to the point where there are blue [state] facts and red [state] facts." As one means to blur the distinction between news and opinion, this administration has used press releases disguised as news. These tactics erode the ability of the press to be an independent inquisitor of government policy. Boelert summarizes the comments of Pulitzer Prize winner Ron Suskind:

Ron Suskind argues that the Bush administration has rejected the fundamental idea of debate and intellectual exchange. "Other administrations ceded to fact, and saw the benefit -- the value -- to meaningful public dialogue based on fact," he says. "They understood that was one of their obligations, to engage with people who were there to ask pointed and pertinent questions and demand answers to them. They understood that's how it worked and that that was the precedent. This administration has said, 'What does that have to do with me?'"

The adminstration was committed to war with Iraq no later than the spring of 2002, as can be seen in
The One Percent Doctrine: Deep Inside America’s Pursuit of Its Enemies Since 9/11 (2006), and The Price of Loyalty by Ron Suskind, and A Pretext for War: 9/11, Iraq, and the Abuse of America’s Intelligence Agencies (2005), by James Bamford. Then the White House attempted to sway the public toward embracing the war, while simultaneously maintaining the fiction that what the inspectors found or what Saddam did could change the outcome.

President Bush began the selling of the Iraqi war in his 2002 State of the Union speech, in which he said “States like these (Iran, Iraq, or North Korea), and their terrorist allies, constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world.” This assertion is completely bewildering: Iraq and Iran had fought a bloody and debilitating war in the 1980’s, yet, the notion of an axis implies cooperation and collaboration. With respect to the case for the existence of Iraqi WMDs, one brief example will suffice to indicate that facts didn’t matter to this administration. None of allegations made by defectors allied with Chalabi about the locations of Iraqi WMD programs were substantiated by the inspectors’ work in 2002-2003, a discrepancy which should have weakened the defectors’ credibility.

The White House’s allegations of ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda never suggested administration cares at all for factual accuracy or logical consistency. The intelligence community strongly disputed reports of meetings between the Iraqi government and Al Qaeda operatives, despite strong-arm tactics to push it toward such claims, as documented by Ron Suskind in The One Percent Doctrine. Indeed, the very idea of ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda never make sense: Saddam was a secularist, whom Bin Laden reviled.

And yet, the problem that may be most pertinent to a discussion of postmodernism is that the administration’s arguments were incoherent (at least as much as the arguments put forth by the students you engaged). As political columnist Michael Kinsley has said, the administration’s arguments stumbled into each other like drunks ( Kinsley highlighted the contradiction between the contention that the Iraqis had WMDs and the claim that they would not use them against our troops if attacked.

Another inconsistency was the charge that Saddam was guilty of gross human rights violations coupled with the acknowledgement that the United States would stand down its military threat if Saddam complied with the UN resolutions with respect to the inspectors ( This is a meretricious argument, in that makes our nation seem noble for its intention to depose a tyrant. Yet suppose that Saddam had been able to comply with the inspections to everyone’s satisfaction. He still would have been just as guilty of human rights abuses; therefore, this administration’s bringing up those crimes was entirely irrelevant. The administration’s arguments were dissonant, clashing even with each other, apart from whether any of them were true.

To postmodernists such as Irving Kristol, Karl Rove, or Ahmed Chalabi, the objections presented above miss the point. The arguments may have been “phony” (to quote Kristol’s description of the reasons given for military action in Granada), but they worked in both instances. That this administration could drive public opinion in spite of the facts becomes more obvious when one compares polls taken just after 11 September 2001 to polls taken near the start of the Iraqi war. Over time more and more people believed that there was a link between Iraq and 9/11 (

The same sacrificing of truth to political gain has also permeated this administration’s approach to issues requiring scientific expertise. This has been documented in The Republican War on Science (2006), by Chris Mooney, and Bush versus the Environment (2004) by Robert S. Devine. A Newsweek cover story (13 August 2007) on the global warming debate reinforces Mooney’s analysis. The tactic of this administration (and the Republicans in general) has been to exaggerate the degree of dissent within the scientific community about the reality of global warming and its causes, then to use the manufactured uncertainly as a rationale for not taking action. Senator Inhofe implied that global warming was a hoax perpetrated by scientists. These tactics willfully misunderstand that science operates by testing falsifiable hypotheses. The mere existence of global warming skeptics is not surprising or particularly meaningful. What would be significant is if they performed and published experiments that bolstered their claims in peer-reviewed journals.

In September 2002 tens of thousands of fish died along the lower Klamath River in Oregon. A team of fisheries biologists led by Michael Kelly had been against releasing water for irrigation on the basis of it potential to harm two species of endangered fish, as well as to other fish. Vice President Cheney sought a second opinion from other scientists, whose report was construed by the White House as not entirely supporting the team’s conclusions. The water was let out for irrigation, and that summer witnessed the death of about 33,000 salmon, damaging the fishing industry. The issue is not merely that this administration was wrong, but that it shopped around for a viewpoint that could be twisted to support a politically advantageous irrigation policy. This is postmodernism in action.

In general, this administration has given undue weight to scientific opinions that happens to support its political and economic policies. It has sought to pack advisory councils with poorly qualified, but strongly ideological individuals. These are the actions of those who don’t believe that science can probe objective truth. Instead, this administration appears to believe that there is nothing more than competing scientific opinions, and the way to prevail is to promote one’s own views through arm-twisting.

The way this administration behaved with respect to Iraq, to economic policy, to the environment, or to treatment of detainees has a common thread. It began to become apparent what the philosophy of this administration is when I read Ron Suskind’s article “Without a Doubt,” published on 17 October 2004 in the New York Times Magazine. One can only cringe when one comes across examples of the president’s stubbornly clinging to falsehoods, such as insistence that Sweden had no army, for example. His ignorance of the two major types of Muslims, Shias and Sunnis, as reported by Great Britain’s ambassador, helps one to understand the postwar debacle a little better. The lack of a process for rationally considering alternatives has been a remarkable weakness in this presidency that might be initially puzzling. However, the comment from a senior advisor that Suskind reports is particularly chilling but also clarifying:

The aide said that guys like me were “in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who “believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. “That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you are studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

To put oneself in opposition to the reality-based community can only mean that one is an irrationalist, meaning that one does not believe in objective reality. What is meant by creating one’s own reality? Seymour Hersh gave one possible answer in Chain of Command: The Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib (2004), when writing about President Bush’s statements on torture:

There are many who believe that George Bush is a liar, a president who knowingly and deliberately twists facts for political gain. But lying would indicate an understanding of what is desired, what is possible, and how best to get there. A more plausible explanation is that words have no meaning for this President beyond the immediate moment, and so he believes that his mere utterance of the phrases makes them real. It is a terrifying possibility (p. 367).

Chris Mooney summed up the Bush Administration’s relationship to science:

By failing to respect the integrity of science, and instead repeatedly undermining it and employing it opportunistically, the Bush administration erodes public confidence in the scientific endeavor and leaves it crippled and undermined. This fosters outright relativism about the value of science as opposed to other ways of knowing—outright “faith,” for example. (p. 257)

Mooney quotes Thomas Murray, who says that this administration “has a postmodern take on science.” Mooney discusses the anonymous comments of Bush’s aide about the reality-based community (see above). “Whoever is speaking here has become the most dangerous sort of relativist.”

If our leaders do not believe in using reason, facts, and logic to make decisions, then what is left? President Bush has indicated that he thinks his gut and his faith in God are sufficient. President Bush once said, “I may not know where Kosovo is, but I know what I believe.” A White House official said, “the President is not a fact checker,” in regards to the false Niger uranium claim, but his comments beg the question, “Who in this administration is checking facts?” One wonders how honest decisions can ever be made in the absence of reliable information.

Moreover, there is a symbiosis between Bush’s trusting his gut instincts and the One Percent Doctrine, first enunciated by Vice President Dick Cheney: If there is even a one percent chance that someone or something can do us harm, we have to act as if it were a certainty. At first encounter, this sounds as if this administration merely wishes to be zealous in their protection of our country. Upon further examination, it means something different and far more dangerous, and this administration treats it as carte blanche to do what it pleases. This administration’s line of thinking seems to be: The number of threats that this country faces that have at least a one percent chance of coming to pass is very large. Is there a one percent chance that Iran or North Korea, or even Pakistan could harm us? Of course, yet we don’t have the resources to invade all of them. So which one’s do we invade? We use our instincts, our gut intuition.

Suskind argues that Vice President Cheney’s formulation divorces action from deliberation. Therefore, Cheney liberated President Bush from the complex and dull task of reading, weighing facts, considering alternatives, and only then deciding and acting, based on one’s proscribed role in government. On the contrary, this administration has used the unitary theory of the executive to expand its role well beyond that envisioned by the founding fathers. If one is president of the strongest country on earth and is further liberated by the One Percent Doctrine, the power must be so intoxicating that checks and balances are merely fetters. It is no wonder that President Bush called the Constitution “just a goddamned piece of paper (”

Since the time I first read your essay, my study of the Duke lacrosse case has made me more receptive to the notion that postmodernism is a real threat to the academic enterprise. However, why not acknowledge the harm postmodernism has done to this nation in the last eight years?

Friday, January 2, 2009

A summary of “Last Dance for Grace The Crystal Mangum Story”

Crystal Mangum was the accuser in the Duke lacrosse case. In March 2006 her allegation of gang rape was the grounds for three Duke lacrosse players being indicted. In April 2007 North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper declared the three men innocent. Ms. Mangum’s autobiography appeared in the fall of 2008. My summary will not attempt to compare her account with any other, and this approach should not be construed to mean that I accept or dispute her account. Warning: This review reports on strong language and events that may be unsuitable for some individuals, particularly the young.

Part I, the alleged assault

Ms. Mangum, an exotic dancer, discusses the events of March 13, 2006 in two places in her book, pp. 33-56 and pp. 189-208. Ms. Mangum claims that she has always given a consistent account of the alleged rape (p. 189). She claims never to have taken illegal drugs, and she says that she was surprised at reports that she was on a strong cocktail of drugs for bipolar disorder that night. She says that she had two beers prior to arriving at 610 North Buchanan, the house rented by several of the lacrosse co-captains. This was less than she would usually drink before a performance (p. 48). She says that she took a few sips of the drink that “Dan Flanagan” gave her before spilling it and declined Nikki’s offer of her drink. She says that she was aware of the dangers of taking the medication she had been prescribed along with alcohol and that she did have prescriptions for “a number of drugs” on p. 47. She says that there is no proof and no toxicology reports that she took prescription drugs on March 13. She does not give the names of the drugs for which she had prescriptions or discuss why she stopped taking them as she implies. She assumes that information about her prescriptions came from release of her medical records or doctors and is outraged that her medical records were made public. She also reports that one of her doctors withdrew from treating her because of a conflict of interest stemming from his connections with Duke University.

While Ms. Mangum and Kim Roberts (Nikki, the other dancer) prepared in the bathroom, she heard the partygoers repeatedly refer to them as “black bitches.” After she and Nikki started to dance, she was surprised to see Nikki naked (she says that she had not planned on being completely naked). This surprise caused her to fall almost on top of Nikki, which she says was not intentional. As she and Nikki got up, she believes someone yelled that they were going to stick a broomstick up their anuses. Nikki said that they needed to get out of there. A person she believes was David Evans, one of the three indicted players, coaxed them back inside the house.

Shortly thereafter, she was forced into the bathroom and grabbed by the throat. Despite her screams, no one helped her. Ms. Mangum does not describe the physical appearance of her attackers, nor does she name them. That is odd, given that she seems to know what David Evans looks like. She does say that she is not good at remembering “minute details” about her surroundings (p. 56). She writes (p. 190), “I know people want me to name names and point fingers, but that would just be opening up a whole can of worms.” The first attacker penetrated her vagina and anus. The second attacker penetrated her vagina. Her pulling at his shirt caused her glued fingernails to pop loose. The third attacker at first demurred, on the grounds of having a fiancĂ©e, but then also assaulted her. She does not say where he penetrated her, but she does think that she may have been penetrated by a foreign object. The second attacker then penetrated her anally but ejaculated onto the floor. She suggests that a DNA sample near the sink in the bathroom was from a partygoer, presumably her second attacker. She implies that the alleged attack took ten minutes (p. 194) and that she was in the house for thirty minutes (p. 197).

After Ms. Mangum and Nikki left, she told Nikki about the attack. She received a mild sedative at Duke Medical Center before 3 AM. She had a pelvic exam that was so “excruciating” that it took a long time to complete (p. 193). She says that the hospital staff reported truthfully on the injuries they described but that the injuries were more extensive than reported in the media though it is not clear what she means. She claims bruising of her neck and knee. She claims (p. 225) that the videotape showing her dancing about ten days later was actually filmed several months earlier.

Part II, The investigation

Ms. Mangum says that the police did not try to coach her, yet they did tell her that the pictures were more than likely to be people at the party. She also says that she never danced at the Platinum Pleasures Club again. She denies that DNA evidence exists of her having multiple sex partners prior to the events at 610 Buchanan, and she says that there was no semen found in her orifices. She also denies being a prostitute but acknowledges masturbating for customers. She hints at the existence of other DNA evidence in her case file and calls for the file to be released. She implies that the use of racial slurs by itself is a hate crime (p. 203).

About the investigation she says (p. 197), “The notion that the Durham Police Department somehow decided that my case was about framing people for no reason seems so crazy.” She makes one puzzling statement about the DNA tests (p. 202): “If the DNA confirms that none of the people charged left DNA on me, then the test performed their function.”

During the second meeting with the Coman/Winstead team that took over from Durham DA Michael Nifong, Ms. Mangum felt frustrated by the rapidity of the questions. Near the end of the meeting, she said, “They are going to get away with it because Duke has paid everyone to be silent.”

Part III, Ms. Mangum’s adolescence

Ms. Mangum wished to be a ballerina when she was young. She also spent hours studying dance moves in music videos on television. Ms. Mangum’s parents loved her, however they favored her sister. Her portrait of her sister is particularly unflattering. Her father was quite willing to use corporal punishment. Her mother seems to have been hospitalized for mental illness at least one time (p. 83). She implies that she is estranged from her family but is not specific on the reasons. She accuses her cousin Jackie of trying to sell her story and believes that someone paid her to talk (p. 68).

By far the most horrific story within this portion of the book is Ms. Mangum’s account of a gang rape when she was fourteen. One of her abusers was her boyfriend Frederick and the other two were friends of his. Frederick was also physically and psychologically abusive. Her relationship with Frederick sent her into a depression, requiring hospitalization and treatment. She swallowed sixty aspirin tablets when she was a teenager and again was hospitalized.

Ms. Mangum describes herself as being religious and fearing God. She says that in the last year she gravitated back to the church for solace (p. 70).

Part IV, Ms. Mangum’s adult life prior to the alleged attack

Ms. Mangum’s husband was fourteen years older than she, and after they married, she joined the navy. She says that she was more concerned about him than herself. She writes (pp. 150-151), “Being kindhearted and a caring person is a character flaw I suffer from.” Ultimately, Kenneth was verbally and physically abusive. After the breakup of her marriage, she started dating Ryan, the father of her two older children.

Ms. Mangum gives the following account of her arrest in 2002: She says that she was drunk, and an equally drunk man gave her the keys to his car, which turned out to be a taxicab. Her motive for wanting to go home was to check on her children. She stopped after police pursued her but then backed up, hitting a police cruiser. She was charged with two felonies and five misdemeanors (p. 174).

In 2004 Ms. Mangum took a job as a medical technician in an adult care facility for about a year but had a conflict with her manager and was fired. As in other interpersonal situations, she lays the majority of the blame for the problem on the other person (p. 176). She acknowledges that she abused alcohol and had a mental heath issue in 2005 that was diagnosed as bipolar disorder by one mental health professional and recurring depression by another.