Again, Chairman Grendell is engaged in another retread by having someone who has already testified to the committee appear again.
What’s remarkable about the lengthy testimony of Costas is that while he’s getting alot of attention in the hearing, there’s very little evidence that he was involved, at all, in the decisions regarding the tobacco sting at the Governor’s Mansion.
Thomas Charles only mentions Costas twice in his entire report. And both mentions only say that he, along with others, received an e-mail about the plan.
However, Charles has never publicly released any interview of Ret. Lt. Col. William Costas. The interviews that have been released don’t seem to indicate he was involved in the decision making regarding the sting.
In the I.G. interview of Cathy Collins-Taylor, she’s only asked about those e-mails. Dicken testified that he doesn’t recall any conversations with Costas about the plan.
Roughly reviewing all the publicly released interviews shows little communication and involvement by Costas.
And yet, Grendell’s committee is giving his the star witness treatment, clearly intending him to be the anti-warm up act to Cathy Collins-Taylor’s testimony which was scheduled to begin before the committee needed to recess for the full Senate session.
It’s just an odd thing to see a guy who up until now has seem to be a minor player be puffed up. Of course, it might have to do with the fact that he’s there talking how great Ret. Major. Booker is (who likely perjured himself in his prior testimony to the same Senate committee.)
No matter how much Costas tries to polish up Booker’s old badge, there are still certain realities they cannot avoid:
- Booker was involved in undermining internal investigations in the Patrol for officers he favored.
- Booker refused to provide information to Dicken about the planned operation at the Governor’s Mansion which made it difficult for Dicken to properly evaluate.
- Booker has told two materially different stories to the I.G. and the Senate Committee.
- Oh, and this was tobacco.
Just how this hearing was conducted, the order the witnesses are being called, and what they’re being asked, this circus isn’t a confirmation hearing. It’s a political show trial.
Costas’ sole purpose in testifying was to say as the Dispatch blogged that “he believes the order to cancel the sting operation came from Collins-Taylor.” The problem with that is there is absolutely no evidence that Costas and Collins-Taylor ever were part of any conversation when the decision is made. In fact, there’s considerable evidence, in the I.G.’s report, that Costas has no freakin’ clue what, if any, Cathy Collins-Taylor actually said, did, or felt.
And yet, he’s permitted to testify that someone made a decision even though he was not a participant or witnessed anything first-hand that would support such a claim.
Costas also testified, under oath, that it was “unprecedented” to do a knock and talk to warn in a conveyance case. It’s like the “Princess Bride”. They keep using that word. I don’t think it means what they think it means. Because we showed pubic records that they’ve done it twice last year alone.