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It Depends on What Your Definition of ?Is? Is PDF Print E-mail
Written by Steve Dittmer   
Tuesday, 07 March 2006
AFF Sentinel Vol.3 #5

Remember when Bill Clinton was pondering the definition of "is" while testifying about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky? Well, consider the testimony of R-CALF's key expert witness, Louis Anthony Cox, Jr.

The claims R-CALF made in their legal brief suing USDA over the BSE and Canadian border issue are proof positive that just because something is presented in legal papers doesn't mean it is factual. The FDA excluded the testimony of Cox in a separate case because "Dr. Cox's testimony lacked credibility and was unreliable," according to the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) in the case. Dr. Lester Crawford, FDA head at the time, also reviewed the case and concurred.

"I agree with the ALJ that Dr. Cox's credibility was such that his testimony was so unreliable that it was inadmissible. The ALJ found that Dr. Cox's credibility was ?severely compromised' because he intentionally misquoted published articles.

Now, the judge didn't say Cox was mistaken, he said Cox "intentionally misquoted published articles." Bill Clinton might say that depends on what your definition of "intentional" is, but the dictionary includes these definitions: by conscious design or purpose; "intentional damage"; "a knowing attempt to defraud." That's pretty plain isn't it?

vCox's credibility is key to R-CALF, as his research and testimony underpinned R-CALF's insistence that BSE was as rampant in Canada as it was at its peak in 1980s U.K. With Dr. Cox's analysis, R-CALF insisted the prevalence was more than 13 times what USDA calculated.

In the FDA case, Cox had attributed a quote regarding a risk assessment to the Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM). But he later admitted to FDA that the quote was not attributable to CVM and he added the quotation marks himself because "it seemed to be an important concept." Crawford concluded his evaluation of Cox's testimony, methods and his explanation of his actions by saying the FDA expects of witnesses that "when using quotation marks, the material should, in fact, be an accurate quote."

That's asking a lot isn't it? Imagine, expecting a witness to be truthful. What's the world coming to?

But the story gets even better. R-CALF recently filed motions seeking to restart the border case. Their filings cite Dr. Cox's work again! Now, wouldn't a rational conclusion be that after your expert witness is described as being severely compromised and gets his hand slapped for intentionally misquoting published articles, you might want to consider using another source? Sure. So why don't they?

Because if there was real merit to their case all they would have to do is present the facts. But the facts don't support their case. And it probably isn't easy finding expert witnesses willing to go as far out on a limb as R-CALF needs them to go.

Imagine, there are cattlemen out there who have forked over their hard-earned dollars (over $1 million) to pay R-CALF's lawyers - to keep doing the same thing over and over and getting the same results. Remember we mentioned that as the definition of insanity in the last issue. Of course, Bill Clinton would say that depends on what your definition of insanity (like "is") is. Most people would call it just plain nuts.

This whole case is typical of the tactics of all liberal activist groups (LAG). If the law doesn't support their case and if they cannot persuade people on the merits of their argument, they go to court and hope and pray that justice is indeed blind - to the facts and common sense. But what do you do when someone insists that you tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? Ask Bill Clinton. Well, on second thought...

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Last Updated ( Saturday, 24 June 2006 )
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