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US Attorney Carmen Ortiz named “Bostonian of the Year” after office prosecutes cases against Tarek Mehanna and Chuck Turner


Below is an interview with US Attorney Carmen Ortiz, who was awarded the title “Bostonian of the Year” by the Boston Globe. Exactly 2 years after she was sworn in, we ask you to listen to this interview in which the US Attorney is unable to even eloquently defend her office’s prosecution of Tarek Mehanna. It seems as though the US Attorney’s Office (USAO) has spent a great deal of time on its public relations campaign over the past 2 years, with Carmen Ortiz as its face. Please listen to the piece and feel free to comment and share your thoughts here on our blog, as well as on the wbur article and the Boston Globe article. As is shown by the first caller to the show, it seems as though this ridiculous attempt at getting some positive attention for the USAO may just backfire.

http://radioboston.wbur.org/2012/01/03/carmen-ortiz-bostonian

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, right, watches as the new U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Carmen Ortiz is sworn in during her installation ceremony at the federal courthouse in Boston Monday, Jan. 11, 2010. (AP)U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, right, watches as the new U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Carmen Ortiz is sworn in during her installation ceremony at the federal courthouse in Boston Monday, Jan. 11, 2010. (AP)

If you know Boston then you know something about the name Ortiz. We’re not talking about Red Sox slugger Big Papi though. We’re talking about the chief federal law enforcement officer in Massachusetts: U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz.

Appointed by President Obama in 2009, Ortiz is Boston’s first female and first Hispanic U.S. attorney.

Ortiz was in the news a lot during 2011. She lead the government’s successful corruption case against former House Speaker Sal DiMasi, she won a controversial terrorism conviction against Tarek Mehanna of Sudbury, and she is preparing to prosecute James “Whitey” Bulger.

For that, and for her up-by-her-boot-straps story, the Boston Globe Magazine named her Bostonian of the Year.

Guests:

  • Susanne Althoff, editor of the Boston Globe Magazine
  • Carmen Ortiz, U.S. attorney
Click the link to listen to the conversation.

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2 Comments on “US Attorney Carmen Ortiz named “Bostonian of the Year” after office prosecutes cases against Tarek Mehanna and Chuck Turner”

  1. Umm Yahya January 12, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    I cannot comprehend how this woman can live with a sane mind after having such a stance in Tarek’s case. This isn’t about fulfilling a 9-5 job. It’s about prosecuting someone who has not attacked any individual, yet is stigmatised simply because of his beliefs! So what if he doesn’t agree with America’s occupation of Iraq & Afghanistan?! I’m sure a lot of American citizens would agree with that.

    It’s clear that Carmen Ortiz is not for justice.

    I don’t see how one can conclude that someone is a “terrorist” simply because they happen to travel to Yemen. Correlation does not purport causation- especially in Tarek’s case. Perhaps if Ortiz allowed Tarek’s case to be based on the facts of the case, rather than a figment of her imagination, justice would have prevailed.

    She said:”We really believe he was a threat”- Well, if you cannot prove this with solid evidence, who care’s what you believe?! I can see now why she presented video footages of the events of 9/11 in court- ‘if the language of accusations does not work- we’ll try the language of emotions!’
    Travelling to a specific country does not make someone a terrorist. What’s next? Whoever travels to Pakistan is a terrorist? Or a better comparison: whoever travels to Antartica is a terrorist because they intended to get military training by polar bears!

    “He wanted to do…” BUT he never did. You can’t prosecute someone based on what you think they think- that’s absurd! Prosecuting someone for their actual actions that they commit- gives you a platform, but to put someone behind bars simply because you don’t agree with their views is barbaric.

    Another American case corresponding to Babar’s words:
    “The start of any nation’s end is when they replace justice with injustice” [British Political Prisoner, Babar Ahmad]

  2. Diane Conti April 13, 2012 at 7:45 pm #

    Obviously this was her payoff. She followed orders, unlike some who refuse to sell-out.

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