Dissecting The Hellmann Report #1: Highlighting Representative Examples Of Its Many Bizarre Quirks
Posted by Cardiol
[Above: Judge Hellman. At bottom: Judge Zanetti, who may have written the sentencing report]
Milan and Rome are the main venues for Italy’s important business trials. Those in Perugia are small and relatively obscure.
In contrast Perugia handles very important criminal investigations for the central government when there are conflicts of interest in Rome. So Perugia was handed the very sensitive and politically explosive investigations into Rome politicians siphoning funds from the 2006 winter Olympics construction and the 2010 earthquake damage reconstruction.
This explains why Dr Galati the chief prosecutor for Umbria was transferred from the Supreme Court in January 2011 where he had been a deputy chief prosecutor and why he has a high profile throughout Italy. And why Judge Hellman, a business judge, is almost unknown outside Perugia who at times seems a little cranky with his lot in life. His co-judge Massimo Zanetti, also little known, handles civil trials.
Read in Italian, Dr Galati’s Supreme Court appeal against the Hellman/Zanetti appeal verdict which is some pages longer than the Hellman & Zanetti report, is absolutely scathing. (The team will have the PMF translation ready soon.) Dr Galati seems almost offended to be facing what he seems to see as a childish and legally inferior piece of work.
Dr Galati takes Hellman & Zanetti apart at three levels, as the Perugia media summarised at his press conference five months ago.
First, that the scope is illegally wide for an appeal judgement. Second, that the DNA report by Stefano Conti and Carla Vecchiotti (which concluded with innuendo rather than firm findings) was unnecessary at the appeal level and should never have been commissioned. And third that Hellman & Zanetti are out of order in their subjective interpretations of trial evidence their appeal court mostly didnt look at, and trial witnesses their appeal court never saw.
As a lawyer in the common-law systems of the US and UK I have read plenty of equivalent arguments by judges which logically and legally and objectively almost always hit a very high plane.
On the Hellman & Zanetti report I have to agree with Dr Galati. This seems a dismally inferior piece of work.
To me this document reads like the work-product of a naïve freshman law student in appellate procedure class submitted with no reasoned presentation of facts and evidence as a defendant’s brief, instead of as the official report of a Regional Court Of Assizes Of Appeal submitted in the name of the Italian People with a sober presentation of Facts and Evidence and a reasoned Explanation of Conclusions.
In my view and surely Dr Galati’s it deserves no more than an F.
The Hellman/Zanetti report is emotional and hyperbolic, but it is neither persuasive nor professional. Its faults are so densely packed that any TJMK series fully analyzing them would need more space than posting of the full Hellmann/Zanetti Report.
The calunnia section alone (2,447 words long) to do with Knox’s framing of Lumumba has more than 50 dubious statements. It is also short enough to demonstrate here the weaknesses typical of the whole report, despite this section’s secondary bottom-line significance.
The very first line of this section (beginning on page 21 of the PMF translation) typifies the tone of the whole Report.
The “spontaneous” declarations rendered by Amanda Knox on November 6, and the …….
Note Hellmann & Zanetti’s contemptuous use of quotation marks here.
On the same page Hellmann & Zanetti begin a paragraph thus: “According to the hypothesis of the prosecution…”, but then don’t go at all to state the real hypothesis of the prosecution.
Instead, Hellmann & Zanetti glide smoothly into preposterous ‘straw-man’ sophistry in which he attributes to the prosecution his own speculative and prejudiced conclusions, instead of the hypothesis the prosecution did submit:
Amanda Knox, at that point exhausted from the long interrogation, and above all demoralized by having learned from the people interrogating her that Raffaele Sollecito had, so to speak, abandoned her to her destiny, denying the alibi (Motivazione page number) that he had offered her up to then (having spent the whole night together at Sollecito s house), supposedly resorted to a final defence effort, representing more or less what actually happened in the house at via della Pergola, but substituting Patrick Lumumba for Rudy Guede in the role of protagonist: one black for another, to quote the Prosecutor.
This Court does not share the hypothesis of the prosecution.
Actually this (Hellmann & Zanetti) court misrepresents the hypothesis of the prosecution as argued above.
“...exhausted from the long interrogation, and above all demoralized” These do not need further comment. They are Hellmann & Zanetti’s own biased edits, disguised as prosecutors’ hypotheses.
“...having spent the whole night together at Sollecito’s house…” Here Hellmann & Zanetti seem to blithely assume the truth of Knox’s disputed alibi, but is probably merely repeating what her alibi was not “blithely” assuming it to be the truth. If so he should have used the proper quotation marks.
So do Hellmann & Zanetti sympathise with Knox’s demoralization at the denial of her false alibi? How do they explain the apparent conflict between ‘more or less what actually happened’ and ‘spent the whole night together at Sollecito’s house’? See later.
“…representing more or less what actually happened in the house at via della Pergola…” Here, Hellmann & Zanetti begrudgingly seem to acknowledge that Knox was present in the house at via della Pergola, but later will disavow any guilt on Knox’s part, except for her calunnia offence.
Continuing on the first page of his report’s calunnia section, Hellmann & Zanetti state:
The obsessive length of the interrogations which took place day and night and were conducted by several people questioning a young and foreign girl, who at that time did not understand or speak the Italian language well at all, ignorant of her own rights and deprived of the advice of a lawyer, to which she would have been entitled since she was……
“...obsessive length…” This seems too obviously inappropriate to need further comment. The interrogations themselves were actually quite short.
“...took place day and night… ” This is factual, but hyperbolic; included for both dramatic implication and dramatic inference.
“...young…” Youth is a mitigating factor in Italian law, so Hellmann & Zanetti’s reference to Knox as ‘young’ is not an irrelevancy, but they do allude to the youth of the persons involved over three times more frequently than Judge Massei did.
“...foreign…” This is also relevant because Knox was not fluent in Italian, although an interpreter was provided.
“…ignorant of her own rights…” This is true in almost all criminal cases, but there are no signs here that Knox’s rights were trampled on.
“…deprived of the advice of a lawyer, to which she would have been entitled…” She was only a witness at this point so a lawyer was not required under the Italian code.
My understanding is that Knox was in fact informed that she had the right to the advice of a lawyer, was offered such advice, but declined it. So “deprived” again smacks of the Hellmanian or Zanettian hyperbole-for-dramatic-effect.
There are many other dubious statements in Hellman & Zanetti’s calunnia section. Here are a couple of typical ones:
….Amanda Knox, who had no reason at the beginning to be scared, entered into a state of stress and oppression as a consequence of the interrogation and the way it took place.
The dispute, yet to be resolved with a reasoned explanation by the Hellmann & Zanetti Court, was whether Knox and Sollecito were guilty or not guilty.
Here, Hellmann & Zanetti have already assumed Knox’s plea of Not Guilty to have been proven, though they have offered no reasoned explanation for such assumption.
Guilty or Not Guilty, Knox actually did have every reason to be scared, merely because normal Discovery-Procedures can be scary; other members of the group of Discovery witnesses were scared too. (I use “Discovery” in the sense of legal disclosure, including but not restricted-to the discovery-of-Meredith’s-body.)
If Guilty, Knox had additional real reason to be scared.
It is in fact not at all logical to assume that Amanda Knox, if she had actually been an accomplice [concorrente] in the crime, could hope that giving Patrick Lumumba’s name……could have somehow benefited her position….
Hellmann & Zanetti’s sophistry consistently requires the reader, elsewhere, to attribute Knox’s inconsistent, and incriminating, often illogical, falsehoods and behaviours, to Knox’s confusion caused by prosecutorial oppression. Some of those falsehoods were used by Knox very obviously in the hope of benefit to Knox.
But now, Hellmann & Zanetti inconsistently require the reader to believe that it is not at all logical to assume that Knox could hope to benefit from one of her falsehoods.
But of course Knox could hope to benefit from one of her falsehoods.
Elsewhere in its Calunnia section (page 22 of the translation) Hellmann & Zanetti had already argued, that
….the fact that the caresses, simple signs of tenderness between two lovers, could have been a way of comforting each other…..
Here, Hellmann & Zanetti are deceptively implying that lovers comforting each other, having (only) an innocent construction, excludes the existence of a factor additional to love, namely that of a guilty-pair afraid of exposure as a guilty-pair.
The potentially most incriminating issues in this case are whether Meredith did scream just before she died, and if so when Meredith screamed.
The Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito “innocentisti” members know this, but they avoid focus on it in order to minimize attention to those issues, as crucial as they are.
A key focus-avoidance ploy is to confuse the issue by isolating each element of evidence from every other element and flood discussion of each element with real and imagined reasons-to-doubt the significance of each element.
By doing so, perception of the location of Reasonable Doubt, in the mind of the designated Finder(s)-of-Fact, may be displaced so far away that they conclude that Guilt cannot be reached, and that the Defendant(s) are Not Guilty beyond a doubt that is a Reasonable Doubt.
This defense ploy is being employed more and more in criminal trials, and is much employed in Meredith’s case, or as it has become, Amanda Knox’s case. The Supreme Court of course will totally ignore such legal nonsense.
The first-ever documented references to Meredith screaming just before she died came from the mouth (and hand in the case of her notes) of Amanda Knox herself.
Hellmann & Zanetti do not, at first, seem to doubt that a scream was heard by witness Capezzali that night.
However, they introduce the issue of scream under the Heading Time of death, which they characterize as “extremely weak for its ambiguity, since it cannot even be placed with certainty”, as if lack of “certainty” is way-below reasonable doubt (as in “required to reach a guilty-verdict beyond-a-reasonable-doubt”), obfuscatingly merging them into each other.
Hellmann & Zanetti then cast doubt on whether any witness(es) heard any-scream-at-all that particular night and/or time, because he supposed (innocent) screams were to be heard there on many nights and at many times.
Hellmann & Zanetti stated that their Court had “no real reason to doubt” that a scream occurred at night in the general vicinity of Meredith’s house NOR to suspect that witnesses who testified that they had heard a scream had not heard a scream.
What Hellmann & Zanetti claim that they do doubt is that the scream witnesses testified to having heard occurred at a sufficiently specified definite time, or that the scream they said they heard had actually occurred on the night of Nov. 1-2, 2007, and that even if such a scream did occur it is not “certain” that the scream was Meredith’s scream.
Hellmann & Zanetti’s use of “certain” reveals a biased perspective. It is as if “not certain” is now Hellmann & Zanetti’s equivalent to “not beyond a reasonable doubt.
A well-known saying goes “If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck – it’s a duck.”
Applying the evidentiary-item-isolation-ploy to that saying, multiple doubts are introduced as to each item, with the intended result of promoting enough doubt to exclude it, too often successfully.
This could be called the Ugly Duckling Effect, after H.C. Andersen’s Fairy Story – here Hellmann & Zanetti seem to want us to conclude that Amanda Knox is a swan, and is not really an ugly duckling.
[Below: Judge Zanetti at left probably wrote the report that Judge Hellman may not have liked]
Late in his book “Innocent in Perugia” Bruce Fischer belatedly introduces the fact that it was Amanda Knox herself who 1st brought up Meredith’s scream.
Fischer buries the subject of the scream inside a jungle of exaggerated attempts to persuade readers that AK was brainwashed into saying she even heard a scream.
10 of the other 11 Fischer references to Scream are introduced to argue either the indefiniteness of the Time of any “alleged” scream or to argue that the witnesses imagined the scream.
Only the 12th reference concedes that a scream was even possible.
Especially because the first documented references to the scream came from the mouth and from the pen of Amanda Knox, the Innocentisti want to erase the very existence of Meredith’s cry of pain.
Oh what a web….
The Hellman report is so bad that one wonders about it - how he could not conceal his obvious bias which led to sloppy summing up. It’s almost as if this tragedy is meant to be played out in three acts, with Hellman’s report ensuring the third act and maybe even a fourth.
Cardiol, this is wonderful. Thank you, an attorney with knowledge of both US and UK systems, for dissipating the miasma of preconceived notions held by Judge Hellmann. Also, the truth about the Scream needs to come out.
Thank you Cardiol for bringing this up. When I read Hellman’s report, I was so frustrated by the lack of logic in it that by the end of it, I didn’t even care what he believed in..I just wanted to shake him and point out the hundreds of inconsistencies in his reasoning.
The foa and other groups give many arguments and opinions and make themselves sound knowledgeable. But to me, it seems that they always operate on the same logic : They cannot be guilty because if they were guilty they would have had enough sense to make it look like they are not guilty.
This totally beats me. I mean their reasoning is that they are innocent because there is proof of guilt and if they were guilty, wouldn’t they have made sure to hide these things? If we start applying this logic to all crimes, there wouldn’t be any criminals left in any jails. After all,most criminals are caught because they don’t manage to hide things properly. These 2 behaved as normal first-time criminals would behave- hiding some things and failing to hide some. I don’t see anything in their behavior or otherwise that needs elaborate psycho analysis.
Yet, that’s the approach Hellman seems to have taken. Analyzing everything again and again from different angles until it suits his pre-determined mental makeup, running through complicated scenarios, bringing up a plethora of “but ifs…” and ultimately creating such a knotted mess for himself that there is no logic left on which to base his decision. I saw a similar complicated article on ground report the other day where everything was analyzed and reanalyzed till it suited their purpose.
The reality is pretty simple, they behaved in a guilt manner so it is likely that they are guilty. Innocent people do not behave like that. Someone wisely commented on Amazon on that Casey Anthony’s book review page that “no one is stupid enough to make an accident look like a murder”. Similarly, noone who is innocent would be stupid enough to behave in a way that they look guilty.
This post is even-handed and helps explain why Hellmann arrived at a conclusion so contrary to the sum of the evidence.
The final points are well taken. How did Knox know that Meredith screamed in her final moments if she was not there?
The next portion in the series should likely be about the witnesses, I hope, and there we can marvel at Hellmann’s discourses on the functioning of the human memory.
I love the ‘Ugly duckling’ analogy - how about ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’!!
First hearing in Cassazione 25th March 2013.
Terrific catch ncountryside. I wonder who will turn up in Rome on the day.
Also here with open comments: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/19/amanda-knox-case_n_1685449.html?
Still puzzled that the AK & RS teams havent announced any Cassation specialists. The Perugia teams arent experiences at this and Dr Galati knows it like the back of his hand. Cardiol does pretty good.
The conspiracy nuts seem seriously vague on what is going on. Fischer will have to put in 28 hours a day not just his usual 25. Bongiorno wont be able to pull any more stunts.
The announcement that the case will be heard at the Italian Supreme Court next year is a timely reminder for those people who seem to think Judge Hellmann’s verdict is the end of the story and Knox and Sollecito are out of the woods. The amoral book publishers who are planning to profit from Knox’s and Sollecito’s books should take note. If Knox and Sollecito are ultimately found guilty of Meredith’s murder - and I believe they will be - these publishers will be guilty of supporting two convicted sex killers.
Hi guys, I’ve been out of the loop for a while - any word on the calunia trials against Knox & her parents?
I am not a lawyer but I have a feeling that Hellman and Co wrote a bad report deliberately. The verdict was decided before the appeal started and why bother to make it look good? He made it clear when he announced at the outset that only certain thing he knows is that MK is dead.
About the scream (I have been screaming about this) one thing is certain: AK first reported the scream before others confirmed. Yes, the exact time could not be confirmed but that is a feature of real witnesses. Fabricated evidences would have got all the fine details exactly right to the dot. So we are not sure about the time. Why mix up the points: the scream is real but the time is uncertain.
About the money (yes, it is part of the main issue) AK had when she was arrested has not been explained properly. On PMF, the FOA members are most uncomfortable on this matter and for a student 300 euro is not a small amount. It is relatively simple to come clean on this matter just by publishing the bank transcations- which AK has not yet done. What she has to hide? That the FOA is uncomfortable with this is enough to suspect that there is some concern.
The public display by AK, in my limited knowledge, just sends a simple message to RS: don’t desert me, we are together in this game. Hellman understands this but does not say so in so many words. Everytime he tries to explain away the apparent eccentricities of AK, this is the only meaning that comes first to my mind. Yes, she is the prime mover in this show but more focus should be given to RS as he is more conventional in his style and therefore ameanable to some sort of analysis. Yes, the facts need to be approached from the side and not from the front.
What’s the difference between a good lawyer and a great lawyer?
A good lawyer knows the law. A great lawyer knows the judge.
Here is more evidence that a large number of people who think Amanda Knox is innocent are racist and xenophobic and/or conspiracy nuts:
How difficult will it be for Italy to obtain Amanda Knox’s extradition? Does the US State Department have the power under the extradition treaty to block the extradition request?
Extradition issues are handled by the judiciary and it would up to a judge to decide.
The State Department might argue against but there is no obvious reason why. If any new appeal trial is fair why should they?
Judicially and in police terms Italy and the US really get along. And they both need for their extradition treaties to work to get their own perps on the lam sent back.
If AK was not sent back a worldwide warrant would be issued through Interpol and AK would never be able to do any foreign travel in her life.
My guess is if she has her own way she would go back and serve her term.
Italian prisons aint so bad, she’d be out in just a few years, she’d be miles away from creeps like Bruce Fischer, and as Italy is very forgiving she could decide to live there the rest of her life.
Cardiol’s hard work deserves to linger longer at the top. We’d like to return it there for Friday after the news of the appeal date gets old.
@ chami – I’m with you.
As well as the scream, the money is part of the main issue, and AK’s public displays are to remind RS not to desert her.
Re “About the scream …..one thing is certain” I enjoyed your humour and won’t get lured into any discussion among ourselves as to what is “certain”.
The Court is required to decide only what is true beyond a reasonable doubt.
If the Court reached its decisions only on the basis of certainties how much could it ever decide?
I have a couple other comments about the Calunnia section:
* Hellmann says that the memorandum was written immediately after the 0545 statement when in fact it was written sometime after noon. Although “immediately” is an imprecise term, everywhere else in his report Hellmann uses the word to mean two events that are contiguous in time.
* Regarding the interpreter trying to “induce” Knox to remember, I’m not at all convinced that Donnino wasn’t simply trying to be helpful. Whether she exceeded her role or not, if encouraging a witness to remember constitutes undue psychological pressure then the police are really walking on eggshells whenever they talk to someone.
* Hellmann says the memorandum was written “the day following the beginning of the interrogation.” Actually it was all the same calendar day.
* Hellmann sugggests that writing down each question and answer in English should be the standard when interviewing an English-speaker. It’s nice that he thinks that but this is not an accepted standard, and therefore irrelevant.
* Just because someone gives a confession with a dream-like quality doesn’t mean they were in a dream-like state when they wrote it.
* The fact that the confession had a dream-like quality doesn’t mean it wasn’t intended to obscure or conceal the truth.On the contrary a dream-like confession gives a guilty party maximum ability to modify her statement later. For this reason, a dream-like statement is considered by many forensic psychologists to be an indicator of guilt.
* Giving Lumumba’s name would have benefitted Knox even if her story only held up for a few hours. She had reason to hope the police would let her go home so she could figure out what to do next.
* Hellmann suggests that if Knox had been guilty her best course of action would have been to name Guede, but say she was in another room and uninvolved. Had she done that, it have been impossible for her to retract her statement later, and it wouldn’t have prevented her from being arrested for the same reasons she was arrested after naming Lumumba.
* Hellmann lied when he said Knox’s memorandom claimed she *and Raffaele* were not involved in the crime.
* I realize the issue of whether Knox can be guilty of calunnia without also being involved in the murder is something that is part of the prosecution’s appeal. To me Hellmann’s reasoning seems persuasive, although Italian law may be different. Say, hypothetically, she was not involved in the murder, she still could have accused Patrick in order to end the interview, and would still be guilty of calunnia.
* I do question Hellmann’s authority to rule that the Calunnia conviction “cannot be considered as evidence” in deciding the murder case. This relates to Cardiol’s point that the defense sought to cast doubt about individual pieces of evidence in order to undermine the prosecution’s narrative and that Hellmann largely bought into this. If nothing else, the conviction should have been weighed by the court as evidence of Knox’s criminal tendencies. Again, I’m not sure of Italian law on this point.
After Cardiol’s first post above on Hellman/Zanetti came alive, we heard from an extremely well informed source in Italy (not a reporter and not Mr Mignini) that Judge Zanetti wrote the sentencing report.
Image of him added above. He seems to be the one who comes across in the report as transfixed by an image of an angelic Amanda Knox on a pedestal.
Judge Zanetti, meet Judge Heavey and Rocco Girlanda and Steve Moore and Bruce Fischer and Frank Sfarzo and Saul Kassin and Candace Dempsey and a long, long line of other craven middle-aged dupes who lost their cool.
Seriously, think with your brains, guys. You too, Dempsey.
So, Judge Hellman didnt write the report (explaining why we amended the post) and may very well have not liked the verdict? We believe the full picture is almost certain to come out.
Including finding out who called from Rome to dictate a last-minute change of judges that left this under-qualified pair of judges driving the bus. And who pressed him to make that call.
No wonder the procedings, compared to Judge Massei’s smooth handling of the 2009 trial, were so often so close to fiasco. Italian lawyers were left scratching their heads. Now we know why.
I’m sorry but I am becoming rather sceptical now over the prosecution appeal.
How come after all this time it arises that maybe it is Zanetti who pulled Hellman’s strings?
How come on a previous post I was put down by Popper when I question the judge all of a sudden being removed and Hellman installed, and told (in no uncertain terms) the Italian judiciary are squeaky clean, so such a thing cant happen?
Why did the judge go and Hellman was installed at the 11th hour? Why? The judge himself was reported as angry about it, yes?
It stinks to me I’m sorry. The only way as I see it that AK is now in the US is that they have been bought off - in whatever fashion.
Sorry to be so negative and politically incorrect but this stinks.
Nobody looking at this case, (including judges, lawyers and the police) with a clear and unbiased mind could ever say Knox and Sollecito are innocent.
So now maybe they are going for the timeout?
This is one rumor I tend to believe. Zanetti was an odd choice to be assigned to the case from the beginning. It makes sense that he was in the defense’s pocket. Hellmann came on board as the doddering fool. He couldn’t explain the verdict because he didn’t write it.
Yeah Hellman’s grammar and style of argumentation are far more “relaxed” to quote the source than in this document.
You probably know there are more flavors of Italian than English as our translators have occasionally explained and they can be dramatically different.
I was investigating the authorship question a while ago. I downloaded one of Hellmann’s other rulings and noticed the language was very different. Of course I had no way of knowing which of the rulings was written by him, just a suspicion that one of them was not.
I feel better knowing that a junior judge wrote the ruling. It’s less likely that shoddy reasoning is the norm.
Hi Black Dog.
There was a jury member who spoke out and sounded not unlike the tone of the report so the mild and as brmull says doddering Hellman might simply have been outnumbered.
The reason we only get to get Zanetti confirmed now is because Cardiol started this analysis and TJMK is read in Italy and the source told us this. It didnt seem a big deal to us or them before this.
Popper’s attitude is quite mainstream. Italians generally are proud of their law enforcement and even more of their judiciary which in some senses is the world’s fairest. Take a look at this early post.
Popper is certainly right about the Supreme Court, it is unbendable even against prime ministers and it has a direct line to the president who is the ultimate decider if he chooses to be.
You DONT need to be concerned about the Supreme Court round in my view. Dr Galati will stand for no nonsense and past monkey business may be what is making him so determined.
But in early 2011 if someone leaned on the justice minister and he then called Perugia to suggest “independent judges” not out of the criminal law part of the judges pool we could have got the present odd pair.
It could have been more blunt. Did the Knox-Mellases go to see the American ambassador (an Obama amateur appointee so this is delicate) or did Hampikian? And was the ambassador hornswoggled?
Amateur non-career ambassadors of whom I’ve met a few often do odd things for people who drop by that career diplomats would run a mile from.
Either way, immediately the odd pair of judges was appointed I received several taunting emails from the conspiracy nuts asking how would I feel when the judgment was reversed.
Yummi or another of the Italians on PMF said Stefano Conti or Carla Vecchiotti may be friends with Judge Zanetti. That may be another part of the puzzle falling into place.
Knowing what I now know about the very tough Dr Galati, if I were Curt Knox I would put the demonization campaign which his hatchet man Bruce Fischer and the other nuts still sustain at full roar into sharp reverse.
This aint good for them in any way. Dump Marriott. They need a very different Plan B.
Glad it makes you feel better. Seriously. You must like Italy. And Cardiol emailed how much he liked your added comments. He wanted to talk and may have PM’d you via the PMF board.
Thank you for your response Peter, I do feel slightly better on reading it.
It’s a great word ‘hornswoggled’ isn’t it!
Personally speaking in all my life experience and world travels I have met and socialised with quite a few British Honorary Consuls and on the whole have been struck by the naivety of some.
Thank you for this excellent analysis of Judge Hellmann’s report and pointing out the numerous examples of exaggeration, false claims and flawed logic.