Thursday, June 27, 2013


We talk a lot about heroes, almost always in the wrong context.

A Hero is defined as:
A man admired for his achievements and noble qualities; one who shows great courage.

People who hit balls or throw touchdowns are not heroes. They're athletes. 

The members of our armed forces are heroes.  The Firemen and police officers who ran into the World Trade Centers on 9/11 are heroes. 

And so is  a young Assistant Dade Public Defender who left his comfortable life and safe job at the Public Defenders Office and joined the CIA and was trained as an agent. His name is Gregg Wenzel and he was killed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia,  on July 9, 2003, ten years ago next week.

Gregg Wenzel was 33 years old when he died. 

When you go to the CIA there is a Memorial Wall. The wall currently has 103 stars.  Each star represents the identity of a CIA agent killed in the line of duty. 77 of the 103 Stars have a name associated with the star in the book or honor next to the wall. The rest of the stars have no name next to the star, indicating that the agent still cannot be identified for security reasons. 
On June 1, 2009, the CIA placed Gregg's name next to a star. 

Brian Tannebaum is having a get together at his office at 5:30 PM on July 9th to honor his friend Gregg Wenzel. You should try to attend, even if you didn't know Gregg Wenzel. The information is below. 

And in our humble opinion, you should do one more thing in remembering and honoring Gregg Wenzel. Enjoy your life. Stop complaining about not finding a parking space close to court. Stop complaining about waiting in line to get into the building. Stop complaining about the 1001 thing that bother all of us every day. Because those small problems that make up a part of our life, are problems Gregg Wenzel will never have. Gregg Wenzel died doing a job that allows us to live these simple, safe lives. Lives that allow us to complain about nonsense that really doesn't matter. So honor Gregg Wenzel, and enjoy your life a lot more, and that will, in some small measure, make his death not in vain. 

And in our humble opinion, maybe the Dade Public Defenders could do something to honor the hero who left their office and died for his country. The Miami Chapter of the FACDL already gives out an award in honor of Gregg Wenzel. But since Gregg was a PD and damn proud of it, maybe it's time the PD office shows that it's damn proud of one of their own. 
A hero. 
Gregg Wenzel. 


CAPTAIN said...

Reprinted, with permission fom The Captain

I did not want to post over Rumpole's very important post for Thursday, so maybe he will add this to the post in the morning.




He did not choose Assistant County Attorney Jason Bloch or Judge DJ Cannava or Judge Wendell Graham or Assistant Federal PD Ayana Harris.

He chose a 33 year old AUSA who has been practicing law for eight years. Luck clerked for Federal Judge Ed Carnes of the Eleventh US Court of Appeals. He then worked for Greenberg Traurig for a year before moving to the US Attorneys Office. He has been there since 2006.

Luck is a Gator having attended UF for both Undergrad and Law School.

Captain Out .....

Wednesday, June 26, 2013 11:18:00 PM

Anonymous said...

In law school or at the PDs, Gregg rarely complained about anything. If he ever did, it was always wrapped in his wry wit which made it less a complaint and more an opportunity to laugh. I can still hear his rapid laugh and see his sly smile. He was a gentle soul. As a Pd he was kind and patient and respectful always to our clients. He could hit a softball a country mile.

Paul Calli

Anonymous said...

Brian is a good friend.

Anonymous said...

As a recent former PD who didn't have the honor of knowing Gregg, I always heard good stories about him from the higher ups, and the infamous brief case. Its an honor to say I worked in the same office he did.

Anonymous said...

A 33 year old circuit judge that has been licensed for 8 years. Unbelievable. But when that is your only option in terms of a prosecutor, I guess the governor has to go with it.

CAPTAIN said...

1:17 PM

Wendell Graham was an ASA for five years and has been a sitting County Court Judge for 19 years.

Cap Out ....

CAPTAIN said...

The Captain Reports:

Justice Alito rolls his eyes, yet again .....

You remember Alito from when he rolled his eyes and mouthed "not true" during the State of the Union address three years ago? Well now he has done the same thing, and worse, to Justice Ginsburg.

Here is the story from Huff Post:

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito broke from the high court's usual decorum on Monday morning, rolling his eyes and shaking his head as his senior colleague, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, read her dissents in two cases.

Longtime Supreme Court observer Garrett Epps called it a "mini-tantrum" and "display of rudeness."

"Alito pursed his lips, rolled his eyes to the ceiling, and shook his head 'no,'" wrote Epps in the Atlantic. "He looked for all the world like Sean Penn as Jeff Spicoli in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, signaling to the homies his contempt for Ray Walston as the bothersome history teacher, Mr. Hand."

He added that Alito's gestures "brought gasps from more than one person in the audience."

"His treatment of the 80-year-old Ginsburg, 17 years his senior and with 13 years more seniority, was a curious display of judicial temperament, or, more accurately, judicial intemperance," Milbank wrote. "Typically, justices state their differences in words -- and Alito, as it happens, had just spoken several hundred of his own from the bench. But Alito frequently supplements words with middle-school gestures."

Cap Out ...

zimmerman trial watcher said...

Zimmerman trial.

Gotta love the chemistry between the last witness Ms. Mora (Spanish speaking) and the GQ prosecutor who did the Opening Statement. If they don't have sex after this trial, I will be surprised.

Anonymous said...

Cannava was an Asa as well you stoof.

CAPTAIN said...



Judge Mark Klingensmith was appointed today to the 4th DCA by Governor Scott.

Judge Klingensmith is currently a Circuit Court Judge for the 19th Judicial Circuit in St. Lucie County and has been since 2011. He was appointed to the bench 23 months ago by Scott. For 25 years before that, he practiced law in Palm Beach County with an insurance defense firm.

The Judge is a Gator having graduated undergrad and law school from UF.

Those not chosen included:

Judge Peter Blanc
Judge Janis Brustares Keyser
Judge Krista Marx
Judge Elizabeth Metzger
Judge John Murphy

Cap Out .....

CAPTAIN said...

Didn't know what "stoof" meant so I looked it up. Stoof means "another word for sex, or when you want to fuck".

Thank you for the information about Cannava.

Anonymous said...


Stoof has a few different meanings - urban dictionary isn't really the "go to" source.

Anonymous said...

I thought Stoof was a hybrid of the words Stupid & Fuck? He's a stupid fuck or you could say, he's a Stoof!

the trialmaster said...

How did Gregg die? What were the circumstances?

Anonymous said...

Free Shumie Now!

CAPTAIN said...

Trial master. According to wiki

At the time of his death, Wenzel was 33 years old, he was employed as a clandestine officer of the Central Intelligence Agency CIA and was stationed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia until he was killed in a tragic car accident on July 9, 2003.

Cap Out ....

Anonymous said...

Anyone who takes at face value "traffic accident" should have his or her law license revoked. I could have happened that way, but that is a dangerous corner of the world.

DS said...

I thought it was an IED , a Home made Bomb/Mine that killed Gregg when Al Kieta was in Ethiopia and Somalia helping the rebels .