The officials said that no decision has been reached on whether to add the alleged operative to the administration’s so-called kill list, a step that would require Justice Department approval under new counterterrorism guidelines adopted by President Obama last year.
Posts filed under ‘Fear’
“Post-racial America?” Riiight.
Excellent point (my Tweet of the Day):
This is what the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution says:
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.
It doesn’t distinguish between someone who’s charged with J-walking or someone who’s accused of being part of al-Qaeda. Everyone is supposedly guaranteed the right to be informed of the exact nature of the charges against them, to face their accuser, hear the evidence against them, and to present evidence in their defense (if they wish). At least, that’s how we’ve operated for the last 230 years until constitutional lawyer and Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama’s administration admitted last May to killing four Americans in Yemen.
All that said, Obama’s thinking about being the judge, jury and executioner when it comes to another American:
U.S. Weighs Lethal Strike Against American Citizen
The Obama administration is weighing whether to approve a lethal strike against a U.S. citizen who is accused of being part of the al-Qaeda terrorist network overseas and involved in ongoing plotting against American targets, U.S. officials said.
U.S. officials have not revealed the identify of the alleged operative, or the country where he is believed to be located, citing concern that disclosing those details would send him deeper into hiding and prevent a possible drone strike.
Got that? The administration is accusing this person of being part of an al-Qaeda network but again, he has a right, under our laws, to defend himself in court. That Obama is the first president (that we know of) to murder U.S. citizens, ignoring their rights, is shocking and appalling given, again, his supposed expertise in constitutional law.
Are we really such terrified little people we’re going to flush the Constitution down?
The guy has gone insane in that regard and imho, instead of looking strong, he looks weak and afraid.
Think of this mind-blowing little factoid (my Tweet of the Day):
And don’t forget, we’re talking Our Tax Dollars here.
Budweiser Pulls Out of Olympics Due to Terror Concerns
Budweiser has pulled out of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, citting terrorism concerns.
The beer company apparently hosts a traditional huge beer bash at the Olympics.
But this year, TMZ reports, the company got cold feet because of the ever-increasing terror warnings about Sochi.
As we’d reportedly earlier, the warnings about Sochi have off the charts, with reports that one or more suicide bombers may already have gotten past Olympic security.
It’s also entirely possibly that Budweiser, while not an official Olympic sponsor, simply no longer wanted its brand associated with an Olympics that’s increasingly being tied to Russia’s oppressive crackdown on human rights.
Coca-Cola, an official Olympic sponsor, has been facing blistering criticism for Olympic security forces, emblazoned with Coke’s logo, detaining a gay dissident for waving a rainbow flag, then turning the gay human rights activist over to the Russian police for further questioning at headquarters.
I’m cynical enough to through this out: What if these terror warnings have been pulled out of thin air by U.S. government officials to wreck the Olympics and to get back at, and embarrass, Putin?
Here is the Washington Post‘s satirical but all-too-realistic account of what we’d be reading about Justin Bieber today if he was from Pakistan, or Iran:
LANGLEY, Va. – U.S. law enforcement officials have seized Canadian national Justin Bieber, ending a reign of terror that analysts suggest could potentially be linked to al-Qaeda.
Though Bieber is best-known to Americans for his pop music and celebrity persona, his humble origins in the faraway nation of Canada belie his Westernized public image. His family hails from a tribal district known as Ontario, a lawless expanse of pine trees and information technology firms, and a well-known breeding ground for extremism. Bieber’s home village is referred to locally as London, a legacy of Canada’s history as a remote and violent corner of the British Empire.
U.S. intelligence agencies say they are investigating a potential link to al-Qaeda, according to a spokesperson who acknowledged that Bieber’s rampage bore the hallmarks of the global terrorist group’s activities. Though al-Qaeda is not known to have yet established a foothold in Canada, its leaders have previously hinted at assets there.
Canada has been roiled by political instability and protests in recent years, which analysts warn can create fertile ground for extremists.
“We can’t rule out the possibility that Bieber is an AQIA sleeper cell,” McZelin added, referring to the possible Canada-based spin-off group al-Qaeda in the Islamic Acadia.
The FBI declined to confirm reports that Bieber may have once visited the Internet, which analysts consider a hotbed of radical Islam.
Bieber has resided in the United States for years on a Canadian passport, raising questions about U.S. intelligence failures that may have allowed the young foreign national to plan his violent campaign undetected.
Moral of the story: The labels and accusations our media spews, when writing about “suspected terrorists,” fed by assertions made by leakers and exaggerators from the military industrial complex and unverified by reporters, could fit just about anyone from any country.
The wild, wild west is running headlong into itself in Castle Rock, Colorado (just south of Denver):
Many, if not all, of the planning commissioners for the town of Castle Rock, Colorado may quit their jobs after the town council voted on Tuesday to allow guns to be openly carried in public buildings and parks.
Last week, Castle Rock Planning Commission acting chair Michael Fronczak notified the town clerk’s office that “many on the Commission have expressed that they would feel unsafe serving as a Commissioner if open carry were permitted.”
“It is likely that many, if not all, members of the Planning Commission would resign because of the increased possibility for intimidation and/or violence,” Fronczak wrote.
In June 2013, Castle Rock Mayor Paul Donahue had asked the town council to consider repealing a ban on weapons being openly displayed in public buildings and parks. Donahue is also managing partner of the nearby Centennial Gun Club.
A survey of town employees found that about 95 percent did not want the ban repealed, and on Sept. 5, Castle Rock’s public safety commission voted to recommend against repeal.
However, the council moved forward with plans for repeal. After a heated hearing on Tuesday night, the council voted 4-3 in favor of repealing the open-carry ban.
The measure will face final approval at a future second hearing.
I’ll follow up.
My Tweet of the Day:
The corporatocracy keeps us in a state of fear (they can control us that way), but they keep us in a state of fear of things that are less likely to harm us than it.
The NSA spied on — get this — UNICEF.
Back in the 60s, on Halloween, I trick or treated for UNICEF. A penny here, a dime there and once in a while a quarter or wow, a dollar. I was helping to end the suffering of kids on the other side of the world.
H/t to my parents for getting me involved in that.
Now I’ve come to learn that the NSA sees UNICEF as a threat. Really? According to the NSA, everything and everyone’s a freakin’ threat.
What happened to the once-confident, proud United States of America? Now we’re a paranoid bunch of law-breaking scardey cats:
British and American intelligence agencies had a comprehensive list of surveillance targets that included the EU’s competition commissioner, German government buildings in Berlin and overseas, and the heads of institutions that provide humanitarian and financial help to Africa, top-secret documents reveal.
The papers show GCHQ, in collaboration with America’s National Security Agency (NSA), was targeting organisations such as the United Nations development programme, the UN’s children’s charity Unicef.
Wow, this is an amazing story (I’ve shortened it a lot; go to the original for all the gory details). It’s essentially the back story to Pakistan and North Korea having nuclear bombs and Iran having a “nuclear program.”
Richard Barlow was driving his 13-year-old motorhome through a mountain state’s blizzard the week before Thanksgiving when news broke of the Iran nuclear deal.
Bad memories flooded his mind, not that they’re ever far away. For more than 25 years, ever since he testified behind closed doors on Capitol Hill that the CIA had “scores” of “absolutely reliable” reports on Pakistan’s clandestine efforts to obtain nuclear bomb technology – technology it later gave to Iran – his life has been tumbling through one trapdoor after another.
Barlow’s testimony in 1987 shocked several panel members of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee, in part because Army General David Einsel, assigned to the CIA as a top intelligence official, had just told the committee that – despite the recent arrest of a Pakistani caught red-handed buying prohibited nuclear materials – the evidence that Islamabad was pursuing a bomb was inconclusive. The hearing erupted in shouts when Barlow told them differently. “They went through the roof,” he recalled from the road this week. By the time he got back to CIA headquarters, “the phones were ringing off the hook.”
Top Reagan administration officials were in “a panic,” he said, because Pakistan was the crucial player in the CIA operation funneling weapons to Islamic “holy warriors” fighting the Soviet Red Army next door in Afghanistan. If it became known that Pakistan was secretly building a bomb, a law passed by Congress would require a cut-off of military aid.
Obsessed with communism, the administration made a choice: It would turn a blind eye to Pakistan’s nuclear program in order to defeat the Soviets in Afghanistan.
And that meant Barlow, 33 at the time, had to be destroyed.
“If they had busted those [Pakistani] networks,” [Barlow] said last week, “Iran would have no nuclear program, North Korea wouldn’t have a uranium bomb, and Pakistan wouldn’t have over a hundred nuclear weapons they are driving around in vans to hide from us.”
Thanks for the memories Ronnie.
Remember when Republicans were having a fit about the Obama administration trying suspected terrorists in Federal court?
– March 12, 2013, US News and World Report: Terrorists Shouldn’t Be Tried in the Same Courts as U.S. Citizens.
– July 11, 2011, Senator Mitch McDonnell (R-KY) on Fox News: Sen. McConnell: We Can’t Trust Courts To Try Terrorists Because Casey Anthony Was Acquitted Of Murder.
– The Hill, February 2, 2010, No Terror Trials in Civilian Courts.
– The Wall Street Journal, October 9, 2009, Civilian Courts Are No Place to Try Terrorists.
That said, this happened today:
A Libyan charged in the deadly 1998 al Qaeda bombings of U.S. embassies in Africa has pleaded not guilty to terrorism charges in New York.
Abu Anas al-Libi entered the plea Tuesday in federal court in Manhattan 10 days after he was captured during an Oct. 5 military raid in Libya.
As WCBS 880′s Irene Cornell reported, al-Libi’s steps were slow and shuffling as he was led into the courtroom. He is over 6 feet tall, 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reported.
Al-Libi, who has a thick gray beard, kept his hands folded on his lap as the judge read the charges Tuesday. He entered his plea through his attorney. He was handcuffed and led out of court after the judge ordered him detained as a flight risk.
I guess the wingers are so busy getting their rocks off trying to drown the government in a bathtub they let this slip by.
P.S. Good on the Obama administration for respecting our civilian courts’ ability to handle the case of someone like Abu Anas al-Libi. I never understood the winger argument against trying them there other than to suspect wingers wanted us to think of folks like al-Libi as super-human monsters who we had to be very, very afraid of and thus not let on American soil because THEY MIGHT KILL US!
“Pastor” Terry Jones is like a booger you can’t flick off your finger. On Monday I posted about his latest plan to burn Qurans today — 3,000 of them, supposedly — as a way to mark the anniversary of 9/11.
I got to wondering just now what happened with that and here we are:
Controversial Pastor Terry Jones Arrested Before Carrying out Quran Book-Burning in Mulberry
10 News has learned that controversial Gainesville pastor Terry Jones was arrested before he could carry out his plan to burn nearly 3,000 copies of the Islam holy book the Quran in Polk County on Wednesday afternoon.
Jones planned to burn the books at the county-owned Loyce E. Harpe Park in Mulberry, but was denied a permit, with officials saying he filed his request too late and that he does not have permission for an event of that magnitude.
Jones, who is the pastor for Dove World Outreach Center, earlier told 10 News a lack of a permit would not stop him from sending his message about the religion of Islam to the world from Polk County.
But shortly before he planned to set the books on fire at the Mulberry park, Jones and associate pastor Marvin Wayne Sapp Jr. were stopped in the parking lot of a nearby pharmacy. Their truck was towing a large barbecue smoker, which reportedly had copies of the Quran inside, already doused in kerosene.
Ugh. From the New Empire Knights of the Ku Klux Klan
I am proud to announce that the Realm of Kentucky is hosting a Cross Lighting in the Louisa/Yatesville area. One of our members owns around 10 acres and has been nice enough to host the event. The event will be open to members, family of members and people who have met local leaders that are interested in joining.
The event will be held September 14, 2013, which falls on a Saturday. We do not expect trouble since the event is held on private property. There will be tons of food, fun and of course, the Cross Lighting. We are placing the Cross on a hill on the property which should be seen from a very far distance!
Yeah, as in seen by African-Americans neighborhoods and they better be scared and they better not act the fu*k up because we’re the boss and they need to know their place. I.e., terrorism.
As if the Treyvon Martin murder didn’t send enough chills through the African-American community…
There was a march against Chevron and fracking in Richmond, California today:
The police, who we pay, with our tax dollars, protected Chevron:
Look at those Darth Vader-like guys.
This is what the militarization of America’s police force looks like.
It was a confluence of magnificent proportions that led six agents from the joint terrorism task force to knock on my door Wednesday morning. Little did we know our seemingly innocent, if curious to a fault, Googling of certain things was creating a perfect storm of terrorism profiling. Because somewhere out there, someone was watching. Someone whose job it is to piece together the things people do on the internet raised the red flag when they saw our search history.
Most of it was innocent enough. I had researched pressure cookers. My husband was looking for a backpack.
What happened was this: At about 9:00 am, my husband, who happened to be home yesterday, was sitting in the living room with our two dogs when he heard a couple of cars pull up outside. He looked out the window and saw three black SUVs in front of our house; two at the curb in front and one pulled up behind my husband’s Jeep in the driveway, as if to block him from leaving.
Six gentleman in casual clothes emerged from the vehicles and spread out as they walked toward the house, two toward the backyard on one side, two on the other side, two toward the front door.
Read the rest of it here.
Bottom line, six FBI agents went to an average American couple’s home (with two dogs and a young son) because the woman had been looking online at pressure cookers and her husband was doing research on backpacks and that meant they were potential repeat Boston bombers. The six agents looked through the house, and left after about 45 minutes, saying they take similar action roughly “100 times a week.”
So, this is where we’re at folks.
Thank God this guy wasn’t killed:
Lying in a hospital bed the night after he was shot by Escambia County sheriff’s deputies in his own front yard, Roy Middleton only had one question: Why?
Middleton, 60, of the 200 block of Shadow Lawn Lane in Warrington, was shot in the leg about 2:42 a.m. Saturday while trying to retrieve a cigarette from his mother’s car in the driveway of their home.
A neighbor saw someone reaching into the car and called 911. While he was looking into the vehicle, deputies arrived in response to the burglary call.
Middleton said he was bent over in the car searching the interior for a loose cigarette when he heard a voice order him to, “Get your hands where I can see them.”
He said he initially thought it was a neighbor joking with him, but when he turned his head he saw deputies standing halfway down his driveway.
He said he backed out of the vehicle with his hands raised, but when he turned to face the deputies, they immediately opened fire.
“It was like a firing squad,” he said. “Bullets were flying everywhere.”
A teenage girl who said she witnessed a portion of the incident said she never saw Middleton provoke the deputies.“He wasn’t belligerent or anything,“ she said.
When you’re black in America you don’t have to throw in belligerence in order to get shot. The being-black part is enough.
The obituary of Rep. Justin Amash’s amendment to claw back the sweeping powers of the National Security Agency has largely been written as a victory for the White House and NSA chief Keith Alexander, who lobbied the Hill aggressively in the days and hours ahead of Wednesday’s shockingly close vote. But Hill sources say most of the credit for the amendment’s defeat goes to someone else: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. It’s an odd turn, considering that Pelosi has been, on many occasions, a vocal surveillance critic.
Not exactly. If the author of this article had done just a wee bit of The Google, he’d have learned how fake Pelosi’s criticism was, this from Glenn Greenwald: Democratic Establishment Unmasked: Prime Defenders of NSA Bulk Spying.
Bottom line? We’ve been punked.
Ahead of the razor-thin 205-217 vote, which would have severely limited the NSA’s ability to collect data on Americans’ telephone records if passed, Pelosi privately and aggressively lobbied wayward Democrats to torpedo the amendment.
“Pelosi had a big effect on more middle-of-the road hawkish Democrats who didn’t want to be identified with a bunch of lefties [voting for the amendment],” said the aide.
Shorter: Liberal San Francisco Democrat Nancy Pelosi gave cover to “more middle-of-the-road hawkish Democrats” to vote to continue the spy program, instead of leading them in the other direction.
Going back to Glenn Greenwald (link above):
None of this should be surprising. Remember: this is the same Nancy Pelosi who spent years during the Bush administration pretending to be a vehement opponent of the illegal Bush NSA warrantless eavesdropping program after it was revealed by the New York Times, even though (just as was true of the Bush torture program) she was secretly briefed on it many years earlier when it was first implemented. At the end of June, we published the top secret draft report by the Inspector General’s office of the NSA that was required to provide a comprehensive history of the NSA warrantless eavesdropping program secretly ordered by Bush in late 2001. That report included this passage:
“Within the first 30 days of the Program, over 190 people were cleared into the Program. This number included Senators Robert Graham and Richard Shelby, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, President George W. Bush, Vice President Richard Cheney, Counsel to the Vice President David Addington, and Presidential Assistant I. Lewis ‘Scooter’ Libby.”
Okay. That’s it. If Nancy Pelosi can’t stand for the difference between Democrats and Republicans I give up.
I’m not leaving the Democratic party. They party’s leaving me.
I hitchhiked from Michigan to D.C. in the early 70s to protest the Vietnam War. Democrats like George McGovern and Eugene McCarthy stood with us. The differences between the parties were clear.
Nancy Pelosi is a Democrat? No way.
Democrats are melding with Republicans and it’s got to stop.
We desperately need new blood. (But good luck with that what with Citizens United huh? Geezus. We’re in a big freakin’ fix.)
The things I posted above happened on Wednesday, July 24. This would be Nancy Pelosi scrambling like a penguin stuck on ice today:
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is circulating to fellow Democrats a letter she intends to send to President Obama outlinging [sic] their concerns over the National Security Agency’s phone surveillance.
The letter asks the president to “explore options which will preserve Americans’ privacy and civil liberties while protecting our national security.”
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
Bye Nancy. You’ve burned my bridge.
Wait. Is this the United States of America?
Edward Snowden’s surveillance leaks were first published by The Guardian. The Pentagon has now confirmed it’s blocking access to the Guardian website at U.S. military facilities around the world. The ban apparently covers Guardian articles related to NSA surveillance, not the entire website as a whole. It also extends to other news websites that report The Guardian’s revelations.
UPDATE: July 2, 2013: It gets worse: Army Blocks Entire Guardian Website For Troops In Middle East And Asia.
Yeah, he gives great speeches
but this is the reality of his presidency:
The United States has charged former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden with espionage and is seeking to have him extradited from Hong Kong, according to NBC News’ Pete Williams. The charges mark the seventh time the Obama administration has charged someone who leaked national security information to the press with spying, more than in all previous presidencies combined.
Got that? Constitutional lawyer Barack Obama, who said he’d have the most transparent administration ever, has charged more people with spying (when it’s his administration that’s doing the spying) than any administration ever — since George Washington was in office.
Again, got that?
There’s this, which has been up on the conservative (UK) DailyMail‘s website all day: NSA Domestic Spying Program Foiled 2009 Subway Bombing Plot.
And there’s this: Public Documents Contradict Claim Email Spying Foiled Terror Plot.
Food for thought (I hope).
Yesiree, we now have bipartisan agreement in Washington that it’s okay for the government to spy on millions of Americans, en masse:
The top two senators on the Intelligence Committee on Thursday defended the National Security Agency’s collection of Americans’ phone records after it was reported in The Guardian.
“It is lawful. It has been briefed to Congress,” Senate Intelligence Chair Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) told reporters at an impromptu news conference in the Capitol. “This is just meta data. There is no content involved. In other words, no content of a communication. … The records can only be accessed under heightened standards.”
“I read intelligence carefully. And I know that people are trying to get to us,” Feinstein said. “This is the reason we keep TSA doing what it’s doing. This the reason the FBI now has 10,000 people doing intelligence on counter-terrorism. This is the reason for the national counter-terrorism center that’s been set up in the time we’ve been active.”
Senate Intelligence Vice Chair Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) backed up Feinstein, saying, “This is nothing particularly new. This has been going on for seven years under the auspices of the FISA authority, and every member of the United States Senate has been advised of this.”
“It has proved meritorious because we have gathered significant information on bad guys, but only on bad guys, over the years,” Chambliss said.
We the People think we’re paying the police out of our tax dollars and that they work for us but gosh golly gee wiz, something happened along the way:
As Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has said, the nation’s biggest banks have essentially gained “too big for trial” status, and the federal government has failed to prosecute any executive at a Big Bank for financial fraud.
While Wall Street has escaped prosecutions, thousands of Americans have been arrested in the course of protests against the banks. As of May 2013, that number is 7,736 — according to the website Occupy Arrests, which tracks arrests.
On Monday, dozens of homeowners who have faced abuses by Big Banks rallied outside the Department of Justice (DOJ) in Washington, D.C. They demanded that the agency finally prosecute Wall Street banks who have become, as Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has said, “too big for trial.”
The demonstrators marched to the Department of Justice, where they rallied outside the main entrance. At that entrance, several police armed with pepper guns and other crowd control weapons at first pushed the demonstrators back, and began arresting several activists. But they soon abandoned the entrance and retreated inside; this prompted protesters to place tents outside the door marked, “Foreclose on Banks.”
Protesters split up and blockaded all three major entrances of the Department of Justice building, and at least 17 – mostly homeowners who had lost their homes thanks to abuses by the Big Banks — were arrested by police, who utilized tasers, batons, and other weapons on the protesters.
Do policepeople join police departments these days because they want to “serve and protect” the people who pay their salaries or do they join because they want to be thugs who protect corporate money and power?
Are our neighborhood cops working for us, again — to serve and protect — or their corporate masters?