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 ‘Terror’
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 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.
Geezus. Are we scared little people or what?
Whatever happened to the land of the brave?
An Oklahoma man Thursday brought a suspicious item he found on his lawn to a police station, where further inspection, including a bomb squad X-ray, identified it as a burrito.
Authorities at the Santa Fe Briefing Station were thrown off by the item’s weight and tin foil protruding from its top, so they cautiously told the man to leave it outside, said Capt. Dexter Nelson, before closer examination revealed the culinary nature of its contents.
This is shocking:
Twelve years after the worst terrorist attack in American history, President Obama yet again extended his predecessor’s Declaration of National Emergency for another year. The declaration, which was originally put into place on September 14, 2001, was renewed on Tuesday.
“The terrorist threat that led to the declaration on September 14, 2001, of a national emergency continues,” wrote President Obama. “For this reason, I have determined that it is necessary to continue in effect after September 14, 2013, the national emergency with respect to the terrorist threat.”
The powers provided to the executive branch by President George W. Bush’s declaration include the ability to “detain enlisted members of the Coast Guard beyond their terms of enlistment,” “order any enlisted member of the Coast Guard on the retired list to active duty” and “increase the number of members of the armed services on active duty beyond the number for which funds have been appropriated,” according to a report [PDF] by the Congressional Research Service.
So disappointing. I was hoping Obama would undo some of the Bush administration’s hysteria.
What’s up is down, what’s down is up:
The decision by the University of Denver to honor former President George W. Bush at a DU fundraiser has been controversial for months. Now, with Bush scheduled to speak at downtown Denver event this evening, a group of concerned students and alumni, among others, are planning a protest and press conference in advance of the get-together, with one organizer expressing fears that the money collected will be used to promote an agenda that flies in the face of the university’s values.
This event is happening just down the road as I post this.
Talk about rewriting history: George W. Bush is being honored as having improved the human condition? Really? Estimates range from 109,032 to 1,033,000 dead in the Iraq war he lied us into.
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…
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.
From The Guardian:
As Ramadan begins, more than 100 hunger-strikers in Guantánamo Bay continue their protest. More than 40 of them are being force-fed. A leaked document sets out the military instructions, or standard operating procedure, for force-feeding detainees. In this four-minute film made by Human Rights organisation Reprieve and Bafta award-winning director Asif Kapadia, US actor and rapper Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def), experiences the procedure.
From my friend Robert Greenwald at Brave New Films:
Tell Congress to move now to end these signature strikes, save innocent lives, protect America from the blowback of killing innocent civilians, and restore the rule of law.
If you don’t want to watch the whole thing (13.08 minutes) fast forward to 3:48 and watch until 7:33.
They aren’t making us safer!
This morning on Meet the Press, David Gregory, an alleged journalist but we all know what a joke that is, asked Glenn Greenwald, a real journalist, if he should be charged with a crime for “aiding and abetting” a “criminal,” as in Edward Snowden.
That said, here’s my Tweet of the Day:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Oops, I guess I’m going to have a second Tweet of the Day (so many good ones out there today):
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).
Glenn Greenwald is the reporter for the U.K.’s Guardian newspaper who broke the story about the U.S.’s National Security Agency sweeping up information from Verizon on phone calls made to and from millions of Americans’ phones. Greenwald through we might like to know what our government’s doing behind our back.
Now comes this chilling tweet from Steve Clemons. Clemons isn’t some sort of weird, paranoid, hippie blogger who hangs out in his parents’ basement. He’s got impeccable credentials. Check them out here and then read this:
Let’s ask ourselves: Who’s the terrorist now?
This is what then-Senator Joe Biden told CBS’s Harry Smith in May of 2006 in response to the the Bush administration getting millions of phone records from AT&T:
Harry, I don’t have to listen to your phone calls to know what you’re doing. If I know every single phone call you make; I’m able to determine every single person you talk to, I’m able to get a pattern about your life that is very, very intrusive. And the real question here is, what do they do with this information they collect, that does not have anything to do with al Qaeda? There, there, there’s a whole deal when you talk about this kind of stuff where the, under the law, they’re supposed to demonstrate that they’re getting rid of and not keeping any extraneous information that they pick up on wire taps and/or pick up in sweeps like this.
And the president’s saying, I think I wrote down that he said ‘this is not mining or trolling.’ If it’s true that 200 million Americans’ phone calls were monitored ah, in terms of not listening to what they said, but to whom they spoke and to who spoke to them, I don’t know. That’s, that’s, the congress should investigate this.
Watch the video here.
This is exactly what the Obama administration has done. Where’s Joe now?
Democrats and Republicans are becoming indistinguishable.
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.
Geezus. All I can say is (1) the dronemaker lobby is obviously spending a whole hell of a lot of money and time in Washington, and (2) the life of my neighbor’s 3-year-old grandson, Noah, is going to be indescribably different than mine was. Oh, and I’ve heard stories about how people in Afghanistan hear a near-constant buzz of U.S. drones overhead. Is that where we’re headed? You know, we sit outside on a summer’s evening and hear a never-ending whurr? And what happens when they crash into each other or into private planes or jets and the debris rains down?
Yeehah! Our tax dollars at work…against us.
Serious question: How does one “act Hispanic?”
During an appearance on CSPAN’s Washington Journal on Wednesday, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) claimed that this week’s bombings of the Boston Marathon should give pause to immigration reform advocates who seek to reform the system.
“We have seen this in Israel,” Gohmert said of the Boston attacks and recalled visiting areas that had been struck by suicide bombers. “Finally the Israeli people said this is enough. They built a fence and the rest is a wall to prevent snipers from telling their kids. They finally stopped the domestic violence from people that wanted to destroy them. I am concerned we need to do that as well.”
The Tea Party favorite said he feared people entering the country illegally or posing as undocumented Hispanic immigrants could carry out “copycat things.” “We know Al Qaeda has camps on the Mexican border,” he said. “We have people that are trained to act Hispanic when they are radical Islamists.”
Time will tell how much of this hysterical headline from the New York Post is true:
And then there’s this sentence which is included in the body of the article:
Authorities have a identified a suspect, a Saudi national, who is currently being guarded in a Boston hospital with shrapnel wounds.
Let’s check back in a day or two regarding these ahem, “facts.”
This from the Southern Poverty Law Center (fantastic group):
The Year in Hate and Extremism
Capping four years of explosive growth sparked by the election of America’s first black president and anger over the economy, the number of conspiracy-minded antigovernment “Patriot” groups reached an all-time high of 1,360 in 2012, while the number of hard-core hate groups remained above 1,000. As President Obama enters his second term with an agenda of gun control and immigration reform, the rage on the right is likely to intensify.
While the number of hate groups remained essentially unchanged last year — going from 1,018 in 2011 to 1,007 in 2012 — the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) count of 1,360 Patriot groups in 2012 was up about 7% from the 1,274 active in 2011. And that was only the latest growth spurt in the Patriot movement, which generally believes that the federal government is conspiring to take Americans’ guns and destroy their liberties as it paves the way for a global “one-world government.” From a mere 149 organizations in 2008, the number of Patriot groups shot up to 512 in 2009, jumped again to 824 in 2010, and then skyrocketed to 1,274 in 2011 before hitting their all-time high last year.
Now, in the wake of the mass murder of 26 children and adults at a Connecticut school and the Obama-led gun control efforts that followed, it seems likely that that growth will pick up speed once again.
The Hysteria Mounts
Even before the Dec. 14 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, gun and ammunition sales shot up in the wake of the re-election of the country’s first black president, the result of shrill conspiracy theories about Obama’s secret plans to confiscate Americans’ guns. When the killings actually did spark gun control efforts that clearly had not been in the Obama administration’s plans, the reaction on the political right was so harsh that it seemed to border on hysteria.
I know the dates and numbers on the graph are hard to read. Apologies. Go to the “More…” link immediately above to see a larger version.
H/t to NancyB for alerting me to this “toy:”
Mo Farah, Olympic Gold Medalist, Detained by U.S. Customs Agents Because…He’s From Somalia so He Must be a Terrorist
Americans are a bunch of scared little people:
Mo Farah Held by US Customs on Suspicion of Being a Terrorist
Farah, who won a 5,000m and 10,000m double [gold metal] at London 2012, was detained for questioning after the US border force saw he was born in Somalia.
The 29 year-old came over to Britain with his English-born father as a child and is one of the most famous athletes in the world, but this did not stop judicious officials from grilling him at the border.
Farah moved to Portland [Oregon] last year to work with his coach Alberto Salazar at Nike’s HQ in the Pacific Northwest and was travelling back to spend Christmas with his wife and children.
And even presenting his two gold medals to the officials did not help his cause.
“I couldn’t believe it. Because of my Somali origin I get detained every time I come through US Customs. This time I even got my medals out to show who I am, but they wouldn’t have it,” he told the Sun.
Farah told the newspaper that when he and his family tried to leave Canada and enter the US as residents they were told they were under investigation as a terrorist threat and would have to stay away for 90 days.
But Salazar intervened and called upon a friend at the FBI – a massive running fan – and he solved the issue.
I’m embarrassed for my country. “Homeland security” turns into homeland paranoia and racism. It’s out of control.
We launched two wars so we could kill Osama bin Laden and quash al Qaeda. A bazillion dollars later our dear leaders say yeah, BUT:
Are we okay with throwing endless amounts of Our Tax Dollars into the Defense Department’s money pit?
Forward a link to this post if you say NO!