Posts filed under ‘Terror’
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!
I could not believe my eyes this morning when I checked all three cable “news” networks and saw that they were breathlessly covering the “congressional inquiry” into the death last month of our Libyan ambassador and three other men at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.
The whole thing is a freaking charade but would actual “news” organizations have the guts to point that out? No.
Michael Tomanski says it like it is:
The admission this morning on CNN by Utah Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz that he’s “absolutely” voted against administration requests for increased embassy and consulate security funding should, in a rationally ordered world, put an end to this whole Benghazi business. I mean, it really takes a set of onions to do this. Vote down increased security funding, then a tragedy happens, then try to exploit it to help your presidential candidate because it happened to occur in September of an election year. This deserves the word disgusting.
Now, why it took Soledad O’Brien to elicit this fact, and not Chaffetz’s Democratic counterparts or the White House a month ago is a disturbing question that for the moment I’ll set to the side. But the Christian Science Monitor has the goods on two votes, in 2011 and 2012:
“In 2011 they [Republicans] came in and passed a continuing resolution for the remainder of that fiscal year. The House proposed $70 million cut in the WSP [Worldwide Security Protection program] and they proposed a $204 million cut in Embassy security,” says Mr. Lilly. “Then the next year, fiscal 2012, they cut worldwide security by $145 million and embassy security by $376 million. This year’s bill is the same thing all over again. The House has cut the worldwide security budget $149 million below the request.”
But pin this on Obama? Especially now that we know that his administration sought diplomatic security funding that the Republicans cut? The only scandal here is that hypocrites like Chaffetz and Darrell Issa have the kinds of jobs that permit them to subpoena people.
And here, by the way, is what the Ryan Budget would do to the State Department. Unbelievable people, these are.
Yet another monumental cable “news” fail and another extraordinarily whimpass response by the White House. Why didn’t they point this out? Why didn’t Democrats as a whole point it out? How about Hillary? People listen to and respect her.
Here we have a corporate media just in it for the show and the drama and the fights and cowering Democrats who continue to exhibit signs of Stockholm Syndrome.
Here is an interesting article succinctly laying out why the war in Afghanistan is — still — a colossal failure. Here’s the bullet point:
Beyond al Qaeda, the U.S. president has achieved little of strategic importance in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He is incorrect, if not disingenuous, when he says that the Taliban’s momentum has been “blunted.” The Taliban’s spear is sharp as ever. Last week, on Sept. 14, it cut through Camp Bastion, one of the most secure foreign bases in Afghanistan. There, in a complex attack that cost $10,000 or $20,000 at most, it destroyed six jets valued at up to $180 million. The ratio of cost to achievement of the $100 billion-a-year war in Afghanistan is indefensible, though it must be said that the president, with his emphasis on “nation-building here at home,” recognizes this uncomfortable fact.
The U.S. surge is over. All troops brought into Afghanistan after December 2009 will have returned home by the end of this week. But the Taliban surge has just begun. Attacks on coalition forces by Afghan security personnel — the Taliban are responsible for a small, but probably growing number of these — are on the rise. The Taliban reintegration campaign — designed to bring low-level Taliban into the fold — is working, but in an unintended way, with the penetration of the Afghan security forces by Taliban infiltrators.
The local militias raised by coalition forces and Kabul are a motley of opportunistic, quasi-jihadi criminals on temporary leave. The training program has been put on hold due to the rising green-on-blue attacks. The most crucial element of Obama’s Afghanistan strategy — the transition of control to Afghan security forces — has been effectively suspended with the pause in joint coalition-Afghan operations.
Last we heard, we were going to train Afghan security forces and when we felt they were ready to take charge of their country, we were going to leave. But now, what with the rise in “green on blue” attacks, that training plan is on hold.
So now what?
My Tweet of the Day regarding the murder of the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens:
We shouldn’t condemn all Libyans for what happened last night any more than they should condemn all Americans for the Wisconsin mosque massacre or the torching of a mosque in Missouri.
This is what Paul Ryan did for the cameras today:
Oak Creek, Wisconsin–Paul Ryan returned home to his Wisconsin congressional district Tuesday and visited first responders on the eleventh anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks.
The GOP’s vice presidential nominee – and also still a candidate for reelection to Congress – visited the Oak Creek fire and rescue where he chatted with firefighters and addressed the group before joining them for lunch.
“I just wanted to come on the anniversary of 9/11 and say thank you to all of you who are first responders for what you do for us every day,” Ryan told them. “This is a day where we as Americans need to think and remember the people who lost their lives and be thankful for those of you who put your lives on the line for us every day. So we are here simply to bring notoriety and a gift of thanks for what you do for us on a daily basis.”
And this is Paul Ryan’s voting record when it comes to “thanking” first responders and appreciating them for “what you do for us every day,” via the AFL-CIO:
Today, the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that killed thousands and destroyed the World Trade Center, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney issued a statement that forgot to mention the heroic first responders, including 343 Fire Fighters (IAFF) members, who lost their lives trying to save others.
His running mate, Paul Ryan, voted three times against the 9/11 first responders health care bill in 2010.
The bipartisan bill provides medical monitoring, treatment and compensation to emergency responders, recovery and clean-up workers and community members suffering serious diseases as a result of hazardous exposures resulting from the 9/11 attacks.
While the bill did pass and was signed into law January 2011 by President Obama, Ryan voted against it July 29, Sept. 29 and didn’t even bother to vote when it came up for final passage Dec. 22. However, he later issued a statement: “Had I been present, I would have voted against passage of the bill.”
Talk is cheap and actions speak louder than words Paul. Your actions put the lie to your talk.
Remembering all the innocent people who died on September 11, 2001 as well as all the innocent people who died since then in the “Global War on Terror.”
Hey USA, let’s put human beings in cages and leave them there to die; no charges, no trials:
A former hunger strike prisoner at Guantánamo Bay has died, the US military said Monday, after the man was apparently found unconscious in his cell at the isolated, high-security prison.
The prisoner, whose name and nationality were not released, was found by guards on Saturday and taken to a base hospital, where he was declared dead “after extensive lifesaving measures had been performed,” the US military’s southern command said in a brief statement.
He was the ninth prisoner to die at the facility since it was opened in January 2002 to hold men suspected of terrorism or links to al-Qaida and the Taliban. The military has said two of those deaths were by natural causes and six were declared suicides.
No info as to how old the man was, where he was from or how long he’d been at Gitmo.
I was raised to believe and to be proud that the United States of America doesn’t throw people in prison until they’ve been charged and found guilty by a jury of their peers.
How things have changed.
Public Policy Polling is out with a very detailed poll of Ohio voters. It’s a pdf file, with a link at the bottom of the page here: Obama Leads by 5 in Ohio.
The most mind-blowing thing I saw in the results was this:
Romney got 6%?
Who thinks Romney had anything whatsoever to do with killing Osama bin Laden?
My god. Talk about low information voters. Those 6%ers aren’t low information voters, they’re voters who are pulling stuff out of thin air.
This headline is up at FoxNation this morning:
This is the summary that appears below the headline:
Document Reveals Accounts Of Vicious Assault From Victim And SuspectsKKTV.comCourt documents reveal that the victim of an alleged vicious sexual assault remembers some of the suspects telling her about being unhappy with the way they were treated in the United States. Five Iraqi nationals were arrested in connection with the case.Two are charged with the crime while all five are charged as accessories with the crime. Some of the victim’s injuries were described by police as being “rarely seen.”“I can tell you this is one of the most horrific sexual assaults I’ve seen in my career as a police officer,” said Lt. Howard Black with the Colorado Springs Police Department.