Posts filed under ‘Terror’
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.
Excuse me, but we all remember this,
so what the hell’s with this:
Group launches campaign accusing Obama of taking credit for bin Laden raid
A group of former military and intelligence operatives launched an aggressive campaign against President Obama Wednesday, accusing the president of claiming undue credit for the Usama bin Laden raid and suggesting his administration is behind politically motivated security leaks.
The group, called Special Operations OPSEC Education Fund Inc., unveiled a 22-minute video on its website, and pledged to go on air with a TV ad sometime in September.
In the video, an array of retired CIA agents and other intelligence personnel suggest the administration has been leaking security details for political gain, and specifically criticize the president over his public handling of the bin Laden raid.
“Mr. President, you did not kill Usama bin Laden. America did,” Navy SEAL Ben Smith said in the video. “The work that the American military has done killed Usama bin Laden. You did not.”
More (warning — links to FoxNews so if you’re opposed to giving them hits don’t click)
This is so, so lame. It’s got desperation written all over it.
Yesterday I posted about making a donation to help rebuild the mosque in Joplin, Missouri that was torched and burned to the ground on Monday.
I don’t remember what the donation level was at that time but their goal of $250,000 hadn’t been reached. I just checked back and — wow — it has been reached and surpassed by almost $50,000:
USA! USA! USA!
The day after the tragic massacre at the Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, this happened:
Shortly after the Islamic Society of Joplin opened a mosque in 2007 in Joplin, a small town in Southwest Missouri, the sign in front was set on fire, an act determined to be arson. On the 4th of July of this year, someone who is undoubtedly a deeply patriotic person was filmed by a surveillance camera throwing a flaming object onto the roof of the mosque in an attempt to burn it down, causing some fire damage (see the video below); despite a $15,000 reward offered by the FBI for information leading to the arrest of those responsible and a clear shot of the attacker’s face, nobody has come forward to identify him.
On Monday of this week — the day after the Sikh temple shooting in Wisconsin — that same Joplin mosque burned to the ground,
completely destroyed by a fire that began in the middle of the night. So powerful was the fire that “only remnants indicated a building had been there, including some stone pillars that were still standing and a few pieces of charred plywood loosely held up by a frame.”
Meanwhile, a fund has been set up to help the Islamic Society of Joplin rebuilt their mosque. I’m not sure how long the site has been up but as of this second, it has raised $211,860 toward its $250,000 goal.
I just gave $20.00 that I don’t have because it’s the right thing to do and because I’m sick of the paranoia, anger and hate that has infected our country. I want the Islamic Society of Joplin to feel welcome and to know that I acknowledge their constitutionally protected right to practice their religion in peace.
If you want to give too, here’s where to go.
I hope the voice of those who support the Muslims in Joplin is louder than those who don’t.
Remember when the Obama administration raised a red flag about veterans becoming right-wing extremist but it caved under ah, pressure from right-wing extremists?
Remember the DHS report about Veterans being recruited to Right-Wing terrorist groups which was leaked and led newly appointed Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano to initially defending the report but later having to apologize and withdrawing the report after she was thrown under the bus by her own party (Bennie Thompson, Congressman from MS) & severely criticized by Republicans.
That was then (2009):
From RightWingNews: Napolitano Apologizes To Veterans For DHS Report
This is now:
Filed under “Obama — Don’t Count on My Vote.” You were right, but you didn’t have the guts to follow through.
Look at us now.
Per the Southern Poverty Law Center, this is a photo of Wade Michael Page, the man who killed six people yesterday at the Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin:
The man who allegedly murdered six people at a Sikh temple in suburban Milwaukee yesterday, identified in media reports as Wade Michael Page, was a frustrated neo-Nazi who had been the leader of a racist white-power band.
Go to the link above to see a second photo and for more into on Page.
Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards held a press conference about an hour ago to update the public on this morning’s massacre at the Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin:
Seven people were shot and killed today at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis., in what officials are treating as a domestic terrorism incident.
Three other people — two civilians and a police officer — were injured and were being treated at a local hospital.
Individuals attending Sunday services at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, just south of Milwaukee, fled in all directions this morning when a gunman entered and began firing. Many hid in bathrooms or other rooms within the temple while the shooter attacked, according to police.
Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards said 911 calls began pouring into the police department around 10:25 a.m.
The first police officer to respond to the scene, a 20-year veteran on the police force, exchanged gunfire with the suspect and sustained multiple gunshot wounds. He is undergoing surgery at Froedtert Hospital, the main trauma center in the Milwaukee region, along with two other injured victims.
The gunman was shot and killed by the police officer outside the temple. Four other people were found dead inside the temple, while two other people were found dead outside the building.
“The officer stopped a tragic event that could’ve been a lot worse,” Edwards said.
Edwards said authorities were treating the event as a domestic terrorism incident and the FBI would be conducting a full investigation.
I watched part of the press conference and I was amazed to hear a reporter ask Chief Edwards what domestic terrorism was. While it was almost impossible to hear the reporters’ questions, Edwards stopped at one point and explained that domestic terrorism meant, and I’m paraphrasing here: terrorism originating within the borders of the United States. Duh. Hello. How can someone be a reporter and not know, or have thought of, the concept of domestic terrorism?
Anyway, good on Edwards for saying those two words. The Aurora shooter was a domestic terrorist, Timothy McVeigh was a domestic terrorist and it looks like today’s shooter was too.
It time we started talking about that for God’s sake.
Terrorists want to terrify people: Gun Sales Up Nation-Wide in Wake of Aurora Shooting.
Does our government want us to be terrorized? Sure seems like it because it isn’t doing Jack shit to stop these killings. We know gun owners have all kinds of rights. What about the rights of the people who are being killed and again, terrified?
There has been another mass shooting. This time at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.
We don’t know much yet but the first thing that came to mind was that some wacko figured he’d go out and kill him some Muslims, even though Sikhs aren’t Muslims.
So, so sad.
My thoughts are with the victims, their families and their friends.
Check out the infographic over at Business Insider — here — showing all the guns, bullets and body armor Aurora shooter James Holmes had on his body at the time of last Friday’s massacre.
He did everything he could to make sure he didn’t die, while obviously not giving a sh*t about his victims.
I’m sure the victims of the Aurora shooting l-o-v-e-d this:
Christian Bale, star of the Batman films, met at the Medical Center of Aurora on Tuesday afternoon with seven patients injured in the mass shooting that occurred during a midnight showing of his new film.
Bill Voloch, interim president of Medical Center of Aurora, said Bale spent about 2½ hours at the hospital, where he met with five people still being treated for their injuries. Two others came from Swedish Medical Center to meet Bale, who stars at Batman in “The Dark Knight Rises.
“The patients were really happy to meet Bale,” Voloch said. “They are obviously big fans of his movies. They wanted to see Batman and were really pleased to see Bale.”
Bale and his wife, Sibi Blazic, also met with a number of doctors, Aurora police officers and emergency medicial [sic] technicians who were first reponders [sic] when James Eagan Holmes allegedly killed 12 people and injured 58 others at Century Aurora 16 theater early Friday morning. Bale spent about 10 minutes with each person.
(Just sayin’: Do Denver Post reporters have spell check?)