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1  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Coming soon on: February 23, 2017, 10:27:40 PM
https://townhall.com/columnists/kurtschlichter/2017/02/23/draft-n2289256

Straightforward From Here To The Left’s Fascist, Maybe Violent, Endgame
Kurt Schlichter

|
Posted: Feb 23, 2017 12:01 AM




The Democrat Party, its Media serfs, and Social Justice Incorporated are all outraged because we uppity normals are again presuming to rule ourselves, and their agony is delightful. Less delightful is how, in the process of trying to claw their way back into power, they are incinerating the norms and rules that preserve our political order. That stuff Hillary babbled about honoring the legitimacy of elections? Yeah, no. There’s an invisible asterisk only liberals can see that explains that the norms and rules are void when liberals lose.

So, where does this crisis end?

We know where the leftists want it to end, with us silenced and subservient forever, toiling to pay taxes for them to redistribute to their clients as they pick at, poke at and torment us. You look at the things Trump stands for and all of them are about lifting the yoke off of us – cutting taxes, slashing regulations, guaranteeing the Second Amendment, protecting our religious liberty, and safeguarding us from terrorists and illegals. But everything liberals want, everything Hillary ran on, is about clamping the yoke ever tighter around our necks – raising taxes, issuing more regulations, disarming us, limiting our religious freedom, and putting us at risk from terrorists and alien criminals. The whole leftist platform is about putting us down and keeping us down.

Think what they will do if they take power again.

They are certainly not going to risk us ever being able to repeat November’s rejection. California’s decline lays out their tyrannical road map. When the Democrats took power here, they “reformed” the election laws to lock-in their party, co-opted the “nonpartisan” redistricting process, and changed the ballot initiative system to make sure we will never see another unapproved proposition. They ensured there is no way to stop illegal aliens from voting because they want illegal aliens voting.


But even that’s not enough. The state government chose to allow its unofficial catspaws to intimidate and beat dissenters at UC Berkeley. California’s governing class wanted the thugs to prevail; it was a lesson to its opponents. I thought my novel People’s Republic, about post-freedom California, was an action thriller, not the first draft of a future history.

I was wrong.

Do you think Hillary Clinton or whatever aspiring Hugo Chavez they offer up next is going to protect us from violent leftist thugs, or encourage them? Remember how Obama weaponized agencies like the IRS against conservatives? Multiply that by a thousand. Think about the “hate speech” rules used to silence conservatives on campus; imagine them as federal law. That’s coming, just like in Europe – it’s now a crime in France to speak out against abortion. Do you imagine leftists don’t dream of doing that? No, once back in power they will ensure we will never be able to challenge their rule. One man (or woman or other), one vote, one more time, then never again.

How will they do it?

This massive resistance campaign against everything Donald Trump has done and a lot he hasn’t done is one way. The media’s liberal advocacy and tsunami of fake news is another; the press is now just one more partisan political player campaigning to restore the establishment to power. These same liars who fantasize about Trump silencing critics will cheer as the next Democrat commandante does it for real. Remember how they said nothing when Democrats voted to repeal the First Amendment so Congress could control speech during elections?

And they think they’re winning.

Sally Kohn, a CNN commentator perfectly personifies the left’s combination of utter cluelessness and utter certainty in its own moral superiority. Drawing from her bottomless well of stupidity, she recently became infamous for wishcasting about what happens “traight forward from here.” Her scenario starts with Step 1 (“Impeach Trump & Pence”) and ends with Step 6 (“President Hillary”), thanks to a Constitutional process she created herself by blending ignorance, fascism, and wanting.

Sally, however, overlooked Step 2.5, where several dozen million Americans defend the Constitution by taking out their black rifles and saying, “Oh, hell no.” I assume the patriots determined to protect the Union would be confronted, for a short and awkward time, by a pro-coup hipster army locked and loaded with vinyl LPs, participation trophies and unearned self-regard.

There’s no reason not to believe that for these seditious Democrats, the second time will be the charm.

But this amusing idiocy highlights a much more frightening possibility. Dennis Prager has written that America is locked in a Second Civil War already, albeit a cold one. And in light of the absolute rejection by the left of any legitimacy of the grievances, the interests, or the right to participate in governing this country of the tens of millions of red Americans, it’s reasonable to wonder how this can end peacefully. You see read it on social media, you hear it whispered. Are the wounds to our body politic so deep they can’t be healed?

I recently polled people on Twitter about what they thought of the chances of serious violence in the coming four years, and the results from 6,159 people are alarming. “Stop being a nut” got 10%; I was hoping it would get about 95%. “We’ll wise up” and find a way out of this crisis, got 13%. But “50/50 leftists may try violence” got a stunning 41%, while “It’s coming. Gear up” got a terrifying 36%.

So, 77% of the respondents fear serious violence during Trump’s first term. That’s scary, especially since political warfare is not unprecedented in history. Forget Bleeding Kansas. Just reflect on the low-grade insurgency the American left undertook in the 1970s, with more bloodshed than most people remember, and consider how today the left has significantly more cultural, institutional and media support. The reality is that there is the potential for this to get out of control, way out of control, especially considering the likelihood that leftist violence would be met in kind. That 77% indicates that the red side is, as the left loves to say, “woke” to the threat. And the red people have the guns and training, should things degenerate into serious chaos.

Basically, this country is a powder keg, and leftist fools who do not understand the danger are figuratively standing around it, firing up their bongs.

Now, understand that leftist liars will meet this column with the slander that I (and by extension, you) hope for violence. Skim down the comments and check out the idiots no doubt infesting my Twitter feed – you’ll see plenty of such lies. Actually, this is yet another of my several pleas for sanity and peace (including in my book’s preface). But the left’s favorite tactic is to deny substantive truth in favor of narrative; what I (and you) actually believe is irrelevant. This infuriating tactic makes reasoned discussion and argument impossible anymore, which itself makes violence more likely since it forecloses the primary method of peacefully resolving disagreements. If you can’t argue, if you can’t even speak, there’s only one way to be heard.

The left’s combination of evil and stupidity is the driver straightforward from here. With the grim understanding that they hate us, we need to accept that there may be no easy return to peaceful coexistence. Our goal in electing Donald Trump was to remove the left’s hand from our throat, not to put our hand around blue peoples’ collective windpipe. We don’t care how they live their lives, but leftists care very much how we live ours. Their goal is to lock both hands around our throat and squeeze until we submit to leftist tyranny or die.

It’s hard to see how we compromise. Do we just somewhat submit, or only die a little?

This crisis has to culminate somehow. It could end peacefully, with a return to the old norms and reasoned competition between ideas. But it seems no one is interested in that; instead, one side has to win decisively, and one side has to lose decisively. If so, I say we win and they lose, since I’m not ready to submit or to die.

How about you?
2  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The New Mexican War on: February 23, 2017, 10:12:01 PM
http://www.thediplomad.com/2017/02/the-new-mexican-war.html

Saturday, February 11, 2017
The New Mexican War

Much has been written, including in this blog, of the threat to America posed by radical Islamic terrorism. Not so much has been written about another threat, perhaps an even greater one. I refer to the threat posed by Mexico to the United States; it is multi-faceted and persistent, and forms a long established core component of Mexico's foreign policy.

Before I get into the subject let me engage in the usual disclaimer required in our snowflake culture. I have been in Mexico many times both on vacation and for work as a US diplomat. I know Mexico well, am fascinated by its history, and consider Mexico City one of the great cities in the world. If you want outstanding restaurants and, above all, world class museums and other cultural institutions, go to Mexico City.

That said, I also have long considered Mexico a major threat to America. I have dealt with Mexican diplomats at the UN, the OAS, and in Central and South America. They are first rate. They are patriotic, well-trained, dedicated, and hard working. They, almost to a man and a woman, are also possessed with a deep, deep animus towards the United States. At the UN and the OAS, for example, Mexico, in my experience, played the role of opponent to whatever we sought to do. They not only consistently voted against us, they collaborated with our opponents on resolutions and projects antithetical to our interests, and, for example, refused to oppose Cuban and Venezuelan human rights violations. They rarely passed on an opportunity to stick it in our eye.

Mexico had a major role in fostering guerrilla groups in Central America during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, backing off only when it became a hindrance to the NAFTA deal with the United States, and when some of the groups began operating in Mexico. Mexico is feared and resented throughout Central America as a bully and for its mistreatment of Central American migrants. The horror stories these migrants tell of their passage through Mexico are hair-raising and heartbreaking.

I wrote during the recent hysteria over Russian hacking and interference in our  2016 elections that,

    Is there foreign interference in our elections? You bet.

    The biggest offender? Not Russia, but Mexico. Mexican officials publicly called on Mexicans in the US to oppose Trump; Mexico's over fifty--yes, fifty--consulates in the US (here) are hot beds of political activity and activism. Millions of illegal and legal aliens largely from Mexico and Central America vote, yes vote. We need to have an in-depth investigation into Mexico's interference in our elections, an interference that goes well beyond revealing embarrassing DNC texts.

    There. That's an investigation the GOP should endorse, and the new SecState should take up the issue of Mexican interference in our elections.

That interference in our politics has not ceased since the elections. It, in fact, has increased. Some years ago, I mentioned to a senior colleague in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs at State, my concern over the openly political activity engaged in by Mexico's consulates and diplomatic personnel in the U.S. She acknowledged it was a problem but not one anybody wanted to take up.  Well, it is now at a stage when it must be taken up. If the Trump administration is serious about protecting our borders and sovereignty the time has come for tough action on Mexico.

We see this story in the Wall Street Journal (and here) in which Mexican officials, including their diplomats in the US, are seeking to "jam" US courts with contested deportations. The Mexican government has set aside millions of dollars to help illegal Mexican migrants in the US fight efforts to deport them. In addition, Mexico, apparently, is contemplating the grotesque tactic of demanding that we PROVE that deportees are Mexican citizens before Mexico will accept them. In other words, we have to provide the documentation that Mexico failed to provide its own citizens. Mexican officials are holding meetings in Arizona with US politicians warning them about the harm to US-Mexico relations if illegal aliens are deported or prevented from coming to the US. Mexican officials are openly encouraging activists to block deportations. I find this nothing short of outrageous, but, nevertheless, a clear manifestation of the hostility that has long existed in Mexican officialdom for the USA.

We must not only defend our border but, in my view, it is well past the time for the US to begin shutting down most of these Mexican consulates. There is no justification for Mexico to have over fifty consulates in the US. Had I the power, we would give Mexico one week to close 25-30 consulates. In addition, we would work out a plan to close additional consulates depending on how Mexico behaves. If Mexico, in fact, refuses to take back deportees, then we would need to take additional actions such as shutting down our visa issuance in Mexico, kicking out their ambassador from Washington, closing down the border crossing for periods of time, and even halting remittances to Mexico--just to let Mexico feel the pain. As part, of course, of any comprehensive reform of our immigration laws, no federal money should go to supporting illegal aliens in the US.

The Southwest USA does not "belong" to Mexico. Mexico, please note, held California for about 25 years; they had Texas for even less time. Spain held the area for a couple hundred years, and we've had it for some 170 years. So enough with that argument. It is tiresome.

The USA has the right to defend its sovereignty and borders. Mexicans have no right of access to the US any more than anybody else does.
3  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Brainstorming what to do about it on: February 23, 2017, 10:00:54 PM

Not a lot of good options at this point. This developed under Obama the feckless, and now Trump has to reset the boundaries, risking a war, or let China continue down this path.
4  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Concerning Breitbart: on: February 23, 2017, 09:56:15 PM
I have been burned a number of times by citing Breitbart.  Though often it goes where the pravdas fear to tread, its' headlines are often disingenuous and deceptive.  I'd like to ask that it be used as a source around here with care.  Please click on the background sources it cites AND READ THEM before citing it here.  Where possible CITE THE ORIGINAL SOURCE INSTEAD OF BREITBART.

Thank you.

I agree.
5  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: McMaster on: February 21, 2017, 10:19:08 PM

No matter other issues, Trump has picked some great people.
6  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Muslim Brotherhood mourns Jihadi terrorist's death on: February 21, 2017, 10:12:48 PM
"Moderate" Muslim Brotherhood Mourns Terrorist's Death
by John Rossomando
IPT News
February 21, 2017
http://www.investigativeproject.org/5802/moderate-muslim-brotherhood-mourns-terrorist-death


"Mostly secular" is what I've been told.

7  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Things are getting medieval on the border , , , on: February 19, 2017, 03:58:08 PM

La mordida?
8  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: From the latest Journal of the American Medical Association on: February 16, 2017, 09:44:34 PM
"Hate is both deadly and contagious. Now is the time to engage the medical profession in eradicating it."

Those who are intolerant are medically ill.  I suppose this is aimed at the deplorable people who are "intolerant":

http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2601506

The Soviet Union did a lot of the pioneering work on using mental health facilities for treating counterrevolutionary badthink.

http://jaapl.org/content/jaapl/30/1/136.full.pdf

9  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Choices for California's tax dollars on: February 16, 2017, 09:18:36 PM
https://westernrifleshooters.files.wordpress.com/2017/02/c4uulslueaaw0zu.jpg



Live with it, if you can.
10  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Things are getting medieval on the border , , , on: February 16, 2017, 09:16:57 PM

Nothing new there. It's been done before.
11  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: From the latest Journal of the American Medical Association on: February 16, 2017, 04:18:46 PM
"Hate is both deadly and contagious. Now is the time to engage the medical profession in eradicating it."

Those who are intolerant are medically ill.  I suppose this is aimed at the deplorable people who are "intolerant":

http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2601506

The Soviet Union did a lot of the pioneering work on using mental health facilities for treating counterrevolutionary badthink.
12  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: February 15, 2017, 11:50:03 PM
On Netflix what is the name of the show?

Fauda

13  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israeli TV show hit for both Israelis and Palestinians on: February 15, 2017, 09:56:04 PM

Now on Netflix! Very much worth watching!
14  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Lt. Gen Hal Moore on: February 15, 2017, 09:53:54 PM

My dad credits part of his survival of 3 combat tours in Vietnam as missing his deployment that would have placed him at the battle of Ia Drang valley. He was a radio operator. Every radio operator in that battle was KIA or WIA, as the NVA specifically targeted anyone wearing the big backpack sized radios.
15  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Bureaucracy and Regulations in action: The Fourth Branch of the US Govt. on: February 14, 2017, 06:42:24 PM
I get all that.

OTOH there is something about sophisticated loan shark operators fukking those teetering on the edge , , ,

There are all sorts of bad financial choices made by the underclass, out of wedlock births are much more profoundly negative. Should the power of the state perform shotgun marriages?
16  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: February 14, 2017, 06:39:08 PM
PLA?

PLA= People's Liberation Army-China
17  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: February 14, 2017, 01:21:57 PM
Plan B for billionaires is a opulent underground bunker fortress in New Zealand probably lined with terra cotta warriors.

For us - forget about it. 

New Zealand will probably be a base for the PLA in the not too distant future.
18  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Bureaucracy and Regulations in action: The Fourth Branch of the US Govt. on: February 14, 2017, 12:44:20 PM
"Nope, this was it  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDylgzybWAw"

"Yes, we need a nanny state to be sure we always make the right decision."

Is that really responsive?



Are payday loans a bad idea? No doubt. Should government use it's power to interfere in a business transaction between adults? Casinos are a bad idea. Las Vegas is a city built on bad math and poor impulse control. Should gaming be allowed?
19  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: California asks for Federal Disaster Relief on: February 14, 2017, 12:39:02 AM

California is free to burn or die in a flood. Whatever works. I guess the high speed rail and funding illegal aliens was more important than dam maintenance. Being stupid hurts.
20  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Pay Day Loans on: February 14, 2017, 12:35:53 AM

Yes, we need a nanny state to be sure we always make the right decision.
21  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Bureaucracy and Regulations in action: The Fourth Branch of the US Govt. on: February 13, 2017, 12:24:42 AM
If I have it right, Trump is in the process of reversing the regs under Dodd-Franks that protect not-so-bright consumers from the predations of short term loan operations.  John Oliver did a segment on this that impressed me, so it looks like I am about to be unhappy with this development-- which plays right into the Dem playbook I might add.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4U2eDJnwz_s

Was this it?
22  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / MUST READ on ideological warfare on: February 12, 2017, 11:33:32 PM
http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=260

Gramscian damage
Posted on 2006-02-11 by Eric Raymond   

Americans have never really understood ideological warfare. Our gut-level assumption is that everybody in the world really wants the same comfortable material success we have. We use “extremist” as a negative epithet. Even the few fanatics and revolutionary idealists we have, whatever their political flavor, expect everybody else to behave like a bourgeois.

We don’t expect ideas to matter — or, when they do, we expect them to matter only because people have been flipped into a vulnerable mode by repression or poverty. Thus all our divagation about the “root causes” of Islamic terrorism, as if the terrorists’ very clear and very ideological account of their own theory and motivations is somehow not to be believed.

By contrast, ideological and memetic warfare has been a favored tactic for all of America’s three great adversaries of the last hundred years — Nazis, Communists, and Islamists. All three put substantial effort into cultivating American proxies to influence U.S. domestic policy and foreign policy in favorable directions. Yes, the Nazis did this, through organizations like the “German-American Bund” that was outlawed when World War II went hot. Today, the Islamists are having some success at manipulating our politics through fairly transparent front organizations like the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

But it was the Soviet Union, in its day, that was the master of this game. They made dezinformatsiya (disinformation) a central weapon of their war against “the main adversary”, the U.S. They conducted memetic subversion against the U.S. on many levels at a scale that is only now becoming clear as historians burrow through their archives and ex-KGB officers sell their memoirs.

The Soviets had an entire “active measures” department devoted to churning out anti-American dezinformatsiya. A classic example is the rumor that AIDS was the result of research aimed at building a ‘race bomb’ that would selectively kill black people.

On a different level, in the 1930s members of CPUSA (the Communist Party of the USA) got instructions from Moscow to promote non-representational art so that the US’s public spaces would become arid and ugly.

Americans hearing that last one tend to laugh. But the Soviets, following the lead of Marxist theoreticians like Antonio Gramsci, took very seriously the idea that by blighting the U.S.’s intellectual and esthetic life, they could sap Americans’ will to resist Communist ideology and an eventual Communist takeover. The explicit goal was to erode the confidence of America’s ruling class and create an ideological vacuum to be filled by Marxism-Leninism.

Accordingly, the Soviet espionage apparat actually ran two different kinds of network: one of spies, and one of agents of influence. The agents of influence had the minor function of recruiting spies (as, for example, when Kim Philby was brought in by one of his tutors at Cambridge), but their major function was to spread dezinformatsiya, to launch memetic weapons that would damage and weaken the West.

In a previous post on Suicidalism, I identified some of the most important of the Soviet Union’s memetic weapons. Here is that list again:

    There is no truth, only competing agendas.
    All Western (and especially American) claims to moral superiority over Communism/Fascism/Islam are vitiated by the West’s history of racism and colonialism.
    There are no objective standards by which we may judge one culture to be better than another. Anyone who claims that there are such standards is an evil oppressor.
    The prosperity of the West is built on ruthless exploitation of the Third World; therefore Westerners actually deserve to be impoverished and miserable.
    Crime is the fault of society, not the individual criminal. Poor criminals are entitled to what they take. Submitting to criminal predation is more virtuous than resisting it.
    The poor are victims. Criminals are victims. And only victims are virtuous. Therefore only the poor and criminals are virtuous. (Rich people can borrow some virtue by identifying with poor people and criminals.)
    For a virtuous person, violence and war are never justified. It is always better to be a victim than to fight, or even to defend oneself. But ‘oppressed’ people are allowed to use violence anyway; they are merely reflecting the evil of their oppressors.
    When confronted with terror, the only moral course for a Westerner is to apologize for past sins, understand the terrorist’s point of view, and make concessions.

As I previously observed, if you trace any of these back far enough, you’ll find a Stalinist intellectual at the bottom. (The last two items on the list, for example, came to us courtesy of Frantz Fanon. The fourth item is the Baran-Wallerstein “world system” thesis.) Most were staples of Soviet propaganda at the same time they were being promoted by “progressives” (read: Marxists and the dupes of Marxists) within the Western intelligentsia.

The Soviets consciously followed the Gramscian prescription; they pursued a war of position, subverting the “leading elements” of society through their agents of influence. (See, for example, Stephen Koch’s Double Lives: Stalin, Willi Munzenberg and the Seduction of the Intellectuals; summary by Koch here) This worked exactly as expected; their memes seeped into Western popular culture and are repeated endlessly in (for example) the products of Hollywood.

Indeed, the index of Soviet success is that most of us no longer think of these memes as Communist propaganda. It takes a significant amount of digging and rethinking and remembering, even for a lifelong anti-Communist like myself, to realize that there was a time (within the lifetime of my parents) when all of these ideas would have seemed alien, absurd, and repulsive to most people — at best, the beliefs of a nutty left-wing fringe, and at worst instruments of deliberate subversion intended to destroy the American way of life.

Koch shows us that the worst-case scenario was, as it turns out now, the correct one; these ideas, like the “race bomb” rumor, really were instruments deliberately designed to destroy the American way of life. Another index of their success is that most members of the bicoastal elite can no longer speak of “the American way of life” without deprecation, irony, or an automatic and half-conscious genuflection towards the altar of political correctness. In this and other ways, the corrosive effects of Stalin’s meme war have come to utterly pervade our culture.

The most paranoid and xenophobic conservatives of the Cold War were, painful though this is to admit, the closest to the truth in estimating the magnitude and subtlety of Soviet subversion. Liberal anticommunists (like myself in the 1970s) thought we were being judicious and fair-minded when we dismissed half of the Right’s complaint as crude blather. We were wrong; the Rosenbergs and Alger Hiss really were guilty, the Hollywood Ten really were Stalinist tools, and all of Joseph McCarthy’s rants about “Communists in the State Department” were essentially true. The Venona transcripts and other new material leave no room for reasonable doubt on this score.

While the espionage apparatus of the Soviet Union didn’t outlast it, their memetic weapons did. These memes are now coming near to crippling our culture’s response to Islamic terrorism.

In this context, Jeff Goldstein has written eloquently about perhaps the most long-term dangerous of these memes — the idea that rights inhere not in sovereign individuals but identity groups, and that every identity group (except the “ruling class”) has the right to suppress criticism of itself through political means up to and including violence.

Mark Brittingham (aka WildMonk) has written an excellent essay on the roots of this doctrine in Rousseau and the post-Enlightenment Romantics. It has elsewhere been analyzed and labeled as transnational progressivism. The Soviets didn’t invent it, but they promoted it heavily in a deliberate — and appallingly successful — attempt to weaken the Lockean, individualist tradition that underlies classical liberalism and the U.S. Constitution. The reduction of Western politics to a bitter war for government favor between ascriptive identity groups is exactly the outcome the Soviets wanted and worked hard to arrange.

Call it what you will — various other commentators have favored ‘volk-Marxism’ or ‘postmodern leftism’. I’ve called it suicidalism. It was designed to paralyze the West against one enemy, but it’s now being used against us by another. It is no accident that Osama bin Laden so often sounds like he’s reading from back issues of Z magazine, and no accident that both constantly echo the hoariest old cliches of Soviet propaganda in the 1930s and ’40s.

Another consequence of Stalin’s meme war is that today’s left-wing antiwar demonstrators wear kaffiyehs without any sense of how grotesque it is for ostensible Marxists to cuddle up to religious absolutists who want to restore the power relations of the 7th century CE. In Stalin’s hands, even Marxism itself was hollowed out to serve as a memetic weapon — it became increasingly nihilist, hatred-focused and destructive. The postmodern left is now defined not by what it’s for but by what it’s against: classical-liberal individualism, free markets, dead white males, America, and the idea of objective reality itself.

The first step to recovery is understanding the problem. Knowing that suicidalist memes were launched at us as war weapons by the espionage apparatus of the most evil despotism in human history is in itself liberating. Liberating, too, it is to realize that the Noam Chomskys and Michael Moores and Robert Fisks of the world (and their thousands of lesser imitators in faculty lounges everywhere) are not brave transgressive forward-thinkers but pathetic memebots running the program of a dead tyrant.

Brittingham and other have worried that postmodern leftism may yet win. If so, the victory would be short-lived. One of the clearest lessons of recent times (exemplified not just by kaffiyeh-wearing western leftists but by Hamas’s recent clobbering of al-Fatah in the first Palestinian elections) is that po-mo leftism is weaker than liberal individualism in one important respect; it has only the weakest defenses against absolutist fervor. Brittingham tellingly notes po-mo philosopher Richard Rorty’s realization that when the babble of conflicting tribal narratives collapses in exhaustion, the only thing left is the will to power.

Again, this is by design. Lenin and Stalin wanted classical-liberal individualism replaced with something less able to resist totalitarianism, not more. Volk-Marxist fantasy and postmodern nihilism served their purposes; the emergence of an adhesive counter-ideology would not have. Thus, the Chomskys and Moores and Fisks are running a program carefully designed to dead-end at nothing.

Religions are good at filling that kind of nothing. Accordingly, if transnational progressivism actually succeeds in smothering liberal individualism, its reward will be to be put to the sword by some flavor of jihadi. Whether the eventual winners are Muslims or Mormons, the future is not going to look like the fuzzy multicultural ecotopia of modern left fantasy. The death of that dream is being written in European banlieus by angry Muslim youths under the light of burning cars.

In the banlieus and elsewhere, Islamist pressure makes it certain that sooner or later the West is going to vomit Stalin’s memes out of its body politic. The worst way would be through a reflex development of Western absolutism — Christian chauvinism, nativism and militarism melding into something like Francoite fascism. The self-panicking leftists who think they see that in today’s Republicans are comically wrong (as witnessed by the fact that they aren’t being systematically jailed and executed), but it is quite a plausible future for the demographically-collapsing nations of Europe.

The U.S., fortunately, is still on a demographic expansion wave and will be till at least 2050. But if the Islamists achieve their dream of nuking “crusader” cities, they’ll make crusaders out of the U.S., too. And this time, a West with a chauvinized America at its head would smite the Saracen with weapons that would destroy entire populations and fuse Mecca into glass. The horror of our victory would echo for a thousand years.

I remain more optimistic than this. I think there is still an excellent chance that the West can recover from suicidalism without going through a fevered fascist episode and waging a genocidal war. But to do so, we have to do more than recognize Stalin’s memes; we have to reject them. We have to eject postmodern leftism from our universities, transnational progressivism from our politics, and volk-Marxism from our media.

The process won’t be pretty. But I fear that if the rest of us don’t hound the po-mo Left and its useful idiots out of public life with attack and ridicule and shunning, the hard Right will sooner or later get the power to do it by means that include a lot of killing. I don’t want to live in that future, and I don’t think any of my readers do, either. If we want to save a liberal, tolerant civilization for our children, we’d better get to work.

UPDATE: My original link to Protein Wisdom went stale. I’m not certain the new one is the same essay, but it is on many of the same ideas.
23  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WMDs were found in Iraq on: February 12, 2017, 06:27:00 PM

BOMBSHELL: New York Times Reports WMDs WERE Found in Iraq!
Alexa
Contributor

How many times have we been told that there were no weapons of mass destruction found in Iraq? I’m pretty sure I’ve heard it millions of times. I’ve read stories here and there over the last several years about WMDs being found, but of course it never got much news coverage – until now.

The New York Times shockingly admitted in an explosive front page report that thousands of WMDs were found in Iraq since the start of the war:

    From 2004 to 2011, American and American-trained Iraqi troops repeatedly encountered, and on at least six occasions were wounded by, chemical weapons remaining from years earlier in Saddam Hussein’s rule.

    In all, American troops secretly reported finding roughly 5,000 chemical warheads, shells or aviation bombs, according to interviews with dozens of participants, Iraqi and American officials, and heavily redacted intelligence documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

So, now it needs to be repeated millions of times: there WERE WMDs found in Iraq! But of course The Times couldn’t admit that their discovery vindicates President Bush. Instead they claim that these WMDs don’t count and that an active WMD program was the only rationale for the Iraq War:

    The discoveries of these chemical weapons did not support the government’s invasion rationale.

    After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Mr. Bush insisted that Mr. Hussein was hiding an active weapons of mass destruction program, in defiance of international will and at the world’s risk. United Nations inspectors said they could not find evidence for these claims.

Oh, really? Well, it sounds to me in UN Resolution 1441, adopted November 8, 2002, that there was concern about an active WMD program, but a key point of contention with Iraq in the decade after the 1991 Gulf War was the WMDs that had been left over (the ones The Times reports as being found during the Iraq War). Iraq had repeatedly refused to disarm and destroy its WMDs, even kicking out UN inspectors between 1998 and 2002. Some key excerpts from the resolution:

    Deploring the fact that Iraq has not provided an accurate, full, final, and complete disclosure, as required by resolution 687 (1991), of all aspects of its programmes to develop weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles with a range greater than one hundred and fifty kilometres, and of all holdings of such weapons, their components and production facilities and locations, as well as all other nuclear programmes, including any which it claims are for purposes not related to nuclear-weapons-usable material …

    3. Decides that, in order to begin to comply with its disarmament obligations, in addition to submitting the required biannual declarations, the Government of Iraq shall provide to UNMOVIC, the IAEA, and the Council, not later than 30 days from the date of this resolution, a currently accurate, full, and complete declaration of all aspects of its programmes to develop chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, and other delivery systems such as unmanned aerial vehicles and dispersal systems designed for use on aircraft, including any holdings and precise locations of such weapons, components, sub-components, stocks of agents, and related material and equipment, the locations and work of its research, development and production facilities, as well as all other chemical, biological, and nuclear programmes, including any which it claims are for purposes not related to weapon production or material; …

    – UNMOVIC and the IAEA shall have the right to be provided by Iraq the names of all personnel currently and formerly associated with Iraq’s chemical, biological, nuclear, and ballistic missile programmes and the associated research, development, and production facilities;

In President Bush’s speech to the UN on September 12, 2002, a huge chunk of his case was about Iraq violating its agreement to be transparent and disarm and destroy all WMDs after the Gulf War, maintaining stockpiles (like the thousands that The New York Times reported on!), improving facilities that could be used to produce WMDs, and not complying with UN weapons inspectors:

    In 1991, the Iraqi regime agreed to destroy and stop developing all weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles, and to prove to the world it has done so by complying with rigorous inspections. Iraq has broken every aspect of this fundamental pledge.

    From 1991 to 1995, the Iraqi regime said it had no biological weapons. After a senior official in its weapons program defected and exposed this lie, the regime admitted to producing tens of thousands of liters of anthrax and other deadly biological agents for use with Scud warheads, aerial bombs, and aircraft spray tanks. U.N. inspectors believe Iraq has produced two to four times the amount of biological agents it declared, and has failed to account for more than three metric tons of material that could be used to produce biological weapons. Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons.

    United Nations’ inspections also revealed that Iraq likely maintains stockpiles of VX, mustard and other chemical agents, and that the regime is rebuilding and expanding facilities capable of producing chemical weapons. …

    In 1991, Iraq promised U.N. inspectors immediate and unrestricted access to verify Iraq’s commitment to rid itself of weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles. Iraq broke this promise, spending seven years deceiving, evading, and harassing U.N. inspectors before ceasing cooperation entirely. Just months after the 1991 cease-fire, the Security Council twice renewed its demand that the Iraqi regime cooperate fully with inspectors, condemning Iraq’s serious violations of its obligations. The Security Council again renewed that demand in 1994, and twice more in 1996, deploring Iraq’s clear violations of its obligations. The Security Council renewed its demand three more times in 1997, citing flagrant violations; and three more times in 1998, calling Iraq’s behavior totally unacceptable. And in 1999, the demand was renewed yet again.

On the eve of the Iraq War, President Bush laid out his case to the American people. Again, the focus was on disarmament and Iraq’s possession of WMDs:

    My fellow citizens, events in Iraq have now reached the final days of decision. For more than a decade, the United States and other nations have pursued patient and honorable efforts to disarm the Iraqi regime without war. That regime pledged to reveal and destroy all its weapons of mass destruction as a condition for ending the Persian Gulf War in 1991. Since then, the world has engaged in 12 years of diplomacy. We have passed more than a dozen resolutions in the United Nations Security Council. We have sent hundreds of weapons inspectors to oversee the disarmament of Iraq. Our good faith has not been returned.

    The Iraqi regime has used diplomacy as a ploy to gain time and advantage. It has uniformly defied Security Council resolutions demanding full disarmament. Over the years, U.N. weapon inspectors have been threatened by Iraqi officials, electronically bugged, and systematically deceived. Peaceful efforts to disarm the Iraqi regime have failed again and again — because we are not dealing with peaceful men.

    Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised. This regime has already used weapons of mass destruction against Iraq’s neighbors and against Iraq’s people.

For The New York Times to say, “The discoveries of these chemical weapons did not support the government’s invasion rationale,” is ridiculous. Now that the leftist claim that no WMDs were found in Iraq has become untenable, they are moving the goalposts again. They say these pre-Gulf War era WMDs don’t count, even though Saddam’s continued possession of these older ones was clearly used as a justification for war.

When Saddam said he destroyed all his WMDs from the Gulf War, we knew he was lying and still had stockpiles, and we were proven right when we found the thousands The New York Times reported. The left has now conveniently changed to saying that no NEW WMDs were found. As if the “old” chemical weapons that were found couldn’t have been put into the wrong hands by Saddam and used in a terrorist attack!

The bottom line is: Weapons of mass destruction WERE found in Iraq. Debate the Iraq War all you want, but this should no longer be a point of contention.

Read more: http://thepoliticalinsider.com/bombshell-new-york-times-reports-wmds-found-ira
24  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Bureaucracy and Regulations in action: The Fourth Branch of the US Govt. on: February 12, 2017, 06:08:08 PM
If I have it right, Trump is in the process of reversing the regs under Dodd-Franks that protect not-so-bright consumers from the predations of short term loan operations.  John Oliver did a segment on this that impressed me, so it looks like I am about to be unhappy with this development-- which plays right into the Dem playbook I might add.

Ah, we can't live without the nanny state, can we?

25  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Spengler: Trump is right on: February 11, 2017, 08:43:38 PM

Spengler is very smart. Perhaps Trump got a briefing that had him reconsider.
26  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Iraq and bin Laden, kept from the memory hole on: February 10, 2017, 06:53:39 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7n3ivH3pCQ

#Invalid YouTube Link#



______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/stories/1998/12/16/transcripts/clinton.html


Transcript: President Clinton explains Iraq strike

CLINTON: Good evening.

Earlier today, I ordered America's armed forces to strike military and security targets in Iraq. They are joined by British forces. Their mission is to attack Iraq's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs and its military capacity to threaten its neighbors.

Their purpose is to protect the national interest of the United States, and indeed the interests of people throughout the Middle East and around the world.

Saddam Hussein must not be allowed to threaten his neighbors or the world with nuclear arms, poison gas or biological weapons.

I want to explain why I have decided, with the unanimous recommendation of my national security team, to use force in Iraq; why we have acted now; and what we aim to accomplish.

Six weeks ago, Saddam Hussein announced that he would no longer cooperate with the United Nations weapons inspectors called UNSCOM. They are highly professional experts from dozens of countries. Their job is to oversee the elimination of Iraq's capability to retain, create and use weapons of mass destruction, and to verify that Iraq does not attempt to rebuild that capability.

The inspectors undertook this mission first 7.5 years ago at the end of the Gulf War when Iraq agreed to declare and destroy its arsenal as a condition of the ceasefire.

The international community had good reason to set this requirement. Other countries possess weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles. With Saddam, there is one big difference: He has used them. Not once, but repeatedly. Unleashing chemical weapons against Iranian troops during a decade-long war. Not only against soldiers, but against civilians, firing Scud missiles at the citizens of Israel, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Iran. And not only against a foreign enemy, but even against his own people, gassing Kurdish civilians in Northern Iraq.

The international community had little doubt then, and I have no doubt today, that left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will use these terrible weapons again.

The United States has patiently worked to preserve UNSCOM as Iraq has sought to avoid its obligation to cooperate with the inspectors. On occasion, we've had to threaten military force, and Saddam has backed down.

Faced with Saddam's latest act of defiance in late October, we built intensive diplomatic pressure on Iraq backed by overwhelming military force in the region. The UN Security Council voted 15 to zero to condemn Saddam's actions and to demand that he immediately come into compliance.

Eight Arab nations -- Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Oman -- warned that Iraq alone would bear responsibility for the consequences of defying the UN.

When Saddam still failed to comply, we prepared to act militarily. It was only then at the last possible moment that Iraq backed down. It pledged to the UN that it had made, and I quote, a clear and unconditional decision to resume cooperation with the weapons inspectors.

I decided then to call off the attack with our airplanes already in the air because Saddam had given in to our demands. I concluded then that the right thing to do was to use restraint and give Saddam one last chance to prove his willingness to cooperate.

I made it very clear at that time what unconditional cooperation meant, based on existing UN resolutions and Iraq's own commitments. And along with Prime Minister Blair of Great Britain, I made it equally clear that if Saddam failed to cooperate fully, we would be prepared to act without delay, diplomacy or warning.

Now over the past three weeks, the UN weapons inspectors have carried out their plan for testing Iraq's cooperation. The testing period ended this weekend, and last night, UNSCOM's chairman, Richard Butler, reported the results to UN Secretary-General Annan.

The conclusions are stark, sobering and profoundly disturbing.

In four out of the five categories set forth, Iraq has failed to cooperate. Indeed, it actually has placed new restrictions on the inspectors. Here are some of the particulars.

Iraq repeatedly blocked UNSCOM from inspecting suspect sites. For example, it shut off access to the headquarters of its ruling party and said it will deny access to the party's other offices, even though UN resolutions make no exception for them and UNSCOM has inspected them in the past.

Iraq repeatedly restricted UNSCOM's ability to obtain necessary evidence. For example, Iraq obstructed UNSCOM's effort to photograph bombs related to its chemical weapons program.

It tried to stop an UNSCOM biological weapons team from videotaping a site and photocopying documents and prevented Iraqi personnel from answering UNSCOM's questions.

Prior to the inspection of another site, Iraq actually emptied out the building, removing not just documents but even the furniture and the equipment.

Iraq has failed to turn over virtually all the documents requested by the inspectors. Indeed, we know that Iraq ordered the destruction of weapons-related documents in anticipation of an UNSCOM inspection.

So Iraq has abused its final chance.

As the UNSCOM reports concludes, and again I quote, "Iraq's conduct ensured that no progress was able to be made in the fields of disarmament.

"In light of this experience, and in the absence of full cooperation by Iraq, it must regrettably be recorded again that the commission is not able to conduct the work mandated to it by the Security Council with respect to Iraq's prohibited weapons program."

In short, the inspectors are saying that even if they could stay in Iraq, their work would be a sham.

Saddam's deception has defeated their effectiveness. Instead of the inspectors disarming Saddam, Saddam has disarmed the inspectors.

This situation presents a clear and present danger to the stability of the Persian Gulf and the safety of people everywhere. The international community gave Saddam one last chance to resume cooperation with the weapons inspectors. Saddam has failed to seize the chance.

And so we had to act and act now.

Let me explain why.

First, without a strong inspection system, Iraq would be free to retain and begin to rebuild its chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs in months, not years.

Second, if Saddam can crippled the weapons inspection system and get away with it, he would conclude that the international community -- led by the United States -- has simply lost its will. He will surmise that he has free rein to rebuild his arsenal of destruction, and someday -- make no mistake -- he will use it again as he has in the past.

Third, in halting our air strikes in November, I gave Saddam a chance, not a license. If we turn our backs on his defiance, the credibility of U.S. power as a check against Saddam will be destroyed. We will not only have allowed Saddam to shatter the inspection system that controls his weapons of mass destruction program; we also will have fatally undercut the fear of force that stops Saddam from acting to gain domination in the region.

That is why, on the unanimous recommendation of my national security team -- including the vice president, the secretary of defense, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, the secretary of state and the national security adviser -- I have ordered a strong, sustained series of air strikes against Iraq.

They are designed to degrade Saddam's capacity to develop and deliver weapons of mass destruction, and to degrade his ability to threaten his neighbors.

At the same time, we are delivering a powerful message to Saddam. If you act recklessly, you will pay a heavy price. We acted today because, in the judgment of my military advisers, a swift response would provide the most surprise and the least opportunity for Saddam to prepare.

If we had delayed for even a matter of days from Chairman Butler's report, we would have given Saddam more time to disperse his forces and protect his weapons.

Also, the Muslim holy month of Ramadan begins this weekend. For us to initiate military action during Ramadan would be profoundly offensive to the Muslim world and, therefore, would damage our relations with Arab countries and the progress we have made in the Middle East.

That is something we wanted very much to avoid without giving Iraq's a month's head start to prepare for potential action against it.

Finally, our allies, including Prime Minister Tony Blair of Great Britain, concurred that now is the time to strike. I hope Saddam will come into cooperation with the inspection system now and comply with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions. But we have to be prepared that he will not, and we must deal with the very real danger he poses.

So we will pursue a long-term strategy to contain Iraq and its weapons of mass destruction and work toward the day when Iraq has a government worthy of its people.

First, we must be prepared to use force again if Saddam takes threatening actions, such as trying to reconstitute his weapons of mass destruction or their delivery systems, threatening his neighbors, challenging allied aircraft over Iraq or moving against his own Kurdish citizens.

The credible threat to use force, and when necessary, the actual use of force, is the surest way to contain Saddam's weapons of mass destruction program, curtail his aggression and prevent another Gulf War.

Second, so long as Iraq remains out of compliance, we will work with the international community to maintain and enforce economic sanctions. Sanctions have cost Saddam more than $120 billion -- resources that would have been used to rebuild his military. The sanctions system allows Iraq to sell oil for food, for medicine, for other humanitarian supplies for the Iraqi people.

We have no quarrel with them. But without the sanctions, we would see the oil-for-food program become oil-for-tanks, resulting in a greater threat to Iraq's neighbors and less food for its people.

The hard fact is that so long as Saddam remains in power, he threatens the well-being of his people, the peace of his region, the security of the world.

The best way to end that threat once and for all is with a new Iraqi government -- a government ready to live in peace with its neighbors, a government that respects the rights of its people. Bringing change in Baghdad will take time and effort. We will strengthen our engagement with the full range of Iraqi opposition forces and work with them effectively and prudently.

The decision to use force is never cost-free. Whenever American forces are placed in harm's way, we risk the loss of life. And while our strikes are focused on Iraq's military capabilities, there will be unintended Iraqi casualties.

Indeed, in the past, Saddam has intentionally placed Iraqi civilians in harm's way in a cynical bid to sway international opinion.

We must be prepared for these realities. At the same time, Saddam should have absolutely no doubt if he lashes out at his neighbors, we will respond forcefully.

Heavy as they are, the costs of action must be weighed against the price of inaction. If Saddam defies the world and we fail to respond, we will face a far greater threat in the future. Saddam will strike again at his neighbors. He will make war on his own people.

And mark my words, he will develop weapons of mass destruction. He will deploy them, and he will use them.

Because we're acting today, it is less likely that we will face these dangers in the future.

Let me close by addressing one other issue. Saddam Hussein and the other enemies of peace may have thought that the serious debate currently before the House of Representatives would distract Americans or weaken our resolve to face him down.

But once more, the United States has proven that although we are never eager to use force, when we must act in America's vital interests, we will do so.

In the century we're leaving, America has often made the difference between chaos and community, fear and hope. Now, in the new century, we'll have a remarkable opportunity to shape a future more peaceful than the past, but only if we stand strong against the enemies of peace.

Tonight, the United States is doing just that. May God bless and protect the brave men and women who are carrying out this vital mission and their families. And may God bless America.


______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


https://fas.org/irp/news/1998/11/98110602_nlt.html

 06 November 1998
TEXT: US GRAND JURY INDICTMENT AGAINST USAMA BIN LADEN

United States District Court
Southern District of New York

 

    Press Release (PDF format)
    Usama Bin-Laden Indictment (PDF format)
    Usama Bin-Laden, Muhammad Atef, et al. Indictment
        Introduction and Counts 1 thru 3 (PDF format)
        Counts 4 thru 238 (PDF format)




New York -- A U.S. Federal Grand Jury in New York on Nov. 5 issued an
indictment against Usama Bin Laden alleging that he and others engaged
in a long-term conspiracy to attack U.S. facilities overseas and to
kill American citizens.


The indictment noted that Al Qaeda, Bin Laden's international
terrorist group, forged alliances with the National Islamic Front in
Sudan and with the government of Iran and with its associated group
Hezballah to "work together against their perceived common enemies in
the West, particularly the United States."


Additionally, the indictment states that Al Qaeda reached an agreement
with Iraq not to work against the regime of Saddam Hussein and that
they would work cooperatively with Iraq, particularly in weapons
development.


According to the indictment, Bin Laden's group also tried to recruit
Americans to travel through the United States and the West to deliver
messages and to conduct financial transactions to aid their terrorist
activities. The indictment also states that Al Qaeda used humanitarian
work as a conduit for transmitting funds to affiliate terrorist
groups.


The indictment also claims that Bin Laden's supporters purchased land
for terrorist training camps; bought warehouses where explosives were
stored; transferred bank accounts using various aliases; purchased
sophisticated telecommunications equipment; and transferred money and
weapons to Al Qaeda and affiliated terrorist organizations.


The indictment also states that beginning in 1993, Al Qaeda began
training Somali tribes to oppose the United Nation's humanitarian
effort in Somalia. In October, members of Al Qaeda participated in an
attack on U.S. military personnel where 18 soldiers were killed and 73
others wounded in Mogadishu. In another reference, the indictment
noted that an unnamed "co-conspirator" transported weapons and
explosives from Khartoum to Port Sudan for transshipment to the Saudi
Arabian peninsula.


The Grand Jury document, which usually does not provide a great amount
of details in advance of a prosecution, also stated that Bin Laden and
"others" tried to develop chemical weapons and attempted to obtain
nuclear weapons components in 1993.


The indictment noted that Bin Laden issued his Declaration of Jihad
with the aim of recruiting others to "kill Americans and encouraged
other persons to join the jihad against the American enemy."


Following is the text of the indictment:



(Begin text)



UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK



UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

- V-

USAMA BIN LADEN,

a/k/a "Usamah Bin-Muhammad Bin-Laden,"

a/k/a "Shaykh Usamah Bin-Laden,"

a/k/a "Mujahid Shaykh,"

a/k/a "Abu Abdallah,"

a/k/a "Qa Qa,"



Defendant



COUNT ONE



Conspiracy to Attack Defense Utilities of the United States



The Grand Jury charges:



Background: Al Qaeda



1. At all relevant times from in or about 1989 until the date of the
filing of this Indictment, an international terrorist group existed
which was dedicated to opposing non-Islamic governments with force and
violence. This organization grew out of the "mekhtab al Khidemat" (the
"Services Office") organization which had maintained (and continues to
maintain) offices in various parts of the world, including
Afghanistan, Pakistan (particularly in Peshawar) and the United
States, particularly at the Alkifah Refugee Center - in Brooklyn. From
in or about 1989 until the present, the group called itself "Al Qaeda"
("the Base"). From 1989 until in or about 1991, the group was
headquartered in Afghanistan and Peshawar, Pakistan. In or about 1992,
the leadership of Al Qaeda, including its "emir" (or prince) USAMA BIN
LADEN the defendant, and its military command relocated to the Sudan.
From in or about 1991 until the present, the group also called itself
the "Islamic Army." The international terrorist group (hereafter
referred to as "Al Qaeda") was headquartered in the Sudan from
approximately 1992 until approximately 1996 but still maintained
offices in various parts of the world. In 1996, USAMA BIN LADEN and Al
Qaeda relocated to Afghanistan. At all relevant times, Al Qaeda was
led by its "emir," USAMA BIN LADEN. Members of Al Qaeda pledged an
oath of allegiance to USAMA BIN LADEN and Al Qaeda.


2. Al Qaeda opposed the United States for several reasons. First, the
United States was regarded as "infidel" because it was not governed in
a manner consistent with the group's extremist interpretation of
Islam. Second, the United States was viewed as providing essential
support for other "infidel" governments and institutions, particularly
the governments of Saudi Arabia and Egypt, the nation of Israel and
the United Nations, which were regarded as enemies of the group.
Third, Al Qaeda opposed the involvement of the United states armed
forces in the Gulf War in 1991 and in Operation Restore Hope in
Somalia in 1992 and 1993. In particular, Al Qaeda opposed the
continued presence of American military forces in Saudi Arabia (and
elsewhere on the Saudi Arabian peninsula) following the Gulf war.
Fourth, Al Qaeda opposed the United States Government because of the
arrest, conviction and imprisonment of persons belonging to Al Qaeda
or its affiliated terrorist groups, including Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman.


3. Al Qaeda has functioned both on its own and through some of the
terrorist organizations that have operated under its umbrella,
including: the Islamic Group (also known as "al Gamaa Islamia" or
simply "Gamaa't"), led by co-conspirator Sheik Oxar Abdal Rahman; the
al Jihad group based in Egypt; the "Talah e Fatah" ("Vanguards of
conquest") faction of al Jibad, which was also based in Egypt, Which
faction was led by co-conspirator Ayman al Zawahiri ("al Jibad");
Palestinian Islamic Jihad and a number of Jihad groups in other
countries, including Egypt, the Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Somalia,
Eritrea, Kenya, Pakistan, Bosnia, Croatia, Algeria, Tunisia, Lebanon,
the Philippines, Tajikistan, Chechnya, Bangladesh, Kashmir and
Azerbaijan. In February 1998, Al Qaeda joined forces with Gamaa't, Al
Jihad, the Jihad Movement in Bangladesh and the "Jamaat ul Ulema e
Pakistan" to issue a fatwah (an Islamic religious ruling) declaring
war against American civilians worldwide under the banner of the
"International Islamic Front for Jibad on the Jews and Crusaders."


4. Al Qaeda also forged alliances with the National Islamic Front in
the Sudan and with the government of Iran and its associated terrorist
group Hezballah for the purpose of working together against their
perceived common enemies in the West, particularly the United States.
In addition, al Qaeda reached an understanding with the government of
Iraq that al Qaeda would not work against that government and that on
particular projects, specifically including weapons development, al
Qaeda would work cooperatively with the Government of Iraq.



5. Al Qaeda had a command and control structure which included a
majlis al shura (or consultation council) which discussed and approved
major undertakings, including terrorist operations.


6. Al Qaeda also conducted internal investigations of its members and
their associates in an effort to detect informants and killed those
suspected of collaborating with enemies of Al Qaeda.


7. From at least 1991 until the date of the filing of this Indictment,
in the Sudan, Afghanistan and elsewhere out of the jurisdiction of any
particular state or district, USAMA BIN LADEN, a/k/a "Usamah
Bin-Muhammad Bin-Laden," a/k/a "Shaykh Usamah Bin-Laden," a/k/a
"Mujahid Shaykh," a/k/a "Abu Abdallah," a/k/a "Qa Qa," the defendant,
and a co-conspirator not named as a defendant herein (hereafter
"Co-conspirator") who was first brought to and arrested in the
Southern District of New York, and others known and unknown to the
grand jury, unlawfully, willfully and knowingly combined conspired,
confederated and agreed together and with each other to injure and
destroy, and attempt to injure and destroy, national-defense material,
national-defense premises and national-defense utilities of the United
States with the intent to injure, interfere with and obstruct the
national defense of the United states.


Overt Acts



8. In furtherance of the said conspiracy, and to effect the illegal
object thereof, the following overt acts, among others, were
committed:


a. At various times from at least as early as 1991 until at least in
or about February 1998, USAMA BIN LADEN, the defendant, met with
Co-conspirator and other members of Al Qaeda in the Sudan, Afghanistan
and elsewhere;


b. At various times from at least as early as 1991, USAMA BIN LADEN,
and others known and unknown, made efforts to obtain weapons,
including firearms and explosives, for Al Qaeda and its affiliated
terrorist groups;


c. At various times from at least as early as 1991 USAMA BIN LADEN,
and others known and unknown, provided training camps and guest houses
in various areas, including Afghanistan and the Sudan, for the use of
Al Qaeda and its affiliated terrorist groups;


d. At various times from at least as early as 1991, USAMA BIN LADEN,
and others known and unknown, made efforts to produce counterfeit
passports purporting to be issued by various countries and also
obtained official passports from the Government of the Sudan for use
by Al Qaeda and its affiliated groups;


e. At various times from at least as early as 1991, USAMA BIN LADEN,
and others known and unknown, made efforts to recruit United States
citizens to Al Qaeda in order to utilize the American citizens for
travel throughout the Western world to deliver messages and engage in
financial transactions for the benefit of Al Qaeda and its affiliated
groups;


f. At various times from at least as early as 1991, USAMA BIN LADEN,
and others known and unknown, made efforts to utilize non-Government
organizations which purported to be engaged in humanitarian work as
conduits for transmitting funds for the benefit of Al Qaeda and its
affiliated groups;


g. At various times from at least as early as 1991, Co-conspirator and
others known and unknown to the grand jury engaged in financial and
business transactions on behalf of defendant USAMA BIN LADEN and Al
Qaeda, including, but not limited to: purchasing land for training
camps; purchasing warehouses for storage of items, including
explosives; transferring funds between bank accounts opened in various
names, obtaining various communications equipment, including satellite
telephones and transporting currency and weapons to members of Al
Qaeda and its associated terrorist organizations in various countries
throughout the world;


h. At various times from in or about 1992 until the date of the filing
of this Indictment, USAMA BIN LADEN and other ranking members of Al
Qaeda stated privately to other members of Al Qaeda that Al Qaeda
should put aside its differences with Shiite Muslim terrorist
organizations, including the Government of Iran and its affiliated
terrorist group Hezballah, to cooperate against the perceived common
enemy, the United States and its allies;


i. At various times from in or about 1992 until the date of the filing
of this Indictment, USAMA BIN LADEN and other ranking members of Al
Qaeda stated privately to other members of Al Qaeda that the United
States forces stationed on the Saudi Arabian peninsula, including both
Saudi Arabia and Yemen, should be Attacked;


j. At various times from in or about 1992 until the date of the filing
of this Indictment, USAMA BIN LADEN and other ranking members of Al
Qaeda stated privately to other members of Al Qaeda that the United
States forces stationed in the Horn of Africa, including Somalia,
should be attacked;


k. Beginning in or about early spring 1993, Al Qaeda members began to
provide training and assistance to Somali tribes opposed to the United
Nations intervention in Somalia;


l. On October 3 and 4, 1993, members of Al Qaeda participated with
Somali tribesmen in an attack on United States military personnel
serving in Somalia as part of Operation Restore Hope, which attack
killed a total of 18 United States soldiers and wounded 73 others in
Mogadishu;


m. On two occasions in the period from in or about 1992 until in or
about 1995, Co-conspirator helped transport weapons and explosives
from Khartoum to Port Sudan for transshipment to the Saudi Arabian
peninsula;


n. At various times from at least as early as 1993, USAMA BIN LADEN
and others known and unknown, made efforts to obtain the components of
nuclear weapons;


o. At various times from at least as early as 1993 USAMA BIN LADEN and
others known and unknown, made efforts to produce chemical weapons;


p. On or about August 23, 1996, USAMA BIN LADEN signed and issued a
declaration of Jihad entitled "Message from Usamah Bin-Muhammad
Bin-Laden to His Muslim Brothers in the Whole World and Especially in
the Arabian Peninsula: Declaration of Jihad Against the Americans
Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Mosques; Expel the Heretics from
the Arabian Peninsula" (hereafter the "Declaration of Jihad) from the
Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan. The Declaration of Jihad included
statements that efforts should be pooled to kill Americans and
encouraged other persons to join the jihad against the American
enemy";


q. In or about late August 1996, USAMA BIN LADEN read aloud the
Declaration of Jihad and made an audiotape recording of such reading
for worldwide distribution; and


r. In February 1998, USAMA BIN LADEN issued a joint declaration in the
name of Gamaa't, Al Jihad, the Jihad movement in Bangladesh and the
"Jamaat ul Ulema e Pakistan" under the banner of the "International
Islamic Front for Jihad on the Jews and Crusaders," which stated that
Muslims should kill Americans -- including civilians -- anywhere in
the world where they can be found.


(Title 18, United States code, Section 2155(b).)



(End text)

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2003-09-17-iraq-wtc_x.htm

U.S.: Iraq sheltered suspect in '93 WTC attack
By John Diamond, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — U.S. authorities in Iraq say they have new evidence that Saddam Hussein's regime gave money and housing to Abdul Rahman Yasin, a suspect in the World Trade Center bombing in 1993, according to U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials.
The Bush administration is using the evidence to strengthen its disputed prewar assertion that Iraq had ties to terrorists, including the al-Qaeda group responsible for the Sept. 11 attack. But President Bush, in contrast with comments Sunday by Vice President Cheney, said Wednesday, "We've had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved."
Cheney had said on NBC's Meet the Press Sunday that "we don't know" if Iraq was involved but said some suggestive evidence had surfaced. He asserted that the campaign in Iraq is striking at terrorists involved in the attacks. Cheney also disclosed the new evidence about the 1993 suspect on the program, but he did not name Yasin.
Military, intelligence and law enforcement officials reported finding a large cache of Arabic-language documents in Tikrit, Saddam's political stronghold. A U.S. intelligence official who spoke on condition of anonymity said translators and analysts are busy "separating the gems from the junk." The official said some of the analysts have concluded that the documents show that Saddam's government provided monthly payments and a home for Yasin.
Yasin is on the FBI's list of 22 most-wanted terrorist fugitives; there is a $25 million reward for his capture. The bureau questioned and released him in New York shortly after the bombing in 1993. After Yasin had fled to Iraq, the FBI said it found evidence that he helped make the bomb, which killed six people and injured 1,000. Yasin is still at large.
Even if the new information holds up — and intelligence and law enforcement officials disagree on its conclusiveness — the links tying Yasin, Saddam and al-Qaeda are tentative.
The World Trade Center bombing was carried out by a group headed by Ramzi Yousef, who is serving a 240-year prison term. Federal authorities say Yousef's group received financial support from al-Qaeda via Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks. But a direct al-Qaeda role in the 1993 attack hasn't been established.

https://www.fbi.gov/wanted/wanted_terrorists/abdul-rahman-yasin

ABDUL RAHMAN YASIN

Damage by Means of Fire or an Explosive; Damage by Means of Fire or an Explosive to United States Property; Transport in Interstate Commerce an Explosive; Destruction of Motor Vehicles or Motor Vehicle Facilities; Conspiracy to Commit Offense or Defraud the United States; Aiding and Abetting; Assault of a Federal Officer in the Line of Duty; Commission of a Crime of Violence Through the Use of a Deadly Weapon or Device


    English

    Photograph taken in 2002

Aliases:

Abdul Rahman Said Yasin, Aboud Yasin, Abdul Rahman S. Taha, Abdul Rahman S. Taher
Date(s) of Birth Used    April 10, 1960
Place of Birth    Bloomington, Indiana
Hair    Black
Eyes    Brown
Height    5'10"
Weight    180 pounds
Build    Unknown
Complexion    Olive
Sex    Male
Citizenship    American
Languages    Unknown
Scars and Marks    Yasin possibly has a chemical burn scar on his right thigh.
Reward:

The Rewards For Justice Program, United States Department of State, is offering a reward of up to $5 million for information leading directly to the apprehension or conviction of Abdul Rahman Yasin.
Remarks:

Yasin is an epileptic.
Caution:

Abdul Rahman Yasin is wanted for his alleged participation in the terrorist bombing of the World Trade Center, New York City, on February 26, 1993, which resulted in six deaths, the wounding of numerous individuals, and the significant destruction of property and commerce.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________



https://www.un.org/sc/suborg/en/sanctions/1267/aq_sanctions_list/summaries/individual/abdul-rahman-yasin



Security Council Committee pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999) 1989 (2011) and 2253 (2015) concerning ISIL (Da'esh) Al-Qaida and associated individuals groups undertakings and entities
Home › ISIL (Da'esh) & Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee › Sanctions List Materials › Narrative Summaries › ABDUL RAHMAN YASIN
Search form
Search
NARRATIVE SUMMARIES OF REASONS FOR LISTING

In accordance with paragraph 36 of resolution 2161 (2014) , the Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee makes accessible a narrative summary of reasons for the listing for individuals, groups, undertakings and entities included in the Al-Qaida Sanctions List.
QDi.037
ABDUL RAHMAN YASIN
Date on which the narrative summary became available on the Committee's website:
07 September 2010
Reason for listing:

Abdul Rahman Yasin was listed on 17 October 2001 pursuant to paragraph 8(c) of resolution 1333 (2000) as being associated with Al-Qaida, Usama bin Laden or the Taliban for “participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing or perpetrating of acts or activities by, in conjunction with, under the name of, on behalf, or in support of”, “supplying, selling or transferring arms and related materiel to” or “otherwise supporting acts or activities of” Al-Qaida (QDe.004), Usama bin Laden and the Taliban.
Additional information:

Abdul Rahman Yasin assisted Ramzi Ahmed Yousef to carry out an attack on the World Trade Center in New York City, United States in February 1993. Yousef and Yasin drove a van full of explosives into the basement of the World Trade Center; the explosion killed six and wounded over one thousand people. Yasin fled the United States immediately after the bombing to avoid arrest. After the bombing, law enforcement officials obtained evidence which led to the indictment of several suspected terrorists involved in the bombing, including Yasin.

Yasin was indicted in the United States for his role in the World Trade Center bombing.

Related listed individuals and entities:

Al-Qaida (QDe.004), listed on 6 October 2001




 
27  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Grannis: Uncharted Waters on: February 10, 2017, 03:15:24 PM

Not reassuring.
28  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US-China (& Japan, South China Sea-- Vietnam, Philippines, etc) on: February 10, 2017, 12:38:18 PM
China treated Obama like their prison bitch, now let's see if they roll Trump.
29  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Will the Wall Make Cartels Great Again? on: February 10, 2017, 10:42:18 AM

Not if we seek them out and kill them, like we should.
30  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Rules of the Road/Fire Hydrant on: February 10, 2017, 09:28:57 AM
hello mates! Andy's here. i've done karate, kendo and a bit of capoeira  afro really enjoying the community, amazing support and the company of awesome and interesting dog brothers. and it is inly the beginning! thanks so much, really. so glad to be here


Welcome.
31  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: As expected will come down to Justice kennedy - this is ridiculous on: February 09, 2017, 09:29:57 PM

Pretty much what you'd expect from the 9th circus.
32  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Emotional set of facts case on: February 09, 2017, 01:27:44 PM
Arguably not the sort of case with which to lead the way , , ,

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/02/09/for-decades-immigration-authorities-gave-this-mother-a-pass-wednesday-when-she-checked-in-with-them-they-seized-her/?utm_term=.1747188dd724&wpisrc=nl_most&wpmm=1

Apparently INS has some 45 empty judge slots (thank you Obama) and this has contributed mightily to legal process delays.  Trump needs to fill these slots ASAP.



Why not? Time to enforce the law.

33  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Trained professionals! on: February 08, 2017, 09:46:56 PM

http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/al-qaeda-kentucky-us-dozens-terrorists-country-refugees/story?id=20931131

Exclusive: US May Have Let 'Dozens' of Terrorists Into Country As Refugees

    By James Gordon Meek
    Cindy Galli
    Brian Ross

Nov. 20, 2013
QUANTICO, Virginia


Several dozen suspected terrorist bombmakers, including some believed to have targeted American troops, may have mistakenly been allowed to move to the United States as war refugees, according to FBI agents investigating the remnants of roadside bombs recovered from Iraq and Afghanistan.

The discovery in 2009 of two al Qaeda-Iraq terrorists living as refugees in Bowling Green, Kentucky -- who later admitted in court that they'd attacked U.S. soldiers in Iraq -- prompted the bureau to assign hundreds of specialists to an around-the-clock effort aimed at checking its archive of 100,000 improvised explosive devices collected in the war zones, known as IEDs, for other suspected terrorists' fingerprints.

"We are currently supporting dozens of current counter-terrorism investigations like that," FBI Agent Gregory Carl, director of the Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center (TEDAC), said in an ABC News interview to be broadcast tonight on ABC News' "World News with Diane Sawyer" and "Nightline".

"I wouldn't be surprised if there were many more than that," said House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul. "And these are trained terrorists in the art of bombmaking that are inside the United States; and quite frankly, from a homeland security perspective, that really concerns me."

As a result of the Kentucky case, the State Department stopped processing Iraq refugees for six months in 2011, federal officials told ABC News – even for many who had heroically helped U.S. forces as interpreters and intelligence assets. One Iraqi who had aided American troops was assassinated before his refugee application could be processed, because of the immigration delays, two U.S. officials said. In 2011, fewer than 10,000 Iraqis were resettled as refugees in the U.S., half the number from the year before, State Department statistics show.

Suspect in Kentucky Discovered to Have Insurgent Past

An intelligence tip initially led the FBI to Waad Ramadan Alwan, 32, in 2009. The Iraqi had claimed to be a refugee who faced persecution back home -- a story that shattered when the FBI found his fingerprints on a cordless phone base that U.S. soldiers dug up in a gravel pile south of Bayji, Iraq on Sept. 1, 2005. The phone base had been wired to unexploded bombs buried in a nearby road.

An ABC News investigation of the flawed U.S. refugee screening system, which was overhauled two years ago, showed that Alwan was mistakenly allowed into the U.S. and resettled in the leafy southern town of Bowling Green, Kentucky, a city of 60,000 which is home to Western Kentucky University and near the Army's Fort Knox and Fort Campbell. Alwan and another Iraqi refugee, Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, 26, were resettled in Bowling Green even though both had been detained during the war by Iraqi authorities, according to federal prosecutors.

Most of the more than 70,000 Iraqi war refugees in the U.S. are law-abiding immigrants eager to start a new life in America, state and federal officials say.

But the FBI discovered that Alwan had been arrested in Kirkuk, Iraq, in 2006 and confessed on video made of his interrogation then that he was an insurgent, according to the U.S. military and FBI, which obtained the tape a year into their Kentucky probe. In 2007, Alwan went through a border crossing to Syria and his fingerprints were entered into a biometric database maintained by U.S. military intelligence in Iraq, a Directorate of National Intelligence official said. Another U.S. official insisted that fingerprints of Iraqis were routinely collected and that Alwan's fingerprint file was not associated with the insurgency.

    "How do they get into our community?"

In 2009 Alwan applied as a refugee and was allowed to move to Bowling Green, where he quit a job he briefly held and moved into public housing on Gordon Ave., across the street from a school bus stop, and collected public assistance payouts, federal officials told ABC News.

"How do you have somebody that we now know was a known actor in terrorism overseas, how does that person get into the United States? How do they get into our community?" wondered Bowling Green Police Chief Doug Hawkins, whose department assisted the FBI.

Department of Homeland Security spokesperson Peter Boogaard said in a statement that the U.S. government "continually improves and expands its procedures for vetting immigrants, refugees and visa applicants, and today [the] vetting process considers a far broader range of information than it did in past years."

"Our procedures continue to check applicants' names and fingerprints against records of individuals known to be security threats, including the terrorist watchlist, or of law enforcement concern... These checks are vital to advancing the U.S. government's twin goal of protecting the world's most vulnerable persons while ensuring U.S. national security and public safety," the statement said.

Last year, a Department of Homeland Security senior intelligence official testified in a House hearing that Alwan and Hammadi's names and fingerprints were checked by the FBI, DHS and the Defense Department during the vetting process in 2009 and "came in clean."

After the FBI received the intelligence tip later that year, a sting operation in Kentucky was mounted to bait Alwan with a scheme hatched by an undercover operative recruited by the FBI, who offered Alwan the opportunity to ship heavy arms to al Qaeda in Iraq. The FBI wanted to know if Alwan was part of a local terror cell -- a fear that grew when he tapped a relative also living in Bowling Green, Hammadi, to help out.

The FBI secretly taped Alwan bragging to the informant that he'd built a dozen or more bombs in Iraq and used a sniper rifle to kill American soldiers in the Bayji area north of Baghdad.

"He said that he had them 'for lunch and dinner,'" recalled FBI Louisville Supervisory Special Agent Tim Beam, "meaning that he had killed them."

Alwan even sketched out IED designs, which the FBI provided to ABC News, that U.S. bomb experts had quickly determined clearly demonstrated his expertise.

'Needle in a Haystack' Fingerprint Match Found on Iraq Bomb Parts, White House Briefed

The case drew attention at the highest levels of government, FBI officials told ABC News, when TEDAC forensic investigators tasked with finding IEDs from Bayji dating back to 2005 pulled 170 case boxes and, incredibly, found several of Alwan's fingerprints on a Senao-brand remote cordless base station. A U.S. military Significant Action report on Sept. 1, 2005 said the remote-controlled trigger had been attached to "three homemade-explosive artillery rounds concealed by gravel with protruding wires."

"There were two fingerprints, developed on the top of the base station," Katie Suchma, an FBI supervisory physical scientist at TEDAC who helped locate the evidence, told ABC News at the center's IED examination lab. "The whole team was ecstatic because it was like finding a needle in a haystack."

"This was the type of bomb he's talking about when he drew those pictures," added FBI electronics expert Stephen Mallow.

Word was sent back to the FBI in Louisville.

"It was a surreal moment, it was a real game changer, so to speak, for the case," FBI agent Beam told ABC News. "Now you have solidified proof that he was involved in actual attacks against U.S. soldiers."

Worse, prosecutors later revealed at Hammadi's sentencing hearing that he and Alwan had been caught on an FBI surveillance tape talking about using a bomb to assassinate an Army captain they'd known in Bayji, who was now back home – and to possibly attack other homeland targets.

"Many things should take place and it should be huge," Hammadi told Alwan in an FBI-recorded conversation, which a prosecutor read at Hammadi's sentencing last year.

Then-FBI Director Robert Mueller briefed President Obama in early 2011 as agents and Louisville federal prosecutors weighed whether to arrest Alwan and Hammadi or continue arranging phony arms shipments to Iraq that the pair could assist with, consisting of machine guns, explosives and even Stinger missiles the FBI had secretly rendered inoperable and which never left the U.S.

But agents soon determined there were no other co-conspirators. An FBI SWAT team collared the terrorists in a truck south of Bowling Green in late May 2011, only weeks after al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden was killed in Pakistan and Obama had visited nearby Fort Campbell to thank the SEALs and Army Nightstalker pilots for their successful mission. The Kentucky al Qaeda case drew little attention as the nation celebrated Bin Laden's death.

Suspects Linked to Attack That Killed 4 US Soldiers

Pennsylvania National Guard soldiers who had served in Bayji in 2005 saw news reports about the two arrests, and Army Staff Sgt. Joshua Hedetniemi called the FBI to alert them to an Aug. 9, 2005, IED attack that killed four of their troopers in a humvee patrolling south of the town. The U.S. attorney's office in Louisville eventually placed the surviving soldiers in its victim notification system for the case, even though it couldn't be conclusively proven that Alwan and Hammadi had killed the Guardsmen.

The four Pennsylvania soldiers killed that day were Pfc. Nathaniel DeTample, 19, Spec. Gennaro Pellegrini, 31, Spec. Francis J. Straub Jr., 24, and Spec. John Kulick, 35.

"It was a somber moment for the platoon, we had a great deal of love and respect for those guys and it hit us pretty hard," Hedetniemi said in an interview in the Guard's armory near Philadelphia. "I think that these two individuals are innately evil to be able to act as a terrorist and attack and kill American soldiers, then have the balls to come over to the United States and try to do the same exact thing here in our homeland."

Confronted with all the evidence against them, Alwan and Hammadi agreed to plead guilty to supporting terrorism and admitted their al Qaeda-Iraq past. Alwan cooperated and received 40 years, while Hammadi received a life term which he is appealing. A hearing for Hammadi's appeal took place Tuesday in the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Ohio.

"We need to take this as a case study and draw the right lessons from it, and not just high-five over this," said retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Barbero, who headed the military's Joint IED Defeat Organization until last May. "How did a person who we detained in Iraq -- linked to an IED attack, we had his fingerprints in our government system -- how did he walk into America in 2009?"

Barbero is credited with leveraging the Kentucky case to help the FBI get funding to create a new state of the art fingerprint lab focused solely on its IED repository in a huge warehouse outside Washington. The new FBI lab assists counterterrorism investigations of suspected bombmakers and IED emplacers and looks for latent prints on 100,000 IED remnants collected over the past decade by the military and stored in the vast TEDAC warehouse.

The only man in the Humvee to survive the 2005 IED bombing in Bayji, Daniel South, who is now an Army Black Hawk helicopter pilot in Texas, said he was stunned to learn al Qaeda-Iraq insurgents were living in Kentucky -- but he's glad they were finally brought to justice for attacking U.S. troops in Iraq.

"I kind of wish that we had smoked [Alwan] when it happened, but we didn't have that opportunity so I guess this is second best," South told ABC News.
34  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Exclusive: US May Have Let 'Dozens' of Terrorists Into Country As Refugees on: February 08, 2017, 09:43:32 PM
Bet it's much more than dozens

http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/al-qaeda-kentucky-us-dozens-terrorists-country-refugees/story?id=20931131

Exclusive: US May Have Let 'Dozens' of Terrorists Into Country As Refugees

    By James Gordon Meek
    Cindy Galli
    Brian Ross

Nov. 20, 2013
QUANTICO, Virginia


Several dozen suspected terrorist bombmakers, including some believed to have targeted American troops, may have mistakenly been allowed to move to the United States as war refugees, according to FBI agents investigating the remnants of roadside bombs recovered from Iraq and Afghanistan.

The discovery in 2009 of two al Qaeda-Iraq terrorists living as refugees in Bowling Green, Kentucky -- who later admitted in court that they'd attacked U.S. soldiers in Iraq -- prompted the bureau to assign hundreds of specialists to an around-the-clock effort aimed at checking its archive of 100,000 improvised explosive devices collected in the war zones, known as IEDs, for other suspected terrorists' fingerprints.

"We are currently supporting dozens of current counter-terrorism investigations like that," FBI Agent Gregory Carl, director of the Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center (TEDAC), said in an ABC News interview to be broadcast tonight on ABC News' "World News with Diane Sawyer" and "Nightline".

"I wouldn't be surprised if there were many more than that," said House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul. "And these are trained terrorists in the art of bombmaking that are inside the United States; and quite frankly, from a homeland security perspective, that really concerns me."

As a result of the Kentucky case, the State Department stopped processing Iraq refugees for six months in 2011, federal officials told ABC News – even for many who had heroically helped U.S. forces as interpreters and intelligence assets. One Iraqi who had aided American troops was assassinated before his refugee application could be processed, because of the immigration delays, two U.S. officials said. In 2011, fewer than 10,000 Iraqis were resettled as refugees in the U.S., half the number from the year before, State Department statistics show.

Suspect in Kentucky Discovered to Have Insurgent Past

An intelligence tip initially led the FBI to Waad Ramadan Alwan, 32, in 2009. The Iraqi had claimed to be a refugee who faced persecution back home -- a story that shattered when the FBI found his fingerprints on a cordless phone base that U.S. soldiers dug up in a gravel pile south of Bayji, Iraq on Sept. 1, 2005. The phone base had been wired to unexploded bombs buried in a nearby road.

An ABC News investigation of the flawed U.S. refugee screening system, which was overhauled two years ago, showed that Alwan was mistakenly allowed into the U.S. and resettled in the leafy southern town of Bowling Green, Kentucky, a city of 60,000 which is home to Western Kentucky University and near the Army's Fort Knox and Fort Campbell. Alwan and another Iraqi refugee, Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, 26, were resettled in Bowling Green even though both had been detained during the war by Iraqi authorities, according to federal prosecutors.

Most of the more than 70,000 Iraqi war refugees in the U.S. are law-abiding immigrants eager to start a new life in America, state and federal officials say.

But the FBI discovered that Alwan had been arrested in Kirkuk, Iraq, in 2006 and confessed on video made of his interrogation then that he was an insurgent, according to the U.S. military and FBI, which obtained the tape a year into their Kentucky probe. In 2007, Alwan went through a border crossing to Syria and his fingerprints were entered into a biometric database maintained by U.S. military intelligence in Iraq, a Directorate of National Intelligence official said. Another U.S. official insisted that fingerprints of Iraqis were routinely collected and that Alwan's fingerprint file was not associated with the insurgency.

    "How do they get into our community?"

In 2009 Alwan applied as a refugee and was allowed to move to Bowling Green, where he quit a job he briefly held and moved into public housing on Gordon Ave., across the street from a school bus stop, and collected public assistance payouts, federal officials told ABC News.

"How do you have somebody that we now know was a known actor in terrorism overseas, how does that person get into the United States? How do they get into our community?" wondered Bowling Green Police Chief Doug Hawkins, whose department assisted the FBI.

Department of Homeland Security spokesperson Peter Boogaard said in a statement that the U.S. government "continually improves and expands its procedures for vetting immigrants, refugees and visa applicants, and today [the] vetting process considers a far broader range of information than it did in past years."

"Our procedures continue to check applicants' names and fingerprints against records of individuals known to be security threats, including the terrorist watchlist, or of law enforcement concern... These checks are vital to advancing the U.S. government's twin goal of protecting the world's most vulnerable persons while ensuring U.S. national security and public safety," the statement said.

Last year, a Department of Homeland Security senior intelligence official testified in a House hearing that Alwan and Hammadi's names and fingerprints were checked by the FBI, DHS and the Defense Department during the vetting process in 2009 and "came in clean."

After the FBI received the intelligence tip later that year, a sting operation in Kentucky was mounted to bait Alwan with a scheme hatched by an undercover operative recruited by the FBI, who offered Alwan the opportunity to ship heavy arms to al Qaeda in Iraq. The FBI wanted to know if Alwan was part of a local terror cell -- a fear that grew when he tapped a relative also living in Bowling Green, Hammadi, to help out.

The FBI secretly taped Alwan bragging to the informant that he'd built a dozen or more bombs in Iraq and used a sniper rifle to kill American soldiers in the Bayji area north of Baghdad.

"He said that he had them 'for lunch and dinner,'" recalled FBI Louisville Supervisory Special Agent Tim Beam, "meaning that he had killed them."

Alwan even sketched out IED designs, which the FBI provided to ABC News, that U.S. bomb experts had quickly determined clearly demonstrated his expertise.

'Needle in a Haystack' Fingerprint Match Found on Iraq Bomb Parts, White House Briefed

The case drew attention at the highest levels of government, FBI officials told ABC News, when TEDAC forensic investigators tasked with finding IEDs from Bayji dating back to 2005 pulled 170 case boxes and, incredibly, found several of Alwan's fingerprints on a Senao-brand remote cordless base station. A U.S. military Significant Action report on Sept. 1, 2005 said the remote-controlled trigger had been attached to "three homemade-explosive artillery rounds concealed by gravel with protruding wires."

"There were two fingerprints, developed on the top of the base station," Katie Suchma, an FBI supervisory physical scientist at TEDAC who helped locate the evidence, told ABC News at the center's IED examination lab. "The whole team was ecstatic because it was like finding a needle in a haystack."

"This was the type of bomb he's talking about when he drew those pictures," added FBI electronics expert Stephen Mallow.

Word was sent back to the FBI in Louisville.

"It was a surreal moment, it was a real game changer, so to speak, for the case," FBI agent Beam told ABC News. "Now you have solidified proof that he was involved in actual attacks against U.S. soldiers."

Worse, prosecutors later revealed at Hammadi's sentencing hearing that he and Alwan had been caught on an FBI surveillance tape talking about using a bomb to assassinate an Army captain they'd known in Bayji, who was now back home – and to possibly attack other homeland targets.

"Many things should take place and it should be huge," Hammadi told Alwan in an FBI-recorded conversation, which a prosecutor read at Hammadi's sentencing last year.

Then-FBI Director Robert Mueller briefed President Obama in early 2011 as agents and Louisville federal prosecutors weighed whether to arrest Alwan and Hammadi or continue arranging phony arms shipments to Iraq that the pair could assist with, consisting of machine guns, explosives and even Stinger missiles the FBI had secretly rendered inoperable and which never left the U.S.

But agents soon determined there were no other co-conspirators. An FBI SWAT team collared the terrorists in a truck south of Bowling Green in late May 2011, only weeks after al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden was killed in Pakistan and Obama had visited nearby Fort Campbell to thank the SEALs and Army Nightstalker pilots for their successful mission. The Kentucky al Qaeda case drew little attention as the nation celebrated Bin Laden's death.

Suspects Linked to Attack That Killed 4 US Soldiers

Pennsylvania National Guard soldiers who had served in Bayji in 2005 saw news reports about the two arrests, and Army Staff Sgt. Joshua Hedetniemi called the FBI to alert them to an Aug. 9, 2005, IED attack that killed four of their troopers in a humvee patrolling south of the town. The U.S. attorney's office in Louisville eventually placed the surviving soldiers in its victim notification system for the case, even though it couldn't be conclusively proven that Alwan and Hammadi had killed the Guardsmen.

The four Pennsylvania soldiers killed that day were Pfc. Nathaniel DeTample, 19, Spec. Gennaro Pellegrini, 31, Spec. Francis J. Straub Jr., 24, and Spec. John Kulick, 35.

"It was a somber moment for the platoon, we had a great deal of love and respect for those guys and it hit us pretty hard," Hedetniemi said in an interview in the Guard's armory near Philadelphia. "I think that these two individuals are innately evil to be able to act as a terrorist and attack and kill American soldiers, then have the balls to come over to the United States and try to do the same exact thing here in our homeland."

Confronted with all the evidence against them, Alwan and Hammadi agreed to plead guilty to supporting terrorism and admitted their al Qaeda-Iraq past. Alwan cooperated and received 40 years, while Hammadi received a life term which he is appealing. A hearing for Hammadi's appeal took place Tuesday in the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Ohio.

"We need to take this as a case study and draw the right lessons from it, and not just high-five over this," said retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Barbero, who headed the military's Joint IED Defeat Organization until last May. "How did a person who we detained in Iraq -- linked to an IED attack, we had his fingerprints in our government system -- how did he walk into America in 2009?"

Barbero is credited with leveraging the Kentucky case to help the FBI get funding to create a new state of the art fingerprint lab focused solely on its IED repository in a huge warehouse outside Washington. The new FBI lab assists counterterrorism investigations of suspected bombmakers and IED emplacers and looks for latent prints on 100,000 IED remnants collected over the past decade by the military and stored in the vast TEDAC warehouse.

The only man in the Humvee to survive the 2005 IED bombing in Bayji, Daniel South, who is now an Army Black Hawk helicopter pilot in Texas, said he was stunned to learn al Qaeda-Iraq insurgents were living in Kentucky -- but he's glad they were finally brought to justice for attacking U.S. troops in Iraq.

"I kind of wish that we had smoked [Alwan] when it happened, but we didn't have that opportunity so I guess this is second best," South told ABC News.

35  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Trained professionals! on: February 08, 2017, 09:39:37 PM
 Re: Trained professionals!

« Reply #1170 on: Today at 02:34:12 PM »

Quote from: G M on Today at 10:56:27 AM
https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/2016/04/20/author-u-s-official-who-issued-visas-to-911-hijackers-still-works-for-state-department/2/

How dare Trump keep these professionals out of the loop!

https://www.google.com.fj/amp/amp.dailycaller.com/2015/10/01/u-s-refugee-chief-didnt-know-boston-bombers-were-refugees/?client=safari
36  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Trained professionals! on: February 08, 2017, 02:34:12 PM

https://www.google.com.fj/amp/amp.dailycaller.com/2015/10/01/u-s-refugee-chief-didnt-know-boston-bombers-were-refugees/?client=safari
37  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Elizabeth "Forked Tongue" Warren, Fauxcahontas, Harvard's first woman of color on: February 08, 2017, 02:13:29 PM
Blocking her from quoting MLK's widow is a real tough sell.

Did she start off with "as a black woman, myself..."
38  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Trained professionals! on: February 08, 2017, 10:56:27 AM
https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/2016/04/20/author-u-s-official-who-issued-visas-to-911-hijackers-still-works-for-state-department/2/

How dare Trump keep these professionals out of the loop!
39  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / virtue signalling on: February 08, 2017, 06:43:10 AM

vir·tue sig·nal·ing
noun
noun: virtue signalling

    the action or practice of publicly expressing opinions or sentiments intended to demonstrate one's good character or the moral correctness of one's position on a particular issue.
    "it's noticeable how often virtue signaling consists of saying you hate things"



http://memecrunch.com/meme/BFE9Q/virtue-signalling/image.jpg
40  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Bipartisan Ex-Senior Officials: Order Endangers National Security on: February 07, 2017, 08:22:36 PM
https://www.justsecurity.org/37332/bipartisan-group-senior-officials-ninth-circuit-immigration-order-harms-furthers-national-security/

“The ‘considered judgment’ of the President in the prior cases where courts have deferred was based upon administrative records showing that the President’s decision rested on cleared views from expert agencies,” their statement reads. “Here, there is little evidence that the Order underwent a thorough interagency legal and policy processes designed to address current terrorist threats [and] we know of no interagency process underway before January 20, 2017 to change current vetting procedures.”

How dare the US not allow potential terrorists in!

 rolleyes
41  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: What Happened to Trump’s Secret Hacking Intel? on: February 07, 2017, 08:20:05 PM
https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2017/02/what-happened-to-trumps-secret-hacking-intel/515889/?utm_source=polfb

“I know a lot about hacking,” Trump said to the reporters, according to The New York Times. “And hacking is a very hard thing to prove. So it could be somebody else.” He was referring to the intelligence community’s determination that Russia was behind the cyberattacks.

Then, a bombshell: “And I also know things that other people don’t know, and so they cannot be sure of the situation.” Asked what he was talking about, Trump replied, “You’ll find out on Tuesday or Wednesday.”

Tuesday and Wednesday came and went without any new information on the cyberattacks from the president-elect.

Still nothing from anyone resembling proof, showing who accessed the dem's emails.
42  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Good Analysis of Amer-Intel report on "Russian hack of election". on: February 05, 2017, 03:28:18 PM
See my Reply #397.


Lots of conjecture, nothing resembling evidence.

Even a lefty from the NY Review of books sees how weak the report is.


http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2017/01/09/russia-trump-election-flawed-intelligence/


Russia, Trump & Flawed Intelligence
Masha Gessen   
US Defense Under Secretary for Intelligence Marcel Lettre, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers testifying before the Senate, Washington, D.C., January 5, 2017
Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
US Defense Under Secretary for Intelligence Marcel Lettre, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers testifying before the Senate, Washington, D.C., January 5, 2017

After months of anticipation, speculation, and hand-wringing by politicians and journalists, American intelligence agencies have finally released a declassified version of a report on the part they believe Russia played in the US presidential election. On Friday, when the report appeared, the major newspapers came out with virtually identical headlines highlighting the agencies’ finding that Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered an “influence campaign” to help Donald Trump win the presidency—a finding the agencies say they hold “with high confidence.”

A close reading of the report shows that it barely supports such a conclusion. Indeed, it barely supports any conclusion. There is not much to read: the declassified version is twenty-five pages, of which two are blank, four are decorative, one contains an explanation of terms, one a table of contents, and seven are a previously published unclassified report by the CIA’s Open Source division. There is even less to process: the report adds hardly anything to what we already knew. The strongest allegations—including about the nature of the DNC hacking—had already been spelled out in much greater detail in earlier media reports.

But the real problems come with the findings themselves. The report leads with three “key judgments”:
ADVERTISING

    “We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election”;
    “Moscow’s influence campaign followed a Russian messaging strategy that blends covert intelligence operations—such as cyber activity—with overt efforts by Russian Government agencies, state-funded media, third-party intermediaries, and paid social media users or ‘trolls’”;
    “We assess Moscow will apply lessons learned from its Putin-ordered campaign aimed at the US presidential election to future influence efforts worldwide, including against US allies and their election processes.”

It is the first of these judgments that made headlines, so let us look at the evidence the document provides for this assertion. This evidence takes up just over a page and contains nine points. The first four make the argument that Putin wanted Hillary Clinton to lose. I will paraphrase for the sake of brevity and clarity:

    Putin and the Russian government aimed to help Trump by making public statements discrediting Hillary Clinton;
    the Kremlin’s goal is to undermine “the US-led liberal democratic order”;
    Putin claimed that the Panama Papers leak and the Olympic doping scandal were “US-directed efforts to defame Russia,” and this suggests that he would use defamatory tactics against the United States;
    Putin personally dislikes Hillary Clinton and blames her for inspiring popular unrest in Russia in 2011-2012.

None of this is new or particularly illuminating—at least for anyone who has been following Russian media in any language; some of it seems irrelevant. (Though the report notes that the NSA has only “moderate confidence” in point number one, unlike the CIA and FBI, which have “high confidence” in it.) The next set of points aim to buttress the assertion that Putin “developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump over Secretary Clinton.” The following is an exact quote:

    Beginning in June, Putin’s public comments about the US presidential race avoided directly praising President-elect Trump, probably because Kremlin officials thought that any praise from Putin personally would backfire in the United States. Nonetheless, Putin publicly indicated a preference for President-elect Trump’s stated policy to work with Russia, and pro-Kremlin figures spoke highly about what they saw as his Russia-friendly positions on Syria and Ukraine.

The wording makes it sound as though before June 2016 Putin had been constantly praising Trump in his public statements. In fact, though, Putin had spoken of Trump exactly once—when asked a question about him as he was leaving the hall following his annual press conference in December 2015. At that time, he said,

    Well, he is a colorful person. Talented, without a doubt. But it’s none of our business, it’s up to the voters in the United States. But he is the absolute leader of the presidential race. He says he wants to shift to a different mode or relations, a deeper level of relations with Russia. How could we not welcome that? Of course we welcome it. As for the domestic politics of it, the turns of phrase he uses to increase his popularity, I’ll repeat, it’s not our business to evaluate his work.

Nothing in this statement is remarkable. At the time, Trump, who was polling well in the Republican primary race, was the only aspiring presidential candidate to have indicated a willingness to dial back US-Russian hostilities. The topic was clearly judged not important enough to be included in the main body of Putin’s more-than-four-hour press conference but deserving of a boilerplate “we hear you” message sent as Putin literally headed out the door.

The Russian word for “colorful”—yarkiy—can be translated as “bright,” as in a “bright color.” That must be how Trump came to think that Putin had called him “brilliant,” an assertion that the US media (and, it appears, US intelligence agencies) failed to fact-check. In June 2016, at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum, American journalist Fareed Zakaria, moderating a panel, asked Putin, “The American Republican presumptive nominee, Donald Trump—you called him ‘brilliant,’ ‘outstanding,’ ‘talented.’ These comments were reported around the world. I was wondering what in him led you to that judgment, and do you still hold that judgment?” Of the epithets listed by Zakaria, Putin had used only the word “talented,” and he had not specified what sort of talent he had seen in Trump. Putin reprimanded Zakaria for exaggerating. “Look at what I said,” he said. “I made an off-hand remark about Trump being a colorful person. Are you saying he is not colorful? He is colorful. I did not characterize him in any other way. But what I did note, and what I certainly welcome, and I see nothing wrong with this—Mr. Trump has stated that he is ready for the renewal of a full-fledged relationship between Russia and the United States. What is wrong with that? We all welcome it. Don’t you?” Zakaria looked mortified: he had been caught asking an ill-informed question. Putin, on the other hand, was telling the truth for once. As for the American intelligence agencies marshaling this exchange as evidence of a change of tone and more—evidence of Russian meddling in the election—that is plainly misleading.

The next two points purporting to prove that Putin had a preference for Trump are, incredibly, even weaker arguments:

    Putin thought that he and Trump would be able to create an international anti-ISIS coalition;
    Putin likes to work with political leaders “whose business interests made them more disposed to deal with Russia, such as former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.”

Number 6 is puzzling. Nominally, Russia and the United States have already been cooperating in the fight against ISIS. The reference is probably to Putin’s offer, made in September 2015 in a speech to the UN General Assembly, to form an international anti-terrorist coalition that, Putin seemed to suggest, would stop the criticism and sanctions imposed in response to Russia’s war against Ukraine. Obama snubbed the offer then. Then again, this is my conjecture: the report contains no elucidation of this ascertainment of Putin’s motives. As for Number 7, not only is it conjecture on the part of the report’s authors, it is also anachronistic: Schroeder was a career politician before becoming a businessman with interests in Russia, as his term in political office was drawing to a close.

The final two arguments in this section of the report focus on the fact that Russian officials and propagandists stopped criticizing the US election process after election day and Russian trolls dropped a planned #DemocracyRIP campaign, which they had planned in anticipation of Hillary Clinton’s victory. (Notably, according to the intelligence agencies, whatever influence the Russians were trying to exert, they themselves seem to have assumed that Clinton would win regardless—and this is in fact supported by outside evidence.) The logic of these arguments is as sound as saying, “You were so happy to see it rain yesterday that you must have caused the rain yourself.”

That is the entirety of the evidence the report offers to support its estimation of Putin’s motives for allegedly working to elect Trump: conjecture based on other politicians in other periods, on other continents—and also on misreported or mistranslated public statements.

The next two and a half pages of the report deal with the mechanics of Russia’s ostensible intervention in the election. It confirms, briefly, earlier reports that the intelligence agencies believe that the hacks of the Democratic National Committee were carried out by an individual connected to the General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU). It also notes, without elaboration, that “Russian intelligence accessed elements of multiple state or local electoral boards,” though, according to the Department of Homeland Security, not the type of systems that are involved in vote tallying. And then the report goes from vague to strange: it lists the elements of Russia’s “state-run propaganda machine” that ostensibly exemplify the Kremlin’s campaign for Trump and denigration of Clinton. These include RT, the Russian English-language propaganda channel (as well as Sputnik, a state-funded online news site); a Russian television personality; and a fringe Russian politician named Vladimir Zhirinovsky. According to the report:

    Pro-Kremlin proxy Vladimir Zhirinovsky, leader of the nationalist Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, proclaimed just before the election that if President-elect Trump won, Russia would “drink champagne” in anticipation of being able to advance its positions on Syria and Ukraine.

In the Russian political sphere, Zhirinovsky is far from the mainstream. A man who has advocated mobilizing the Russian military to shoot all migratory birds in order to prevent an epidemic of bird flu, he is a far-right comic sidekick to the Kremlin’s straight man. Dictators like to keep his kind around as reminders of the chaos and extremism that could threaten the world in their absence. In Hungary, for example, the extremist Jobbik party allows Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to look moderate in comparison. The particular statement about drinking champagne was made during a televised talk show in which several Russian personalities get together to beat up rhetorically on a former insurance executive named Michael Bohm, who has fashioned a career of playing an American pundit on Russian TV. Here is the exchange that preceded Zhirinovsky’s promise to drink champagne:

    They threaten to cut Russia off from international financial systems. They can do that! But then we won’t give America a single dollar back. That’s hundreds of billions of dollars! Hundreds of billions! If they cut us off, they cut off the repayment of all our debts. Hundreds of billions! They are not dumb, so they’ll never do it. Never. As for the arms race, sometimes we are ahead and sometimes they are. We’ve got parity. But there is another danger to America. They have a hundred nuclear power stations. And we can reach all of them. And the destruction of a single nuclear power station kills every living thing on a territory of five hundred thousand square kilometers. That’s fifty million square kilometers. But all of America is just ten million square kilometers. So a single explosion will destroy America five times over. Same thing with us. But our stations are on the fringes. Theirs are in densely populated areas. So blowing up their nuclear reactors will kill more people in America. Plus, we have lots of empty space. So they have weighed it: Russia’s survival rates will be higher than America’s. More of them will die in case of nuclear war.

    Host: Remember you also told us about magnetic weapons that will make us stick to our beds and incapable of getting up?

    Zhirinovsky: Yes, there is that, too.

    [A brief exchange about the arms race between two other participants]

    Zhirinovsky: I hope that Aleppo is free of guerrilla fighters before November 8!

    Sergei Stankevich [a largely forgotten Yeltsin-era politician]: But then we have to think about what happens November 9, if we’ve already liberated Aleppo.

    Zhirinovsky: We are going to be drinking champagne to celebrate a Trump victory! [to Bohm] And to the defeat of your friend Hillary Clinton!

Remarkably, the report manages not only to offer a few words thrown out during this absurd exchange as evidence of a larger Russian strategy, but also to distort those words in the process: contrary to the report’s assertion, Zhironovsky made no mention of being able to advance Russia’s positions in Syria and Ukraine following a Trump victory. Of course, he could have—indeed, he could have said anything, given the tenor of the conversation. Whatever he said, it’s difficult to imagine how it could be connected to Russia’s ostensible influence on the American election.

Other evidence in this part of the report includes the statement, “Russian media hailed President-elect Trump’s victory as a vindication of Putin’s advocacy of global populist movements—the theme of Putin’s annual conference for Western academics in October 2016.” This statement is false. The theme of Putin’s annual conference, known as the Valdai Club, was “The Future Begins Today: Outlines of the World of Tomorrow.” The program reads like the program of the annual World Affairs Council conference in San Francisco—which last year, coincidentally, was called “Day One: The World That Awaits.” This is not to say that Putin has not supported populist movements around the world—he demonstrably has. But once again the particular evidence offered by the report on this point is both weak and false.

Finally, the bulk of the rest of the report is devoted to RT, the television network formerly known as Russia Today.

    RT’s coverage of Secretary Clinton throughout the US presidential campaign was consistently negative and focused on her leaked e-mails and accused her of corruption, poor physical and mental health, and ties to Islamic extremism. Some Russian officials echoed Russian lines for the influence campaign that Secretary Clinton’s election could lead to a war between the United States and Russia.

In other words, RT acted much like homegrown American media outlets such as Fox News and Breitbart. A seven-page annex to the report details RT activities, including hosting third-party candidate debates, broadcasting a documentary about the Occupy Wall Street movement and “anti-fracking programming, highlighting environmental issues and the impacts on public health”—perfectly appropriate journalistic activities, even if they do appear on what is certainly a propaganda outlet funded by an aggressive dictatorship. An entire page is devoted to RT’s social media footprint: the network appears to score more YouTube views than CNN (though far fewer Facebook likes). Even this part of the report is slightly misleading: RT’s tactics for inflating its viewership numbers in order to secure continued Kremlin funding has been the subject of some convincing scholarship. That is the entirety of the case the intelligence agencies have presented: Putin wanted Trump to win and used WikiLeaks and RT to ensure that outcome.

Despite its brevity, the report makes many repetitive statements remarkable for their misplaced modifiers, mangled assertions, and missing words. This is not just bad English: this is muddled thinking and vague or entirely absent argument. Take, for example, this phrase: “Moscow most likely chose WikiLeaks because of its self-proclaimed reputation for authenticity.” I think, though I cannot be sure, that the authors of the report are speculating that Moscow gave the products of its hacking operation to WikiLeaks because WikiLeaks is known as a reliable source. The next line, however, makes this speculation unnecessary: “Disclosures through WikiLeaks did not contain any evident forgeries.”

Or consider this: “Putin most likely wanted to discredit Secretary Clinton because he has publicly blamed her since 2011 for inciting mass protests against his regime in late 2011 and early 2012, and because he holds a grudge for comments he almost certainly saw as disparaging him.” Did Putin’s desire to discredit Clinton stem from his own public statements, or are the intelligence agencies basing their appraisal of Putin’s motives on his public statements? Logic suggests the latter, but grammar indicates the former. The fog is not coincidental: if the report’s vague assertions were clarified and its circular logic straightened out, nothing would be left.

It is conceivable that the classified version of the report, which includes additional “supporting information” and sourcing, adds up to a stronger case. But considering the arc of the argument contained in the report, and the principal findings (which are apparently “identical” to those in the classified version), this would be a charitable reading. An appropriate headline for a news story on this report might be something like, “Intel Report on Russia Reveals Few New Facts,” or, say, “Intelligence Agencies Claim Russian Propaganda TV Influenced Election.” Instead, however, the major newspapers and commentators spoke in unison, broadcasting the report’s assertion of Putin’s intent without examining the arguments.

The New York Times called it “a strong statement from three intelligence agencies,” and followed its uncritical coverage with a story mocking Trump supporters for asking, “What’s the big deal?”

“How is it possible, if these intelligence reports are true, to count the 2016 Presidential election as unsullied?” asked New Yorker editor David Remnick in a piece published Friday. But since when has “unsullied” been a criterion on which a democratic process is judged? Standard measures include transparency, fairness, openness, accessibility to all voters and to different candidates. Anything that compromises these standards, whether because of domestic or external causes, may throw a result into doubt. But Remnick’s rhetorical question seems to reach for an entirely different standard: that of a process that is demonstrably free of any outside influence. Last month Paul Krugman at The New York Times railed, similarly, that the election was “tainted.” Democracy is messy, as autocrats the world over will never tire of pointing out. They are the ones who usually traffic in ideas of order and purity—as well as in conspiracy theories based on sweeping arguments and scant, haphazard evidence.

The election of Donald Trump is anomalous, both because of the campaign he ran and the peculiar vote mathematics that brought him victory. His use of fake news, his serial lying, his conning his way into free air time, his instrumentalization of partisanship and naked aggression certainly violated the norms of American democracy. But the intelligence report does nothing to clarify the abnormalities of Trump’s campaign and election. Instead, it risks perpetuating the fallacy that Trump is some sort of a foreign agent rather than a home-grown demagogue, while doing further damage to our faith in the electoral system. It also suggests that the US intelligence agencies’ Russia expertise is weak and throws into question their ability to process and present information—all this, two weeks before a man with no government experience but with a short Twitter fuse takes the oath of office.
January 9, 2017, 10:17 pm
43  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Does France and the rest of western europe belong here yet? on: February 03, 2017, 02:08:58 PM
https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/2777113/how-france-has-become-the-number-one-target-for-extremists-in-europe-and-has-been-repeatedly-brutalised-in-terrifying-new-war-against-terror/

Francostan. No worries, it's a religion of peace.

Diversity is our strength!
44  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Arabic/Islamic Countries: Kuwait issues travel ban on: February 03, 2017, 01:38:07 PM
Racist! Islamophobia!


Phobia:. extreme or irrational fear

Well, not exactly...

More of the learned and rational kind.

Decades ago, I took a class on terrorism taught by a large western city Police Detective that was a member of the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, and a FBI S/A also part of the JTTF. Half of the day was on domestic terrorism, which I felt was important, the later half was on islamic terrorism, which I thought was interesting, but at the time I decided wasn't going to be of much importance to me. I didn't bother to follow through on the advice that I read up on the violent elements of the theology.

Funny how things change, and why.
45  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Arabic/Islamic Countries: Kuwait issues travel ban on: February 03, 2017, 11:42:24 AM

Racist! Islamophobia!


46  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Why Can't the Left Accept a Defeat? on: February 03, 2017, 07:02:23 AM
http://ace.mu.nu/archives/368229.php

Why Can't the Left Accept a Defeat?
Because Their "Politics" are a Messianic Cult, and Every Religious Zealot Knows You Cannot Repeal the Kingdom of Heaven Come to Earth

Sharp insight from John David Danielson at The Federalist.

    The obstinacy of Senate Democrats reflects the mood of their progressive base, whose panicked anger is the natural reaction of those for whom politics has become an article of faith. Progressives, as the terms implies, believe society must always be progressing toward something better. Always forward, never backwards. After eight years of Obama, they believed progressive politics in America would forever be on an upward trajectory.

    Trump shook that faith. But his election also unmasked the degree to which progressivism as a political project is based not on science or rationality, or even sound policy, but on faith in the power of government to ameliorate and eventually perfect society. All the protests and denunciations of Trump serve not just as an outlet for progressives' despair, but the chance to signal their moral virtue through collective outrage and moral preening--something that wasn't really possible under Obama, at least not to this degree.

    Not that they didn't try. Recall that during the Obamacare debate in 2009 Ezra Klein suggested that Sen. Joe Lieberman was "willing to cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in order to settle an old electoral score," simply because he threatened to filibuster what would become the Affordable Care Act. This is the language of political fundamentalism--policy invested with the certainty of religious conviction.

    Religious fundamentalism of course rests on immutable truths that cannot be negotiated.

I'm not a big fan of any religion, but traditional religions are nicely circumscribed as far as their scope and ambition. I know what topics a traditional religious outlook will take an interest in -- those related to sex, marriage, childbirth, and the sanctity of life.

Most religions -- except for Islamism, which isn't really a religion but a totalitarian political movement with a quasi-religious justification -- focus chiefly on the metaphysical and the transcendent. They focus on the Kingdom to Come, not the temporal kingdoms of earth.

Therefore, fewer issues are sacralized. Someone who is focusing on your eternal soul is not therefore focusing on your healthcare decisionmaking.

The left politicizes everything, and given the left's increasing cultishness, that means they religicize everything. Everything -- not just a few rules about sodomy and marriage and abortion -- becomes a Sacred Principle which must be fought for with the passionate fury of the zealot, from whether private religiously-based organizations must pay for a woman's $9 per month birth control pills to whether the Pagan Deceiver Milo Yiannopolous can be allowed to step foot upon the sanctified ground of Berkeley Auditorium 3C.

The article linked above pairs nicely -- or pairs ominously -- with this excellent rumination on the death of liberalism (the good sort of classical liberalism) due to the left's insistence on their being only two categories of temporal actions: Those which are forbidden, and those which are mandatory.

The nutshell of his thesis is this: Liberalism was discovered -- not invented, but discovered -- in reaction to the very bloody religious wars that swept through Europe in the 1600s and 1700s. The previous rule that Politics Was Everything and whoever had the throne could inflict his will on everyone, down to mandating what god a citizen should bow to, resulted in endless war, death, misery, and mutual hatred and suspicion.

Classical liberalism was discovered (he's keen on insisting on this word) as a way of avoiding the religious wars that killed 8 million people. The state would be more rules-light, and leave more freedom to citizens, thus reducing the incentive to, or need for, resort to violent bloodshed when Your Guy wasn't on the throne.

He calls this rules-set "a minimum viable politics" -- the minimum possible state interference with the habits and preferences of citizens, yet still preserving of social stability and order. And this minimum viable politics necessarily was a pluralistic politics, permitting all sorts of sharply-disagreeing religions and philosophies. The main thing a "minimum viable politics" focuses on outlawing is illiberalism which itself threatens the minimum viable politics -- thus, a minimum viable politics focuses on protecting people's right to religious conscience, right to free speech and free thought, right to have a say in how they are governed (and later, by whom they are governed).

It does not mandate the tiny particulars of what you must or must not do. It does not require that you bake a cake for someone, for example. Rather, it mandates that you must respect others' freedoms.

Because the alternative is a return to the Thirty Years' War and bomb plots and priests hiding in priest holes as the King's Men search the town for them.

The left is of course undoing all this, turning our rules-light system into a very rules-heavy system, in which virtually everything is illegal, and what little is not illegal, is mandatory. It is reversing pluralism -- and the result of reversing pluralism will be what the result of an end to pluralism has been in the past.

Which is civil war, or, at best, not full civil war but roving bands of Religious Enforcement Vigilante night-riders who terrorize outsiders and pagans with the support and aid of their correligionists.

Which we're seeing more and more of.

Politicians, "journalists," and "celebrities" are actively encouraging punching people they call "Nazis" (which means anyone who disagrees with them; they should just say "Pagans") and "setting it all on fire."

The TV director who made this pronouncement said to open a history book -- it's the only way, she advised.

She should open a history book herself. She should point to me a single case where rampant political violence from one faction was not quickly met by equal or even greater political violence from the factions that were being preyed upon.

Does she think people are going to sit back and let themselves be beaten because the "arc of history" demands they take their lumps agreeably?

No, sister. Soon the people you punch will start punching back, and then, not long after that, they'll start punching first.

And what moral ground will you have to object to it? Your rules, Vagina Warrior.

If the left ever did bother to open a history book, they'd discover that every illiberal, gloriously bloody revolution invites its own equally bloody counter-revolution, it's own Vendee, its own final Thermidor.

If a thing is sacralized, that means you are bound by conscience and God Himself to fight for that. If an enemy is demonized, your are bound to slay that demon.

The more which is sacralized, the more blood, the more maimings, the more fires, the more murders.

In a minimum viable politics, people are free to sacralize what they will, assuming they do not break the rules of minimum viable politics and resort to vigilante violence to vindicate their religious beliefs.

But the left is determined to sacralize every flighty thought that gets into their heads -- like that men with penises should be free to use women's room, and if little girls are bothered by seeing a man's penis, why, they must just "overcome" their "discomfort" at seeing an adult man's penis -- and they are also determined to use the violence of the state or the violence of private vigilantes to enforce those Sacred Lunacies.

It won't end well. It will end, eventually. But not well, and not without many, many casualties, of both the guilty and innocent kind. Mass political violence is like a tornado, and tornadoes do not discriminate between the virtuous and the vicious.

They just kill everything in their path.
47  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Hillbillary still at risk for prosecution on: February 03, 2017, 06:58:06 AM

 rolleyes
48  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Can't we just get a no jihad pinky promise? on: February 01, 2017, 10:12:58 PM
dailycaller.com/2017/01/31/jordanian-prince-on-syrian-refugees-we-cant-vet-these-people/

What could possibly go wrong?

49  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe, 494 out of 162,000 refugees in Sweden found work on: February 01, 2017, 09:06:01 PM

I wonder if the Swedes consider "rapist" an occupation, because if they do, the employment number might be even better!
50  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe, 494 out of 162,000 refugees in Sweden found work on: February 01, 2017, 02:58:50 PM

A greater success than I imagined!
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