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10551  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: October 24, 2008, 08:26:01 PM

Probation For Sergeant Who Misused Databases
By Tom Jackman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, April 23, 2008; Page B01

A Fairfax County police sergeant was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Alexandria to two years' probation for his admission that he checked police databases for someone who was the target of a federal terrorism case.

Sgt. Weiss Rasool, 31, initially faced up to six months in jail, but federal prosecutors urged U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry R. Poretz to consider as much as a year of jail time after Rasool took a lie-detector test last week and "was not fully compliant" with the test procedures. Prosecutors also said in a motion filed with the court that FBI agents "do not believe that he has been truthful."

Before sentencing, Rasool stood and wept as he admitted breaking the law.

"If I could turn back time, I would maybe do things different," he said. "It was an error in judgment. I never intended for things to turn out this way. I don't know what to say to you or anyone. . . . I admit I made errors of judgment. But I never intended to put anybody's life at risk."

The police sergeant said after the sentencing that he hopes to remain with the Fairfax department. A misdemeanor conviction does not automatically disqualify him from continuing with the force. Rasool remains on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of an internal investigation, Fairfax police said.

In June 2005, when federal agents had a Fairfax man under surveillance, the man apparently asked Rasool to check the license plates of three vehicles he thought were following him. Rasool's lawyer described the man as a member of Rasool's mosque.

According to court records, Rasool checked the databases and left the following voice-mail message for the man:

"Umm, as I told you, I can only tell you if it comes back to a person or not a person, and all three vehicles did not come back to an individual person. So, I just wanted to give you that much."

The three vehicles were undercover FBI vehicles, according to a letter from the FBI filed in court yesterday, and Rasool's message "likely alerted the subject of the FBI investigation which had a disruptive effect on the pending counterterrorism case." Prosecutors said the vehicles were listed with a leasing company, which an experienced officer might have known was an indicator of law enforcement vehicles.

The target was arrested in November 2005, then convicted and deported, according to court filings in Rasool's case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeanine Linehan said that the target and his family were already dressed and destroying evidence at 6 a.m. when agents arrived to make the arrest, indicating that they had been tipped off. The target's name and the charges against him have not been disclosed.

In October 2007, the FBI confronted Rasool about his computer inquiries on the man's behalf. According to a brief written by Linehan, Rasool denied knowing the man. When presented with the recording of his message for the man, Rasool admitted checking the databases, Linehan wrote.

Linehan also noted that Rasool made computer inquiries about himself, through the National Crime Information Center system, about 17 times in 18 months, purportedly to see whether his name appeared on the terrorism watch list. His lawyer, James W. Hundley, said Rasool checked the database because of increased scrutiny of Muslims in the United States after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

In January, Rasool pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of unauthorized computer access. He acknowledged checking his name and those of family members on the Violent Crime and Terrorist Offender File, maintained within the NCIC system, but said he did so to be sure the names were not there by mistake.

Hundley said that Rasool did not remember making the computer inquiries for the investigative target, and that Rasool did not tip off the target to his impending arrest.

Rasool's lawyer filed character-reference letters from Rasool's friends, family and co-workers, including Lt. Susan Lamar, the assistant commander of the McLean station, where Rasool worked. Lamar wrote that, compared with similar computer violations by Fairfax officers, Rasool's "seems to be the least significant."

Poretz told Rasool that some of his conduct "appears to strain credulity, to this court." But he declined to consider a sentencing range of six to 12 months in jail and gave Rasool credit for "acceptance of responsibility," a key factor in federal sentencing guidelines.

The magistrate judge then offered a stern analysis, saying: "What we have here is a defendant doing stupid things. What we have here is a credibility issue as to the defendant." But he found no evidence that Rasool intended to disrupt the federal investigation.

He placed the sergeant on two years of supervised probation and fined him $1,000.

10552  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: October 24, 2008, 08:19:19 PM

Thursday, September 4th 2003, 8:02AM

A hero fire marshal killed in the terror attacks told the FBI of his suspicions about an Egyptian-born FDNY employee who associated with terrorists - but his warning was ignored, a new book claims.
The book, "1000 Years for Revenge" by Peter Lance, contends the feds missed opportunities to stop the attacks.
But New York FBI spokesman Joe Valiquette slammed Lance's book as a "rehash of old stories, gossip and speculation."
One thread of the book follows Fire Department veteran Ronnie Bucca and his suspicions about a department accountant, Ahmed Amin Refai.
Bucca began investigating Refai in 1999, after Refai filed a bogus report to get a new building identification pass for department headquarters, the book says.
Bucca was alarmed by Refai's association with Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, the blind sheik convicted of conspiracy in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
The marshal uncovered TV footage of Refai escorting Abdel-Rahman through a crowd at a New Jersey mosque and learned he was also acquainted with El Sayed A Nosair, who assassinated Jewish Defense League leader Meir Kahane in 1990.
That year, Refai took a pile of Trade Center blueprints that had been tossed out by the FDNY, the book says. When the complex was bombed, Refai called in sick, Lance reports.
Now retired, Refai denied any wrongdoing. He admitted to Lance that he met Abdel-Rahman and other terror figures but said he wasn't close to them. He also denied taking the blueprints and blamed the attacks on a U.S.-Israeli conspiracy.
The FBI is now investigating Refai, the book says. Valiquette declined comment yesterday on any probe.
10553  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: October 24, 2008, 08:14:46 PM

November 14, 2007
C.I.A. Officer Admits Guilt Over Hezbollah Files

WASHINGTON, Nov. 13 — A Lebanese-born C.I.A. officer who had previously worked as an F.B.I. agent pleaded guilty on Tuesday to charges that she illegally sought classified information from government computers about the radical Islamic group Hezbollah.

The plea agreement by the defendant, Nada Nadim Prouty, appeared to expose grave flaws in the methods used by the Central Intelligence Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to conduct background checks on its investigators.

Ms. Prouty, 37, who also confessed that she had fraudulently obtained American citizenship, faces up to 16 years in prison.

Court papers do not specifically say why Ms. Prouty sought information about Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed militant group that is based in southern Lebanon, from the F.B.I.’s computer case files in June 2003, the month she left the bureau to join the C.I.A.

There is no accusation in the documents that she passed information on to Hezbollah or any other extremist group.

The plea agreement noted, however, that Ms. Prouty’s sister and her brother-in-law attended a fund-raising event in Lebanon in August 2002 at which the keynote speaker was Sheikh Muhammed Hussein Fadlallah, the spiritual leader of Hezbollah. Sheikh Fadlallah has been designated by the United States government as a terrorist leader.

The plea agreement said that in 2003 Ms. Prouty specifically went searching for computerized case files maintained by the F.B.I.’s Detroit field office in an investigation that centered on Hezbollah although she “was not assigned to work on Hezbollah cases as part of her F.B.I. duties and she was not authorized by her supervisor, the case agent assigned to the case, or anybody else to access information about the investigation in question.”

The C.I.A. would not describe Ms. Prouty’s duties at the agency, apart from describing her as a “midlevel” employee, nor would it say if she traveled abroad as part of her duties or had been considered undercover.

Government officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss details of the investigation with reporters, said Ms. Prouty was an “operations” officer at the C.I.A., meaning she was involved in some way in basic espionage work, not as an analyst or translator.

As part of the plea agreement, she agreed to resign from the C.I.A. and give up any claim to American citizenship.

“It is fitting that she now stands to lose both her citizenship and her liberty,” Kenneth L. Wainstein, assistant attorney general, said in announcing the guilty plea, which was entered in Federal District Court in Detroit.

Mr. Wainstein, who runs the Justice Department’s national security division, said Ms. Prouty “engaged in a pattern of deceit to secure U.S. citizenship, to gain employment in the intelligence community and to obtain and exploit her access to sensitive counterterrorism intelligence.”

She pleaded guilty to one count each of criminal conspiracy, which has a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine; unauthorized computer access, which has a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine, and naturalization fraud, which has a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

In her plea agreement, Ms. Prouty, who lived mostly recently in Vienna, Va., close to the C.I.A. headquarters in Langley, Va, acknowledged that her crimes began shortly after she entered the United States from Lebanon in June 1989 on a one-year student visa.

She acknowledged that after overstaying her visa, she had illegally offered money to an unemployed American man to marry her in 1990, which allowed her to remain in the United States as his wife, although the couple never lived together.

She then submitted a series of false and forged documents to obtain American citizenship, which she was granted in 1994. She obtained a divorce the next year and worked in a series of jobs, including as a waitress and hostess in a chain of Middle Eastern restaurants in the Detroit area owned by her brother-in-law.

In 1997, she was hired as a special agent of the F.B.I., which has been under pressure for years to hire more agents and other employees who speak Arabic for terrorism investigations. She was assigned to the bureau’s Washington field office, given a security clearance and placed in “an extraterritorial squad investigating crimes against U.S. persons overseas,” the Justice Department said in a statement to reporters.

Ms. Prouty acknowledged two sets of illegal computer searches at the F.B.I. The first, in September 2002, involved case files that contained her name, her sister’s name or her brother-in-law’s name. The second, in June 2003, involved files from a national-security investigation of Hezbollah that was being conducted in Detroit, which has one of the nation’s largest Arabic-speaking communities.

The court papers say Ms. Prouty’s crimes first became known to the F.B.I. in December 2005 and have been under investigation for nearly two years. The documents suggest that she came under scrutiny as part of an investigation of her brother-in-law, Talal Khalil Chahine, in a scheme to funnel millions of dollars from his restaurant to people in Lebanon. Mr. Chahine is a fugitive from tax evasion charges filed in Michigan.
10554  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: October 24, 2008, 08:04:30 PM

Al Qaeda terrorist worked with FBI
Ex-Silicon Valley resident plotted embassy attacks
Lance Williams and Erin McCormick, Chronicle Staff Writers
Sunday, November 4, 2001   

A former U.S. Army sergeant who trained Osama bin Laden's bodyguards and helped plan the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Kenya was a U.S. government informant during much of his terrorist career, according to sources familiar with his case.

Ali Mohamed, an Egyptian-born U.S. citizen and longtime Silicon Valley resident who pleaded guilty last year to terrorism charges, approached the Central Intelligence Agency more than 15 years ago and offered to inform on Middle Eastern terrorist groups, a U.S. government official said.

Later, according to the sources, Mohamed spent years as an FBI informant while concealing his own deep involvement in the al Qaeda terrorist band: training bin Laden's bodyguards and Islamic guerrillas in camps in Afghanistan and the Sudan; bringing Ayman al-Zawahiri, who is bin Laden's chief deputy, to the Bay Area on a covert fund-raising mission; and planning the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, in which more than 200 people died.

The story of Mohamed's dual roles as FBI informant and bin Laden terrorist - - and the freedom he had to operate unchecked in the United States -- illustrates the problems facing U.S. intelligence services as they attempt to penetrate the shadowy, close-knit world of al Qaeda, experts said.

Mohamed "clearly was a double agent," Larry C. Johnson, a former deputy director in the State Department's Office of Counter Terrorism and a onetime CIA employee, said in an interview.

Johnson said the CIA had found Mohamed unreliable and severed its relationship with him shortly after Mohamed approached the agency in 1984. Johnson faulted the FBI for later using Mohamed as an informant, saying the bureau should have recognized that the man was a high-ranking terrorist, deeply involved in plotting violence against the United States and its allies.

"It's possible that the FBI thought they had control of him and were trying to use him, but what's clear is that they did not have control," Johnson said. "The FBI assumed he was their source, but his loyalties lay elsewhere."

The affair was "a study in incompetence, in how not to run an agent," Johnson said.

FBI spokesman Joseph Valiquette declined to comment on Mohamed, as did a spokesman for Manhattan U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White, whose office prosecuted the case of the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

A law enforcement source familiar with the case said the FBI had followed appropriate procedures in attempting to obtain crucial information from Mohamed, whom he conceded was "double-dealing" and difficult.

"When you operate assets and informants, they're holding the cards," this source said. "They can choose to be 100 percent honest or 10 percent honest. You don't have much control over them.

"Maybe (the informant) gives you a great kernel of information, and then you can't find him for eight weeks. Is that a management problem? Hindsight is 20/20."

Mohamed, 49, is a former Egyptian Army major, fluent in Arabic and English, who after his arrest became known as bin Laden's "California connection." Last year, when he pleaded guilty in the embassy bombing case, he told a federal judge that he first was drawn to terrorism in 1981, when he joined Egyptian Islamic Jihad, a fundamentalist group implicated in that year's assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.

For almost as long as he was a terrorist, Mohamed also was in contact with U.S. intelligence, according to court records and sources.

In 1984, he quit the Egyptian Army to work as a counterterrorism security expert for EgyptAir. After that, he offered to become a CIA informant, said the U.S. government official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

"The agency tried him out, but because he told other possible terrorists or people possibly associated with terrorist groups that he was working for the CIA, clearly he was not suitable," the official said.

The CIA cut off contact with Mohamed and put his name on a "watch list" aimed at blocking his entrance to the United States, according to the official.

Nevertheless, Mohamed got a visa one year later. He ultimately became a U.S.

citizen after marrying a Santa Clara woman. In 1986, he joined the U.S. Army as an enlisted man. He was posted to Fort Bragg, N.C., home of the elite Special Forces.

There he worked as a supply sergeant for a Green Beret unit, then as an instructor on Middle Eastern affairs in the John F. Kennedy special warfare school.

Mohamed's behavior and his background were so unusual that his commanding officer, Lt. Col. Robert Anderson, became convinced that he was both a "dangerous fanatic" and an operative of U.S. intelligence.

Anderson, now a businessman in North Carolina, said that on their first meeting in 1988, Mohamed told him, "Anwar Sadat was a traitor and he had to die."

Later that year, Anderson said, Mohamed announced that -- contrary to all Army regulations -- he intended to go on vacation to Afghanistan to join the Islamic guerrillas in their civil war against the Soviets. A month later, he returned, boasting that he had killed two Soviet soldiers and giving away as souvenirs what he claimed were their uniform belts.

Anderson said he wrote detailed reports aimed at getting Army intelligence to investigate Mohamed -- and have him court-martialed and deported -- but the reports were ignored.

"I think you or I would have a better chance of winning Powerball (a lottery), than an Egyptian major in the unit that assassinated Sadat would have getting a visa, getting to California . . . getting into the Army and getting assigned to a Special Forces unit," he said. "That just doesn't happen. "

It was equally unthinkable that an ordinary American GI would go unpunished after fighting in a foreign war, he said.

Anderson said all this convinced him that Mohamed was "sponsored" by a U.S. intelligence service. "I assumed the CIA," he said.

In 1989, Mohamed left the Army and returned to Santa Clara, where he worked as a security guard and at a home computer business.

Between then and his 1998 arrest, he said in court last year, Mohamed was deeply involved in bin Laden's al Qaeda. He spent months abroad, training bin Laden's fighters in camps in Afghanistan and Sudan. While in Africa, he scouted the U.S. Embassy in Kenya, target of the 1998 bombing. In this country,

he helped al-Zawahiri, bin Laden's top aide, enter the country with a fake passport and tour U.S. mosques, raising money later funneled to al Qaeda.

According to Steven Emerson, a terrorism expert and author who has written about the case, Mohamed by the early 1990s had also established himself as an FBI informant.

"He agreed to serve (the FBI) and provide information, but in fact he was working for the bad guys and insulating himself from scrutiny from other law enforcement agencies," Emerson said in an interview.

One particularly troubling aspect of the case, Emerson says, was that Mohamed's role as an FBI informant gave bin Laden important insights into U.S. efforts to penetrate al Qaeda.

The case shows "the sophistication of the bin Laden network, and how they were toying with us," he said.

Some information about the nature of Mohamed's contacts with the FBI and other law-enforcement agencies is contained in an FBI affidavit filed in U.S. District Court in New York at the time of his 1998 arrest. The document describes contacts between Mohamed and the FBI and Defense Department officials.

At times, Mohamed made alarming admissions about his links to the al Qaeda terrorists, seemingly without fear of being arrested. Mohamed willfully deceived the agents about his activities, according to the affidavit.

In 1993, the affidavit says, Mohamed was questioned by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police after a bin Laden aide was caught trying to enter the United States with Mohamed's driver's license and a false passport.

Mohamed acknowledged traveling to Vancouver to help the terrorist sneak into the United States and admitted working closely with bin Laden's group. Yet he was so unconcerned about being arrested that he told the Mounties he hoped the interview wouldn't hurt his chances of getting a job as an FBI interpreter.

(According to the affidavit, he had indeed applied for the FBI position but never got it.)

Later that year, Mohamed -- again seemingly without concern for consequences -- told the FBI that he had trained bin Laden followers in intelligence and anti-hijacking techniques in Afghanistan, the affidavit says.

In January 1995, Mohamed applied for a U.S. security clearance, in hopes of becoming a security guard with a Santa Clara defense contractor. His application failed to mention ever traveling to Pakistan or Afghanistan, trips he had told the FBI about earlier. In three interviews with Defense Department officials, who conducted a background check on him, he claimed he had never been a terrorist.

"I have never belonged to a terrorist organization, but I have been approached by organizations that could be called terrorist," he told the interviewers.

According to the affidavit, he told FBI agents in 1997 that he had trained bin Laden's bodyguards, saying he loved bin Laden and believed in him. Mohamed also said it was "obvious" that the United States was the enemy of Muslim people.

In August 1998, after the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed, he told the FBI that he knew who did it, but refused to provide the names.

Two weeks later, after lying to a U.S. grand jury investigating the embassy bombings, he was arrested. He pleaded guilty last year, but he has never been sentenced and is once again believed to be providing information to the government -- this time from a prison cell.

"There's a hell of a lot (U.S. officials) didn't know about Ali Mohamed," said Harvey Kushner, a terrorism expert and criminology professor at the University of Long Island. "He infiltrated our armed services and duped them."

Yet, Kushner said, such duplicitous interactions may be a necessary component of intelligence work.

"I hate to say it, but these relationships are something we should be involved in more of. That's the nasty (part) of covert operations. We're not dealing with people we can trust."

E-mail the reporters at and lmwilliams@sfchronicle. com.

This article appeared on page A - 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle
10555  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: October 24, 2008, 07:51:23 PM
Holy warriors like Junaid deeply worry authorities, but that wasn't always the case. During the Cold War, Washington encouraged the jihad movement in its drive to bog down the Soviets in Afghanistan. As many as 25,000 foreigners answered the call during the 1980s, most notably bin Laden. The majority hailed from Arab nations, but many journeyed from Sudan, Southeast Asia, China, and Great Britain. Others came from the United States, among them dozens of native-born Americans. One, Muhammed Haseeb Abdul-Haqq, was the son of a Baptist preacher in New York. A recent convert to a Pakistani Sufi sect, Muslims of the Americas, Abdul-Haqq rallied fellow Americans to fight the Soviets in the early 1980s. The group set up "jihad councils" across the country and in 1982 sent 12 members to Pakistan, intent on finding their way into battle. "It was amazing for me," recalls Abdul-Haqq. "I had no military training, but I knew what I was doing was for the Almighty."

Fearing an international incident, alarmed U.S. and Pakistani officials stopped the group from entering Afghanistan. But others followed. "We were the spark," says Abdul-Haqq. "Different avenues opened and others got through." Indeed, during the war, a handful of journalists came across Americans fighting alongside the Afghans. Among them was 34-year-old Akhbar Shah, an African-American from Boston found by reporters in 1985. Shah claimed to be a U.S. Army veteran helping the rebels organize training camps and said he'd seen two dozen other black American Muslims in Afghanistan.

Soldiers of Allah. Meanwhile, Abdul-Haqq's Muslims of the Americas continued to preach jihad. The sect's American branch had been founded in 1980 by a charismatic Pakistani cleric, Sheik Mubarik Ali Hasmi Shah Gilani, who appeared at a Brooklyn mosque bedecked with ammunition belts and calling on his mostly African-American converts to wage holy war. A recruitment video from the early 1990s--Soldiers of Allah--depicts would-be guerrillas handling firearms and explosives and shows Gilani boasting how recruits are given "highly specialized training in guerrilla warfare." The organization freely admits sending more than 100 of its members--all U.S. citizens--to Pakistan, but says it was only for religious study. Federal agents believe that dozens also received military training there and that some fought in Afghanistan, Chechnya, and Kashmir. It was Gilani whom the Wall Street Journal's Daniel Pearl was seeking before he was murdered--on a tip the cleric was tied to alleged shoe bomber Reid. Gilani was questioned and released.

Gilani's claims of nonviolence would be easier to believe if so many of his followers were not in trouble with the law. Over the years, the group has drawn more than 1,000 members to rural compounds in a half-dozen states. During the 1980s, its followers engaged in a bloody campaign of U.S. bombings and murders, largely against Indian religious figures in America, officials say. Two Muslims of the Americas members were recently convicted on firearms charges, and another was charged with the murder of a deputy sheriff in California. The group's Abdul-Haqq says that these crimes are not typical of his membership and that most occurred many years ago. Law enforcement officials, meanwhile, have found nothing to tie the group to bin Laden's al Qaeda and note that Gilani's Sufism has long been at odds with Taliban-style Islam.

The dream of Gilani and other jihadists to drive the Soviets from Afghanistan came true in 1989. For them, it was a great victory, the triumph of international Islam over a godless superpower. Even as America withdrew its CIA officers and its funding, the emboldened jihadists stayed and plotted new campaigns. Some went on to new battles overseas; some returned to their homelands, such as Egypt or Saudi Arabia, intent on making them strict Islamic states. Others took aim at America, angry over its support of Israel and basing of troops in Saudi Arabia.

On Feb. 26, 1993, their pent-up rage exploded in the form of a 1,200-pound bomb under the World Trade Center, which killed six and injured more than 1,000. That first attempt to topple the twin towers led investigators to a sheik named Omar Abdel Rahman. An Afghan war veteran, Abdel Rahman had been driven from his native Egypt for his ties to terrorism. He arrived in Brooklyn in 1990, and soon, he, too, was preaching holy war at local mosques. More important, Abdel Rahman's followers took control of an obscure "charity" in Brooklyn--the Alkifah Refugee Center. Founded in Pakistan in the early 1980s, Alkifah had scores of branches around the world, including Jersey City, N.J.; Tucson, Ariz.; Boston, and 30 other U.S. cities. Most were little more than storefronts--the Brooklyn one sat atop a Chinese restaurant--but they raised millions of dollars to support the Afghan resistance. And, they sent men along with the money. By 1993, the Brooklyn office alone had sent as many as 200 jihadists from America to join the mujahideen, investigators say.

As agents closed in on Abdel Rahman's network, they were stunned at the number of jihadists heading overseas, says Blitzer, the former FBI counterterrorism chief. "What the hell's going on?" he remembers thinking. Five years after the Soviets had left Afghanistan, the jihad movement was booming in America. "It was like a modern underground railroad," says Neil Herman, who supervised the FBI investigation of the bombing. Most were Arab immigrants, but investigators remember many native-born Americans who frequented the center.

One of those Americans was a bearded black Muslim named Rodney Hampton-el, known to his friends as Dr. Rashid. Hampton-el juggled several roles: He battled local drug dealers on the streets of New York's 67th Precinct, while at his job he worked a dialysis machine in an AIDS ward. By 1988, he'd made his way to Afghanistan and joined the rebels, but he was nearly killed by a land mine. Recuperating in a Long Island hospital, Hampton-el gave a revealing interview to anthropologist Robert Dannin, author of Black Pilgrimage to Islam. A true believer, Hampton-el said his wound was "a blessing" and he hoped to return soon to Afghanistan. "To be injured in jihad is a guarantee that you will go to Paradise," he explained. "Most important of all, you must have faith in order to go. This is the ultimate honor for a true Muslim."

Bomb plots. Within months, Hampton-el was leading workshops on guerrilla warfare for Abdel Rahman's followers in Connecticut and New Jersey. By 1993, there was talk among his group of fighting in Bosnia, but increasingly attention focused on America. Hampton-el offered to supply his friends with bombs and automatic weapons, part of a plot that included attacks on major bridges and tunnels leading into Manhattan. He never got the chance. The FBI nabbed Hampton-el, Abdel Rahman, and eight others, who all received heavy prison sentences in 1996.

And what became of the Alkifah Center and its jihadists? The Brooklyn center closed, but the network of other jihad centers remained active, where they helped form the nucleus of bin Laden's al Qaeda network. Indeed, the centers were left largely intact, even in the United States. "They certainly continued on, but were somewhat fragmented," says Herman, the former FBI case agent. Only in the wake of 9/11--eight years after the 1993 attack--did the White House issue an executive order freezing Alkifah's assets.

By then, however, the centers had gone underground. Today, many of the connections are handled informally, through radical members of mosques and Islamic centers, investigators say. But officials believe a network of Islamic charities has also helped fill the void, among them the Illinois-based Benevolence International Foundation. With offices in nine countries and a budget last year of $3.4 million, Benevolence is one of the nation's largest Muslim charities. In December, federal officials froze its assets, and in April they arrested its director, Enaam Arnaout, for allegedly lying about ties to terrorism. They claim that Arnaout, a Syrian-born U.S. citizen, is an Alkifah veteran and longtime bin Laden associate. According to an FBI affidavit, the 39-year-old Arnaout helped send jihadists to Bosnia and nearly $700,000 to Chechen rebels, and directed arms convoys into Afghanistan and Croatia. Arnaout denies any wrongdoing, and his foundation is suing the government to recover its funds.

Whatever the outcome of those cases, the jihad movement in America remains alive and well. And while it is easy enough to dismiss the varied jihadists as adventurers or extremists, most seem motivated by unselfish aims; they care deeply about the suffering of their brethren overseas. What else would propel someone like Jibreel al-Amreekee, the soft-spoken Atlanta teenager, to leave his home, travel 7,000 miles, and get killed fighting a foreign army? "The Muslims don't have any help," says Abdul-Haqq of Muslims of the Americas. "Look at the world's hot spots; look at how many places Muslims are being killed." The problem is balancing their right to intervene against the danger posed by the fanaticism that infects so much of their movement. For now, America seems convinced that the business of jihad needs to come to an end. "The government did too little too late," says Herman. "Had law enforcement looked harder at some of these issues, we wouldn't be talking about it today."



Age: Unknown

Last U.S. address: New York

A martial arts expert from New York, Abu Malik's name surfaced repeatedly in last year's federal trial of those behind the 1998 embassy bombings in East Africa. Witnesses described him as a jihadist who fought against the Soviets in Afghanistan in 1989.

Malik appeared again in 1993 or '94 in Khartoum, Sudan, at Taba Investments, then a nerve center of Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network, according to court testimony. Little is known about Malik, whose photo is published above for the first time. One trial witness, bin Laden aide Wadih el-Hage, testified that Malik had a wife and children in Cairo.

Investigators believe he is the most important of a handful of native-born Americans associated with al Qaeda during its Sudan days, before bin Laden moved to Afghanistan in 1996. Federal agents are eager to talk with him.



Age: 27

Last U.S. Address: Perth Amboy, N.J.

An unlikely jihadist, Hiram Torres, a young Puerto Rican from the working class city of Perth Amboy, N. J., was introverted and bright as a teenager. Torres also played chess and displayed an unhealthy fascination with Adolf Hitler. He pored over books on philosophy, read the Bible and the Koran, and fantasized about being a revolutionary.

The 1993 valedictorian at his high school, Torres went on to Yale University but lasted barely a month. Intrigued by Islam, he found his way to Pakistan and, in 1998, called his mother from Afghanistan to say he was "studying" there. It was the last she would hear of him until a reporter called earlier this year; Torres's name, along with his New Jersey address and phone number, had been found on an apparent list of recruits in a safe house run by Harakat ul-Muhahideen, the same al Qaeda-tied militia that was joined by John Walker Lindh.



aka Kevin Holt

Age: 45

Last U.S. address: Washington, D.C.

Born Cleven Raphael Holt, Ali grew up in a housing project in a tough Washington, D.C., neighborhood. After serving with the U.S. Army in Korea, he converted to Islam and joined the Afghan fight against the Soviets. Forced by an injury back to Washington, he soon left for Lebanon, where he worked with the Amal militia and Hezbollah.

At 6 foot 3 and 250 pounds, with a booming voice and bald head, Holt attracted attention and was nearly killed by an assassin in Beirut. He returned to Washington and worked picking up trash at Howard University, but in 1996 U.S. intelligence believed he had joined up with foreign jihadists in Bosnia.

Officials issued warnings about Ali to guards at bases in the region and announced that he was wanted for questioning about "terrorist activities," but no charges were brought against him.



Age: 38

Last U.S. address: Santa Clara, Calif.

A former Silicon Valley car salesman, al-Dahab allegedly recruited 10 U.S. citizens into al Qaeda during his 12 years in the Bay Area, according to an account of his statements to an Egyptian military court. Born to a wealthy family in Alexandria, Egypt, al-Dahab became radicalized when his father, a pilot, was shot down after straying into Israeli airspace.

Al-Dahab joined Islamic Jihad, responsible for the 1981 assassination of Anwar Sadat, and came to America in 1986 on a student visa. Over the next decade he took three American wives, one after another, fathered five children, and became a U.S. citizen. At the same time, he allegedly led a double life, traveling to fight in jihad wars in the Balkans and Afghanistan, including a 1990 trip to train Afghan fighters to use hang gliders to free prisoners in Egypt. Arrested in 1998 in Cairo on terrorism charges, he is now serving a 15-year sentence.



Age: 33

Last U.S. address: Boston

His father once called him "a typical American." A former Boston cabdriver, Hijazi now sits in a Jordanian jail, sentenced to death by hanging for his role in plotting terrorist attacks over the millennium holiday.

In a plot tied to Osama bin Laden, the heavyset Hijazi allegedly hoped to murder hundreds of Americans, Israelis, and others by bombing Christian holy sites, border crossings, and the Radisson Hotel in Jordan.

Hijazi was born in San Jose, Calif., the son of a San Francisco-educated Palestinian engineer. Although he grew up mostly in Jordan and Saudi Arabia, his family had a love affair with America and vacationed at Disneyland and in Florida. Hijazi fell in with Islamic radicals while studying business at California State University-Sacramento around 1989. He later left for Afghanistan and allegedly studied bomb making at an al Qaeda camp.



aka Abu Rida al Suri

Age: 41

Last U.S. address: Kansas City, Mo.

A nuclear bomb for Osama bin Laden was a key goal for Syrian-American Mohamed Bayazid, according to court records. Using his U.S. passport to travel, Bayazid allegedly worked as a manager for bin Laden's Taba Investments in Khartoum, Sudan, during the early 1990s, buying uranium as well as tractors and automatic weapons. His driver's license listed for his home the same address as Benevolence International, an Illinois-based charity whose assets are now frozen.

Bayazid lived in Kansas City until about 1994 and is now variously reported to be dead or living in Sudan or Turkey. His uncle in Kansas City, Adnan Bayazid, believes his role was limited to buying supplies for the Afghan resistance, and he says that Mohamed grew disillusioned with bin Laden. He warns that officials may have the wrong man. "Mohamed is a very popular name," he says.

With Monica M. Ekman, Jonathan Elliston, Aamir Latif, Michael Reynolds and Kit Roane

This story appears in the June 10, 2002 print edition of U.S. News & World Report.
10556  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: October 24, 2008, 07:50:13 PM

Made in the U.S.A.
Hundreds of Americans have followed the path to jihad. Here's how and why
By David E. Kaplan
Posted 6/2/02

Fifteen thousand feet high in Kashmir and armed with a Kalashnikov--that was not how friends thought Jibreel al-Amreekee would end up. All of 19, the restless kid from Atlanta had grown up in a wealthy family attending Ebenezer Baptist Church, the home pulpit of Martin Luther King Jr. A soft-spoken youth with long dreadlocks, al-Amreekee had a passion for sky diving and reading books on the world's religions.

One religion that drew his interest was Islam, and while he was at North Carolina Central University, that interest grew into a calling. By 1997, he had converted and was spending his time at the modest Ibad-ar-Rahman mosque in Durham, where African-Americans mixed easily with immigrants from Egypt and Pakistan. He fell in with a group of fundamentalists who preached of how fellow Muslims were being slaughtered overseas and how jihad--holy war--was every Muslim's obligation. For al-Amreekee, it came as a revelation. He dropped out of school, read the Koran daily, fasted, and prepared for combat overseas. "He was into it, man," recalled a friend, Jaleel Abdullah Musawwir. "You know, Islam says when you get into something you go full ahead, and that's the way he did it."

In late 1997, al-Amreekee took off for Kashmir, where India and Pakistan have clashed for decades. Through friends in Durham, he hooked up with Lashkar-e-Taiba (the Righteous Army), a now banned militia blamed for December's terrorist attack on the Indian parliament. Lashkar leaders, closely allied with Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda, have announced plans to "plant Islamic flags in Delhi, Tel Aviv, and Washington."

After training at a Lashkar base in Pakistan, al-Amreekee got his chance: His unit began ambushing Indian troops in Kashmir. But the American didn't last long. After just 2 1/2 months as a jihadist, he was dead--killed while attacking an Indian Army post. "He got what he wanted," said Abdullah Ramadawn, a friend and fellow Georgian who used to drive him home after prayers. "He always said he wanted to be a martyr."

Americans are accustomed to thinking of the jihad movement as something overseas, inspired among the faithful in spartan Pakistani schools and gleaming Saudi mosques. But there is also an American road to jihad, one taken by true believers like al-Amreekee and hundreds of others. For 20 years--long before "American Taliban" John Walker Lindh--American jihadists have ventured overseas to attack those they believe threaten Islam. It is a little-known story.

They have left behind comfortable homes in Atlanta, New York, and San Francisco, volunteering to fight with foreign armies in Bosnia, Chechnya, and Afghanistan. Their numbers are far greater than is commonly thought: Between 1,000 and 2,000 jihadists left America during the 1990s alone, estimates Bob Blitzer, a former FBI terrorism chief who headed the bureau's first Islamic terrorism squad in 1994. Federal agents monitored some 40 to 50 jihadists leaving each year from just two New York mosques during the mid-'90s, he says. Pakistani intelligence sources say that Blitzer's figures are credible and that as many as 400 recruits from America have received training in Pakistani and Afghan jihad camps since 1989. Scores more ventured overseas during the 1980s, to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan.

U.S. News traced reports of more than three dozen American jihadists, many of them previously unknown. Unlike the 9/11 hijackers, who spent only months here, many are U.S. citizens, native born or naturalized. Most put down roots here, attended schools, ran businesses, and raised families. A majority appear to be Arab-Americans--Egyptian, Saudi, and Palestinian immigrants--or fellow Muslims from lands as far afield as Sudan and Pakistan. But a fair number are African-Americans, who make up nearly one third of the nation's Muslims. Still others are as varied as Lindh, a wealthy white kid from California's Marin County, or Hiram Torres, a Puerto Rican convert from New Jersey.

No records. Surprisingly--despite the key role some have played in terrorism --investigators have never tracked them as a group. Immigration agents keep no records on foreign travel by U.S. citizens and resident aliens. FBI and CIA officials say that fear of political spying charges has kept them from monitoring suspicious trips by U.S. citizens abroad. Nor does the State Department have files. "Why would we keep records?" asks one official. "These are people who are dropping out of U.S. society." With few such records, government files on al Qaeda backers here were woefully incomplete. Thus, after September 11, most of the 1,200 suspects arrested were found by combing immigration rolls for persons out of compliance--not by tracking those with jihadist ties or training in the jihadist military camps of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Those camps--once run freely by bin Laden and his allies--are the connective tissue binding together the international jihadist movement. To date, the United States and its allies have captured al Qaeda fighters from no fewer than 33 countries, including Australia, Belgium, and Sweden. Only two "American Taliban" are in custody: Lindh and Yasser Esam Hamdi, a Baton Rouge-born 22-year-old who spent most of his life in Saudi Arabia. But some counterterrorism officials are convinced dozens more remain active, including several who may play key roles within bin Laden's network. Their trails are difficult to track; dual citizenship and false passports are common, and they typically have Arabic names, either given or adopted, with multiple spellings. "God knows where the hell they are, because we never found them," says Blitzer. "It's always been a potential time bomb."

They are, to be sure, a tiny minority of the nation's 4 million Muslims. Law enforcement officials stress they see no evidence of a tightly organized "fifth column" among America's diverse Muslim communities. And many jihadists have fought in struggles that the United States either supported or was neutral in--against the Russians in Afghanistan and Chechnya, for example, or against ethnic cleansing in Bosnia. In fact, Americans have long fought in other nations' wars. Such actions may violate the Neutrality Act--which bans fighting against nations with which America is at peace--but the law is rarely enforced. During the late 1930s, for example, nearly 3,000 Americans fought the fascists in Spain's civil war.

But the international jihad movement is different, analysts say. It has become virulently anti-American, anti-Western, and steeped in the kind of absolutist religious fervor that is the hallmark of bin Laden's al Qaeda network. In that, American holy warriors resemble their brethren overseas: They tend to be young, smart, and motivated, often introverted and detached, and ready to risk life and limb. "These are the true believers," says Howard University's Sulayman Nyang, author of Islam in the United States of America. "You feel you are an instrument of God, or part of a historical force."

Call to war. Jihad--literally, "struggle" in Arabic--can also mean one's private spiritual quest. But today it is widely used to connote holy war. And for many, that journey begins in the mosques and Islamic centers of America. There young Muslims may hear imams full of fire and brimstone sermonizing on the persecution of Muslims abroad. They may be handed videos depicting a Muslim world under siege, filled with images of bloodied and broken corpses. Those same images beckon online. Since the mid-1990s, Web sites have spread the call to holy war at cyberspeed. Links like almuhaji and now bring the faithful to harrowing displays of refugees and martyrs in faraway lands. In 2000, a Chechen jihadist Web site,, directed recruits to network quietly: "Anyone interested in going to fight . . . should contact members of their own communities and countries who are known to have been for Jihad. You will know these people and they will know you."

Others proselytize less subtly. For years, the San Diego-based American Islamic Group sent its Islam Report to Internet news groups with its bank account listed. "Supporting Jihad is an Islamic obligation," read one report. Included were communiques from Algeria's terrorist Armed Islamic Group and war reports from Bosnia and Chechnya. In a 1995 Internet posting titled "First American Martyr in Chechnya," the group mourned the loss of Mohammad Zaki, an American killed in Chechnya that year. Zaki was a Washington, D.C., native who ran the group's Chechnya relief effort, his colleagues wrote. The father of four, he reportedly died in a Russian air attack while delivering aid to Chechen villages. U.S. and Russian officials in Moscow have no record of Zaki's death. (Kifah Jayyousi, who was then the San Diego group's head and later facilities chief for the Detroit and Washington, D.C., school districts, could not be located for comment.)

Some jihadists become radicalized overseas, as did Lindh. In the past 25 years, Saudi and Pakistani groups have targeted African-American Muslims, in particular, offering scholarships to study Islam and Arabic in their countries, according to Prof. Lawrence Mamiya, an expert on Islam at New York's Vassar College. "The first step is education, and then they're recruited by more militant groups," he says. "Being in those countries, they come across the oppression those people confront."

New recruits. Once recruited, the jihadists all but disappear. A rare window opened on their world at last year's trial of U.S. Embassy bombers, in which a half-dozen names surfaced of Americans allegedly tied to al Qaeda. Wadih el-Hage, an Arlington, Texas, tire store manager and top bin Laden aide, got some media attention, but others passed unnoticed. There was Mubarak al-Duri, an Iraqi native living in Arizona, who officials say worked with bin Laden's firms in Sudan; Mohamed Bayazid, a Syrian-American who allegedly bought weapons and uranium for al Qaeda; and Abu Osama, an Egyptian-American said to have trained al Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan. Government witness L'Houssaine Kherchtou testified to knowing "some black Americans" who he believed were al Qaeda associates in Sudan and Pakistan. Perhaps most intriguing were accounts of Abu Malik, a martial arts expert from New York who allegedly fought in Afghanistan and later turned up at al Qaeda's headquarters in Sudan.

U.S. News gained access to records of other American jihadists from some of Pakistan's best-known Islamic schools. There are thousands of these madrasahs, as they are known, and they provided tens of thousands of recruits to the Taliban. One of the most influential, the Haqqania school outside Peshawar, graduated much of the Taliban's senior leadership--along with at least nine Americans. The records are sketchy. In most cases, they list only the student's Arabic name, ethnicity, and home country. In 1995, seven Arab-Americans enrolled in the school, among them Zaid Bin Tufail of North Carolina, Zahid Al-Shafi of Texas, and Ahmed Abi-Bakr of Washington, D.C. All received military training and fought with Taliban units in their drive to unite the country, school officials say. Other students included two African-Americans: a "Dr. Bernard" from New York, who arrived in 1997, and "Abdullah," whose parents left their native Barbados and settled in Michigan; he, too, joined the Taliban and was reported "martyred" near Mazar-e Sharif in 1999 or 2000. None of them, however, shows up in checks of U.S. public records.

Records at another madrasah, the Tajweed-ul-Koran in Quetta, show that three Americans studied there in 1996. Two were African-American--"Omar" and Farooq" are the only names listed in the register--and school officials described the third, "Haidar," as a tall, white fellow, about 25, "with a strong build and small golden beard." The foreigners, they say, left for military training with the Taliban in Kandahar. At another pro-Taliban school in Quetta, the Jamia Hammadia, workers recall a 25-year-old American student from Chicago--Abu Bakar al-Faisal--who arrived in 1995 and died while soldiering with the Taliban in 1999. Al-Faisal, they say, had broken with Louis Farrakhan's Nation of Islam before coming to Afghanistan. Even sketchier records exist at the Jamia Abi-Bakr school in Karachi, where officials say about a dozen African-Americans studied. The madrasah is linked closely to Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Kashmir militia Jibreel al-Amreekee joined.

The best-known American jihadist--John Walker Lindh--attended yet another madrasah. The alienated Lindh, a lawyer's son, discovered Islam online and, like many jihadists, later fell in with Tablighi Jamaat, a Pakistani evangelical group. Although not itself linked to terrorism, Tablighi's radical preaching is thought to have influenced several British citizens now held by U.S. forces in Guantanamo, as well as suspected shoe bomber Richard Reid.

Rocket grenades. Through Tablighi, Lindh ended up at his Pakistani madrasah. At age 19, he finished six months of studies at the pro-Taliban school. His next stop was Harakat ul-Mujahideen--the Jihad Fighters Movement--another Kashmir-focused militia tied to hijackings, kidnappings, and bin Laden's terrorist network. In mid-2001, armed with a Harakat letter of introduction, Lindh presented himself to al Qaeda, where he trained with explosives and rocket-propelled grenades, U.S. officials say. Captured in November and then wounded in a revolt, Lindh stayed true to his views, insisting that martyrdom is "the goal of every Muslim." Today, his hair cut and beard shorn, he sits in an Alexandria, Va., jail, facing charges of murder and terrorism. His attorneys argue he is innocent; they say Lindh never fired on Americans and has constitutional rights to bear arms and associate with radicals like al Qaeda.

Harakat ul-Mujahideen seems to be a favored home for traveling jihadists. Earlier this year, an apparent list of recruits surfaced in a Harakat safe house, bearing the name Hiram Torres--a Puerto Rican from New Jersey missing for years. In 1995, Harakat officials claimed they were hosting several hundred foreign Muslims at their training camps, including 16 Americans. That year, at Harakat offices in Lahore, Pakistan, two Saudis boasted of their own American backgrounds to a reporter. In smooth English, Muhammad Al-Jabeer claimed to be from Chicago, where he'd studied for an M.B.A. His friend, Ahmed Usaid, said he hailed from New Jersey and held a B.S. in computer science. Usaid, Harakat sources say, died in battle near Mazar-e Sharif in 1999 and was buried in Afghanistan.

One well-trod route to jihad leads through London, a city so popular among radical Islamists that some call it Londonistan. This was the apparent path taken by New Yorker Mohammad Junaid. The grandson of Pakistani immigrants, the 26-year-old Junaid surfaced in Pakistan last October, vowing to kill fellow Americans on sight. Sounding much like a New Yorker, Junaid claimed to have grown up listening to Whitney Houston and riding roller coasters. The stocky, spectacled Junaid said he'd left a dot-com job in midtown Manhattan, but even more striking was the claim that his own mother escaped from the ninth floor of the World Trade Center.

None of that lessened his rage at America, which stemmed, he said, from racist taunts at his Bronx high school. At college, Junaid read of how Muslims were under attack worldwide; he later linked up with the London-based al-Muhajiroun (the Emigrants). The group is believed to have sent hundreds of foreign jihadists to Pakistan and Afghanistan, largely by targeting British colleges and immigrant communities. Now banned on U.K. campuses, its leaders have praised the 9/11 attacks and say that America has declared war on Islam. Junaid believes them. "I will kill every American that I see," he vowed to a TV reporter. "I'm not a New Yorker. I'm a Muslim."

10557  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: October 24, 2008, 07:30:13 PM
Good grief this is ridiculous; say what you want about Obama; good (I doubt) or bad, but he is a standing U.S. Senator.  His security clearance is just fine and everyone knows it.

**Please show me where there is any indication that Obama currently has a security clearance.**

Yours is bogus and fallacious argument.  YOU may think he isn't qualified to have clearance, but it doesn't seem to bother anyone in the Justice Department, Homeland Security, the U.S. Senate
or anyone else with access to confidential information or clearance.  Only you and a long list of irrelevant and blatantly partisan blogs.

**Again, due to the Hatch Act, no one from the Justice Dept, DHS or other executive branch entity can make any such comment. Whom in the Senate would be in a position to do so?**

And I know the difference, I was making a joke: I truly don't care about Palin's clothes or the numerous other petty issues being brought up by the press; it is irrelevant to the election.  But for this discussion's sake, I do equate
the RNC with McCain/Palin as I do equate the DNC's action with Obama.  I think both campaigns have gotten petty and spiteful and ignore the big issues facing this country.   McCain should focus on the issues, i.e. experience,
foreign policy, domestic policy, etc.  He has a lot of good things to say even if he isn't as pretty or eloquent as Obama  smiley  Check the polls; almost nobody seems
to care about Ayers when the economy is crashing down among us.  But I think it is too late for McCain to focus on the issues...  Too bad...

10558  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: October 24, 2008, 06:17:08 PM   Date: 10/24/2008 7:15:47 PM


Has Ties to Nation of Islam
Swore Oath of Allegiance to Allah on the Koran

At this particular time in history, it is a matter of note that Congress is about to receive its first Muslim member. Keith Ellison, currently a Minnesota state representative, is poised to succeed 14-term incumbent Democrat Martin Sabo in the Fifth District, which includes the city of Minneapolis. Ellison's endorsement by the Democratic-Farmer-Labor party is tantamount to his election in what is one of the safest Democratic seats in the country. Thus, at age 43, Ellison stands positioned not only to win that office but also to hold it as long as he chooses.

Ellison's Muslim faith has generated no controversy in the campaign. On the contrary, it has served to insulate aspects of his public record from close scrutiny in a city whose dominant news organ, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, is a paragon of political correctness. With the exception of columnist Katherine Kersten, the Star Tribune has scrupulously avoided examining Ellison's long train of troubling associations, foremost among them his ties to the Nation of Islam.

Ellison's record also includes a multitude of embarrassments of the traditional kind. He fell afoul of the IRS after failing to pay $25,000 in income taxes; he ignored fines that he had incurred for parking tickets and moving violations so numerous that his driver's license was suspended more times than he can remember; he was fined for willful violation of Minnesota's campaign finance reporting law. It amounts to a striking pattern of lawbreaking since he undertook the practice of law in 1990.

But it was the link to the Nation of Islam that stood as the most serious impediment to Ellison's primary campaign. He addressed it in a letter to the local chapter of the Jewish Community Relations Council following his endorsement by the DFL in May. In the letter, Ellison asserted that his involvement with the Nation of Islam had been limited to an 18-month period around the time of the Million Man March in 1995, that he had been unfamiliar with the Nation of Islam's anti-Semitic views during his in volvement with the group, and that he himself had never expressed such views. The Star Tribune has faithfully parroted these assertions as facts.

As a result, the three assertions have become the cornerstone of Ellison's campaign, securing him the support of prominent Minneapolis Jews and the endorsement of the Minneapolis-based American Jewish World newsweekly. Nevertheless, a little research reveals each one of them to be demonstrably false. Ellison's activities on behalf of the Nation of Islam continued well beyond any 18-month period, he was familiar with the Nation of Islam's anti-Semitic views, and he himself mouthed those views.

Ellison was born Catholic in Detroit. He states that he converted to Islam as an undergraduate at Wayne State University. As a third-year student at the University of Minnesota Law School in 1989-90, he wrote two columns for the Minnesota Daily under the name "Keith Hakim." In the first, Ellison refers to "Minister Louis Farrakhan," defends Nation of Islam spokesman Khalid Abdul Muhammad, and speaks in the voice of a Nation of Islam advocate. In the second, "Hakim" demands reparations for slavery and throws in a demand for an optional separate homeland for American blacks. In February 1990, Ellison participated in sponsoring Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael) to speak at the law school on the subject "Zionism: Imperialism, White Supremacy or Both?" Jewish law students met personally with Ellison and appealed to him not to sponsor the speech at the law school; he rejected their appeal, and, as anticipated, Ture gave a notoriously anti-Semitic speech.

Ellison admits that he worked on behalf of the Nation of Islam in 1995. At a rally for the Million Man March held at the University of Minnesota, Ellison appeared onstage with Khalid Abdul Muhammad, who ran true to form: According to a contemporaneous Star Tribune article, "If words were swords, the chests of Jews, gays and whites would be pierced."

Even in 1995, Ellison's work on behalf of the Nation of Islam extended well beyond his promotion of the Million Man March. That year, he dutifully spouted the Farrakhan line when Qubilah Shabazz, the daughter of Malcolm X, was indicted for conspiring to murder Farrakhan. Ellison organized a march on the U.S. attorney's office in Minneapolis demanding that Shabazz be released and alleging that the FBI itself had conspired to kill Farrakhan. In a November 6, 1995, column for the Minneapolis periodical Insight News, Ellison wrote under the name "Keith X Ellison." He condemned a Star Tribune editorial cartoon that was critical of Farrakhan as a role model for blacks because of his anti-Semitism. Ellison argued to the contrary.

Then, in February 1997, Ellison appeared as a local spokesman for the Nation of Islam with the last name "Muhammad." He spoke at a public hearing in connection with a controversy involving Joanne Jackson of the Minnesota Initiative Against Racism (MIAR). Jackson was alleged to have said, "Jews are among the most racist white people I know." Jackson denied making the statement or insisted that it had been taken out of context. Ellison appeared before the MIAR on behalf of the Nation of Islam in defense of Jackson's alleged statement. According to the Star Tribune and the full text of the statement published in the Minneapolis Spokesman-Recorder, Elli son said:

We stand by the truth contained in the remarks attributed to [Ms. Jackson], and by her right to express her views without sanction. Here is why we support Ms. Jackson: She is correct about Minister Farrakhan. He is not a racist. He is also not an anti-Semite. Minister Farrakhan is a tireless public servant of Black people, who constantly teaches self-reliance and self-examination to the Black community. . . . Also, it is absolutely true that merchants in Black areas generally treat Black customers badly.
The last sentence alluded to another of Jackson's alleged statements, providing a personal basis for characterizing Jews as "the most racist white people" she knew. Ellison's May 28 letter acknowledges only that others supported Jackson's alleged statement in that controversy while falsely denying that he himself did so.

Ellison first emerged as a candidate for public office in 1998, when he ran for the DFL nomination for state representative as "Keith Ellison-Muhammad." In a contemporaneous article on his candidacy in the Insight News, Ellison is reported still defending Louis Farrakhan:

Anticipating possible criticism for his NOI affiliation, Ellison-Muhammad says he is aware that not everyone appreciates what the Nation does and feels there is a propaganda war being launched against its leader, Minister Louis Farrakhan.
Ellison says now that he broke with the Nation of Islam when "it became clear to me that their message of empowerment intertwined with more negative messages." However, Ellison himself was the purveyor of the Nation of Islam's noxious party line in his every public utterance touching on related issues over the course of a decade. Moreover, Ellison's unsavory associations were not limited to the Nation of Islam.

Perhaps the lowest moment in Minneapolis's history was the September 1992 execution-style murder of police officer Jerry Haaf. Haaf was shot in the back as he took a coffee break at a restaurant in south Minneapolis. The murder was a gang hit performed by four members of the city's Vice Lords gang. The leader of the Vice Lords was Sharif Willis, a convicted murderer who had been released from prison and who sought respectability as a responsible gang leader from gullible municipal authorities while operating a gang front called United for Peace.

The four Vice Lords members who murdered Haaf met and planned the murder at Willis's house. Two witnesses at the trial of one of the men convicted of Haaf's murder implicated Willis in the planning. Willis was never charged; law enforcement authorities said they lacked sufficient evidence to convict him.

Within a month of Haaf's murder, Ellison appeared with Willis supporting the United for Peace gang front. In October 1992, Ellison helped organize a demonstration against Minneapolis police that included United for Peace. "The main point of our rally is to support United for Peace [in its fight against] the campaign of slander the police federation has been waging," said Ellison.

Willis was the last speaker at the demonstration. According to a contemporaneous report in the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Willis told the crowd that Minneapolis police were experiencing the same fear from young black men that blacks had felt from police for many years. "If the police have some fear, I understand that fear," Willis said. "We seem to have an overabundance of bad police. . . . [W]e're going to get rid of them," Willis said. "They've got to go." The Pioneer Press account concludes with Ellison's contribution to the demonstration: "Ellison told the crowd that the police union is systematically frightening whites in order to get more police officers hired. That way, Ellison said, the union can increase its power base."

Ellison publicly supported the Haaf murder defendants. In February 1993, he spoke at a demonstration for one of them during his trial. Ellison led the crowd assembled at the courthouse in a chant that was ominous in the context of Haaf's cold-blooded murder: "We don't get no justice, you don't get no peace." Ellison's working relationship with Sharif Willis came to an end in February 1995, when Willis was convicted in federal court on several counts of drug and gun-related crimes and sent back to prison for 20 years.

The various themes of Ellison's public commitments and associations all came together in a February 2000 speech he gave at a fundraising event sponsored by the Minnesota chapter of the far-left National Lawyers Guild, on whose steering committee he had served. The event was a fundraiser for former Symbionese Liberation Army member Kathleen Soliah after her apprehension in St. Paul (under the name "Sara Jane Olson") for the attempted murder of Los Angeles police officers in 1975.

Ellison weirdly referred to Soliah/ Olson as a "black gang member" (she is white) and thus a victim of government persecution. He described her as one of those who had been "fighting for freedom in the '60s and '70s" and called for her release. (She subsequently pleaded guilty to charges in Los Angeles and to an additional murder charge in Sacramento; she is serving time in California.) Still toeing the Nation of Islam line, he recalled "Qubilah Shabazz, the daughter of Malcolm X, [who] was prosecuted in retribution against Minister Farrakhan." He also spoke favorably of cop killers Mumia Abu-Jamal and Assata Shakur. (Shakur has been on the lam in Cuba since 1984; last year she was placed on the FBI's domestic terrorists list with a one million dollar reward for her capture.)

Having spoken out over many years as an advocate of the Nation of Islam under guises including Keith Hakim, Keith X Ellison, and Keith Ellison-Muhammad, Ellison might reasonably prompt Fifth District voters to wonder where he really stands. His recent account of the nature and extent of his relationship with the Nation of Islam cannot be squared with the public record. During his congressional campaign, Ellison has nevertheless held himself out as a friend of the Jewish people and of Israel. As if to shore up his identity as a Muslim activist, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Nihad Awad, flew to Minneapolis to appear as a featured guest (along with Ellison himself and Guantánamo chaplain James Yee) at an Ellison fundraiser in suburban Minneapolis on August 25. Awad is notable, among other things, for his past expressions of support for Hamas.

The Star Tribune didn't get around to reporting on the fundraiser until several days after Ellison won the September 12 primary. Ellison commented to the Star Tribune regarding issues raised by Awad's attendance at the fundraiser: "The Republicans are in a tough position. Iraq is a failed policy. They haven't done much for homeland security. We still have a health care crisis. The Earth is warming up, and they're not doing anything about it. What else are they going to do? They have to try to engage in smear politics."

Unfortunately, it won't be necessary for Ellison to come up with a more compelling response than that before he makes news in November as America's first Muslim congressman.

Ellison is a supporter of the Muslim American Society, at whose Fourth Annual Convention he spoke in May 2007.  On June 16, 2007, Ellison was a featured speaker at the First Annual Banquet of the Council on American-Islamic Relations' Minnesota chapter.

Most of this profile first appeared as an article titled "Louis Farrakhan's First Congressman," written by Scott W. Johnson and published by The Weekly Standard on October 9, 2006. It is reprinted here, with permission.
10559  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: October 24, 2008, 01:03:56 PM
I'm pretty disgusted with the RNC, and I see no other party I can align myself with. I'd like to see a "Let's preserve what's left of western civilization" party.
10560  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: October 24, 2008, 11:48:23 AM

As for Security Clearance, I too have read the requirements.  So?  Nothing in there (although your biased personal opinion might differ) prohibits
Obama from having a Security Clearance. 

**Really? Do I have to spoonfeed this to you, or are you not getting the point on purpose?**

Further, as I requested and I suppose you are unable to provide, NO ONE in authority, i.e. anyone
from the US Senate, Homeland Security or the Justice Department has questioned or denied Obama's right to have a security clearance. 

**Do you know what the Hatch act is? Of course not. Here is a reference page for you to aquaint yourself with it. This will answer your question, if you actually bother to read it. **

Even McCain's
campaign has not posted to the contrary.  That you or a few others don't like him and therefore say he isn't qualified is not relevant and it seems no one else
is taking it as being relevant either.

**Yeah, the MSM is busy running down a hot tip that Joe the Plumber had a parking ticket in 1977, so they haven't been able to do any really vetting of Obama. It's on their to-do list for late November/early December.**

So far I still don't see anything that precludes Obama from having a low level clearance; just your hot air.

**1. His admitted hard drug use, which may well be ongoing. We don't know as he has refused to release his medical history.

   2. His connections to a unrepentant founder of a terrorist group.

   3. His connections to a hate group, the nation of islam, through his pastor and "spritual advisor" of 20 years, who has repeated expressed racist and anti-american sermons and traveled with Louis Farrakhan to meet with Moammar Khaddaffi in Libya.

   4.  His relationship to his half brother, a foreign national whom Obama identifies as having racist and radical islamist orientation in his own book.

   5. His unethical financial connections to the convicted felon, Tony Rezko.

   6. His friendship with Rashid Khalidi, an academic that has expressed support for Palestinian terrorism and defended suicide bombers.

   7. Obama's connection to his adviser, Mazen Asbahi. Mazen Asbahi resigned after his connections to HAMAS and CAIR were publicized.

Enough? Do I need to flesh it out more?**

The Hatch Act?  Did you read it or just post it (maybe your usual technique?). 

**No. I am very aware of the Hatch Act as I was trained on the topic during my time employed by the federal government.**

The Hatch Act gives details on the political activities  public servants are allowed.  Do you really think this pertains to a Senator? 

**No, this was answering your question as to why no one from the FBI or other federal agencies would make a comment as to Obama's potential for a security clearance or the lack thereof. Aside from the political blowback from such an act, any federal employee who made such a public statement faces legal sanction for violating the Hatch Act.**

And this all relates to Obama's security clearance how?  May I respectfully suggest you read an item before posting?

**May I suggest you get someone with basic reading comprehension skills to help you through the posts before you try making condescending comments to me.**

Vetting?  Is it important?   Maybe if McCain's campaign spent spent less on Palin's clothes and more money on the fundamentals, they could get the job done. 

**Not that facts have ever made any difference to you, but Palin's clothes were paid for by the RNC (Not the McCain/Palin campaign), just like the Barackopolis in Denver was paid for by the DNC host committee (To the tune of more than 5 million dollars, BTW).**

Rather, they seem like a chicken with it's head cut off aimlessly running everywhere.   I can smell the desperation.  If you can't win on the facts, ideas, plans, goals, well......  just throw whatever else is left against the wall.  Lately, that seems to be the McCain/Palin campaign style.
10561  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: McCain on: October 24, 2008, 10:49:58 AM

Thank god for Joe Biden, he might just make a difference.
10562  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: October 24, 2008, 09:38:10 AM
I think most people do or should go along with the Webster Dictionary's definition.  Innocent: "Free from guilt or sin".  The rest is just conjecture.

**We are discussing legal concepts, thus we are using legal terminology. If you don't understand it, fine. I gave you an article to read that explained the concept in layman's terms. I'm not sure how to simplify it even more.**

As for Security Clearance, I too have read the requirements.  So?  Nothing in there (although your biased personal opinion might differ) prohibits
Obama from having a Security Clearance. 

**Really? Do I have to spoonfeed this to you, or are you not getting the point on purpose?**

Further, as I requested and I suppose you are unable to provide, NO ONE in authority, i.e. anyone
from the US Senate, Homeland Security or the Justice Department has questioned or denied Obama's right to have a security clearance. 

**Do you know what the Hatch act is? Of course not. Here is a reference page for you to aquaint yourself with it. This will answer your question, if you actually bother to read it. **

Even McCain's
campaign has not posted to the contrary.  That you or a few others don't like him and therefore say he isn't qualified is not relevant and it seems no one else
is taking it as being relevant either.

**Yeah, the MSM is busy running down a hot tip that Joe the Plumber had a parking ticket in 1977, so they haven't been able to do any really vetting of Obama. It's on their to-do list for late November/early December.**

**If instead of co-founding the Weather Underground, Bill Ayers had co-founded a KKK chapter that had murdered civil rights workers, and he was quoted as saying "I wish I'd done more" in 2001, would you still minimize his conduct and defend any politician that associated himself with him?**

Actually, there would be no difference.  The KKK and the Weather Underground are both equally despicable organizations.  That being said, both deserve the same constitutional rights. 

**We are not discussing constitutional rights here, we are discussing Obama surrounding himself with people who openly express hatred of this country and at least one unrepentant terrorist and why this is important. If John McCain had started his political career in the living room of a unrepentant terrorist, do you think the left would think this was a valid issue? Nod your head yes. Of course. The MSM would be all over it. Not long ago, you were trying to spin Ayers as just a longhair being hassled by the man, man.

Here is a little insight into your "distinguished professor": **

 You cannot have one
set of rules for situations you support and another set of rules just because you don't like someone's viewpoint. 

**Funny, that's what I pointed out to you when you were busy downplaying and attempting to minimize the actions of the Weather Underground.**

That kind of expedient hypocrisy will come back to haunt you one day.

**Go back and re-read your earlier posts and tell me who the hypocrite is.**

 For the same reason I am not an
advocate of recent laws in EC's denying freedom of speech from either the right or left if done peacefully and all other laws are respected.  Where do you draw the line and on what basis?

**Again, this is not about freedom of speech, it's about judging the candidates for the Presidency of this nation. I gurantee that a police applicant with a clean criminal history that is known to socialize with members of a local outlaw motorcycle gang won't be getting hired. If I got the sweetheart home purchase deal from a convicted felon, like Obama got from Tony Rezko, you better believe that I'd be getting a Garrity advisal and possibly a subpeona in front of a grand jury. A law enforcement officer that had the connections to the Nation of Islam that Obama has might well be legally terminated for it. I can cut and paste the caselaw if you'd like.**
10563  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: October 23, 2008, 10:08:13 AM

What Do We Know About Abongo Obama?

From Mr. Obama’s first autobiography, “Dreams From My Father,” pp 203-4:

Despite these heartaches, Michelle and I decided to go ahead with our wedding plans. Reverend Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr., performed the service in the sanctuary of Trinity United Church of Christ, on Ninety-fifth and Parnell. Everyone looked very fine at the reception, my new aunts admiring the cake, my new uncles admiring themselves in their rented tuxedos. Johnnie was there, sharing a laugh with Jeff and Scott, my old friends from Hawaii and Hasan, my roommate from college. So were Angela, Shirley, and Mona, who told my mother what a fine job she’d done raising me. (“You don’t know the half of it,” my mother replied with a laugh.) I watched Maya politely fending off the advances of some brothers who thought they were slick but who were, in fact, much too old for her and should have known better, but when I started to grumble, Michelle told me to relax, my little sister could handle herself. She was right, of course; I looked at my baby sister and saw a full-grown woman, beautiful and wise and looking like a Latin countess with her olive skin and long black hair and black bridesmaid’s gown. Auma was standing beside her, looking just as lovely, al-though her eyes were a little puffy-to my surprise she was the only one who cried during the ceremony. When the band started to play, the two of them sought out the protection of Michelle’s five — and six-year-old cousins, who impressively served as our official ring-bearers. Watching the boys somberly lead my sisters out onto the dance floor, I thought they looked like young African princes in their little kente-cloth caps and matching cumberbunds and wilted bow ties.

The person who made me proudest of all, though, was Roy. Actually, now we call him Abongo, his Luo name, for two years ago he decided to reassert his African heritage. He converted to Islam, and has sworn off pork and tobacco and alcohol. He still works at his accounting firm, but talks about moving back to Kenya once he has enough money. In fact, when we saw each other in Home Squared, he was busy building a hut for himself and his mother, away from our grandfather’s compound, in accordance with Luo tradition. He told me then that he had moved forward with his import business and hoped it would soon pay enough to employ Bernard and Abo full-time. And when we went together to stand by the Old Man’s grave, I noticed there was finally a plaque where the bare cement had been.

Abongo’s new lifestyle has left him lean and clear-eyed, and at the wedding, he looked so dignified in his black African gown with white trim and matching cap that some of our guests mistook him for my father. He was certainly the older brother that day, talking me through prenuptial jitters, patiently telling me for the fifth and sixth time that yes, he still had the ring, nudging me out the door with the observation that if I spent any more time in front of the mirror it wouldn’t matter how I looked because we were sure to be late.

Not that the changes in him are without tension. He’s prone to make lengthy pronouncements on the need for the black man to liberate himself from the poisoning influences of European culture, and scolds Auma for what he calls her European ways. The words he speaks are not fully his own, and in his transition he can sometimes sound stilted and dogmatic. But the magic of his laughter remains, and we can disagree without rancor. His conversion has given him solid ground to stand on, a pride in his place in the world. From that base I see his confidence building; he begins to venture out and ask harder questions; he starts to slough off the formulas and slogans and decides what works best for him. He can’t help himself in this process, for his heart is too generous and full of good humor, his attitude toward people too gentle and forgiving, to find simple solutions to the puzzle of being a black man.

Toward the end of the wedding, I watched him grinning widely for the video camera, his long arms draped over the shoulders of my mother and Toot, whose heads barely reached the height of his chest. “Eh, brother,” he said to me as I walked up to the three of them. “It looks like I have two new mothers now.” Toot patted him on the back. “And we have a new son,” she said, although when she tried to say “Abongo” her Kansas tongue mangled it hopelessly. My mother’s chin started to tremble again, and Abongo lifted up his glass of fruit punch for a toast.

“To those who are not here with us,” he said.

“And to a happy ending,” I said.

We dribbled our drinks onto the checkered-tile floor. And for that moment, at least, I felt like the luckiest man alive.

Perhaps this is also how Mr. Obama sees the Rev. Dr. Wright. Sure he says crazy hateful things, such as talking about “liberating himself from the poisoning influences of European culture.”

But the magic of his laughter remains.
10564  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: October 23, 2008, 09:23:55 AM
Why Does Obama's Pastor Matter?   
By John Perazzo | Monday, February 04, 2008

Barack Obama, in a way that recalls John F. Kennedy, a politician to whom he's frequently compared, has carefully controlled and burnished his image to create the impression of an independent figure, free from dogma and ideological entanglements. But there is one man who threatens to undermine Obama's appealing narrative as a man above the ugly quarrels and divisive partisanship of the past: his longtime pastor and spiritual adviser, Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

On March 1, 1972, Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. became the pastor of Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ (TUCC), a position he still holds to this day. Because he has been a revered figure in the life of presidential aspirant Barack Obama for two decades, Wright's political views, which he commonly draws from the tenets of liberation theology, are worthy of some scrutiny—if only to shed light on the teachings that have had enough resonance to retain Obama as a TUCC congregant since 1988. So great is Obama's respect for Wright, that the former sought the Reverend's counsel before formally declaring his candidacy for U.S. President. Moreover, Obama and his wife selected Wright to perform their wedding ceremony and to baptize their two daughters. These are honors of considerable magnitude, and it is reasonable to speculate that if we learn more about Rev. Wright, we may gain some insight into the personal qualities and belief systems Barack Obama holds in high regard.

When we read the writings, public statements, and sermons of Rev. Wright, we quickly notice his unmistakable conviction that America is a nation infested with racism, prejudice, and injustices that make life very difficult for black people. As he declared in one of his sermons: "Racism is how this country was founded and how this country is still run!... We [Americans] believe in white supremacy and black inferiority and believe it more than we believe in God."

In a similar spirit, Wright laments "the social order under which we [blacks] live, under which we suffer, under which we are killed."[1] Depicting blacks as a politically powerless demographic, he complains that "African Americans don't run anything in the Capital except elevators."[2] On its website, Wright's church portrays black people as victims who are still burdened by the legacy of their "pilgrimage through the days of slavery, the days of segregation, and the long night of racism," and who must pray for "the strength and courage to continuously address injustice as a people."

Wright detects what he views as racism in virtually every facet of American life. In the business world, for instance, he attributes the high unemployment rate of African Americans to "the fact that they are black."[3] Vis-à-vis the criminal justice system, he similarly explains that "the brothers are in prison" largely because of their skin color. "Consider the 'three strikes law,'" he elaborates. "There is a higher jail sentencing for crack than for cocaine because more African Americans get crack than do cocaine."[4] Notwithstanding Wright's implication that the harsh anti-crack penalties were instituted by racist legislators for the purpose of incarcerating as many blacks as possible, the Congressional Record shows that such was not at all the case. In 1986, when the strict, federal anti-crack legislation was being debated, the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC)—deeply concerned about the degree to which crack was decimating the black community—strongly supported the legislation and actually pressed for even harsher penalties. In fact, a few years earlier CBC members had pushed President Reagan to create the Office of National Drug Control Policy.[5]

In Wright's calculus, white America's bigotry is to blame not only for whatever ills continue to plague the black community, but also for our country's conflicts with other nations. "In the 21st century," says Wright, "white America got a wake-up call after 9/11/01. White America and the western world came to realize that people of color had not gone away, faded into the woodwork or just 'disappeared' as the Great White West kept on its merry way of ignoring black concerns."

Remarkably, no mention of jihad—the ageless Muslim tradition of aggressive, permanent warfare whose ultimate aim is to achieve Islam's dominion over the human race at large—managed to find its way into Wright's analysis. Rather, he assured us that the 9/11 atrocities were ultimately traceable to the doorstep of U.S. provocations. In fact, Wright apparently sees no reason to suspect that Islam may be incompatible in any way with Western traditions. "Islam and Christianity are a whole lot closer than you may realize," he has written. "Islam comes out of Christianity."[6]

Apart from America's purported racism, Wright also despises the nation's capitalist economic structure, viewing it as a breeding ground for all manner of injustice. "Capitalism as made manifest in the 'New World,'" says Wright, "depended upon slave labor (by African slaves), and it is only maintained by keeping the 'Two-Thirds World' under oppression."[7] This anti-capitalist perspective is further reflected in TUCC's "10-point vision," whose ideals include the cultivation of "a congregation working towards ECONOMIC PARITY." Dispelling any doubt that this is a reference to socialism and the wholesale redistribution of wealth, the TUCC mission statement plainly declares its goal of helping "the less fortunate to become agents of change for God who is not pleased with America's economic mal-distribution!"

This view is entirely consistent with Rev. Wright's devotion to the tenets of liberation theology, which is essentially Marxism dressed up as Christianity. Devised by Cold War-era theologians, it teaches that the gospels of Jesus can be understood only as calls for social activism, class struggle, and revolution aimed at overturning the existing capitalist order and installing, in its stead, a socialist utopia where today's poor will unseat their "oppressors" and become liberated from their material (and, consequently, their spiritual) deprivations. An extension of this paradigm is black liberation theology, which seeks to foment a similar Marxist revolutionary fervor founded on racial rather than class solidarity. Wright's mentor in this discipline is James Cone, author of the landmark text Black Power and Black Theology. Arguing that Christianity has been used by white society as an opiate of the (black) masses, Cone asserts that the destitute "are made and kept poor by the rich and powerful few," and that "[n]o one can be a follower of Jesus Christ without a political commitment that expresses one's solidarity with victims."

Many of Wright's condemnations of America are echoed in his denunciations of Israel and Zionism, which he has blamed for imposing "injustice and … racism" on the Palestinians. According to Wright, Zionism contains an element of "white racism." Likening Israel's treatment of Palestinians to South Africa's treatment of blacks during the apartheid era, Wright advocates divestment campaigns targeting companies that conduct business in, or with, Israel.

Given Wright's obvious low regard for the U.S. and Israel, it is by no means surprising that he reserves some of his deepest respect for the virulently anti-American, anti-Semitic Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. "When Minister Farrakhan speaks, Black America listens," says Wright. "Everybody may not agree with him, but they listen … His depth on analysis when it comes to the racial ills of this nation is astounding and eye opening. He brings a perspective that is helpful and honest. Minister Farrakhan will be remembered as one of the 20th and 21st century giants of the African American religious experience. His integrity and honesty have secured him a place in history as one of the nation's most powerful critics. His love for Africa and African American people has made him an unforgettable force, a catalyst for change and a religious leader who is sincere about his faith and his purpose."

Wright's paean to Farrakhan was parroted in the November/December issue of TUCC's bimonthly magazine, the Trumpet, which featured an interview with the NOI "icon" who, according to the publication, "truly epitomized greatness." "Because of the Minister's influence in the African American community," the Trumpet announced that it was honoring him with an "Empowerment Award" as a "fitting tribute for a storied life well lived."

This seems an odd distinction to confer upon someone whose anti-American, anti-white, anti-Semitic statements are numerous. For example, in 1996 Farrakhan told a Tehran newspaper that God would "bestow upon Muslims" the honor of "destroy[ing] America." In February 1998, he sent a cordial and supportive letter to Saddam Hussein, calling him a "visionary" who had earned the Iraqi people's "love," and whose demise would "mean a setback for the goal of unity [among Muslims]." In July 2002, he declared that America, "with blood dripping from [its] hands," had no moral authority by which to overthrow Saddam. In February 2005, he condemned the United States for waging a war "against Islam," adding: "[T]here's no way that I, as a Muslim, could countenance my children or grandchildren fighting a war against fellow believers in any part of the world."

Farrakhan also has a long, well-documented history of venom-laced references to the white "blue-eyed devils" and Jewish "bloodsuckers" who purportedly decimate America's black communities from coast to coast. Moreover, he has referred to white people as "the skunks of the planet."

On a 1984 trip to meet with the Libyan dictator (and America's arch enemy) Muammar Qadhafi, Farrakhan was accompanied by none other than Jeremiah A. Wright.

Farrakhan has long considered Qadhafi to be his trusted "friend," "brother," and "fellow struggler in the cause of liberation for our people." In 1996, the NOI leader formed a partnership with Qadhafi, who pledged $1 billion to help Farrakhan develop a Muslim political lobby in the U.S. Said Qadhafi: "We agreed with Louis Farrakhan and his delegation to mobilize in a legal and legitimate form the oppressed minorities—and at their forefront the blacks, Arab Muslims and Red Indians—for they play an important role in American political life and have a weight in U.S. elections." "Our confrontation with America," added Qadhafi, "was [previously] like a fight against a fortress from outside, and today [with the NOI alliance] we found a breach to enter into this fortress and confront it."

Farrakhan's October 16, 1995 Million Man March ranks among the events about which Rev. Wright has written most extensively and passionately. Wright attended the rally with his son, and has described it as "a once in a lifetime, amazing experience."[8] When a number of prominent African Americans counseled fellow blacks to boycott the demonstration because of Farrakhan's well-documented history of hateful rhetoric, Wright derided those critics as "'Negro' leaders,"[9] "'colored' leaders," "Oreos," and "house niggras"[10] whose most noteworthy trait was their contemptible "Uncle Tomism."[11] "There are a whole boat load of 'darkies' who think in white supremacist terms," added Wright. "… Some 'darkies' think white women are superior to black women…. Some 'darkies' think white lawyers are superior to black lawyers. Some 'darkies' think white pastors are better than black pastors. There are a whole boatload of 'darkies' who think anything white and everyone white is better than whatever it is black people have."[12]

In the book titled When Black Men Stand up for God, a collection of sermons and reflections on the Million Man March, Wright identifies Kwanzaa founder Maulana Karenga as an attendee of the rally.[13] In the end notes that follow a transcript of one of Wright's sermons, Karenga is described as "an internationally acclaimed social activist and scholar in Pan African Studies"; "the founder and creator of Kwanzaa, the well-known African American holiday"; and "the director of Pan African Studies and Visiting Lecturer in Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Riverside."[14] Unmentioned is the fact that Karenga is a self-identified "African socialist" whose "Seven Principles of Blackness," which are observed during Kwanzaa, are not only the Marxist precepts of parity and proletariat unity, but are also identical to those of the 1970s domestic terrorist group, the Symbionese Liberation Army. Nor is it noted that in 1971 Karenga was convicted of torturing two women who were members of United Slaves, a black nationalist cult he had established.

On its website, Wright's church describes itself in distinctly racial terms, as being an "Unashamedly Black" congregation of "African people" who are "true to our native land, the mother continent, the cradle of civilization," and who participate in TUCC's "Black worship service and ministries which address the Black Community."

Some have suggested that such seemingly exclusionary assertions, coupled with Wright's own racially loaded statements and his close affiliation with Farrakhan, indicate that Wright is guilty of racism. But Wright casually dismisses this charge, stating: "I get tickled every time I hear a 'Negro' call me a racist. They don't even understand how to define the word. Racism means controlling the means."[15] In other words, Wright employs a rhetorical escape hatch that permits him to evade all charges of racism simply by claiming that only the "dominant" (i.e., white) demographic is capable of such ugliness. The implication is that no deed or utterance, however hateful or vile, is egregious enough to qualify any black person as a racist; that blacks are always the victims of racism, never its perpetrators.

American voters ought to have more than a passing interest in the fact that when Barack Obama formally joined TUCC in 1991, he tacitly accepted this same Jeremiah Wright as a spiritual mentor. Moreover, he pledged allegiance to the church's race-conscious "Black Value System" that encourages blacks to patronize black-only businesses, support black leaders, and avoid becoming "entrapped" by the pursuit of a "black middle-classness" whose ideals presumably would erode their sense of African identity and render them "captive" to white culture.

In addition, voters should examine carefully the question of whether Obama shares Wright's socialist economic preferences. They ought to be aware, for instance, that the Democratic candidate is on record as having said that his religious faith has led him to question "the idolatry of the free market." Moreover, Obama's voting record and his issue positions show him generally to favor high spending and increased government intervention in all realms of life.

When Rev. Wright's controversial statements and positions recently became more widely publicized, Obama said, "There are some things I agree with my pastor about, some things I disagree with him about." It is the duty of every American voter to determine exactly where those agreements and disagreements lie.

[1] When Black Men Stand up for God (Chicago: African American Images), 1996, p. 17.
[2] Ibid., p. 102.
[3] Ibid., p. 17.
[4] Ibid., p. 17.
[5] John DiIulio, Jr., "My Black Crime Problem, and Ours," City Journal (Spring 1996), pp. 19-20.
[6] When Black Men Stand up for God, p. 16.
[7] Blow the Trumpet in Zion (Minneapolis: Fortress Press), 2005, pp. 8-9.
[8] When Black Men Stand up for God, p. 10.
[9] Ibid., pp. 11, 37.
[10] Ibid., p. 80.
[11] Ibid., p. 11.
[12] Ibid., p. 81.
[13] It should be noted that Wright's church has conducted Kwanzaa programs for its congregants. See When Black Men Stand up for God, p. iv.)
[14] When Black Men Stand up for God, p. 25.
[15] Ibid., p. 102.
10565  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: October 23, 2008, 09:07:44 AM
"When and where was this"?
My legal friend graduated from Chicago Law School in the 70's.
My female friend graduated from Northwestern about 5 years ago.
I graduated from USC with a degree in economics also in the 70's.
SC is the west coast bastion of conservatism.
Was this your question?

Don't know about "reasons of insanity"; that I bet could be a whole other topic.  But our legal system is all we have
(and frankly I think it's pretty good).  You are innocent until proven guilty regardless of what people may think.'-handbook/6-not-guilty-does-not-mean-innocent

Not Guilty Does Not Mean Innocent
All too often when I listen to the radio or read the newspapers, I hear or see "at arraignment, the defendant pled innocent" or "the defendant was found innocent by the jury." The word "innocent" is being misused. "Innocent" cannot and should not be substituted for "not guilty."

Technically, only three pleas can be entered by a defendant who is brought before the court to answer the charges against him. Under the Massachusetts Rules of Criminal Procedure, the defendant may plead not guilty, guilty or nolo contendere to any crime with which he is charged and over which the court has jurisdiction. The rules that are applicable to the criminal sessions of the trial court do not provide the defendant with the option of pleading innocent. There is no such plea available.

Similarly, the Massachusetts Rules of Criminal Procedure provide for only two possible verdicts that can be returned by a jury: guilty or not guilty. There is no verdict of innocent. And, not guilty does not mean innocent.

When a jury returns a verdict of not guilty, that means that the state has not convinced the jury beyond a reasonable doubt as to all the elements of the crime with which the defendant has been charged. For example, in a first degree murder case, the state must prove that the defendant deliberately and with malice unlawfully caused the death of another human being. If the defendant presents a valid defense that he killed the victim in self-defense, then the defendant is not innocent of homicide -- he did in fact kill another human being -- but he is "not guilty" of homicide because the state did not convince the jury that the defendant acted with premeditated malice aforethought.

Not guilty because of the law of evidence
There are other reasons that the defendant can be found not guilty although he committed the crime.

For example, suppose that a victim of rape is so terrified by the event that she cannot identify the defendant as her attacker. Tests prove that the defendant was the rapist but, for some reason, those tests cannot be admitted at trial. At trial the defendant presents an alibi defense that the jury believes. The jury may return a verdict of not guilty although the defendant did in fact commit the crime. Certainly, we do not think of the defendant as innocent.

Here is another example. Suppose that two defendants, A and B, are jointly tried for murder. Both A and B made confessions to the police in which each implicates himself but blames the other for the actual murder. The confessions are not introduced at trial because of a Supreme Court rule of law. The jury finds the defendants not guilty because the state was prevented by a rule of law from introducing enough evidence to prove them guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. They are not innocent of the crime.

Not guilty by reason of insanity
Another way in which a defendant may be found not guilty is if he is found "not guilty by reason of insanity." The insanity defense is based on the principle of Anglo-American law that before an individual can be punished for a wrongful act, he must have appreciated the criminality of his conduct.

The insanity defense has always been the subject of public debate. The debate resurfaced after John Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity after his trial for the attempted assassination of President Reagan. After the verdict, many bills were introduced in Congress to eliminate or restrict the defense and in October 1984, a new law was passed which makes the insanity defense one that the defendant must prove by clear and convincing evidence. Twelve states enacted a statute providing for an alternative verdict: guilty but mentally ill. These new statutes reflect the increasing public hostility toward acquitting defendants on the basis of the insanity defense. These defendants are not innocent; they are, in those 12 states, guilty but insane.

These examples show that the term not guilty should be used instead of innocent. Not guilty is the language of the rules providing for pleas and verdicts and is technically more accurate than innocent.

The legal system and legal terminology should be respected. I suggest that the media should make an effort to use the correct terminology when commenting on court cases. The word innocent should not be used promiscuously.

I do understand the vetting process; two FBI Agents came to my door a few months ago to inquire about a neighbor's son
who was under consideration (accepted) to become a Federal Prosecutor.  Great kid; I said nice things.  And frankly I have
read nothing to exclude Obama nor have I seen ANY reliable source saying he "could not get even a minimal security clearance for a low
level job".  It's all conjecture and BS - your a smart guy; you know it's silly and absurd. 

Security Clearance Guidelines

Allegiance to the United States

The Concern. An individual must be of unquestioned allegiance to the United States. The willingness to safeguard classified information is in doubt if there is any reason to suspect an individual's allegiance to the United States.

Conditions that could raise a security concern and may be disqualifying include:

a. Involvement in any act of sabotage, espionage, treason, terrorism, sedition, or other act whose aim is to overthrow the Government of the United States or alter the form of government by unconstitutional means;

b. Association or sympathy with persons who are attempting to commit, or who are committing, any of the above acts;

c. Association or sympathy with persons or organizations that advocate the overthrow of the United States Government, or any state or subdivision, by force or violence or by other unconstitutional means;

d. Involvement in activities which unlawfully advocate or practice the commission of acts of force or violence to prevent others from exercising their rights under the Constitution or laws of the United States or of any state.


Security Clearance Guidelines

Foreign Influence

The Concern. A security risk may exist when an individual's immediate family, including cohabitants, and other persons to whom he or she may be bound by affection, influence, or obligation are not citizens of the United States or may be subject to duress. These situations could create the potential for foreign influence that could result in the compromise of classified information. Contacts with citizens of other countries or financial interests in other countries are also relevant to security determinations if they make an individual potentially vulnerable to coercion, exploitation, or pressure.

Conditions that could raise a security concern and may be disqualifying include:

a. An immediate family member, or a person to whom the individual has close ties of affection or obligation, is a citizen of, or resident or present in, a foreign country;

b. Sharing living quarters with a person or persons, regardless of their citizenship status, if the potential for adverse foreign influence or duress exists;

c. Relatives, cohabitants, or associates who are connected with any foreign government;

d. Failing to report, where required, associations with foreign nationals;

e, Unauthorized association with a suspected or known collaborator or employee of a foreign intelligence service;

f. Conduct which may make the individual vulnerable to coercion, exploitation, or pressure by a foreign government;

g. Indications that representatives or nationals from a foreign country are acting to increase the vulnerability of the individual to possible future exploitation, coercion or pressure;

h. A substantial financial interest in a country, or in any foreign owned or operated business that could make the individual vulnerable to foreign influence.


Security Clearance Guidelines

Personal Conduct

The Concern. Conduct involving questionable judgment, untrustworthiness, unreliability, lack of candor, dishonesty, or unwillingness to comply with rules and regulations could indicate that the person may not properly safeguard classified information. The following will normally result in an unfavorable clearance action or administrative termination of further processing for clearance eligibility:

a. Refusal to undergo or cooperate with required security processing, including medical and psychological testing; or

b. Refusal to complete required security forms, releases, or provide full, frank and truthful answers to lawful questions of investigators, security officials or other official representatives in connection with a personnel security or trustworthiness determination.

Conditions that could raise a security concern and may be disqualifying also include:

a. Reliable, unfavorable information provided by associates, employers, coworkers, neighbors, and other acquaintances;

b. The deliberate omission, concealment, or falsification of relevant and material facts from any personnel security questionnaire, personal history statement, or similar form used to conduct investigations, determine employment qualifications, award benefits or status, determine security clearance eligibility or trustworthiness, or award fiduciary responsibilities;

c. Deliberately providing false or misleading information concerning relevant and material matters to an investigator, security official, competent medical authority, or other official representative in connection with a personnel security or trustworthiness determination;

d. Personal conduct or concealment of information that may increase an individual's vulnerability to coercion, exploitation or duress, such as engaging in activities which, if known, may affect the person's personal, professional, or community standing or render the person susceptible to blackmail;

e. A pattern of dishonesty or rule violations, including violation of any written or recorded agreement made between the individual and the agency.

f. Association with persons involved in criminal activity.


Security Clearance Guidelines

Drug Involvement

The Concern.

a. Improper or illegal involvement with drugs, raises questions regarding an individual's willingness or ability to protect classified information. Drug abuse or dependence may impair social or occupational functioning, increasing the risk of an unauthorized disclosure of classified information.

b. Drugs are defined as mood and behavior altering substances and include:

(1) Drugs, materials, and other chemical compounds identified and listed in the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, as amended (e.g., marijuana or cannabis, depressants, narcotics, stimulants, and hallucinogens), and
(2) Inhalants and other similar substances.

c. Drug abuse is the illegal use of a drug or use of a legal drug in a manner that deviates from approved medical direction.

Conditions that could raise a security concern and may be disqualifying include:

a. Any drug abuse (see above definition);

b. Illegal drug possession, including cultivation, processing, manufacture, purchase, sale, or distribution;

c. Diagnosis by a credentialed medical professional (e.g., physician, clinical psychologist, or psychiatrist) of drug abuse or drug dependence;

d. Evaluation of drug abuse or drug dependence by a licensed clinical social worker who is a staff member of a recognized drug treatment program;

e. Failure to successfully complete a drug treatment program prescribed by a credentialed medical professional. Recent drug involvement, especially following the granting of a security clearance, or an expressed intent not to discontinue use, will almost invariably result in an unfavorable determination.

Glad we agree on the housing issue.  I don't get it.  Why can't McCain run on fiscal conservatism, experience, and a little mix of compassion?
It's not a bad story and he is a very qualified man.  What's with all the waffling, pandering, etc.Huh  Heck if he had chosen a more qualified
VP (it's not ageism he's just old) I still might have voted for him.

As for "domestic terrorism" I don't approve and I say lock them up.  And if guilty, they deserve to spend a long time in jail or worse.  But I
want a legal and fair conviction, not speculation, rumor, and hate to dominate their so called "guilt".  McCarthy did that and America suffered.
If they are innocent via our legal system then they are equal to both of us before the law and in society.

**If instead of co-founding the Weather Underground, Bill Ayers had co-founded a KKK chapter that had murdered civil rights workers, and he was quoted as saying "I wish I'd done more" in 2001, would you still minimize his conduct and defend any politician that associated himself with him?**
10566  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Coming Clusterfcuk on: October 22, 2008, 06:48:12 PM


Posted: 4:51 am
October 20, 2008

IF Sen. Barack Obama is elected president, our re public will survive, but our international strategy and some of our allies may not. His first year in office would conjure globe-spanning challenges as our enemies piled on to exploit his weakness.

Add in Sen. Joe Biden - with his track record of calling every major foreign-policy crisis wrong for 35 years - as vice president and de facto secretary of State, and we'd face a formula for strategic disaster.

Where would the avalanche of confrontations come from?

* Al Qaeda. Pandering to his extreme base, Obama has projected an image of being soft on terror. Toss in his promise to abandon Iraq, and you can be sure that al Qaeda will pull out all the stops to kill as many Americans as possible - in Iraq, Afghanistan and, if they can, here at home - hoping that America will throw away the victories our troops bought with their blood.

* Pakistan. As this nuclear-armed country of 170 million anti-American Muslims grows more fragile by the day, the save-the-Taliban elements in the Pakistani intelligence services and body politic will avoid taking serious action against "their" terrorists (while theatrically annoying Taliban elements they can't control). The Pakistanis think Obama would lose Afghanistan - and they believe they can reap the subsequent whirlwind.

* Iran. Got nukes? If the Iranians are as far along with their nuclear program as some reports insist, expect a mushroom cloud above an Iranian test range next year. Even without nukes, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would try the new administration's temper in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf.

* Israel. In the Middle East, Obama's election would be read as the end of staunch US support for Israel. Backed by Syria and Iran, Hezbollah would provoke another, far-bloodier war with Israel. Lebanon would disintegrate.

* Saudi Arabia. Post-9/11 attention to poisonous Saudi proselytizing forced the kingdom to be more discreet in fomenting terrorism and religious hatred abroad. Convinced that Obama will be more "tolerant" toward militant Islam, the Saudis would redouble their funding of bigotry and butchery-for-Allah - in the US, too.

* Russia. Got Ukraine? Not for long, slabiye Amerikantsi. Russia's new czar, Vladimir Putin, intends to gobble Ukraine next year, assured that NATO will be divided and the US can be derided. Aided by the treasonous Kiev politico Yulia Timoshenko - a patriot when it suited her ambition, but now a Russian collaborator - the Kremlin is set to reclaim the most important state it still regards as its property. Overall, 2009 may see the starkest repression of freedom since Stalin seized Eastern Europe.

* Georgia. Our Georgian allies should dust off their Russian dictionaries.

* Venezuela. Hugo Chavez will intensify the rape of his country's hemorrhaging democracy and, despite any drop in oil revenue, he'll do all he can to export his megalomaniacal version of gun-barrel socialism. He'll seek a hug-for-the-cameras meet with President Obama as early as possible.

* Bolivia. Chavez client President Evo Morales could order his military to seize control of his country's dissident eastern provinces, whose citizens resist his repression, extortion and semi-literate Leninism. President Obama would do nothing as yet another democracy toppled and bled.

* North Korea. North Korea will expect a much more generous deal from the West for annulling its pursuit of nuclear weapons. And it will regard an Obama administration as a green light to cheat.

* NATO. The brave young democracies of Central and Eastern Europe will be gravely discouraged, while the appeasers in Western Europe will again have the upper hand. Putin will be allowed to do what he wants.

* The Kurds. An Obama administration will abandon our only true allies between Tel Aviv and Tokyo.

* Democracy activists. Around the world, regressive regimes will intensify their suppression - and outright murder - of dissidents who risk their lives for freedom and justice. An Obama administration will say all the right things, but do nothing.

* Women's rights. If you can't vote in US elections, sister, you're screwed. Being stoned to death or buried alive is just a cultural thing.

* Journalists. American journalists who've done everything they can to elect Barack Obama can watch as regimes around the world imprison, torture and murder their foreign colleagues, confident that the US has entered an era of impotence. The crocodile tears in newsrooms will provide drought relief to the entire southeastern US.

Sen. John McCain's campaign has allowed a great man to be maligned as a mere successor to George W. Bush. The truth is that an Obama administration would be a second Carter presidency - only far worse.

Think Bush weakened America? Just wait.

Ralph Peters' latest book is "Looking for Trouble: Adventures in a Broken World."
10567  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: October 22, 2008, 06:05:34 PM
Do you have some caselaw that would indicate how your interpretation of the 9th would prevent Hillary, or now potentially Michelle Obama from engaging in the politics of personal destruction? How would this protect Joe the Plumber from our corrupt MSM?
10568  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: October 22, 2008, 05:47:53 PM
But, but Obama is going to heal the earth. He promised......
10569  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: October 22, 2008, 05:35:35 PM
"This just demonstrates how corrupt and immoral Chicago and academics are"  Gee, one of my best friends went to
the University of Chicago Law School.  I don't think he's corrupt or immoral and he seemed to like and respect
most of his teachers.  Another friend went to Northwestern. She loved it and raves about the school and
the professors she had.  Note, she is a registered Republican and quite conservative.  I think your statement is absurd
about Chicago and academia.

"... academia is nothing but leftist indoctrination. ..."  Actually, I think academia represents all aspects (as it should)
of politics and religion.  Most of my teachers happened to be toward the right.

**When and where was this?**

"Not convicted does not mean "innocent".  Actually it does.  We have a basic right of being presumed "innocent" until convicted.
Being in Law Enforcement I thought you would know that.

**Just because someone has not been convicted does not mean they didn't commit the crime, it means they haven't been convicted in the criminal justice system. I've been face to face with lots of criminals that evaded conviction by claiming "not guilty by reason of insanity" for all sorts of horrific things. It sure doesn't mean they didn't do the crime, but they are not guilty by the legal standard. Al Capone was never convicted of murder, though he committed many.**

"... could not get even a minimal security clearance for a low level job, ..."  I noticed this ridiculous statement making the rounds
on conservative talk shows and blogs; it's all conjecture and not true to my knowledge.  Or do you have an unbiased factual source (I know that's hard
for you GM) to indicate otherwise.

**If you understood the background vetting process for federal employment and or law enforcement, you'd know this is indeed true.**

And actually it seems it's McCain when he gets "in a position of power" who is going to "save my house"; redo the loan and let the taxpayers eat the loss. 
Even Obama is not that "liberal"; Obama suggested that the banks who made the bad loan eat the loss; makes sense to me and/or let the
homebuyer (who never should have bought the house in the first place) move out.  Why is the taxpayer going to lower mortgages for deadbeats?
You made a deal; stick to it.  And now you want to void the deal and reward deadbeats with taxpayer money? This is the Republican philosophy?

Not my philosophy.

So please address your minimization of domestic terrorism. Do you do so for all domestic terrorists, or do you favor some over others?
10570  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: October 22, 2008, 05:21:12 PM
What is your policy solution?
10571  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: October 22, 2008, 10:37:34 AM
Ok, JDN. Defend and minimize the crimes of this domestic terrorist group just like you did for the other one. Long time ago, never convicted....
10572  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: October 22, 2008, 10:34:11 AM

Justice Department Reopens Civil Rights Cases

The Justice Department has decided to prosecute about a dozen civil rights cases that are decades old. A guest explains why.
RAY SUAREZ: For many of the families of the beaten victims, the lynched and murdered during the 1960s civil rights movement, it's been justice delayed and denied, in some cases for 50 years.

State and federal law enforcement officials have successfully prosecuted several decades-old civil rights cases in recent years. In January, former Ku Klux Klan member James Seale was indicted for the kidnappings and murders of Charles Moore and Henry Dee in Meadville, Mississippi, in 1964.

But there are still hundreds of crimes for which no one was ever prosecuted. Now the Justice Department has announced a new initiative to reopen investigations into those so-called cold cases.

At a press conference last month in Washington, FBI Director Robert Mueller explained why, after so much time, it was still important to search for answers.

ROBERT MUELLER, FBI Director: In too many instances, the truth has been hidden for too long. Many individuals have, quite literally, gotten away with murder.

We cannot turn back the clock. We cannot right these wrongs. But we can try to bring a measure of justice to those who remain.

We know that some memories may fade, some evidence may be lost, and some witnesses may pass away. We know that, no matter how much work we devote to an investigation, we may not always get the result that we're hoping for. But in other cases, we will.

RAY SUAREZ: The unprosecuted cases include those of Lamar Smith, who was shot dead on the lawn of a Brookhaven, Miss., courthouse in 1955. Despite several eyewitness accounts of the shooting, no one was ever arrested.

William Lewis Moore was shot and killed in Attalla, Ala., in 1963, during a one-man march against segregation. Ballistics tests proved the identity of the gun owner, but no one was indicted.

And O'Neal Moore, a deputy sheriff in Bogalusa, La., was gunned down in his patrol car in 1965. Authorities arrested one suspect but released him two weeks later.

It's unclear which cases will be prosecuted first, but the Justice Department says several investigations are already under way.

Difficulty of pursuing old cases

RAY SUAREZ: For more now on reviving these investigations, we're joined by Jerry Mitchell, investigative reporter for the Clarion-Ledger in Mississippi. He's been covering the efforts to prosecute civil rights-era cases for some two decades.
Jerry Mitchell, it also appears that, in addition to government and traditional law enforcement involvement, you've got outsiders who are feeding information to these investigative bodies.

JERRY MITCHELL, The Clarion-Ledger: It's very true, and it's kind of been happening that way for some time, kind of in a piecemeal effort rather than some kind of centralized effort, with each jurisdiction kind of working on these cases.

You have families who have pushed these authorities to go forward with the cases and others, the media, for example. That's how this thing has kind of happened over all this time.

RAY SUAREZ: Now, I understand the attention has coalesced around some 74 cases, but, surprisingly, some of those cases are around 60 years old. What's the likelihood of finding a likely suspect, much less finding one who's still alive?

JERRY MITCHELL: It's going to be very difficult. I think in probably the majority of these cases, they probably are not going to be able to bring a case. Either suspects are going to be dead, witnesses are going to be dead, the trail's going to be just simply too cold, unfortunately.

Looking for evidence, witnesses

RAY SUAREZ: And did law enforcement agencies in those days take the kind of care of preserving chains of evidence, preserving photographs and footprint molds and that kind of thing?
JERRY MITCHELL: Well, at times. Not universally all didn't, but law enforcement has improved dramatically since those days. Now, the FBI did thoroughly investigate some of these cases, and, obviously, we have those photographs and things like that. The Mississippi burning case, the killings of Goodman, Schwerner and Chaney, there's something like 40,000 pages of documents, as well as photographs.

RAY SUAREZ: Now, a lot of people have talked about the trail going cold on some of these cases, but conversely, after this amount of time, are there people who are more willing to talk today than they were then?

JERRY MITCHELL: Absolutely. You have some of these Klansmen who have been afraid to come forward, who were Klansmen, say, in those days, and maybe are willing to come forward now. They want to, you know, rid their consciences of this guilt or whatever else they're feeling.

And so I think, definitely, there are converse things that happen, in terms of some positive, some negative, in terms of bringing these cases about.

Success rates for convictions

RAY SUAREZ: Now, some of the most notorious cases from those days have been retried decades later. But haven't there also been cases where grand juries have been unwilling to indict or juries unwilling to convict?
JERRY MITCHELL: There's been quite a bit of success in bringing these cases overall, I'd say. There have been 29 different killings from the civil rights era have been reexamined. There have been 27 arrests and overall there's been 22 convictions. So that's a pretty good ratio.

RAY SUAREZ: In some of the towns involved, people have been of more than one mind about whether this was worth doing.


RAY SUAREZ: One elderly attorney said, "Everybody thinks those days are behind us and we're moving forward in the correct direction." One African-American young man said, "Look, this kind of thing wouldn't happen today. I'm not sure we need to go back to those times."


RAY SUAREZ: Why do this?

JERRY MITCHELL: Well, I think there are several reasons. One is, you know, there's no statute of limitations on murder, and there's a reason for that. There's a reason that murder doesn't have a statute of limitation, because information may come about -- you know, in Indiana, the daughter of a man who committed murder came forward after several decades. She was a child at the time.

You have, also, you know, the families themselves. I know I was talking to one woman one time whose daughter had been murdered -- it was not a civil rights activist. It was a white woman. And she had told me, "Why are you writing about these cases all the time? Why don't you just leave it alone?"

And she mentioned about her daughter being murdered, and the man she believed was the killer had been acquitted. So he couldn't be tried again. And I said, "Well, how would you feel if he could be tried again?" She said, "Well, I'd be all for it." And I said, "Well, don't you think these families feel the same way?"

Unexplained killings

RAY SUAREZ: Beyond the 74 that are the now-focus of this cold case squad, are there tens, dozens, scores more of these unexplained killings that we'll, in fact, never know what happened?
JERRY MITCHELL: Unfortunately, yes. I mean, I know that the Southern Poverty Law Center, they have, I think, a list of about 127 killings that we know of, and some of those we just have a name and maybe a date. We know very little more than that.

And so, obviously, those kind of cases are going to be extremely difficult to resurrect and bring about. But then there are the others that we know nothing about that didn't even make the list, unfortunately.

RAY SUAREZ: And, Jerry Mitchell, thanks for joining us.

10573  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: October 22, 2008, 10:15:36 AM
"Bill Ayers and his wife were prime suspects"  Heck I think anyone with long hair back then was a "prime suspect" to the police.

**The problem is you don't think. Ayers co-founded a terrorist group and wishes he'd "done more" terrorist acts. The group he helped found murdered cops and set off bombs.**

Note, the fact remains Ayers was never convicted of any crime. 

**Neither has Bin Laden. Does this mean he has a tenure track position waiting for him?**

 And how many years ago was this???

**No statute of limitations on murder. Just like the Klansmen that killed civil rights activists even earlier, justice can take decades but still comes calling. Would you minimize those deaths from that domestic terrorist group just as readily as you minimize the deaths from the Weather Underground?**

And whatever his past, Ayers is now and has been for a number of years a very respected professor and member of Chicago's academic elite.

**This just demonstrates how corrupt and immoral Chicago and academia are.**

If you are in Chicago of course you know this guy and perhaps have had interaction.  I bet the list is long of respected people in Illinois who have had
contact with Ayers.  For that matter I bet I could go to Harvard and find a few professors with a nefarious past.  Just think of all the future leaders
of business and our country who might be influenced by these radicals.  Shocking huh?

**That's part of the problem, most of academia is nothing but leftist indoctrination. Outside of the hard sciences, most academics are various shades of red.**

So what is your point?  As the officer in the story pointed out, Ayers was innocent. 

**Not convicted does not mean "innocent".**

Does the voting public even care?  Rather I think they care about the economy, keeping their house, the war,...
Odd, McCain/Palin would rather talk about Ayers than the economy.   Is it because McCain/Palin are losing? 
Desperate people do desperate things; that doesn't make it right or logical.

**It appears that despite the fact that Obama couldn't get even a minimal security clearance for a low level federal job, many are willing to overlook his many serious character issues and connections to avowed enemies of this nation because he's "gonna save their house", then I guess we deserve what we'll get from putting him in a position of power.**
10574  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Survey on bare knuckle punching on: October 22, 2008, 09:49:33 AM
The Fist Reflex

An involuntary discharge experiment conducted by International Defensive Tactics and Research Foundation (I.D.T.) between December 1991 and September 1993 showed that being trained to use your fists may lead to having an involuntary discharge.
Phil Messina, President of Modern Warrior® Defensive Tactics Institute states, "The fist reflex is a response which occurs when an individual psychologically associates making a fist with high stress confrontational situations".
All experiment participants were police officers, male and female with an average time in service of three and one half years. No Modern Warrior® students were permitted to participate. One group struck heavy bags at a minimum of 800 strikes with their fists, the second group struck heavy bags at a minimum of 800 strikes with open hands and the third group just did the final stress simulation. The final simulation consisted of having an officer enter a smoke filled room, where the smoke has an odor and taste, strobe lights are on, the terrain is obstructed and wind is created by the use of high speed fans. All senses are overloaded. Suddenly gunshots go off (on tape) and a figure comes running at the officer waving hands and screaming. The figure runs into the officer unless the officer moves away. This scenarios purpose is to stress out the officer enough to cause an involuntary discharge of the officer´s firearm.
Each group had 50 participants. From the fist group there were 18 involuntary discharges. Nine of those officers had their finger off trigger prior to discharge. From the non-fist group there were 3 involuntary discharges, with 2 finger off trigger prior to discharge. From the control group 1 finger off trigger prior to discharge.
"Post Experiment interviews strongly indicated that a high percentage of participants who had involuntary discharges had studied martial arts emphasizing fisted strikes. Boxers were foremost in this category," said Messina.
Based partially on these experiments Modern Warrior® DT Institute has taken all fisted strikes out of their Police Defensive Tactics curriculum and replaced them with palm strikes and other open handed alternatives when counter striking becomes necessary.


Using fisted strikes as the primary hand technique of police defensive tactics training is a perfect example of how sport martial arts influence police training. Many DT Instructors have a boxing or karate background, they teach what they like to do. Defensive tactics has to be based on what law enforcement officers will encounter in the field, not what an instructor encountered in the ring. The primary strike should make sense for police work. The primary hand technique for law enforcement should be the palm strike. - GD
10575  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Survey on bare knuckle punching on: October 22, 2008, 09:46:17 AM
Modern Warrior® Articles
To Punch or Not to Punch, That is the Question!
by George Demetriou

It´s not uncommon. Police officer attempts to arrest suspect, suspect violently resists, officer delivers punch to suspect´s head. Officer injures hand. Many officers have broken their hands, and most will say injuries are a reality of the job. Maybe, but what if there was an alternative to punching that was safer and more effective?
Actually there is. The palm strike. It´s the heel of the palm you make contact with, but it´s referred to as a palm strike. To execute a palm strike, its important to have the right hand position. The hand is pulled back as far as possible, locking the wrist and the fingers should be allowed to curl slightly forward. The palm and finger tips should face the target. Contact is made with the very bottom of the palm just before the wrist.

Officer Safety - Palm Strike vs. Fisted Strikes

When knuckles meet skull during a confrontation, the skull will always win. I don´t think anyone will argue that former heavyweight Champ Mike Tyson is an accomplished puncher. When Mr. Tyson punched former Heavyweight contender Mitch Green on the head, Tyson´s hand broke. Neither man wore gloves for the bout. The fight took place on a Harlem street corner. You can see why boxers pay someone good money to tape their hands.
My question to those in law enforcement is: If men who get paid lots of money to punch people, who train constantly to develop their punches, break their hands in street fights what makes you think it won´t happen to you?
Strong hand injuries are the number one arrest-related injury in police work. This will continue as long as defensive tactics are strongly influenced by martial arts (this includes boxing) that emphasize fisted strikes.
"The most common injury occurs when you strike with the last two knuckles. The 5th metacarpal breaks (between the knuckles of the middle finger and pinkie), commonly referred to as a boxer´s fracture," states James Prattas, MD of Metropolitan Hospital in NYC. Dr. Prattas, also a martial artist stated, "I can´t think of any reason to strike with a fist over using a palm strike."
"A fracture will take 6-8 weeks to heal, while a sprain (tear in ligament) could take up to 6 months to heal. Rehabilitation could take 3-4 months, according to Faye Grant, a Registered Occupational Therapist, from the Hand Therapy Center, in Floral Park, NY.
Police officers who seriously injured their hands during a violent confrontation were asked if they thought they could get a solid grip on their firearms after the injury. The answer was sometimes, "I don´t know," but most often just, "No."
"Grip strength comes from the ulnar side (pinky side) of the hand. A boxer´s fracture would significantly affect your grip. Try to hold anything with a handle without using your fourth finger," says Stuart Kandel, Orthopedic Surgeon from Bay Shore, NY. "It would be much easier to disarm an officer who received this fracture."
The Medical Doctors, Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists the author interviewed all agreed that with the palm strike done correctly the chances of injuring the hand are slim. "The position of Maximum Boney stability in the hand is the close-pack position which is full extension of the hand. Full extension of the hand is the palm strike position," according to Bill Partridge, Physical Therapist of Nassau/Suffolk Physical Therapy in Syosset, NY.
Taking shooting and/or firearm retention into consideration, the palm strike seems to be the logical choice of strikes.
Another serious health related problem we have to consider is cutting the knuckles on the perpetrator´s teeth. Punches are usually directed to the head area including the face. The mouth is something you definitely want to avoid. However the teeth may be struck inadvertently. "Everyone you encounter violently has AIDS, until proven otherwise, humans have the most infectious mouths, once you break skin you are introducing all those germs to your body", says Dr. Prattas. "The heel of the palm making impact with the mouth distributes contact area equally making it difficult to break skin if the teeth are struck. With a punch, one knuckle may hit the teeth, breaking skin easily." "The skin on the Dorsal side (top of the hand) is easily cut because it is very thin. The opposite is true of the skin on the palm," says O.T.R. Faye Grant.
According to Dr. Kandel, "When you open your hand from a fist tendons pull back. If the knuckles are cut when a full taut fist strikes teeth the act of opening the hand pulls bacteria in. Serious infection can set in 24-48 hours later".
Germs do not fester as easily in the fleshy palm of the hand as they do in the knuckles. There have been cases where cuts caused by human teeth on knuckles resulted in the hand being surgically removed to stop the spread of Gangrene.

Effectiveness of Palm Strikes

The palm strike is safe for the officer to use, but it´s also quite effective. A palm strike done on a slightly upward angle has a tremendous amount of leverage. One need only to strike a heavy bag suspended from a stand or ceiling to see this. Compare the reactions of the bag when you punch or palm strike. There´s a more violent jump in the bag when you palm strike.
Punches have a primary effect on the target struck. A punch to the head will usually affect the area the knuckles made contact with. Palm strikes have a secondary effect. A palm strike to the head won´t cause much damage to the contact point, but will have an effect on the neck and usually jars the body. A palm strike done under the chin will often produce a one shot knock-out due to the whip lash effect. A palm strike anywhere to the head area will almost always affect balance, because the strike will take the assailant´s ears out of line with his hips. This opens up other parts of the body for combinations or a takedown. The palm strike can be used effectively to the head, body, hip socket and knees. Punches are best used against muscular parts of the body to avoid injury to the puncher. Palm strikes are good to grab off of and make it easier to strike someone with an object in your hand. You never know when you´ll get caught having to strike while you are holding your radio and firearm.
Another nice bonus of palm strikes is they don´t seem as violent as clenching your fist and striking someone. Having your hands open will make the strike to appear a push to the untrained eye. Palm strikes will go over better than punches on the evening news.
10576  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: October 22, 2008, 09:14:14 AM
Hello? Is this thing on? Tap-tap-tap
10577  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: October 22, 2008, 09:03:24 AM
**I know that the current narrative from the left/MSM is that the Weather Underground was just a youthful indiscretion to be ignored. Just a reminder of who they killed.**

Weather Underground: Honoring the Cops They Killed

From left: Sergeant Brian McDonnell, Officer Waverly Brown, Sergeant Edward O'Grady

Chris Cosgriff / PoliceLink

October 13, 2008

Editor’s Note: With the recent headlines mentioning the Weather Underground, the focus has been on who said what and who did what when. What has been overlooked, and seemingly forgotten, is the sacrifice of three real American heroes. This article’s only purpose is to honor those three fallen heroes.

If you’ve been keeping up with the presidential race then you’ve likely heard mention the accusations and denials from both campaigns about alleged ties between Senator Barack Obama, the Democratic candidate for president, and Bill Ayers. Plenty has been written about their relationship from both sides of the campaign, and I have absolutely no interest in exploring that relationship further.

I am interested only in honoring the memories of three fallen police officers and holding responsible those who actually planned and committed these murderous attacks against the American people and our criminal justice system.

Ayers, who has long held a position as a college professor in Chicago, has a surprisingly nefarious past. He happens to be the founder of a domestic terrorist group called the Weather Underground, which he has written about extensively in his own memoir, Fugitive Days: A Memoir.

The Weather Underground was responsible for bombing several government targets throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, including the U.S. Capitol, the Pentagon, and a building used by the New York City Police Department. To finance their domestic terrorism activities the group also conducted “traditional” robberies, which occasionally led to murder.

What you don’t usually hear in modern-day news coverage of the group, is that three of those murders were of police officers killed in the line of duty.

On February 16, 1970, a bomb exploded at a San Francisco, California, Police Department substation, fatally wounding Sergeant Brian McDonnell. McDonnell died of his wounds two days later. A second officer, Robert Fogarty was partially blinded by the bomb’s shrapnel. Although the case has never officially been solved, members of the Weather Underground, including Bill Ayers and his wife, Bernardine Dohrn, were prime suspects.

On October 20, 1981, several members of the Weather Underground undertook the robbery of a bank to finance their terrorist activities. During the robbery the group murdered an armored car guard and two members of the Nyack, New York, Police Department – Officer Waverly Brown and Sergeant Edward O’Grady,. a Vietnam War veteran. Unlike with Sergeant McDonnell’s murder, this case was quickly solved and several members of the group were sentenced to lengthy prison terms.

Sergeant McDonnell, Officer Brown, and Sergeant O’Grady were just three of over a dozen law enforcement officers killed by radical, domestic terrorist groups during the 1970s and 1980s. Their memories may be forgotten by those who killed them and walk free – whether through lack of arrest and prosecution in McDonnell’s case or having served their sentences in Brown’s and O’Grady’s cases – but they will never be forgotten by their brothers and sisters in law enforcement.
10578  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: October 22, 2008, 08:34:43 AM
The increasingly erratic, super-gaffetastic Joe Biden
by Michelle Malkin
Creators Syndicate
Copyright 2008

If the prospect of Joe Biden sitting a heartbeat away from the presidency doesn’t give you palpitations, you are not paying attention.
Hysterical Sarah Palin-bashers on the unhinged left and elitist right have dominated campaign press coverage and pop culture. They’ve ridiculed her family, her appearance, and her speech patterns. They’ve derided her character, her parenting skills, her readiness, and her intellect.
Meanwhile, the increasingly erratic, super-gaffetastic Joe Biden gets a pass. What does the guy have to do to earn the relentless scrutiny and merciless mockery he deserves? Answer: Wear high heels, shoot caribou, and change the “D” next to his name to an “R.”
Team Obama is hammering John McCain as “erratic” in the closing days of the election campaign. There are now 615,000 Google hits and counting using the search terms “erratic McCain.” Last week, the New York Times devoted an entire article to the Obama-Biden line of attack, titled “In Friendly Region, Biden Cites McCain as Erratic.”
Who’s erratic? Throughout the primary and general election cycles, Biden has lurched from attacking Obama as not-ready-for-primetime (“The presidency is not something that lends itself to on-the-job training,” September 2007) to ready-to-lead (“Barack Obama is ready. This is his time,” August 2008) and back again. This week, Biden warned America that an Obama victory would invite a dangerous global showdown between tyrants and the naïf Obama. “Mark my words,” Biden said Sunday at a Democratic fund-raiser. “It will not be six months [after the inauguration] before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy.” In a follow-up appearance, he told followers to brace for the worst and “gird your loins.”
Out of Biden’s mouth, this is called candor. Out of anyone else’s mouth, it would be “fear-mongering,” “negative campaigning,” and a “distraction.”
Tooting his own horn while vandalizing his running mate’s, Biden bragged: “I’ve forgotten more about foreign policy than most of my colleagues know.” Yeah. Colleagues like that guy who had a mere 143 days of Senate experience before launching his presidential bid and choosing you to shore up his meager credibility, Joe.
In fact, Biden has spent the entire campaign questioning his running mate’s judgment. Last month, he mused out loud: “Hillary Clinton is as qualified or more than I am to be vice president of the United States of America…She is easily qualified to be vice president of the United States of America and quite frankly it might have been a better pick than me.” Biden assailed the campaign’s position on clean coal, openly criticized the campaign’s idiotic ad attacking John McCain for not using e-mail, and warned the pro-gun control Obama that “if he tries to fool with my Beretta, he’s got a problem.”
Dan Quayle will have “POTATOE” etched on his gravestone. But how many times have late-night comedians and cable shows replayed the video of senior statesman and six-term Sen. Biden’s own spelling mishap last week while attacking John McCain’s economic plan?
“Look, John’s last-minute economic plan does nothing to tackle the number one job facing the middle class, and it happens to be, as Barack says, a three-letter word: jobs. J-O-B-S.”
No, Joe. “D’-O-H” is a three-letter-word.
Nightly news shows still haven’t tired of replaying Sarah Palin’s infamous interview with Katie Couric. But how many times have they replayed Joe Biden’s botched interview with Couric last month – in which he cluelessly claimed: “When the stock market crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn’t just talk about the, you know, the princes of greed. He said, ‘Look, here’s what happened.’”
Er, here’s what really happened: Roosevelt wasn’t president when the market crashed in 1929. As for appearing on TV, it was still in its infant stages and wasn’t available to the general public until at least ten years later.
During the lone VP debate earlier this month, the increasingly erratic, super-gaffetastic Joe Biden demonstrated more historical ignorance that Sarah Palin would never have been able to get away with: “Vice President Cheney’s been the most dangerous vice president we’ve had probably in American history,” Biden said. “He has the idea he doesn’t realize that Article I of the Constitution defines the role of the vice president of the United States, that’s the executive — he works in the executive branch. He should understand that. Everyone should understand that.”
Article 1 of the Constitution defines the role of the legislative branch, not the executive branch. You would think someone who has served 36 years in government – the same someone who is quick to remind others of his high IQ and longtime Senate Judiciary Committee chairmanship – would know better.
Joe Biden’s erratic and gaffe-tastic behavior is the least of America’s worries. He’s worse than a blunderbuss. He’s an incurable narcissist with chronic diarrhea of the mouth. He’s a phony and a pretender who fashions himself a foreign policy expert, constitutional scholar, and wordly wise man. He’s a man who can’t control his impulses.
And he could be a heartbeat away. Now, back to your regularly scheduled Palin-says-“You Betcha” skit.
10579  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Coming Clusterfcuk on: October 22, 2008, 08:33:40 AM
My advice: Invest in metals. Guns, ammo and canned food.
10580  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: October 20, 2008, 11:43:23 PM

Wow! The most insightful thing I've ever seen coming from Joe Biden.
10581  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: October 19, 2008, 08:40:08 AM
So, my question would be, what policies should we adopt and what should we avoid to fix this current mess?
10582  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: October 18, 2008, 09:53:35 PM

I guess the MSM is too busy trying to destroy Joe the Plumber, so they missed this linkage between Obama and his terrorist soulmate.
10583  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: October 18, 2008, 02:43:03 PM

So, while the MSM hammers Joe the Plumber, they kiss up to Louis Farrakhan and the NOI. Given that there is just one degree of separation between Farrakhan and Obama, I guess this makes a twisted sort of sense to the left.
10584  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: October 18, 2008, 02:35:29 PM
October 18, 2008, 7:00 a.m.

Joe the Plumber vs. Joe the Hair-Plugger
Put that in your pipe and solder it.

By Mark Steyn

Give a man enough rope line and he’ll hang himself. There was His Serene Majesty President-designate Barack the Healer working the crowd at some or other hick burg, and halfway down the rope up pops a plumber to express misgivings about the incoming regime’s tax plans.

Supposedly, under the Obama tax plan, 95 per cent of the American people will get a tax cut. You’d think that at this point the natural skepticism of any sentient being other than six-week-old puppies might kick in, but apparently not. If you’re wondering why Obama didn’t simply announce that under his plan 112 per cent of the American people will get a tax cut, well, they ran it past the focus groups who said that that was all very generous but they’d really like it if he could find a way to stick it to Dick Cheney, Rush Limbaugh, Karl Rove and whatnot. So 95 per cent it is.

By the way, like the nightly news shows, this column now has an exclusive lavishly funded Fact Check Unit set up at great expense (a colorful graphic with the words “FACT CHECK ALERT!”) in a lame attempt to pass off our transparent political bias as some sort of scientific exercise. Our accredited credentialed licensed expert Fact Checkers from the University of Factology in the Czech Republic are standing by to rigorously Fact Check the candidate’s claims. We check facts so you don’t have to. All you have to do is sign up to our Fact-Check-Me-Now! service and we’ll send you a daily Fact Check on your Facts Machine, which costs only $79.95 from Radio Shack (sorry, no checks).

Anyway, our Fact Check Unit ran the numbers on the Obama tax-cut plan and the number is correct: “95.” It’s the words “per cent” immediately following that are wrong: that’s a typing error accidentally left in from the first draft. It should read: Under the Obama plan, 95 of the American people will get a tax cut.

Joe the Plumber expressed his misgivings about the President-in-waiting’s tax inclinations, and the O-Man smoothly reassured him: “It’s not that I want to punish your success,” he told the bloated plutocrat corporate toilet executive. “I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you, that they’ve got a chance for success too. I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”

In that sentence about you spreading the wealth around, there’s another typing error: that “you” should read “I, Barack.” “You” will have no say in it. Joe the Plumber might think he himself can spread it around just fine, but everyone knows “trickle-down economics” don’t work. So President-presumptive Obama kindly explained the new exquisitely condescending “talking-down economics:” Put that in your pipe and solder it.

Evidently the O-Mighty One was not happy after his encounter with Joe. He’s still willing to talk to Ahmadinejad without preconditions. But never again will he talk to Joe the Plumber without preconditions. Outraged at the way the right-wing whackos were talking up Joe the Plumber as if he were an authentic regular Joe like Joe Biden, the O-Bots of the media swung into action. Vast regiments of investigate reporters were redeployed from the Wasilla Holiday Inn back to the Lower 48.

“We need you down here checking out this Joe the Plumber,” editors barked to journalists.

“But I’m this close to wrapping up the Wasilla Town Library banned-book investigation!”

“Forget it! The Atlantic Monthly is claiming Joe the Plumber is Trig’s real father. We can’t get behind on this. Get to Minneapolis Airport. Joe the Plumber was seen in the bathroom with Senator Larry Craig.”

“Yes, but he was installing a stopcock…”

“Look, you went to Columbia School of Journalism. This is what we bold courageous journalists do. We’re the conscience of the nation. We speak truth to plumber.”

“Er, shouldn’t that be ‘Speak truth to power’?”

“That’s the old edition of the handbook. Now we speak truth to power-tool operators. Joe the Carpenter, Joe the Plasterer, Joe the Electrician… When you’re building utopia, you don’t want any builders getting in the way.”

Alas, as a result of this massive investment of journalistic resouces, no investigative reporter will be free to investigate ACORN voter-registration fraud or Obama’s ties to terrorist educator William Ayers until, oh, midway through his second term at least.

Under the headline “Is ‘Joe The Plumber’ A Plumber? That’s Debatable”, John Seewer of the Associated Press triumphantly revealed that Joe is not a “licensed” plumber. In fact, he doesn’t need to be licensed for the residential plumbing he does, but isn’t that just typical of Bush-McCain insane out-of-control deregulation? It wouldn’t surprise me to discover that most of these subprime homeowners got Joe in to plumb their subprime bathrooms. Next thing you know, the entire global economy goes down the toilet. Coincidence?

Joe is now the most notorious plumber in American politics since the Watergate plumbers. And they weren’t licensed, either. It turns out Joe doesn’t even make 250 grand, and it’s only the 250-thousand-a-year types who’ll be paying more (please, no tittering) under Good King Barack. Joe Biden — that’s Joe the Bluecollar Senator — said that he didn’t know any 250,000-dollars plumbers in his neighborhood, or even in the first-class club car on Amtrak he rides every night to demonstrate his bluecollar bonafides. On Good Morning America, Diane Sawyer emphasized this point, anxious to give the apostate plumber one last chance to go with the flow:

“Well, I just want to ask you now about the issue that was raised, because it’s been a little confusing to me as I try to sort it out here. To get straight here, you’re not taking home $250,000 now, am I right?”

“No. No. Not even close,” confessed Joe.

So what’s he got to be worried about?

The heart of the American Dream is aspiration. That’s why people came here from all over the world. Back in eastern Europe, the Joe Bidens and Diane Sawyers of the day were telling Joe the Peasant: “Hey, look, man. You’re a peasant in the 19th century, just like your forebears were peasants in the 12th century and your descendants will be peasants in the 26th century. So you’re never gonna be earning 250 groats a year. Don’t worry about it. Leave it to us. We know better.” And Joe the Peasant eventually figured that one day he’d like to be able to afford the Premium Gruel with just a hint of arugula and got on the boat to Ellis Island. Because America is the land where a guy who doesn’t have a 250-grand business today might just have one in five or ten years’ time.

I’m with Joe the Plumber, not Joe the Hair-Plugger. He’s articulated the animating principles of America better than anyone on either side in this campaign. Which is why the O-Bots need to destroy him. As Obama’s catchphrase goes:

“Joe the Plumber!

Can we fix him?

Joe the Plumber!

Yes, we can!”

For the record, I am not a government-licensed pundit. But I expect they’ll fix that, too.

© Mark Steyn 2008

National Review Online -
10585  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sharia 101 on: October 18, 2008, 06:32:21 AM

Idiocy from Michael Scheurer, dissected by Raymond Ibrahim.
10586  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: October 18, 2008, 01:33:53 AM
The character assassination of Joe the Plumber is being done by our corrupt MSM, who is protected by the first amendment. Do you wish to alter constitutional freedoms of the press or eliminate open records laws?
10587  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sharia 101 on: October 17, 2008, 11:49:57 PM
Special Dispatch Series - No. 2085
October 17, 2008   No. 2085

Muslim Brotherhood Website: Jihad Against Non-Muslims Is Obligatory
On a website devoted to Ramadhan, the Muslim Brotherhood posted a series of articles by Dr. Ahmad 'Abd Al-Khaleq about Al-Walaa Wa'l-Baraa, an Islamic doctrine which, in its fundamentalist interpretation, stipulates absolute allegiance to the community of Muslims and total rejection of non-Muslims and of Muslims who have strayed from the path of Islam.

In his articles, the writer argues that according to this principle, a Muslim can come closer to Allah by hating all non-Muslims - Christians, Jews, atheists, or polytheists - and by waging jihad against them in every possible manner.
For full report, visit

10588  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: October 17, 2008, 05:56:17 PM
And who is doing it? No one with a badge and a gun.
10589  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: October 17, 2008, 09:58:53 AM

"If you think healthcare is expensive now, just wait until it's free."
10590  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Reproductive issues on: October 16, 2008, 09:29:39 PM
So, how McCain says "health" is outrageous, but Obama's lies aren't worth commenting on?
10591  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Reproductive issues on: October 16, 2008, 08:55:35 PM
We'll see. Explain to me the ethics of what to do with an aborted baby that survives, from your moral perspective. Does that match up with Obama's?
10592  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Reproductive issues on: October 16, 2008, 08:41:38 PM

**Obama lied to you. Does that bother you, sweetie?**
10593  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Reproductive issues on: October 16, 2008, 08:31:29 PM
Infanticide is still illegal in all 50 states. Oh when will the oppression of women ever end?  rolleyes
10594  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: October 16, 2008, 08:26:10 PM
**What of Samantha Power's plan for Israel? **

Speaking truth to Power

posted Monday, 3 March 2008

Samantha Power is the author of a Pulitzer Prize-winning book on genocide, and she has a professorship at Harvard (in something called "Global Leadership and Public Policy"). She is also a senior foreign policy adviser to Barack Obama. This isn't an honorific: she has worked for Obama in Washington, she has campaigned for him around the country, and she doesn't hesitate to speak for him. This morning, the Washington Post has a piece on Obama's foreign policy team, identifying her (and retired Maj. Gen. Scott Garion) as "closest to Obama, part of a group-within-the-group that he regularly turns to for advice." Power and Garion "retain unlimited access to Obama." This morning's New York Times announces that Power has an "irresistable profile" and "she could very well end up in [Obama's] cabinet." 

She also has a problem: a corpus of critical statements about Israel. These have been parsed by Noah Pollak at Commentary's blog Contentions, by Ed Lasky and Richard Baehr at American Thinker, and by Paul Mirengoff at Power Line.

Power made her most problematic statement in 2002, in an interview she gave at Berkeley. The interviewer asked her this question:
Let me give you a thought experiment here, and it is the following: without addressing the Palestine-Israel problem, let’s say you were an advisor to the President of the United States, how would you respond to current events there? Would you advise him to put a structure in place to monitor that situation, at least if one party or another [starts] looking like they might be moving toward genocide?
Power gave an astonishing answer:
What we don’t need is some kind of early warning mechanism there, what we need is a willingness to put something on the line in helping the situation. Putting something on the line might mean alienating a domestic constituency of tremendous political and financial import; it may more crucially mean sacrificing—or investing, I think, more than sacrificing—billions of dollars, not in servicing Israel’s military, but actually investing in the new state of Palestine, in investing the billions of dollars it would probably take, also, to support what will have to be a mammoth protection force, not of the old Rwanda kind, but a meaningful military presence. Because it seems to me at this stage (and this is true of actual genocides as well, and not just major human rights abuses, which were seen there), you have to go in as if you’re serious, you have to put something on the line.

Unfortunately, imposition of a solution on unwilling parties is dreadful. It’s a terrible thing to do, it’s fundamentally undemocratic. But, sadly, we don’t just have a democracy here either, we have a liberal democracy. There are certain sets of principles that guide our policy, or that are meant to, anyway. It’s essential that some set of principles becomes the benchmark, rather than a deference to [leaders] who are fundamentally politically destined to destroy the lives of their own people. And by that I mean what Tom Friedman has called “Sharafat” [Sharon-Arafat]. I do think in that sense, both political leaders have been dreadfully irresponsible. And, unfortunately, it does require external intervention.... Any intervention is going to come under fierce criticism. But we have to think about lesser evils, especially when the human stakes are becoming ever more pronounced.
It isn't too difficult to see all the red flags in this answer. Having placed Israel's leader on par with Yasser Arafat, she called for massive military intervention on behalf of the Palestinians, to impose a solution in defiance of Israel and its American supporters. Billions of dollars would be shifted from Israel's security to the upkeep of a "mammoth protection force" and a Palestinian state—all in the name of our "principles."

This quote has dogged Power, and she has gone to extraordinary lengths to put it behind her. Most notably, she called in the Washington correspondent of the Israeli daily Haaretz, Shmuel Rosner, to whom she disavowed the quote:
Power herself recognizes that the statement is problematic. "Even I don't understand it," she says. And also: "This makes no sense to me." And furthermore: "The quote seems so weird." She thinks that she made this statement in the context of discussing the deployment of international peacekeepers. But this was a very long time ago, circumstances were different, and it's hard for her to reconstruct exactly what she meant.
It must be awful, at such a young age, to lose track of why you recommended the massive deployment of military force, and not that long ago. So let me help Samantha Power: I can reconstruct exactly what she meant.

Power gave the interview on April 29, 2002. This was the tail end of Israel's Operation Defensive Shield, Israel's offensive into the West Bank in reaction to a relentless campaign of Palestinian suicide bombings that had killed Israeli civilians in the hundreds. The military operation included the clearing of terrorists from the West Bank city of Jenin (April 3-19). At the time, Palestinian spokespersons had duped much of the international media and human rights community into believing that a massacre of innocent Palestinians had taken place in Jenin. It had not, but the name of Israel had been smeared, particularly in academe. At Harvard, pro-Palestinian activists canvassed the faculty for support of a petition calling on Harvard to divest from Israel. (It was published on May 6.)

Power at the time was executive director of Harvard's Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, which she founded in 1999. In 2001, she had recruited a celebrity director for the Carr Center: Michael Ignatieff, a Canadian intellectual and journalist who, like herself, had come to prominence writing about atrocities in the Balkans and Africa. A profile of Ignatieff in March 2002 described the division of labor in the Carr Center: "He shares administrative responsibilities with Samantha Power, the center's executive director. The division of labor works wonderfully, he says: 'She does all the work.'" Power later told a Canadian journalist that "their social relationship was based on three Bs: baseball, bottles and boys. They talked about the Boston Red Sox, of whom she is a fanatic supporter; they spent evenings together 'yelling and laughing' over bottles of wine, and she found him a kind and sympathetic confidant when it came to affairs of the heart."
The Carr Center under this management team generally steered clear of the Middle East. But in that spring of 2002, the pressure to come up with something was very great. Ignatieff, who had been to the Middle East a few times, took the lead. On April 19, 2002, only ten days before Power emitted her "weird" quote, Ignatieff published an op-ed in the London Guardian, under this headline: "Why Bush Must Send in His Troops." I wrote a thorough critique of this piece over five years ago, so I won't repeat my dissection of its flaws. As I showed then, the op-ed includes every trendy calumny against Israel.
More relevant now are Ignatieff's policy conclusions. "Neither side is capable of making peace," he determined, "or even sitting in the same room to discuss it." The United States should therefore move "to impose a two-state solution now."
The time for endless negotiation between the parties is past: it is time to say that all but those settlements right on the 1967 green line must go; that the right of return is incompatible with peace and security in the region and the right must be extinguished with a cash settlement; that the UN, with funding from Europe, will establish a transitional administration to help the Palestinian state back on its feet and then prepare the ground for new elections before exiting; and, most of all, the US must then commit its own troops, and those of willing allies, not to police a ceasefire, but to enforce the solution that provides security for both populations.
Ignatieff ended with a grand flourish:
Imposing a peace of this amplitude on both parties, and committing the troops to back it up, would be the most dramatic exercise of presidential leadership since the Cuban missile crisis. Nothing less dramatic than this will prevent the Middle East from descending into an inferno.
So this was the thrilling idea that swept the Carr Center that April: a "dramatic exercise of presidential leadership," through a commitment of U.S. troops to impose and enforce a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Middle East would be saved. The "amplitude" of this notion made divestment seem small-minded. Samantha Power did not misspeak ten days later in her Berkeley interview. She was retailing a vision she shared with her closest colleague. Power went a bit further than Ignatieff, when she spoke about how this show of presidential courage "might mean alienating a domestic constituency of tremendous political and financial import." Ignatieff would never have written that. But it was implicit in his text anyway.
So Ignatieff's op-ed was exactly what Power meant. That she should claim no recollection of any of this context seems... weird. Or perhaps not. Remember, Ignatieff wasn't talking about deploying "international peacekeepers," the context Power now suggests for her words. He specifically proposed United States troops, followed by anyone else who was "willing." Their job wouldn't be to keep the peace, but to "enforce the solution." Far better today for Power to have some kind of blackout, than to tell the truth about the "dramatic exercise" she and Ignatieff envisioned.
("Iggy," by the way, left Harvard in 2005 to plunge into Canadian politics, and he is now deputy leader of Canada's opposition Liberal Party. He still has strong views on what Americans should do. "I've worn my heart on my sleeve for a year," he recently announced. "I'm for Obama.")
Is there a conclusion to be drawn from this genealogy of a truly bad policy idea? Ignatieff himself may have hit on it. Last year he published a reflection on what he'd learned since experiencing real (as opposed to academic) politics. "As a former denizen of Harvard," he wrote, "I’ve had to learn that a sense of reality doesn’t always flourish in elite institutions. It is the street virtue par excellence. Bus drivers can display a shrewder grasp of what’s what than Nobel Prize winners."
Just substitute Pulitzer for Nobel
10595  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: October 16, 2008, 08:01:53 PM
If Obama is a zionist, why did he surround himself with Israel-hating advisors?
10596  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: October 16, 2008, 07:12:33 PM

Do not question "Dear Leader" Obama.
10597  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: October 16, 2008, 07:08:01 PM

Joe Biden: Ready to count?
10598  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: October 16, 2008, 05:40:08 PM

Dare to question Obama, pay the price.
10599  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: October 16, 2008, 05:35:51 PM

More MSM lies.
10600  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: ACORN on: October 16, 2008, 02:23:17 PM

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