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9651  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Rules of the Road/Fire Hydrant on: October 24, 2009, 03:24:34 PM
I'm curious who aside from PB and Farrahclown make her list. Since Obama's pastor of 20 years has made worse statements that anything Buchanan has said, to my knowledge, i'm curious who her list would and would not include.
9652  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Rachel? on: October 24, 2009, 02:48:51 PM
Since Pat Buchanan is so offensive to you that you advocate that nothing written by him be posted here, where do you place Rev. "Them Jews" Wright in your moral hierarchy?
9653  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Rules of the Road/Fire Hydrant on: October 22, 2009, 09:13:01 PM
Best wishes, BBG!

9654  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Environmental issues on: October 20, 2009, 07:12:23 AM
Rachel,

What criticism do you want to see of Buchanan?
9655  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Dollar; Monetary Policy on: October 18, 2009, 12:49:12 PM
October 16, 2009
http://www.europac.net/externalframeset.asp?from=home&id=17446&type=schiff

Ignorance Is Bliss
 

While all the talk at present is about economic corners turned and markets charging ahead, no one is paying much notice to an American economy deteriorating before our eyes. These myopic commentators seem to be simply moving past the now almost-universally held conclusion that before the crash of 2008, our economy was on an unsustainable course. If these imbalances had been corrected, then perhaps I too would be joining in the euphoria. But evidence abounds that we have not veered at all from that dangerous path.

Last week, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that consumer spending as a percentage of U.S. GDP has risen to 71%, a post-World War II record. This level is notably higher than other wealthy industrialized countries, and vastly higher than the levels sustained by China and other emerging economies. At the same time, our industrial output is contracting, our trade deficit is expanding once again (after contracting earlier in the year), and our savings rate is plummeting (after an early year surge).

The data confirms that government stimuli are worsening the structural imbalances underlying our economy. The recent ‘rebound’ in GDP is not resulting from increased economic output, but merely from the fact that we are borrowing more than ever. That is precisely how we got ourselves into this mess. An economy cannot grow indefinitely by borrowing more than it produces. Not only is such a course untenable, but the added debt ensures a deeper recession when the bills come due.

This soon-to-be-called depression will not end until the pendulum of consumer spending habits swings violently in the other direction. This will be a jarring change, but it is the splash of cold water that we need to return our economy to viability. I believe that consumer spending as a share of GDP will need to temporarily contract to roughly 50% of GDP, before eventually moving toward its historic mean of 65%. Such a move would indicate a restoration of our personal savings, a decline in borrowing and trade deficits, and an increased industrial output. That would be a real recovery.

In the meantime, the higher the spending percentage climbs, the more painful the ultimate decline becomes.

Consumers and governments must spend less so their savings can be made available to businesses for capital investments. Businesses, in turn, will produce more products and employ more people – increasing domestic prosperity. However, rather than allowing a painful cure to return our economy to health, the government prefers to numb the voting public with a toxic saline-drip of deficit spending and cheap money.

The primary factor that enables our government to peddle economic snake oil is the dollar’s unique role as the world’s reserve currency, and our creditors’ willingness to preserve its status. By buying up dollars and loaning them back to us through Treasury debt, productive countries give American politicians carte blanche to play Santa Claus.

Ironically, as foreign governments finance our spending spree, they are simultaneously scolding us for our low savings rate. At the recent G20 meeting in Pittsburgh, all agreed – including President Obama – that resolving the global economic imbalances was a top priority. By definition, this would require Americans to spend less and save more. However, with foreign central banks continuing to buy our debt, the President has shown no political will to encourage this change.

Normally, if politicians run up the government deficit, voters soon suffer the unpleasant consequences of higher inflation and rising interest rates. Yet, if foreign central banks keep supplying the funds, these consequences are indefinitely postponed. As a result, there is no need for American politicians to ever make the tough choices required to solve our problems.

Instead, the burden may fall squarely on the citizens of those governments doing all the lending. The conflict is that within the creditor states, a vocal minority actually benefits from this subsidy (owners of Chinese exporters, for example) while the overwhelming majority fails to make the connection. Thus, foreign politicians have the same incentives as ours to keep playing the game.

The bottom line is that foreign governments can lecture us all they want about the need for prudence but if they keep lending, we’ll keep spending. Any parent knows that if you give your child a curfew yet never impose any penalties when it’s violated, it will not be respected. My gut feeling is that foreign governments are tiring of our conduct and on the verge of finally imposing some discipline. That means the dollar’s days as the world’s reserve currency are numbered, and the days of American austerity are about to begin.
9656  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: October 15, 2009, 10:37:03 PM
ANALYSIS: The Alleged Zazi Plot to Strike New York Mass Transit
Why FBI, NYPD Moved Before the Investigation was Complete
By BRAD GARRETT
Oct. 9, 2009 —


Editor's note: Former FBI Agent Brad Garrett is an ABC News consultant and regular contributor to the Blotter.

At 8:30 any given weekday morning in New York City, an estimated five million people are riding the city's subway system. They are a prime and vulnerable target.

For the FBI and the New York police department, it is a nightmare scenario that agents and detectives have played out in their planning.

Terrorists bent on destruction could enter nine of the city's 425 subway stations wearing backpacks filled with homemade bombs and face little risk of detection.

As was made clear in court documents in the most recent alleged terror case, bombs can easily be constructed with over-the-counter products used to style hair or remove nail polish.



With enough followers, a terrorist mastermind has no need to limit the attack to just the subways.

The city's major international financial institutions present another inviting target for terrorists seeking a one-two punch. Ten rental trucks  or even coffee carts - packed with easily purchased fertilizer, diesel fuel and cotton would create even more destruction and death.

My former law enforcement colleagues say this is the chilling scenario of what Najibullah Zazi and his associates might have done.


Unraveling Terror Plots
Precise details of Zazi's exact plans are not yet known because agents continue to investigate and probably de-classify information. But the use of homemade bombs in backpacks, and fertilizer and fuel-packed trucks has been a staple of al Qaeda-linked groups, as well as domestic terrorists in the U.S., for over a decade.

The July 2005 London subway attacks and the foiled 2006 plot to blow up commercial airplanes traveling from the U.K. to the U.S. involved the use of liquid peroxide-based bombs.

In 1995, fertilizer-based bombs were used by Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh. The 2002 Bali nightclub bombing, the 2003 synagogue bombings in Istanbul and a 2007 planned bombing of shopping malls in London were all fertilizer-based bombs.

Unraveling such basic but destructive plots before they occur presents huge challenges. When arrests are made early in an investigation - which appears to be the situation in the Zazi case - evidence and suspects have a tendency to disappear.

In typical criminal investigations, law enforcement agents continue to investigate a crime as long as they possibly can to obtain evidence and to identify those involved.

I once investigated a man who had savagely killed three people in a highly-publicized robbery. In order to get close to this killer and build the evidence, I sent a police informant to talk to him. I was reasonably certain that, given the media attention the murders had received, the killer would not act again. Since I also had a court-authorized wiretap on his phone, I knew from his conversations that he was not planning any new murders. This gave me the luxury of time to develop the evidence about the murders by using the informant.

I fitted the informant with a transmitter and body recorder and instructed him to purchase drugs from the killer's cohort many times. I hoped to arrest the cohort and get him to testify later against the killer. In order to prove the murder case, I knew we needed more evidence for a judge and jury. If at any point during the investigation I thought the killer was going to harm the informant or anyone else, I would have arrested him immediately and taken my lumps in court for having brought a less-developed case. Fortunately, I was able to use the next six months to build an airtight case against the killer.


Concern for Public Safety
It seems reasonable to assume that the agents in the Zazi case acted out of concern for public safety, possibly because they had a foreign intelligence wiretap on Zazi's phone. If they had information that Zazi was going to harm citizens - whether from an informant or a wiretap - they had to make an immediate arrest.

Unlike my murder case, they may not have had the luxury of time to finish their investigation before they took Zazi into custody. If the evidence presented against Zazi in court turns out to be less strong than it might have been with the luxury of time, but the agents averted another 9/11 when they arrested him, any criticism of them at a later time will ring hollow indeed.

The law enforcement and the intelligence communities have been dramatically overhauled since 9/11. Whether these improvements resulted in uncovering Zazi's alleged terror plot is unknown. The 9/11 Commission report noted that the FBI had a limited ability to collect and analyze intelligence, and share evidence with intelligence gathering agencies. The FBI might have disrupted the 9/11 attacks had they connected the movements of Mohammed Atta and the other hijackers through intelligence sharing.

The FBI of today does collect and share intelligence. Perhaps the new FBI could have discovered that three of the four Hamburg, Germany cell members had arrived in the U.S. during the summer of 2000 and begun pilot training.

Apparently the Zazi plot was uncovered because of these improvements. If so, this will be a welcome change.
9657  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: October 15, 2009, 06:39:38 PM
We're lucky that a bonafide jihadist isn't running DHS with this administration.
9658  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: October 15, 2009, 02:10:13 PM
Man On Terror Watchlist Stopped Then Let Go

Posted By Mike Levine On October 14, 2009 @ 11:39 PM

A Somali man on the U.S. government's terrorist watchlist was stopped last week by a police officer outside Las Vegas, but the officer had no legal authority to detain the man so he was sent on his way, multiple law enforcement sources told FOX News.

On Oct. 6, about 10 miles north of Las Vegas, a Nevada Highway Patrol officer pulled over a rental car that was speeding, according to court records and one of the sources. The gray Chevrolet was occupied by five men of Somali descent, including Cabdulaahi Faarax of Minneapolis and Abdow M. Abdow of Chanhassen, Minn., according to the court records and sources.

The five men offered conflicting accounts of their travel. All five told the officer they were on their way to San Diego to attend a friend’s wedding, but they “gave inconsistent explanations regarding where they were staying in San Diego, how the occupants knew one another, and who was getting married at the wedding in San Diego,” according to court documents.

When asked for their dates of birth, they all gave “January 1” as their birthday, but each offered a different year of birth. Faarax said he was born Jan. 1, 1977, making him 32 years old, one source said.

When the officer ran Faarax’s information through a law enforcement database, it came back as “a hit on the terrorist watchlist,” a law enforcement source said.

It’s unclear why Faarax’s name would be on the terrorist watchlist. But unless there’s a warrant for the person’s arrest or a “red notice” from the global police force Interpol, there is no reason or ability to detain someone on the list, sources said.

“There are people on the list that are just being monitored,” one law enforcement source said.

“If there’s not a crime being committed, there’s no reason to hold anybody,” another source said. “Once they’re on the list, it’s kind of just being supervised, like being on parole. You just interview them, and if they didn’t do anything wrong, you cut them loose.”

The officer who stopped the car last week would not have known what prompted Faarax’s name to be added to the terrorist watchlist, only that Faarax was on the list, one source said.

However, sources confirm that occupants of the car are related to the long-running FBI investigation of young men from the Minneapolis area and elsewhere who were recruited to train and possibly fight alongside an Al Qaeda-linked group in Somalia, known as al-Shabaab.

One source said Faarax had certain associations with al-Shabaab, but how deep those associations run is unclear.

For example, voicing support online for al-Shabaab, which was labeled a terrorist organization by the U.S. government last year, could warrant placement on the terrorist watchlist, one source said.

Training with al-Shabaab in Somalia could also warrant placement on the terrorist watchlist. None of the sources would say whether Faarax had trained with al-Shabaab or traveled to Somalia recently.

Still, the sources said, Faarax would have been detained last week by the Nevada Highway Patrol officer if Faarax had been deemed an “immediate threat.”

One law enforcement source called all of this “an unexpected twist” in the FBI's investigation.

An FBI spokesman in Minneapolis, E.K. Wilson, declined to comment for this article. Asked whether authorities know the current whereabouts of Faarax or any of the other passengers from the vehicle, aside from Abdow, Wilson said he couldn’t answer.

An FBI spokesman in Washington also declined to comment for this article.

However, two days after their vehicle was pulled over outside Las Vegas, two of the passengers appeared at the U.S.-Mexico border crossing in San Ysidro, Calif.

According to court documents, they had been dropped off by a taxicab, and they told a customs official at the border crossing “that they would be flying from Tijuana airport to Mexico City airport, and [they] displayed airline tickets to the Officer.”

In several cases over the past decade, Mexico has been a waypoint for travel between the United States and Somalia.

Meanwhile, the driver of the rented vehicle, 26-year-old Abdow M. Abdow, is the only one of the five Somali men to be facing charges so far.

He has been charged in a criminal complaint with lying to the FBI.

The officer who stopped Abdow’s vehicle found $4,000 in the car and eventually learned that Abdow’s wife had filed a missing persons report in Minneapolis. The officer contacted the FBI, which interviewed Abdow on Oct. 8.

After giving conflicting accounts about his travel a few days before, Abdow told the FBI agents interviewing him, “I am talking too much,” according to court documents.

Asked who paid for the rental car, he told the FBI he didn’t know, that he had done nothing wrong, and that “whatever those guys are into I’m not,” according to court documents.

FBI agents later determined Abdow rented the car from Avis Rental Car Company and paid for it with his own Visa debit card.

“He was obviously trying to protect somebody or some people,” one source said.

Abdow made his initial appearance in federal court on Tuesday. A judge in the case ruled that Abdow could be released to a halfway house under certain conditions.

A grand jury in Minneapolis is still investigating how the Somali men from Minnesota were recruited to fight in Somalia. Three men have already pleaded guilty to terror-related charges, including providing material support to terrorists.

The indictments said the men traveled to Somalia "so that they could fight jihad" there.

Somalia has had no stable government since 1991, when dictator Siad Barre was ousted from power. A newer secular government has had trouble keeping Muslim militants at bay, and in 2006 fighting with al-Shabaab intensified after Western-backed Ethiopian forces invaded Somalia. U.S. officials say if al-Shabaab prevails, Somalia could turn into a haven for Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups.

In October 2008, 27-year-old college student Shirwa Ahmed of Minneapolis became "the first known American suicide bomber" when he blew himself up in Somalia, killing dozens, according to the FBI.

Since then at least four more men from Minneapolis have been killed in Somalia, according to their families.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Article printed from Liveshots: http://liveshots.blogs.foxnews.com

URL to article: http://liveshots.blogs.foxnews.com/2009/10/14/man-on-terror-watchlist-stopped-then-let-go/
9659  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: October 15, 2009, 01:52:49 PM
Minneapolis Indictment Stokes Somali Concerns
by IPT News  •  Oct 15, 2009 at 10:23 am

http://www.investigativeproject.org/blog/2009/10/minneapolis-indictment-stokes-somali-concerns

The indictment of a fourth Minneapolis-area Somali man has the local community wondering whether the flow of Somalis returning to their homeland to fight with the terrorist al-Shabaab movement continues.

About a year ago, law enforcement officials began investigating the disappearance of about 20 young Somali men after one, Shirwa Ahmed became the first known American to carry out a suicide bombing attack. He allegedly drove a truck bomb into a government compound in Mogadishu. Two other men are believed to have been shot and killed in Somalia this past summer.

Since then, three men have pled guilty to charges they provided material support to al-Shabaab or lied about their involvement with the group.

On Tuesday, Abdow Abdow was charged with providing false statements to federal investigators after he was questioned about a road trip. Abdow was pulled over by a Nevada Highway Patrol trooper Oct. 6. He claimed to have only one passenger with him, when there really were four passengers. Two of the travelers are believed to have crossed into Mexico, where they may have boarded a flight to Mexico City. Their ultimate destination remains a mystery, but the community response points to common sense.

Minnesota Public Radio quoted Minneapolis attorney Stephen Smith saying "it's not unrealistic to at least wonder whether the individuals that were allegedly with Mr. Abdow intended to leave this country, ultimately with the intent of heading to Somalia."

While the federal investigation has been in the news for nearly a year, and several of the young men have been killed, community officials say Abdow's case raises disturbing questions whether the flow of young Somalis to the battle zone has stopped.

"The numbers now are probably much higher than 20. Definitely," Omar Jamal director of the Somali Justice Advocacy Center, told the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

It's not clear whether Abdow will face additional charges. Najibullah Zazi, charged with plotting terrorist attacks in New York, originally was charged with providing false statements to law enforcement.
9660  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US-Russia on: October 14, 2009, 11:08:27 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2009/10/14/russian-security-advisor-we-reserve-the-right-to-nuke-you-preemptively/comment-page-1/#comments

Russian security advisor: We reserve the right to nuke you preemptively
posted at 6:12 pm on October 14, 2009 by Allahpundit

Just a little follow-up to Ed’s post earlier, tracking the progress of The One’s global disarmament efforts.
Hey — the committee did say that Nobel was aspirational.
In an interview published today in Izvestia, Nikolai Patrushev, the secretary of the Kremlin’s security council, said the new doctrine offers “different options to allow the use of nuclear weapons, depending on a certain situation and intentions of a would-be enemy. In critical national security situations, one should also not exclude a preventive nuclear strike against the aggressor.”
What’s more, Patrushev said, Russia is revising the rules for the employment of nukes to repel conventionally armed attackers, “not only in large-scale, but also in a regional and even a local war.”
Gulp. If I were in Georgia — or in any other country Russia considers part of its sphere of influence — that formulation would make me pretty anxious…
In the interview, he takes a swipe at the United States and NATO, saying that the alliance “continues to press for the admission of new members to NATO, the military activities of the bloc are intensifying, and U.S. strategic forces are conducting intensive exercises to improve the management of strategic nuclear weapons.”
“The military activities of the bloc are intensifying”? After Obama just pulled long-range missile defense out of Poland and the Czech Republic? The oddest thing about this isn’t Moscow’s willingness to nuke its neighbors — I’ve always taken that as a given, even though none of them could ever conceivably threaten Russia — but the fact that they’re willing to rattle their saber so soon after The One made a major concession to them. Are they trying to make him turn hawkish? Because that’s what’s going to happen, whether he wants it to or not, if foreign policy somehow becomes a key issue in 2012. Why not string him along for a bit and see if they can milk a few more concessions out of him? Who knows? He might be willing to yank eastern European missile defense entirely if they play ball on Iran.
Well, at least we know it can’t get much worse. Or can it
9661  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Dollar; Monetary Policy on: October 14, 2009, 01:25:13 PM
http://www.nypost.com/f/print/news/business/dollar_loses_reserve_status_to_yen_hFyfwvpBW1YYLykSJwTTEL

Updated: Tue., Oct. 13, 2009, 3:16 AM 
Dollar loses reserve status to yen & euro
By PAUL THARP

Last Updated: 3:16 AM, October 13, 2009

Posted: 1:44 AM, October 13, 2009

Ben Bernanke's dollar crisis went into a wider mode yesterday as the greenback was shockingly upstaged by the euro and yen, both of which can lay claim to the world title as the currency favored by central banks as their reserve currency.

Over the last three months, banks put 63 percent of their new cash into euros and yen -- not the greenbacks -- a nearly complete reversal of the dollar's onetime dominance for reserves, according to Barclays Capital. The dollar's share of new cash in the central banks was down to 37 percent -- compared with two-thirds a decade ago.

Currently, dollars account for about 62 percent of the currency reserve at central banks -- the lowest on record, said the International Monetary Fund.

Bernanke could go down in economic history as the man who killed the greenback on the operating table.

After printing up trillions of new dollars and new bonds to stimulate the US economy, the Federal Reserve chief is now boxed into a corner battling two separate monsters that could devour the economy -- ravenous inflation on one hand, and a perilous recession on the other.

"He's in a crisis worse than the meltdown ever was," said Peter Schiff, president of Euro Pacific Capital. "I fear that he could be the Fed chairman who brought down the whole thing."

Investors and central banks are snubbing dollars because the greenback is kept too weak by zero interest rates and a flood of greenbacks in the global economy.

They grumble that they've loaned the US record amounts to cover its mounting debt, but are getting paid back by a currency that's worth 10 percent less in the past three months alone. In a decade, it's down nearly one-third.

Yesterday, the dollar had a mixed performance, falling slightly against the British pound to $1.5801 from $1.5846 Friday, but rising against the euro to $1.4779 from $1.4709 and against the yen to 89.85 yen from 89.78.

Economists believe the market rebellion against the dollar will spread until Bernanke starts raising interest rates from around zero to the high single digits, and pulls back the flood of currency spewed from US printing presses.

"That's a cure, but it's also going to stifle any US economic growth," said Schiff. "The economy is addicted to the cheap interest and liquidity."

Economists warn that a jump in rates will clobber stocks and cripple the already stalled housing market.

"Bernanke's other choice is to keep rates at zero, print even more money and sell more debt, but we'll see triple-digit inflation that could collapse the economy as we know it.

"The stimulus is what's toxic -- we're poisoning ourselves and the global economy with it."
9662  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: October 13, 2009, 08:42:06 AM
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=a7mHS_OElufk

Slow-motion-trainwreck.
9663  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: October 12, 2009, 09:58:15 PM
http://blogs.ft.com/economistsforum/2009/10/a-second-great-depression-is-still-possible/

Very possible. Almost certain, in my book.
9664  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: October 12, 2009, 11:31:46 AM
Possible bombs discovered near Oklahoma City track

BY AARON CRESPO
Published: October 12, 2009

The Oklahoma City bomb squad Sunday night disposed of at least three possible bombs along railroad tracks at SE 34 Street and Shields Boulevard.


Authorities were at the scene from about 5 p.m. until after midnight. A resident said he saw a man speeding along the 200 block of SE 34 and throwing out several devices, police Lt. Jeff Cooper said.

The resident investigated and called police after finding what looked like bombs near the railroad tracks, Cooper said.

The bomb squad had neutralized three of the devices by 10:30 p.m.

"It’s kind of scary because you think something is happening right next door to your house,” said Raul Barrios, who lives on the street. "I’ve got my family and my kids and knowing that there might be an explosive here by my house, I mean it worries me a lot more.”

Also on the scene were representatives of the BNSF Railway, the FBI, the local cell of the Department of Justice’s Joint Terrorism Task Force and the Red Cross.

The incident delayed several trains en route through the area.

Four northbound trains, including the Amtrak Heartland Flyer, were stalled by the incident, said BNSF spokesman Joe Faust. Three more trains would be stalled by midnight, he added.

Officials said it would be at least 12:30 a.m. before the area was cleared.



Read more: http://newsok.com/possible-bombs-discovered-near-track/article/3408418#ixzz0TjmZkuFo
9665  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War, WMD issues on: October 12, 2009, 07:59:15 AM
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1219569/Revealed-Al-Qaeda-suspect-worked-UK-laboratory.html#

Fears Al Qaeda-linked scientist was planning nuclear attack on UK after MI5 learn he worked at top-secret British lab

By Jason Lewis and Peter Allen
Last updated at 9:36 AM on 11th October 2009

Raid scene: French police at the modest flat in Vienne where Adlene and Halim Hicheur were arrested on Thursday

A brilliant young nuclear scientist who was arrested in France last week over alleged links to Al Qaeda had worked for a top-secret British nuclear research centre.

Last night fears were growing that Dr Adlene Hicheur – who was a researcher for the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire for a year – could have been planning a nuclear attack in the UK.

The French government said yesterday that the arrest of Hicheur, 32, and his brother Dr Halim Hicheur, 25, could have averted a terrorist atrocity.

They were seized after an 18-month investigation by French anti-terrorist police hours before Adlene Hicheur was due to travel to the laboratory where he now works at, CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research near Geneva.


Halim Hicheur carries out research at similar high-security scientific institutions around Europe.

The brothers’ council flat was stormed at 6am last Thursday by eight masked officers from the elite Central Directorate of Interior Intelligence (CDII), the French equivalent of MI5, and 20 armed riot officers.

With almost no noise, a spearhead unit rushed up the concrete steps leading to the cramped flat in Vienne, South-East France. A battering ram was used to break the lock and the warning ‘Armed police!’ shouted.

Large-calibre machine pistols and other weapons were aimed at those inside the flat, including the brothers’ parents and siblings.

Secret agents had been monitoring the brothers’ movements, and all their phone calls, text messages and emails were being bugged ‘in real time and minute by minute’, according to a security source.


‘It was like we were sitting on their shoulders. We knew exactly what they were saying.’

 
Mysteries of the universe: An aerial view of the Rutherford Appleton lab where Dr Hicheur worked

 
The source said that Adlene Hicheur had been ‘pinpointing nuclear targets’ but would not be more specific.

The scientists were being questioned last night at the maximum-security headquarters of the CDII on the outskirts of Paris while MI5 began trying to piece together their movements and contacts in Britain.

French Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux said both men posed such a serious threat that he had halted the long-running surveillance operation and ordered their ‘immediate’ arrest.

‘The investigation will reveal what were the objectives in France or elsewhere of these men,’ he said. ‘Maybe the inquiry will reveal that, thanks to these two arrests, the worst could have been avoided.’

Mr Hortefeux said the apparently mild-mannered, highly religious brothers were a ‘high-level threat’ who were suspected of ‘criminal activities related to a terrorist group’.

Last night, MI5 was understood to be examining their British links amid fears that they were plotting to launch a nuclear attack in the UK. A spokesman for the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory refused to release details about Adlene Hicheur’s time there.

Fears were growing that the men may have been in a position to smuggle nuclear material out of a secure lab for use in a ‘dirty bomb’ attack, or to plant explosives inside the sensitive facility.

According to European intelligence sources, MI5 had been warned that the suspects ‘are outstanding scientists who had been honing their techniques in nuclear fusion across the world.

‘There are genuine fears that they were locating terrorist targets, especially in countries like France and Britain. Their level of expertise in nuclear fusion was improving all the time, leading to the terrifying scenario of a terrorist nuclear attack.’

The arrests followed surveillance  that had logged the French-Algerians’ ‘every word and every move’, including frequent visits to England.

The Mail on Sunday understands that MI5 and British police had begun their own investigation into the two men after the French provided a full breakdown of their visits to, and work in, the UK.


The police will want to question anyone who has worked with or studied alongside either man at Britain’s scientific research centres or universities.

The brothers first came to the attention of French anti-terrorist officers when their names cropped up in an investigation trying to identify French jihadists fighting Nato forces in Afghanistan.

The decision to arrest them followed the interception of internet exchanges with people identified as having links to terrorists in Algeria. The messages reportedly included information on potential targets in France and elsewhere in Europe.

The brothers’ British links included Adlene’s work for the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, as well as research at university cities including London, Manchester, Durham, Edinburgh and St Andrews. They had also spent time studying at Ivy League universities in the US.

Adlene Hicheur is a former research fellow at the Rutherford Appleton and still visits the UK for conferences and other meetings. He and Halim are accused of compiling information about possible targets and sending it to contacts in North Africa involved with Al Qaeda Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

The group is thought to have been behind a number of terror attacks in Algeria and has recently been linked to a call for vengeance against China for mistreatment of its Muslim minority during riots in July.

European intelligence sources said that Adlene Hicheur, who studied at Stanford University in California before moving to Oxfordshire, had expressed a ‘very strong wish to carry out attacks anywhere where Western security interests can be damaged’.

This included ‘countries like Britain and any others where Americans are well represented’, the source added, making it clear that neither brother had yet ‘carried out an attack nor put the material into place to do so’.

Adlene Hicheur is now working on analysis projects with CERN’s Large Hadron Collider. The nuclear research body said he ‘was not a full-time CERN employee’ and claimed ‘his work did not bring him into contact with anything that could be used for terrorism’.


But there is no doubt that his role would have made him  useful to terrorists, especially those keen to  develop a nuclear capability.

The Mail on Sunday has learned that Adlene Hicheur used to work at another atomic collider – the two-mile long Stanford Linear Accelerator (SLAC) at Stanford University in 2001.

‘Some people at the department were freaked out when they were told about the allegations against him,’ a source at the US Department of Energy said. ‘But there really is nothing to worry about because this lab conducts basic science.’

Unmarried Adlene Hicheur still lived with his elderly parents on the council estate in the working-class L’Isle district of Vienne.

‘The raid was a shock to all of us,’ said Veronique Reguillon, 48, who lives in the flat upstairs. ‘The police were in and out in a few minutes, with neither of the boys putting up any resistance.


Adlene is a quiet, studious type who never caused any trouble on the estate. He grew up here with his brother and three sisters. The family has had the same flat for 30 years.

‘His mum and dad are immigrants from Algeria and have worked hard all their lives. They are devout Muslims, with all the women in the family often wearing veils.

‘Adlene is a brilliant academic. Halim is like his brother – well-mannered, hard-working and studious. Their parents will be finding this very hard to take.’

Under French anti-terror laws, the brothers can be held for four days before being formally charged.

The antimatter bomb and the recipe for a Hollywood blockbuster


 
Chilling: Tom Hanks stars in the apocalyptic film Angels & Demons

The arrest of Al Qaeda suspect Dr Adlene Hicheur as he set off for his laboratory at CERN has chilling echoes of Hollywood thriller Angels & Demons, starring Tom Hanks as Professor Robert Langdon.

Based on the best-selling book by Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown, the blockbuster’s apocalyptic plot opens at CERN.

In Brown’s story, a flask containing highly dangerous antimatter is stolen from a secret physics laboratory by an underground brotherhood called The Illuminati and taken to Rome, where they plan to use it to destroy the Vatican.

If antimatter came into contact with matter, they would violently annihilate each other. But in reality, the amount needed to cause such a mighty occurrence, and the expense and difficulty of producing it, mean this proposition belongs firmly in the realms of fiction.

CERN does produce antimatter in its quest to unlock the secrets of the universe and observe the hypothetical Higgs Boson which scientists refer to as the ‘God Particle’ as it gives all matter mass.


The Large Hadron Collider, a 17-mile circular tunnel, tries to recreate conditions soon after the Big Bang 13.7billion years ago by blasting protons together at 99.99 per cent of the speed of light.

It took 20 years, 10,000 scientists, and £5billion to create, but the equipment failed soon after its launch in September last year. However, it should be operational next month.
9666  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: October 11, 2009, 11:09:31 AM
http://hotair.com/archives/2009/10/11/obama-wh-falsely-downplaying-risks-of-retreat-in-afghanistan-military-intel-sources/

Obama WH falsely downplaying risks of retreat in Afghanistan: Military, intel sources

posted at 11:00 am on October 11, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Sources within both the intelligence and military communities tell McClatchy that Barack Obama’s White House has not been honest about the risks of moving away from a robust strategy of counterinsurgency in Afghanistan.  Obama and his advisers have begun publicly discussing the Taliban as a moderate alternative to al-Qaeda in terms of enemies, but the latest intelligence shows just the opposite.  Taliban leadership and AQ have integrated even more tightly than ever since 9/11 and act in concert on strategy and tactics:
As the Obama administration reconsiders its Afghanistan policy, White House officials are minimizing warnings from the intelligence community, the military and the State Department about the risks of adopting a limited strategy focused on al Qaida, U.S. intelligence, diplomatic and military officials told McClatchy.
Recent U.S. intelligence assessments have found that the Taliban and other Pakistan-based groups that are fighting U.S.-led forces have much closer ties to al Qaida now than they did before 9/11, would allow the terrorist network to re-establish bases in Afghanistan and would help Osama bin Laden export his radical brand of Islam to Afghanistan’s neighbors and beyond, the officials said.
McClatchy interviewed more than 15 senior and mid-level U.S. intelligence, military and diplomatic officials, all of whom said they concurred with the assessments. All of them requested anonymity because the assessments are classified and the officials weren’t authorized to speak publicly.
Bob Kerrey openly wonders why the White House has begun to tread the ground of retreat, in an op-ed for today’s Wall Street Journal:
Yet despite these setbacks, our leaders must remain focused on the fact that success in Afghanistan bolsters our national security and yes, our moral reputation. This war is not Vietnam. The Taliban are not popular and have very little support other than what they secure through terror.
Afghanistan is also not Iraq. No serious leader in Kabul is asking us to leave. Instead we are being asked to withdraw by American leaders who begin their analysis with the presumption that victory is not possible. They seem to want to ensure defeat by leaving at the very moment when our military leader on the ground has laid out a coherent and compelling strategy for victory.
When it comes to foreign policy, almost nothing matters more then your friends and your enemies knowing you will keep your word and follow through on your commitments. This is the real test of presidential leadership. I hope that President Obama—soon to be a Nobel laureate—passes with flying colors.
If the military and intel communities are telling Obama that the idea of a “moderate Taliban” is false — and Lara Logan emphatically agrees — then where did this idea arise in the first place?  It comes not from Afghanistan, but from the left wing of the Democratic Party.  They have increased pressure on Obama to get out of Afghanistan, and the Nobel Peace Prize was specifically intended to help in that effort.  The Left wants a way out of the war, and the Obama administration has begun floating trial balloons to help sell this as something other than a retreat, if Obama goes along with it.
Kerrey doesn’t think Obama will do so, and to his credit, Obama has increased resources and offered stalwart political support for the war … until last month, when he finally got schooled on COIN resourcing.  If Obama intends on making an honest decision on this, he needs to stop his advisers from making very dishonest arguments in public about it.  The Taliban are not moderates, and they share the same ideological, political, and tactical goals as Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri.  Anyone saying anything differently is simply selling a false argument for a dishonorable retreat in the face of our enemies.
9667  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: October 11, 2009, 11:00:11 AM
FDR sunk most of his resources into the european theater and won there first. Did he take his eye off the ball in asia? In any fight, you must prioritize and disperse your resources in the way you see as best for you. Iraq is much closer to being a viable nation-state. Afghanistan is a mess of near stone-age tribes. Where would you invest your assets in the hope of winning approval from a post-modern American public with an MTV-attention span?
9668  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: October 11, 2009, 10:53:45 AM
China isn't just trying "cash for clunkers" vote buying like we are. They are positioning chess pieces on the global board. Our leadership is thinking "bread and circuses" to buy votes for 2010/2012. China is thinking generations ahead on their timeline.

Unlike us, the old don't have a vote in China. No need for the bastards in Beijing to appease them. China, above all will act to preserve stability, no matter the cost in lives.

BO and his ilk believe that their charisma and kumbayas will make the world a safe place. We will pay for this delusion in blood, possibly we will cease to exist as a result. Other countries most certainly will.

9669  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: October 11, 2009, 10:41:53 AM
1. When the first American troops landed to engage the nazis in north africa after Pearl Harbor, no one screamed about it. (This is before the modern left, where rooting for your country to lose a war is standard behavior)

2. Saddam was a state sponsor of terror in violation of the cease-fire and Iraq was the ideal nation where an alternative to a totalitarian or jihadist nation could be built. This is a multigenerational war and creating a free Iraq would create an alternate vision for the muslim world rather than the standard of statism or jihad.

3. The intel under Clinton and most every other nation state's intel apparatus was that Saddam retained a WMD program and the ability to use it or hand it off to a non-state actor for use against us.

4. Karzai is corrupt, but Afghanistan doesn't have any prince charmings waiting in the wings. It's the proverbial sow's ear and the fact that it in no way resembles a silk purse doesn't mean that there were better options left untouched. In much of the world, the least evil version of a Tony Soprano is the best thing you'll find that has any chance of success.

5. Lot's of scrutiny of McCain here, funny that the guy he's run against seems to avoid all but the most book-licking adoration.

6. AQ and today's talibs aren't tight like they were in 2001 ? Would making peace with an Axis state have been ok in 1943?

7. Yeah, Iraq is a tragedy in the minds of Frank Rich and his ilk as it may well become a decent country, despite their best efforts.

9670  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: October 11, 2009, 09:18:55 AM
1. Japan crashed because it tried massive "stimulus" spending rather than take a legitimate economic downturn as a natural part of the business cycle. God help any country that tries that.

2. Know what that 13/10 ratio means? A big army that will readily engage in attrition warfare without hesitation. I just hope it's pointed towards the 'stans rather than the pacific.

3. China could be managed if we had competent leadership. So much for that.....
9671  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: October 10, 2009, 07:28:12 PM
http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2009/fortune/0910/gallery.china_shopping_list.fortune/index.html

Interesting.
9672  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: October 10, 2009, 03:41:40 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2009/10/10/the-peace-of-the-grave/

The Peace Of The Grave
posted at 11:50 am on October 10, 2009 by Doctor Zero

I’m not really surprised by the Nobel committee’s decision to grant the Peace Price to Barack Obama. I assumed they would give it to him at the earliest opportunity. I forgot the award had not been given for this year. It would have been slightly better for their credibility if the Nobel committee had waited until next year, but perhaps they didn’t want to take the chance that current events would make that impossible by the end of 2010. The kind of “peacemaking” favored by the Nobel committee is the kind that usually gets innocent people killed, and frequently ends in the kind of war that comes as an even bigger surprise than Obama’s award.
Obama had been in office for less than two weeks before the Nobel nominations were finalized, so his nomination was not based on anything he had done as President. The Nobel Price long ago became a joke, and an insult to the people who suffer under terror and tyranny around the world, but I don’t think the committee just threw Obama the award because he’s so wonderfully special, and not even because he won the election to succeed the only man who has truly deserved the award since 2001. Maybe Obama won the Nobel because of his courageous youthful defiance of murderous evil, when he was brutally tortured for months but refused to submit to totalitarian brutes? Oh, no, wait, that was the guy he defeated in the election.
The Associated Press says the Nobel committee “praised Obama’s creation of a new climate in international politics, and said he had returned multilateral diplomacy and institutions like the U.N. to the center of the world stage.” Of course, he hasn’t actually changed any of the hated Bush’s foreign policies, until this week, when he began talking about embracing the Taliban savages as partners in peace, who might just deserve to control a big chunk of Afghanistan after all. A while ago, I suggested you could ask the women of Afghanistan for a testimonial to Bush’s achievements in the realm of women’s rights, now that the upholstery has been removed from their faces. You’d better ask quickly. The new Nobel Peace Prize winner doesn’t seem all that disturbed by the thought of seeing them muffled again.
Obama was given the Nobel Prize, not because of anything he has done as President, but because of what the committee thinks he will do. His achievements are as non-existent now as they were on the day he was nominated. His agenda, however, is clear. He spelled it out in that insipid speech he gave to the United Nations a few weeks ago. Speaking as the leader of the indentured world, he made it clear that he plans to dim the lights on an America in decline, and humbly step aside as the post-American century begins. That’s why he won the Peace Prize. The Nobel committee has long seen the United States as the greatest threat to world peace, and the man who plans to bankrupt and disarm it has earned their admiration.
There are only two responses to tyranny: submission and resistance. Submission is easy. It can be negotiated. It is filled with nuance, and requires a large staff of diplomats and state functionaries to administer in style. Organizations like the United Nations make the first concessions to dictatorship by their very nature, as they allow thug states like Iran and Libya to take seats next to peaceful democracies. Obama’s dismal eulogy for America at the U.N. was followed by lunatic rants from the blood-splattered clowns who will be the new masters of the global future. Entertaining such creatures is easy, if you can just ignore the piles of faceless victims buried behind them. You may rest assured that the name Neda Agha-Soltan was not spoken during Obama’s Peace Prize deliberations, and it will not be spoken when the prize is placed into his hands.
Resistance is hard. It requires the courage to call evil by its name, and sacrifice universal adoration in the process. The Left likes to rail against intolerance. The defense of peace and freedom requires the absolute intolerance of evil. It requires leaders who don’t need a few days to decide whether to cancel the Fourth of July picnic invitations of a dictatorship that guns down peacefully protesting citizens. It relies upon a nation with the strength and resolve to project both humanitarian assistance and military power around the world.
Barack Obama’s America, mortgaged to the hilt and several trillion dollars beyond broke, with a stagnant economy trapped in government amber, will no longer be such a nation. The Nobel committee is pleased to reward him for that, because a muscular United States rocks a lot of boats. The “international community” has never forgiven George W. Bush for backing it into a corner over Iraq, and forcing the United Nations to enforce its own resolutions. “Resolution” is harmless and exciting when it’s a word spoken by important diplomats, and scribbled into strongly-worded letters. It’s scary when backed up by forceful leaders who take it seriously.
The cultural and political elite of Europe is delighted to give Obama an award for his bold work in turning America into the same kind of dilettante basket case they are. The people who sat helplessly and watched the slaughter in Bosnia may come to regret sacrificing their last shred of credibility to shore up a weak President, so he can finish the task of hobbling the only nation on Earth that can do a damned thing to prevent a slaughter. Europe thinks it can do business with the Islamic fascism creeping through its streets, but it will find any deals it makes with them have expiration dates, as surely as all of Barack Obama’s promises do. When they once again turn to America to save them, they had better hope we’ve had the wisdom to replace the confused and helpless man clutching his shiny Nobel Peace Prize with someone who can saddle up and ride to the rescue. Negotiation without principle is submission, and the only peace brought by submission is the peace of the grave.
9673  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: October 10, 2009, 10:23:41 AM
October 8, 2009, 2:16 PM

The Real Trouble with Afghanistan and Obama
Underneath all this week's he-said/she-said over the war's future lies a self-inflicted wound: Our young president has lost sight of what matters in the military conflict that will define him, and lost sight of it to another Boomer-era vice president's guilty conscience.

By Thomas P.M. Barnett


Should I surge or should I go now? It's the question that has Washington — and, indeed, the world — abuzz over America's future in Afghanistan. First it was the military's convenient leak to Bob Woodward of the starkest assessment of the war to date (Failure!). Then, a week ago, it was General Stanley McChrystal's smacking down of the Joe Biden "fewer troops, more Al Qaeda hunting" plan (Short-sighted!). Then Bob Gates told him, in so many words, to shut up and listen to the Communicator in Chief (Eyebrow-raising!). On Tuesday, President Obama had the ears of thirty legislators, but it seemed to set the Afghan debate further off course than anywhere near consensus (Grumpy old men! And a liberal catfight!).

By this morning, with Kabul rocking and Obama stalling, the question many Americans were asking seemed perfectly natural: So how many troops are we gonna send, Mr. President? And therein lies Team Obama's Bushian dilemma: They've created such huge expectations of a definitive decision on the war that no matter which way the president turns, he will have backed himself into a strategic corner from which he cannot escape. All the leaks and sound bytes and "senior White House official" signal shifts have made some number more important than the most complex military conflict of our time. It's Truman-versus-MacArthur and Bush-versus-Fallon all over again, but the fallout could lead to trouble the likes of which we didn't even see in Iraq. Here's what Obama has been ignoring (Chain of command? China? Petraeus? A firm hand? Anyone?), and why it will all come back to haunt him sooner than he or Stan McChrystal would like to admit.


Truth or Consequences, Afghanistan: Potential Fallout Along the Chain of Command
I was at the Pentagon on Monday, just around the time Gates was giving his "candidly but privately" spiel, and every conversation I had kept coming back to the same concern: "How can we show positive impact in Afghanistan over the next couple of months?" Believe me — when your national-security establishment wraps itself around the axle like that, your narrow strategic mindset ain't no secret.

But if the administration doesn't go along with the recommendations of its handpicked commander (and there were signs this afternoon that it was leaning away from the McChrystal plan and back toward Biden's strategy), then it will have effectively repudiated McChrystal's command with a highly publicized vote of no confidence. By extension, the White House will have completed its marginalization of McChrystal's boss, General David Petraeus. Which, given that the Iraq surge hero and Central Command chief has been urged to run for president in 2012, may be politically hard to resist for Obama's politically savvy advisors. But, again, the political savvy is getting the best of Team Obama when it comes to Afghanistan — this is a war, not an election, with many more lives at stake than a few of the best and brightest, and they'd be stupid to muddle or confuse the two.

The more profound consequence of choosing the Biden option, however, would be to repudiate what is working in Afghanistan. The troops are already pissed off at the anti-McChrystal hyperbole, and limiting our footprint for more drones amounts to a public discounting of the American armed forces' tremendous effort in recent years to transform into an effective instrument of "small wars" counterinsurgency — especially the Army and Marines. Again, by extension, such a decision would tarnish Gates's legacy-in-the-making as bureaucratic godfather to this stunning institutional evolution. I mean, if this was a capacity our military lacked going into Afghanistan and Iraq, only to subsequently develop it under extreme duress, will it be the decision of the Obama administration to immediately shelve our hard-earned capability in a "war of necessity" just because Joe Biden said so?

Worse yet, the world will interpret any "half measures" (John McCain's fighting words) as a signal toward our inevitable withdrawal (watch for the phrase "exit strategy"). And once that happens, world leaders — friend or foe — will immediately start interpreting any statements by Obama that threaten to use force as, you know, threatening to pin-prick with fancy robotic bombers. Waffling, in other words, doesn't answer that Pentagon-wide concern.


The Obama Doctrine: A Product of Another Vietnam-Shadowed Veep
And yet Obama will almost certainly seek to split his Big Afghanistan Decision down the middle (Talk big but act small!). That won't work, and not just because the world's bad boys will think of the American military as a bunch of high-tech pansies — because it reeks of Obama speak for permanent downshifting in our long-term commitment to Afghanistan's future, which, by extension, makes everybody nervous about Pakistan's future.

And so, by shorting Afghanistan, the president may end up inadvertently declaring The Obama Doctrine: (1) yes, Iraq was a one-of-a-kind war, never to be repeated; and (2), in Clinton-era Colin Powell speak honed for the counterterrorism era, we go anywhere we want to kill anyone we want, but as far as the locals are concerned, they can simply fuck off.

In doing so, Obama will position himself internationally as both a full-blown wimp (Jimmy Carter much?) and a sanctimonious cynic (hellooooo, Bill Clinton!), confirming French president Nicolas Sarkozy's first impression that under that fabulous exterior lies a fabile young president.

What's so intriguing and tragic about Obama's indecisiveness here is that it's been triggered by yet another vice-presidential, Boomer-era "wise man" determined to right the wrongs of the Vietnam era. With George W. Bush, it was Jerry Ford's chief of staff Dick Cheney who was determined to restore the power of the imperial presidency, and with Barry, it's Joe Biden (his '72 Senate upset win in Delaware was fueled by his fierce opposition to the war), who, along with 'Nam vets John Kerry and Chuck Hagel, counsels our JFK-ish president to get out of this quagmire now — while he still can. Despite all of Obama's campaign rhetoric about bringing a post-Boomer perspective to the White House, on this crucial call he appears as captive to that mindset as his two predecessors were.

And yes, the perverse influence that links them all is Obama's kitchen-cabinet adviser Colin Powell (aka Two-Face), who never met a war he didn't want to decisively win but likewise never met a post-war situation he didn't want to assiduously avoid. If you want a poster-child for how Vietnam still screws up presidencies, then General Powell's your man. Just understand that, later on, he'll deny everything to Bob Woodward.

Esquire contributing editor Thomas P.M. Barnett is the author of Great Powers: America and the World After Bush.



Read more: http://www.esquire.com/the-side/war-room/obama-new-afghanistan-strategy-100809#ixzz0TXxu9gBO
9674  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: October 10, 2009, 09:47:17 AM
http://www.breitbart.com/print.php?id=CNG.35512cbc2c2778646bd8bce1a73746c8.1e1&show_article=1

Chinese dissidents let down by Obama Nobel
Oct 9 11:18 PM US/Eastern

China's dissidents are voicing unease about President Barack Obama's Nobel Peace Prize, saying that the award could have been effective in promoting human rights in their country.
Some in China's democracy movement are outraged at what they see as a weak stance on rights by Obama, who the same week as Friday's announcement avoided a meeting with Tibet's exiled Dalai Lama that would have upset Beijing.

Chinese activists had been tipped as Nobel contenders on this year of anniversaries, when China marked 60 years of communist rule, 50 years since the Dalai Lama's flight and 20 years since the crushing of the Tiananmen Square democracy uprising.

Potential laureates included Hu Jia, locked up since December 2007 after exposing government abuses and the plight of China's AIDS sufferers, and Wei Jingsheng, a onetime electrician who spent 18 years in prison after brazenly challenging former leader Deng Xiaoping to bring democracy.

Huang Ciping, an engineer turned activist who is executive director of Wei's Washington-based foundation, said that China "has come to such a turning point that the prize might have helped."

"The Nobel Peace Prize committee has the full right to decide to give coal to those who suffer and struggle or to present flowers to the powerful," she said.

But she said of the decision: "It is both a pity for the Chinese people and a danger to world peace."

Rebiya Kadeer, the exiled leader of China's Uighur minority, congratulated Obama but called on him to use the added prestige to put pressure on "dictatorships like China."

"I am very happy that he got it. Now he has to do something with the award. It raises expectations on him to stand up for oppressed nations," she told AFP.

Some 200 people died in July in clashes between Uighurs and China's majority Han in the country's worst ethnic bloodletting in decades.

Harry Wu, who spent nearly two decades toiling as a political prisoner and now tries to publicize the "laogai" prison camp system, said the Norwegian Nobel committee's decision was premature.

"Maybe at this moment, Obama's actions on peace and human rights do not seem too bad, but so far I do not think it is enough to prove that he is qualified as the Peace Prize winner," Wu said.

Obama nearly said as much in his humble statement on the award, in which he said: "To be honest, I do not feel I deserve to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who have been honored by this prize."

But some exiled Chinese said the prize was not only premature but undeserved, pointing to the Obama administration's statements that human rights concerns will not hold back a growing relationship with China.

James B. Chen, a cancer researcher at the University of Arkansas, feared that the award could be seen as affirmation of focusing on economic ties with China or of Obama's decision to avoid the Dalai Lama.

"For nearly all of my friends, their first reaction was that they were very, very disappointed," Chen said. "They thought this is a major setback for human rights."

The White House has denied it snubbed the Dalai Lama, saying Obama will meet him after the president visits China next month.

The Dalai Lama is paying his first visit to Washington since 1991 that does not include a meeting with the president. But he said he had no hard feelings and sent a congratulatory letter to Obama.

The Tibetan monk, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 despite strong Chinese protests, told Obama that "the founding fathers of the United States have made this country the greatest democracy and a champion of freedom and liberty.

"It is, therefore, important for today's American leaders to adopt principled leadership based on these high ideals," he said.

"Such an approach will not only enhance the reputation of the United States, but also contribute tremendously to reducing tension in the world."
9675  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Pathological Science on: October 10, 2009, 09:35:23 AM
BBG is the man on this topic. Prepare for a dataflood.  grin
9676  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: October 10, 2009, 09:05:31 AM
I'd agree with your parasite metaphor. China doesn't want us dead, just subservient to them.

Does internal instability scare the politburo? Yes, but that's why they have a police state that has made clear since 1989 that they will kill as many Chinese citizens as needed to retain control. There is no alternate government waiting in the wings, and given the rise of China in the new era of American weakness, Hong Kong, and especially Taiwan have much to fear.
9677  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: BO's friends and appointments on: October 09, 2009, 05:17:25 PM
What's this business I'm hearing about a NAMBLA pedophile being part of the BO team?

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/Obama-appointee-lauded-NAMBLA-figure-63115112.html

Obama appointee lauded NAMBLA figure
By: Mark Tapscott
Editorial Page Editor
10/01/09 12:40 PM EDT
Kevin Jennings, President Obama's Assistant Deputy Secretary of the Office of Safe and Drug FreeSchools at the U.S. Department of Education, is in hot water this week for having failed to report that a 15-year-old sophomore student in his school had told him of having sex with an older man.

But failure to report what appeared to be a case of statuatory rape of a child may be the least of Jennings' worries. Lori Roman of Regular Folks United points to statements by Jennings a decade or more ago when he praised Harry Hay of the North American Association for Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA), which promotes the legalization of sexual abuse of young boys by older men.

Roman provides damning details and links here. She also notes that Jennings wrote the forward "to a book called Queering Elementary Education. And another fellow you may have heard of wrote one of the endorsements on the book jacket—Bill Ayers." Ayers, of course, is the Weather Underground bomber from the 1960s who is just an "acquaintance" of Obama.

Every presidential administration ends up with scandals inspired by controversial appointees, but typically those tend to revolve around financial improprieties, conflicts of interest, or some other form of white-collar misconduct. For Obama, the scandals seem to be develping in a pattern of disclosures revolving around radical left ideology that raises questions about their fitness for any job in government.

And that in turn raises the inevitable question: Is nobody minding the White House personnel store?

UPDATE: Who was Harry Hay?

Folks at Media Matters are agitated by the above post and others pointing out Jennings' praise of Harry Hay and the latter's link to NAMBLA. Hay was not an employee or official of NAMBLA, but was during his later years, according to his entry on Wikipedia, a frequent defender of the group, including this 1983 statement: "f the parents and friends of gays are truly friends of gays, they would know from their gay kids that the relationship with an older man is precisely what thirteen-, fourteen-, and fifteen-year-old kids need more than anything else in the world."

MM has a point - Jennings praise of Hay was not specifically in the context of the latter's support of NAMBLA. Readers will decide for themselves whether it is appropriate for an individual who publicly praised an advocate of pedophilia to be appointed Assistant Deputy Secretary of Education for Safe and Drug-Free Schools.   
9678  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: October 09, 2009, 03:23:28 PM
http://spectator.org/blog/2009/10/09/just-how-surprised-and-deeply

Just How "Surprised and Deeply Humbled" Is Mr. Obama?
By Robert P. Kirchhoefer on 10.9.09 @ 1:30PM

According to the rules of the Nobel Prize nomination, a candidate receives an invitation for submission as a Nobel Peace candidate in September of the previous year, and must respond by the 1st of the subsequent February. That's right, in September of 2008, when nobody had even voted for the current President, Mr. Obama was under the illusion that he was qualified for a Nobel Peace Prize based on a few years as a community organizer, a little time in the Illinois legislature, an incomplete term in the United States' Senate, and a couple of books about his favorite topic -- himself.

By the February 1, 2009 deadline for submissions, before Mr. Obama had even stepped into office, he was no more surprised or humbled then than he is on this ignoble day.

This display is truly the antithesis of humility.

Now we know why he's been waiting so long to determine how to protect our troops in Afghanistan. Or is it too audacious to suggest such a thought?
9679  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Barack Obama adviser says Sharia Law is misunderstood on: October 09, 2009, 09:25:51 AM
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/barackobama/6274387/Obama-adviser-says-Sharia-Law-is-misunderstood.html

Barack Obama adviser says Sharia Law is misunderstood

President Barack Obama's adviser on Muslim affairs, Dalia Mogahed, has provoked controversy by appearing on a British television show hosted by a member of an extremist group to talk about Sharia Law.
 
By Andrew Gilligan and Alex Spillius in Washington
Published: 8:00PM BST 08 Oct 2009

Miss Mogahed, appointed to the President's Council on Faith-Based and Neighbourhood Partnerships, said the Western view of Sharia was "oversimplified" and the majority of women around the world associate it with "gender justice".

The White House adviser made the remarks on a London-based TV discussion programme hosted by Ibtihal Bsis, a member of the extremist Hizb ut Tahrir party.

The group believes in the non-violent destruction of Western democracy and the creation of an Islamic state under Sharia Law across the world.

Miss Mogahed appeared alongside Hizb ut Tahrir's national women's officer, Nazreen Nawaz.

During the 45-minute discussion, on the Islam Channel programme Muslimah Dilemma earlier this week, the two members of the group made repeated attacks on secular "man-made law" and the West's "lethal cocktail of liberty and capitalism".

They called for Sharia Law to be "the source of legislation" and said that women should not be "permitted to hold a position of leadership in government".

Miss Mogahed made no challenge to these demands and said that "promiscuity" and the "breakdown of traditional values" were what Muslims admired least about the West.

She said: "I think the reason so many women support Sharia is because they have a very different understanding of sharia than the common perception in Western media.

"The majority of women around the world associate gender justice, or justice for women, with sharia compliance.

"The portrayal of Sharia has been oversimplified in many cases."

Sharia in its broadest sense is a religious code for living, which decrees such matters as fasting and dressing modestly. However, it has also been interpreted as requiring the separation of men and women.

It also includes the controversial "Hadd offences", crimes with specific penalties set by the Koran and the sayings of the prophet Mohammed. These include death by stoning for adultery and homosexuality and the removal of a hand for theft.

Miss Mogahed admitted that even many Muslims associated Sharia with "maximum criminal punishments" and "laws that... to many people seem unequal to women," but added: "Part of the reason that there is this perception of Sharia is because Sharia is not well understood and Islam as a faith is not well understood."

The video of the broadcast has now been prominently posted on the front page of Hizb ut Tahrir's website.

Miss Mogahed, who was born in Egypt and moved to America at the age of five, is the first veiled Muslim woman to serve in the White House. Her appointment was seen as a sign of the Obama administration's determination to reach out to the Muslim world.

She is also the executive director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, a project which aims to scientifically sample public opinion in the Muslim world.

During this week's broadcast, she described her White House role as "to convey... to the President and other public officials what it is Muslims want."

Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America, said Miss Mogahed was “downplaying” Sharia Law.

“There is a reason sharia has got a bad name and it is how it has been exercised. Regrettably in the US there have been acts of injustice perpetrated against women that are driven by the Sharia-type mindset that women are objects not human beings,” she said.

She cited the example of Muzzammil Hassan, a Buffalo man who ran a cable channel aimed at countering Muslim stereotypes and was charged earlier this year with beheading his wife after she filed for divorce.

“Americans understand by example, it’s not as if we are an ignorant mass of people. Just as we don’t broad brush all Muslims, so should Dalia not downplay the serious nature of sharia law.”
9680  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War, WMD issues on: October 09, 2009, 08:42:52 AM
I disagree Doug. China has us by the short and curlies. They couldn't build a military that could defeat ours for the amount of money they used to buy our debt. Now, they are using their financial leverage to bend us to their will. Unrestricted warfare, financial edition.

"The acme of skill is to defeat an enemy without fighting".

"He who understands himself and his opponent need not fear the outcome of a thousand battles"

Sun Tzu
9681  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: October 08, 2009, 09:21:51 AM
http://hotair.com/archives/2009/10/08/obama-wh-bought-coin-without-understanding-the-cost-wapo/

Obama WH bought COIN without understanding the cost: WaPo

posted at 9:30 am on October 8, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

If nothing up to this point convinced people of the amateurish and bungling nature of Barack Obama and his administration, this Washington Post story makes the case all by itself.  For two years, Obama campaigned on changing the strategy in Afghanistan to a more effective counterinsurgency (COIN) strategy, claiming that the Bush administration had dropped the ball in the Af-Pak theater in large part by not committing the resources needed for an effective battle plan (an assessment shared by John McCain).  On taking office, Obama quickly increased troop levels in Afghanistan and appointed COIN strategist Gen. Stanley McChrystal to lead the mission.
However, the Post reports that Obama and his team never understood the implications of his demand for the new strategy.  McChrystal’s assessment of the needs for his COIN plan sent them into “sticker shock,” according to one Post source in the White House (emphasis mine):


In early March, after weeks of debate across a conference table in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, the participants in President Obama’s strategic review of the war in Afghanistan figured that the most contentious part of their discussions was behind them. Everyone, save Vice President Biden’s national security adviser, agreed that the United States needed to mount a comprehensive counterinsurgency mission to defeat the Taliban.
That conclusion, which was later endorsed by the president and members of his national security team, would become the first in a set of recommendations contained in an administration white paper outlining what Obama called “a comprehensive, new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan.” Preventing al-Qaeda’s return to Afghanistan, the document stated, would require “executing and resourcing an integrated civilian-military counterinsurgency strategy.” …
To some civilians who participated in the strategic review, that conclusion was much less clear. Some took it as inevitable that more troops would be needed, but others thought the thrust of the new approach was to send over scores more diplomats and reconstruction experts. They figured a counterinsurgency mission could be accomplished with the forces already in the country, plus the 17,000 new troops Obama had authorized in February.
“It was easy to say, ‘Hey, I support COIN,’ because nobody had done the assessment of what it would really take, and nobody had thought through whether we want to do what it takes,” said one senior civilian administration official who participated in the review, using the shorthand for counterinsurgency.
The failure to reach a shared understanding of the resources required to execute the strategy has complicated the White House’s response to the grim assessment of the war by the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, forcing the president to decide, in effect, what his administration really meant when it endorsed a counterinsurgency plan. Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal’s follow-up request for more forces, which presents a range of options but makes clear that the best chance of achieving the administration’s goals requires an additional 40,000 U.S. troops on top of the 68,000 who are already there, has given senior members of Obama’s national security team “a case of sticker shock,” the administration official said.


After two years of campaigning on this new strategy and eight months of ordering it as Commander in Chief, Barack Obama now has to make up his mind what he meant?  It was the single most important issue on the war during the general campaign, thanks to the sharp improvement in Iraq that Obama predicted would never happen.  He had hundreds of military officers and foreign-policy experts advising him on this issue — and none of them apparently ever taught the young candidate what COIN actually entailed.
This is a damning indictment of the President and his lack of preparation for the job, but it goes farther than that.  Obama has essentially been “on the job” since the transition, which started eleven months ago.  Considering the priority of any policy that puts American men and women in battle, Obama should have worked to understand the implications of his COIN solution from Day 1 in the transition, if not Day 1 of his term in office.  He appointed McChrystal for this specific purpose in the spring without bothering to understand the concepts and the resources required for COIN.
In other words, Obama has half-assed it, and has gotten caught.
Update: Michael Yon links to an intriguing report from Anthony Lloyd from Afghanistan.  Don’t forget to hit Michael’s tip jar.  We’re going to need him on the ground more than ever.
9682  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / China: Al-Qaeda urges holy war to defend Muslims on: October 07, 2009, 06:24:35 PM
http://www.adnkronos.com/AKI/English/Security/?id=3.0.3849585514

China: Al-Qaeda urges holy war to defend Muslims


Rome, 7 October (AKI) - A leading Al-Qaeda militant on Wednesday called on Muslims worldwide to defend Uighurs in China's restive northwestern region of Xinjiang. He told Uighurs to prepare for a holy war or Jihad and urged a "vast media campaign" to raise awareness of their fate at the hands of "oppressive" China.

In the video posted to jihadist websites, Abu Yahya al-Libi appeared to launch a frontal assault against China.

"This massacre is not being carried out by criminal Crusaders or evil Jews who have committed crimes against our nation," al-Libi stated.

"Today, a new massacre is being carried out by Buddhist nationalists and communists against the Muslim population in eastern Turkestan," said al-Libi.

Islamists call Xinjiang East Turkestan. Uighurs are Muslims native to Xinjiang province, and have cultural ties to Turkic peoples in Central Asia.

"There is no way to remove injustice and oppression without a true return to their (Uighurs) religion and ... serious preparation for Jihad in the path of God the Almighty and to carry weapons in the face of those (Chinese) invaders," he said.

"It is a duty for Muslims today to stand by their wounded and oppressed brothers in East Turkestan ... and support them with all they can," al-Libi added.

Al-Libi claims terrible crimes are being perpetrated in Xinjiang "which nobody can see," urging a media campaign to give these crimes the same visibility as those "carried out by westerners against Muslims."

He also accused China of using "satanic ways" to oppress Muslims in the province and replace them with other ethnicities while "looting their wealth and undermining their culture and religion."

"Tens of thousand of people have been silently killed to prevent a revolt. The communist Chinese government has tried to eliminate all links between eastern Turkestan and the Islamic nation by sending colonisers to constantly reduce the number of Muslims," he stated.

Another tactic China is using to exterminate Muslims is calling the province Xinjiang instead of eastern Turkestan, just as Palestine's name as been changed to Israel, al-Libi argued.

He described China's presence in Xinjiang as an "occupation" and claimed the colonisation of the province has made the Muslim population a minority.

"The Chinese have closed all the Islamic schools, forbidding the study of the Muslim religion. They have arrested and killed all the Muslim leaders," he said.

Xinjiang is also the province where China is carrying out the largest number of nuclear experiments, al-Libi alleged.

"Thousands of people have died from the radiation emitted by the many nuclear missiles that have been launched and the experiments carried out in the area," al-Libi concluded.

Uighurs make up 8 million people out of Xinjiang's population of 20 million. It covers one-sixth of the country and is relatively sparsely populated.

A total of 197 people were killed over several days of unrest in Xinjiang in July and rioting in the capital Urumqi. Most of those who died were from the Han Chinese majority.

9683  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: October 07, 2009, 09:18:28 AM
China may well find it's self fighting against the global jihad anyway. Unlike the US they will use torture and scorched earth tactics and unlike the US the "world" won't utter a peep in protest.
9684  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Law Enforcement issues on: October 07, 2009, 09:04:28 AM
http://www.chieftain.com/articles/2009/10/07/news/local/doc4acc29cd2ab14476835105.txt

Suspected bomber arrested without incident


CHIEFTAIN PHOTO/CHRIS McLEAN -- Pueblo County sheriff’s investigators look over the Pueblo West home of police officer Nathan Pruce on Tuesday. A propane tank attached to Pruce’s garage spewed gas into the home.


Nathan Pruce


Robert Howard Bruce

Search ends for sex-assault suspect who faced trial Tuesday with officer Nathan Pruce as key witness.By PABLO CARLOS MORA, JEFF TUCKER and JUAN ESPINOSA
THE PUEBLO CHIEFTAIN
A man sought in connection with an attempt to blow up a police officer’s Pueblo West home was arrested Tuesday evening at the North Side Kmart.

Officers arrested Robert Howard Bruce, 47, about 6 p.m. without any resistance, while checking the area, according to Laurie Kilpatrick, a spokeswoman with the Pueblo Sheriff’s Department. No other details were released.

Bruce was the subject of an intensive manhunt Tuesday afternoon after he reportedly attempted to blow up the home of Pueblo officer Nathan Pruce.

Bruce failed to show up for the trial Tuesday at which Pruce was to testify.

While leaving his Los Charros Drive home at 9:22 a.m. Tuesday morning, Pruce noticed a propane tank in his driveway with a line running into a garage wall, Pueblo County Sheriff Kirk Taylor said. “An improvised explosive device was found attached to officer Pruce’s home,” Taylor said. “The Metro Bomb Squad found very high readings of some kind of explosive in the house.”

Pruce left his home and nearby Cedar Ridge Elementary School was locked down as a precaution, Taylor said.

“The bomb squad opened doors and windows to vent the substance from the house. After the house was cleared by the bomb squad, the fire department checked the home and found it safe,” Taylor said.

Cedar Ridge Elementary was released from lockdown at noon.

Bruce was arrested by officer Pruce in the early morning on July 17, 2007, after neighbors reported a prowler in the Belmont neighborhood.

Bruce was charged with unlawful sexual contact-peeping Tom and second-degree trespassing, both misdemeanors.

Pruce arrested Bruce after he led police on a foot chase and a brief car chase through Belmont.

According to Bruce's arrest affidavit, Pruce found a metal pipe used for smoking drugs and a small amount of marijuana on him, and admitted to looking in the victim's window.

The report indicated the victim said she went to a room next to her bedroom after she heard a noise, peeked outside the window and saw Bruce walking around her backyard.

Police also found a chair placed outside the window.

pmora@chieftain.com


jtucker@chieftain.com



juane@chieftain.com

9685  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War, WMD issues on: October 06, 2009, 09:25:23 AM
Any buyer's remorse yet, Obama voters?
9686  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Bye free speech, hello sharia on: October 06, 2009, 09:24:24 AM
http://weeklystandard.com/Utilities/printer_preview.asp?idArticle=17043&R=1637E18C1A

You Can't Say That
At the UN, the Obama administration backs limits on free speech.
by Anne Bayefsky
10/05/2009 12:00:00 AM



The Obama administration has marked its first foray into the UN human rights establishment by backing calls for limits on freedom of expression. The newly-minted American policy was rolled out at the latest session of the UN Human Rights Council, which ended in Geneva on Friday. American diplomats were there for the first time as full Council members and intent on making friends.

President Obama chose to join the Council despite the fact that the Organization of the Islamic Conference holds the balance of power and human rights abusers are among its lead actors, including China, Cuba, and Saudi Arabia. Islamic states quickly interpreted the president's penchant for "engagement" as meaning fundamental rights were now up for grabs. Few would have predicted, however, that the shift would begin with America's most treasured freedom.

For more than a decade, a UN resolution on the freedom of expression was shepherded through the Council, and the now defunct Commission on Human Rights which it replaced, by Canada. Over the years, Canada tried mightily to garner consensus on certain minimum standards, but the "reformed" Council changed the distribution of seats on the UN's lead human rights body. In 2008, against the backdrop of the publication of images of Mohammed in a Danish newspaper, Cuba and various Islamic countries destroyed the consensus and rammed through an amendment which introduced a limit on any speech they claimed was an "abuse . . . [that] constitutes an act of racial or religious discrimination."

The Obama administration decided that a revamped freedom of expression resolution, extracted from Canadian hands, would be an ideal emblem for its new engagement policy. So it cosponsored a resolution on the subject with none other than Egypt--a country characterized by an absence of freedom of expression.

Privately, other Western governments were taken aback and watched the weeks of negotiations with dismay as it became clear that American negotiators wanted consensus at all costs. In introducing the resolution on Thursday, October 1--adopted by consensus the following day--the ranking U.S. diplomat, Chargé d'Affaires Douglas Griffiths, crowed:


"The United States is very pleased to present this joint project with Egypt. This initiative is a manifestation of the Obama administration's commitment to multilateral engagement throughout the United Nations and of our genuine desire to seek and build cooperation based upon mutual interest and mutual respect in pursuit of our shared common principles of tolerance and the dignity of all human beings."


His Egyptian counterpart, Ambassador Hisham Badr, was equally pleased--for all the wrong reasons. He praised the development by telling the Council that "freedom of expression . . . has been sometimes misused," insisting on limits consistent with the "true nature of this right" and demanding that the "the media must . . . conduct . . . itself in a professional and ethical manner."

The new resolution, championed by the Obama administration, has a number of disturbing elements. It emphasizes that "the exercise of the right to freedom of expression carries with it special duties and responsibilities . . ." which include taking action against anything meeting the description of "negative racial and religious stereotyping." It also purports to "recognize . . . the moral and social responsibilities of the media" and supports "the media's elaboration of voluntary codes of professional ethical conduct" in relation to "combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance."

Pakistan's Ambassador Zamir Akram, speaking on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, made it clear that they understand the resolution and its protection against religious stereotyping as allowing free speech to be trumped by anything that defames or negatively stereotypes religion. The idea of protecting the human rights "of religions" instead of individuals is a favorite of those countries that do not protect free speech and which use religion--as defined by government--to curtail it.

Even the normally feeble European Union tried to salvage the American capitulation by expressing the hope that the resolution might be read a different way. Speaking on behalf of the EU following the resolution's adoption, French Ambassador Jean-Baptiste Mattéi declared that "human rights law does not, and should not, protect religions or belief systems, hence the language on stereotyping only applies to stereotyping of individuals . . . and not of ideologies, religions or abstract values. The EU rejects the concept of defamation of religions." The EU also distanced itself from the American compromise on the media, declaring that "the notion of a moral and social responsibility of the media" goes "well beyond" existing international law and "the EU cannot subscribe to this concept in such general terms."

In 1992 when the United States ratified the main international law treaty which addresses freedom of expression, the government carefully attached reservations to ensure that the treaty could not "restrict the right of free speech and association protected by the Constitution and laws of the United States."

The Obama administration's debut at the Human Rights Council laid bare its very different priorities. Threatening freedom of expression is a price for engagement with the Islamic world that it is evidently prepared to pay.

Anne Bayefsky is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, a professor at Touro College, and the editor of EYEontheUN.org.
 
9687  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War, WMD issues on: October 06, 2009, 09:21:53 AM
But, but Obama wore a kippah at AIPAC.....

 rolleyes
9688  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Foreign Policy on: October 06, 2009, 12:14:02 AM
Dictionary: kow·tow   (kou-tou', kou'tou')
 

1.To kneel and touch the forehead to the ground in expression of deep respect, worship, or submission, as formerly done in China.
2.To show servile deference. See synonims at fawn1.
n.
1.The act of kneeling and touching the forehead to the ground.
2.An obsequious act.
[From Chinese (Mandarin) kòu tóu, a kowtow : kòu, to knock + tóu, head.]
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/barackobama/6262938/Barack-Obama-cancels-meeting-with-Dalai-Lama-to-keep-China-happy.html


Barack Obama cancels meeting with Dalai Lama 'to keep China happy'
President Barack Obama has refused to meet the Dalai Lama in Washington this week in a move to curry favour with the Chinese.
 
By Alex Spillius in Washington
Published: 6:20PM BST 05 Oct 2009

 
President Barack Obama has delayed a meeting with the Dalai Lama Photo: REUTERS The decision came after China stepped up a campaign urging nations to shun the Tibetan spiritual leader.

It means Mr Obama will become the first president not to welcome the Nobel peace prize winner to the White House since the Dalai Lama began visiting Washington in 1991.

The fog of war The Buddhist monk arrived in Washington on Monday for a week of meetings with Congressional leaders, celebrity supporters and interest groups, but the president will not see him until after he has made his first visit to China next month.

Samdhong Rinpoche, the Tibetan prime minister-in-exile, has accused the United States and other Western nations of "appeasement" toward China as its economic weight grows.

"Today, economic interests are much greater than other interests," he said.

Mr Obama's decision dismayed human rights and Tibetan support groups, who said he had made an unnecessary concession to the Chinese, who regard the Dalai Lama as a "splittist", despite his calls for autonomy rather than independence for Tibet. The Chinese invaded in 1950, forcing the young leader to flee.

Sophie Richardson, Asia advocate for Human Rights Watch, said: "Presidents always meets the Dalai Lama and what happens? Absolutely nothing.

"This idea that if you are nice to the Chinese Communist Party up front you can cash in later is just wrong. If you lower the bar on human rights they will just move it lower and lower."

Over several months of discussions the Tibetans resisted entreaties to delay the meeting, arguing that a refusal would make smaller countries more vulnerable to pressure from China not to meet the Dalai Lama.

But they were told by US officials they wanted to work with China on critical issues, including nuclear weapons proliferation in North Korea and Iran, according to The Washington Post. Mr Obama then sent a delegation to the Dalai Lama's home in exile in India last month that confirmed the meeting would be deferred.

Mr Obama has changed his position on Tibet since his election campaign.

In April 2008, he was joined by Hillary Clinton, then his rival for the Democratic nomination and now his Secretary of State, in calling on George W Bush to boycott the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony in protest at the bloody repression of a popular uprising in Tibet.

"If the Chinese do not take steps to help stop the genocide in Darfur and to respect the dignity, security, and human rights of the Tibetan people, then the President should boycott the opening ceremonies," they said.

Mrs Clinton has been at the forefront of a new approach, called "strategic reassurance", which seeks a more amicable partnership with the emerging power.

On her first trip to China in February she said public pressure on China over human rights was ill-advised as she "knew what the Chinese were going to say".

Lodi Gyaltsen Gyari, the Washington-based special envoy to the Dalai Lama, issued a brief statement, saying: "We came to this arrangement because we believe that it is in our long-term interests."

A White House official said the administration and the Tibetans had "agreed the timing would be best after the visit".

"Both sides attach importance to a strong US-China relationship," the official said. "There are benefits in that to our goals for Tibet, as we have been working to resume discussions between the Chinese government and the Dalai Lama’s representatives.”

The Tibetan leader's ten meetings with US presidents have played an important role in maintaining his international profile, even though they have never been filmed or followed by a press conference.

The exception was 2007, when George W Bush conferred the Congressional Gold Medal, Congress's highest civilian award, on the Dalai Lama in front of the cameras.

Frank Wolf, a Republican congressman and outspoken critic of China's human rights record, said: "What would a Buddhist monk or Buddhist nun in Drapchi prison think when he heard that President Obama, the president of the United States, is not going to meet with the Dalai Lama?

"It's against the law to even have a picture of the Dalai Lama. I can almost hear the words of the Chinese guards saying to them that nobody cares about you in the United States."

Ms Richardson said treating human rights as separate from other issues guaranteed failure "across the board".

"If there is no explicit agreement to stop locking up environmental activists and whistle blowers then any environmental agreement will be weakened.

"If the press in China is muzzled it won't investigate industrial safety and you will have more toxic toys coming to the United States," she said.
9689  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War, WMD issues on: October 05, 2009, 10:26:35 PM
We are watching the end of Israel and America as we knew it.
9690  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The demise of the dollar on: October 05, 2009, 10:18:57 PM
Exclusive report by Robert Fisk


The demise of the dollar

In a graphic illustration of the new world order, Arab states have launched secret moves with China, Russia and France to stop using the US currency for oil trading

By Robert Fisk

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/the-demise-of-the-dollar-1798175.html

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Rex

Iran announced late last month that its foreign currency reserves would henceforth be held in euros rather than dollars.




In the most profound financial change in recent Middle East history, Gulf Arabs are planning – along with China, Russia, Japan and France – to end dollar dealings for oil, moving instead to a basket of currencies including the Japanese yen and Chinese yuan, the euro, gold and a new, unified currency planned for nations in the Gulf Co-operation Council, including Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and Qatar.


Secret meetings have already been held by finance ministers and central bank governors in Russia, China, Japan and Brazil to work on the scheme, which will mean that oil will no longer be priced in dollars.

The plans, confirmed to The Independent by both Gulf Arab and Chinese banking sources in Hong Kong, may help to explain the sudden rise in gold prices, but it also augurs an extraordinary transition from dollar markets within nine years.

Related articles
•Sean O'Grady: China will overtake America, the only question is when
•Leading article: The end of the dollar spells the rise of a new order
The Americans, who are aware the meetings have taken place – although they have not discovered the details – are sure to fight this international cabal which will include hitherto loyal allies Japan and the Gulf Arabs. Against the background to these currency meetings, Sun Bigan, China's former special envoy to the Middle East, has warned there is a risk of deepening divisions between China and the US over influence and oil in the Middle East. "Bilateral quarrels and clashes are unavoidable," he told the Asia and Africa Review. "We cannot lower vigilance against hostility in the Middle East over energy interests and security."

This sounds like a dangerous prediction of a future economic war between the US and China over Middle East oil – yet again turning the region's conflicts into a battle for great power supremacy. China uses more oil incrementally than the US because its growth is less energy efficient. The transitional currency in the move away from dollars, according to Chinese banking sources, may well be gold. An indication of the huge amounts involved can be gained from the wealth of Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar who together hold an estimated $2.1 trillion in dollar reserves.

The decline of American economic power linked to the current global recession was implicitly acknowledged by the World Bank president Robert Zoellick. "One of the legacies of this crisis may be a recognition of changed economic power relations," he said in Istanbul ahead of meetings this week of the IMF and World Bank. But it is China's extraordinary new financial power – along with past anger among oil-producing and oil-consuming nations at America's power to interfere in the international financial system – which has prompted the latest discussions involving the Gulf states.

Brazil has shown interest in collaborating in non-dollar oil payments, along with India. Indeed, China appears to be the most enthusiastic of all the financial powers involved, not least because of its enormous trade with the Middle East.

China imports 60 per cent of its oil, much of it from the Middle East and Russia. The Chinese have oil production concessions in Iraq – blocked by the US until this year – and since 2008 have held an $8bn agreement with Iran to develop refining capacity and gas resources. China has oil deals in Sudan (where it has substituted for US interests) and has been negotiating for oil concessions with Libya, where all such contracts are joint ventures.

Furthermore, Chinese exports to the region now account for no fewer than 10 per cent of the imports of every country in the Middle East, including a huge range of products from cars to weapon systems, food, clothes, even dolls. In a clear sign of China's growing financial muscle, the president of the European Central Bank, Jean-Claude Trichet, yesterday pleaded with Beijing to let the yuan appreciate against a sliding dollar and, by extension, loosen China's reliance on US monetary policy, to help rebalance the world economy and ease upward pressure on the euro.

Ever since the Bretton Woods agreements – the accords after the Second World War which bequeathed the architecture for the modern international financial system – America's trading partners have been left to cope with the impact of Washington's control and, in more recent years, the hegemony of the dollar as the dominant global reserve currency.

The Chinese believe, for example, that the Americans persuaded Britain to stay out of the euro in order to prevent an earlier move away from the dollar. But Chinese banking sources say their discussions have gone too far to be blocked now. "The Russians will eventually bring in the rouble to the basket of currencies," a prominent Hong Kong broker told The Independent. "The Brits are stuck in the middle and will come into the euro. They have no choice because they won't be able to use the US dollar."

Chinese financial sources believe President Barack Obama is too busy fixing the US economy to concentrate on the extraordinary implications of the transition from the dollar in nine years' time. The current deadline for the currency transition is 2018.

The US discussed the trend briefly at the G20 summit in Pittsburgh; the Chinese Central Bank governor and other officials have been worrying aloud about the dollar for years. Their problem is that much of their national wealth is tied up in dollar assets.

"These plans will change the face of international financial transactions," one Chinese banker said. "America and Britain must be very worried. You will know how worried by the thunder of denials this news will generate."

Iran announced late last month that its foreign currency reserves would henceforth be held in euros rather than dollars. Bankers remember, of course, what happened to the last Middle East oil producer to sell its oil in euros rather than dollars. A few months after Saddam Hussein trumpeted his decision, the Americans and British invaded Iraq.
9691  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: BO's friends and appointments on: October 02, 2009, 11:24:01 AM
The first klingon.

9692  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Chicago graft loses the Olympics! on: October 02, 2009, 10:50:39 AM
Barry-O's corruptocrats lose!

I bet the plane ride back with Lt. Worf will be very, very long. Maybe the empty-suit can start trying to be the president now?
9693  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Foreign Policy on: September 29, 2009, 09:25:00 PM
http://formerspook.blogspot.com/2009/09/todays-reading-assignment_26.html

Saturday, September 26, 2009
Today's Reading Assignment

...courtesy of Ralph Peters, in the New York Post. In his latest column, Colonel Peters (essentially) asks the same questions we posed yesterday: how long did President Obama know about that Iranian nuclear nuclear facility before he publicly acknowledged its existence? And why keep it a secret, particularly if you're trying to persuade Tehran to give up its nuclear program?

The answer, according to Peters, can be found in the President's lack of military experience; his unswerving faith in diplomacy and humiliation over a situation that is spinning out of control:

Obama didn't want you to know how much progress Iran had made. It's an embarrassment.

And it raises the pressure on the White House to act -- something this president's squirming to avoid. But the Iranians have now realized we know, so they tipped it themselves.

Obama had no choice but to come clean.

Yesterday, he interrupted the G-20 summit to go public -- before Mahmoud Ahmadinejad did. Flanked by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Britain's dead man walking, Prime Minister Gordon Brown, our president offered more uselessly vague rhetoric in response to proof of a major "covert Iranian enrichment facility" and its implications.

So what happens next? Peters predicts a coming apocalypse, caused (in part) by Mr. Obama's refusal to act. We've said the same thing, predicting that the commander-in-chief will face a foreign policy reckoning in the coming months, a catastrophic event that will make last year's market crash seem tame by comparison. Here's how Ralph Peters sees events playing out:

Obama will try more talks. We may see half-hearted sanctions -- which will be violated right and left. Russia, which profits hugely from dirty trade with Iran, can slip goods across the Caspian Sea or through Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan.

And maritime sanctions are meaningless, unless our president is willing to order our Navy to fire on Chinese-flagged or Venezuelan-flagged merchant vessels.

Think that's going to happen?

How will it end? With desperate Israeli attacks that do only part of the job, followed by Iranian counterstrikes on Persian Gulf oil facilities, the closure of the Straits of Hormuz and oil above $400 a barrel.

Only the United States can stop Iran's nuclear program before it's too late. And this president won't.
9694  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: September 29, 2009, 04:48:44 PM
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/09/28/eveningnews/main5347847.shtml

You think the TSA is invasive now....
9695  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Intel Matters on: September 29, 2009, 10:29:51 AM
http://hotair.com/archives/2009/07/20/germans-of-course-iran-kept-working-on-nuclear-weapons/

Germans: Of course Iran kept working on nuclear weapons
posted at 1:36 pm on July 20, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

When the American intelligence community reversed itself in 2007 and announced that Iran had quit working on nuclear weapons in 2003, jaws dropped around the world.  George Bush’s political opponents at home and enemies around the world used it to buffalo the administration into reducing its effort to corner Tehran, but European intelligence agencies did not fall for the political kneecapping performed on Bush.  At the time, British intel rejected that conclusion, and now the Wall Street Journal reports that the Germans have thoroughly debunked it:

The Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Germany’s foreign intelligence agency, has amassed evidence of a sophisticated Iranian nuclear weapons program that continued beyond 2003. This usually classified information comes courtesy of Germany’s highest state-security court. In a 30-page legal opinion on March 26 and a May 27 press release in a case about possible illegal trading with Iran, a special national security panel of the Federal Supreme Court in Karlsruhe cites from a May 2008 BND report, saying the agency “showed comprehensively” that “development work on nuclear weapons can be observed in Iran even after 2003.”
According to the judges, the BND supplemented its findings on August 28, 2008, showing “the development of a new missile launcher and the similarities between Iran’s acquisition efforts and those of countries with already known nuclear weapons programs, such as Pakistan and North Korea.”
It’s important to point out that this was no ordinary agency report, the kind that often consists just of open source material, hearsay and speculation. Rather, the BND submitted an “office testimony,” which consists of factual statements about the Iranian program that can be proved in a court of law. This is why, in their March 26 opinion, the judges wrote that “a preliminary assessment of the available evidence suggests that at the time of the crime [April to November 2007] nuclear weapons were being developed in Iran.” In their May press release, the judges come out even more clear, stating unequivocally that “Iran in 2007 worked on the development of nuclear weapons.”

This rises far above the level of evidence provided in the 2007 NIE.  The court had to determine whether evidence presented by the German government could convict a defendant in an espionage trial, and the case rested in large part on whether the Iranians had continued to develop nuclear weapons.  A lower-court ruling had tossed out the indictment, ruling that the US NIE showed that Iran had not done work on its nuclear-weapons programs during the time that the defendant had allegedly traded illegally and conducted espionage on behalf of their program.  In response, the BND showed the court their evidence of continued work on the weapons program — which the court ruled sufficient to use at trial.
As the authors note, this decision calls into question yet again how the US intelligence service could have concluded otherwise.  Did they not coordinate with the Germans, who have much better access to Iran than either the US or even the British?  The BND says they shared these findings with the Americans prior to the publication of the NIE, but that they were ignored.  Why?
It’s really not difficult to conclude that the higher echelons of American intelligence had gone to war with the Bush administration early in his presidency.  The 2007 NIE was their coup de grace, making Bush impotent and giving them control over American foreign policy.  It also let vital time slip past while Iran continued to develop nuclear weapons, although in the event, Europe simply rejected the NIE as faulty and proceeded along the same path that Bush had demanded.  The NIE gave Russia and China political cover to block the West’s attempts to rein in the Iranians, although that would have happened anyway with other rationalizations.
Democrats are demanding a reckoning with the CIA over a program that never proceeded past the spitball stage.  Republicans ought to demand a reckoning, too — over the NIE and the wool that got pulled over the eyes of Congress.
9696  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War, WMD issues on: September 29, 2009, 10:02:01 AM
http://hotair.com/archives/2009/07/20/germans-of-course-iran-kept-working-on-nuclear-weapons/

Germans: Of course Iran kept working on nuclear weapons
posted at 1:36 pm on July 20, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

When the American intelligence community reversed itself in 2007 and announced that Iran had quit working on nuclear weapons in 2003, jaws dropped around the world.  George Bush’s political opponents at home and enemies around the world used it to buffalo the administration into reducing its effort to corner Tehran, but European intelligence agencies did not fall for the political kneecapping performed on Bush.  At the time, British intel rejected that conclusion, and now the Wall Street Journal reports that the Germans have thoroughly debunked it:

The Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Germany’s foreign intelligence agency, has amassed evidence of a sophisticated Iranian nuclear weapons program that continued beyond 2003. This usually classified information comes courtesy of Germany’s highest state-security court. In a 30-page legal opinion on March 26 and a May 27 press release in a case about possible illegal trading with Iran, a special national security panel of the Federal Supreme Court in Karlsruhe cites from a May 2008 BND report, saying the agency “showed comprehensively” that “development work on nuclear weapons can be observed in Iran even after 2003.”
According to the judges, the BND supplemented its findings on August 28, 2008, showing “the development of a new missile launcher and the similarities between Iran’s acquisition efforts and those of countries with already known nuclear weapons programs, such as Pakistan and North Korea.”
It’s important to point out that this was no ordinary agency report, the kind that often consists just of open source material, hearsay and speculation. Rather, the BND submitted an “office testimony,” which consists of factual statements about the Iranian program that can be proved in a court of law. This is why, in their March 26 opinion, the judges wrote that “a preliminary assessment of the available evidence suggests that at the time of the crime [April to November 2007] nuclear weapons were being developed in Iran.” In their May press release, the judges come out even more clear, stating unequivocally that “Iran in 2007 worked on the development of nuclear weapons.”

This rises far above the level of evidence provided in the 2007 NIE.  The court had to determine whether evidence presented by the German government could convict a defendant in an espionage trial, and the case rested in large part on whether the Iranians had continued to develop nuclear weapons.  A lower-court ruling had tossed out the indictment, ruling that the US NIE showed that Iran had not done work on its nuclear-weapons programs during the time that the defendant had allegedly traded illegally and conducted espionage on behalf of their program.  In response, the BND showed the court their evidence of continued work on the weapons program — which the court ruled sufficient to use at trial.
As the authors note, this decision calls into question yet again how the US intelligence service could have concluded otherwise.  Did they not coordinate with the Germans, who have much better access to Iran than either the US or even the British?  The BND says they shared these findings with the Americans prior to the publication of the NIE, but that they were ignored.  Why?
It’s really not difficult to conclude that the higher echelons of American intelligence had gone to war with the Bush administration early in his presidency.  The 2007 NIE was their coup de grace, making Bush impotent and giving them control over American foreign policy.  It also let vital time slip past while Iran continued to develop nuclear weapons, although in the event, Europe simply rejected the NIE as faulty and proceeded along the same path that Bush had demanded.  The NIE gave Russia and China political cover to block the West’s attempts to rein in the Iranians, although that would have happened anyway with other rationalizations.
Democrats are demanding a reckoning with the CIA over a program that never proceeded past the spitball stage.  Republicans ought to demand a reckoning, too — over the NIE and the wool that got pulled over the eyes of Congress.
9697  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: September 28, 2009, 08:46:07 PM
Counterterrorism Blog
Spread of Jihadi "operations" inside America: a quantitative warning
By Walid Phares
It is unprecedented in American counter terrorism annals: in one day the nation was dealing with three separate Jihadist plots to blow up civilian and other targets inside the Homeland. Although the cases were addressed at different time periods by the FBI and other agencies, nevertheless, the thickening web of Terror attempts breached the crossing line of US national security. This week, authorities revealed three conspiracies by American Jihadists: Michael C. Finton, (other name: Talib Islam) a 29-year-old man who wished to follow the steps of American-born Taliban John Walker Lindh, was arrested after trying to detonate what he thought was a bomb inside a van outside a federal courthouse in Springfield, Ill. Hosam Maher Husein Smadi, a 19-year old Jordanian national was arrested after placing what he believed was a bomb at a downtown Dallas skyscraper. But perhaps the most troubling case is of Afghan-born Najibullah Zazi who set up shop in suburban Denver, scouting the Web and visiting beauty supply stores in a hunt for chemicals needed to build bombs for Al Qaeda. Sources called the alleged plot one of the most significant terror threats to the U.S. since 9-11. Add to the list the North Carolina Jihad cell, led by Saifullah Boyd, which was planning on attacking civilian and military targets across the country.

The immediate question raised by an increasingly worried public is about the connection between all these terror cases: are they all connected? While law enforcement and certainly judicial authorities proceed in a bottom up reasoning, that is to build the case for a global connection between all what is happening with the help of legal evidence, analysts in the field of counter terrorism and conflict are already realizing the meaning of what is happening inside America.

The Zai case suspects

In my book Future Jihad: Terrorist Strategies against America (2005-2006) I clearly projected that Jihadists, individuals and cells will be mushrooming and expanding inside the United States within few years from then and that they will precisely do what they are trying to do now. I have also projected how large they will become, with time. It was a simple deduction: if the Government doesn’t counter this ideological growth, Jihadists will keep coming. And in fact they kept coming, spreading crossing the barriers of ethnicities, races, nationalities and geographical frontiers. The Jihadists committed to harm the US, and based inside our borders, are now by the hundreds. When I suggested this fact on CNN in 2006, and reiterated it on Oprah’s show so that the public realizes what is to come, I raised a few eyes brows. Now unfortunately, we are meeting the cells of Jihadism in our cities and little towns, and sadly the expectation is that we will see more, and we may unfortunately not be able to stop them all from reaching their goals.

The North Carolina cell, the New York subway plot, the Dallas attempt, the Illinois case, added to the previous cases of the shooting of a soldier in Arkansas, the precedent New York cells, Georgia’s young Jihadists, all the way back to the infamous Virginia paintball network, if anything gives us the genome of what is morphing inside the country -- a vast body of dispersed cells with at least one binding force -- the Jihadi ideology. The question thus is to find out who is propagating the doctrines of Jihadism: who is funding it; who is protecting the indoctrination operation which leads naturally to the rise of homegrown or foreign linked, lone wolves or packs of Jihadists, Terrorists. That is the real question: where is the factory?

What should the US Government do? Well, it must first of all come to the front of the threat and lead the nation against it. This is not a matter of only local police or law enforcement efforts. President Obama and Congressional leaders from both parties must give this spreading plague a top priority: for if one of these groups is successful, our national economy will crumble again, or at least will be wounded even more severely, let alone the human consequences of terror. Americans are watching with great concerns, these terror plots being revealed. They expect their elected officials to address these fears before the worse happens.

**********
Dr Walid Phares is the author of The Confrontation: Winning the War against Future Jihad and the Director of the Future Terrorism Project at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. Dr Phares is an advisor to the US House Caucus on Counter Terrorism

----------------

Talib Islam, aka Finton, planning in Illinois



Hussam Smadi operating in Dallas


Najibullah Zazi targeting New York

----------------------------
Watch a short interview on Canada's CTV: "American and Canadian Jihadists are connected through ideology and more." http://watch.ctv.ca/news/latest/canadian-ties/#clip217436

Listen to a short radio interview on Washington Dateline http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/feeds.radioamerica.org/rd-bin/rdfeed.mp3?DWP&cast_id=13073

By Walid Phares on September 26, 2009 4:27 PM
9698  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Foreign Policy on: September 28, 2009, 06:43:17 PM
Israel will burn, Afghanistan will fail as Obama fiddles.

He's busy trying to get the Olympics for Chicago.
9699  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: September 27, 2009, 01:55:47 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2009/09/27/video-the-implications-of-the-body-bomb/

Keep in mind that AQ will work to refine this.
9700  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: September 27, 2009, 08:56:36 AM
Fears over 'internal' terror bomb
By Frank Gardner
BBC security correspondent
Security and intelligence experts are deeply worried by a new development in suicide bombing, the BBC has learned.

It has emerged that an al-Qaeda bomber who died last month while trying to blow up a Saudi prince in Jeddah had hidden the explosives inside his body.

Only the attacker died, but it is feared that the new development could be copied by others.

Experts say it could have implications for airport security, rendering traditional metal detectors "useless".

Last month's bombing left people wondering how one of the most wanted al-Qaeda operatives in Saudi Arabia could get so close to the prince in charge of counter-terrorism that he was able to blow himself up in the same room.

Western forensic investigators think they have the answer, and it is worrying them profoundly.

The explosives, they believe, were detonated by mobile phone.

Peter Neuman of Kings College London says the case will be studied intensively, and that there are "tremendous implications for airport security with the potential of making it even more complicated to get on to your plane".

"If it really is true that the metal detectors couldn't detect this person's hidden explosive device, that would mean that the metal detectors as they currently exist in airports are pretty much useless," he said.

The bomber was a Saudi al-Qaeda fugitive who said he wanted to give himself up to the prince in person.

The prince took him at his word and gave him safe passage to his palace.

But there, once he got next to his target, the bomb inside him was detonated.

Miraculously the prince survived with minor injuries, but footage emerging this week shows a sizeable crater in the concrete floor and the bomber's body blown in half.

It is believed the force of the blast went downwards which is why only the bomber died.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/middle_east/8276016.stm

Published: 2009/09/26 01:23:46 GMT
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