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9651  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: October 29, 2008, 09:29:58 AM




October 29, 2008, 0:00 a.m.

Snapshots of the Tank
Notorious Obamedia moments of 2008.

By Michelle Malkin

To paraphrase Queen Elizabeth II, 2008 is not a year on which honest journalists shall look back with undiluted pleasure. This has turned out to be even more of an annus horribilis than 2004, when Dan Rather’s fake Bush/National Guard memo fiasco redefined the “BS” in CBS News. There were so many mainstream journalists swimming in the Democratic tank this year, the nation’s newsrooms looked more like overcrowded aquariums at PetSmart.

In less than a week, the campaign season will be over. But the Obamedia’s most shameful biases and notorious blunders shall not be forgotten. Here are my Top Five, by no means comprehensive and in no particular order:

1. The Los Angeles Times and the suppressed Obama/Jew-bash videotape.

In April, L.A. Times reporter Peter Wallsten reported on a 2003 farewell party for Rashid Khalidi, a radical Palestinian Liberation Organization spokesman/adviser turned Ivy League professor. The anti-Israel Arab American Action Network sponsored the gala. In attendance: good neighbors Barack Obama and Weather Underground terrorist duo Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn.

Wallsten reported that the “event was videotaped, and a copy of the tape was obtained by The Times.” But the news organization refuses to let readers watch the video of Obama and his left-wing terrorist friends and will not release the tape. It’s “old news” now.

The paper had no problem, however, embedding a video clip of Sarah Palin’s 1984 swimsuit pageant on its gossip blog and deeming it newsworthy.

2. Ogling Obama.
In May, CNN posted “breaking news video” of female journalists on Obama’s press plane fawning over the Democratic presidential candidate as he talked on his cell phone. The caption listed on the network’s website: “Obama in jeans: Sen. Barack Obama surprises the press corps by wearing jeans.”

In the clip, several members of the press corps yell at a Secret Service agent to “sit down” because she’s obstructing the view of their beloved Obama. They giggle and sigh as Obama straddles over a row of seats and they furiously click away on their cameras. “You’re killing us,” one of them says breathlessly.

No, you’re killing yourselves.

Runners-up for Most Drool-Covered Groupies: The journalist who squealed “He touched me!” at the UNITY minority journalists’ convention in July; the MSNBC producer who broke down and shed tears of joy upon learning that The One had clinched the Democratic presidential nomination; MSNBC host Chris Matthews, who proclaimed that he “felt a thrill up his leg” after an Obama speech in February; Oprah Winfrey, who confessed she did a “happy dance” for Obama; and the writer for the German publication Bild, who worked out with Obama at the Ritz-Carlton in Berlin and reported: “I put my arm around his hip — wow, he didn’t even sweat! WHAT A MAN!”

3. The Atlantic Monthly’s deranged photographer.
Publisher David Bradley’s once-esteemed magazine hired celebrity lens-woman Jill Greenberg to snap portraits of John McCain. Greenberg, an outspoken left-winger who goaded children into crying on film and captioned the images with anti-Bush slogans, sabotaged the photo shoot and gloated about it on a photo industry website.

After tricking McCain into standing over a strobe light to create ugly shadows on his face, she then posted vandalized versions of the imagery on her personal website with crude, vulgar labels. One featured McCain with fangs and blood dripping from his mouth — with the Greenberg-added words, “I am a bloodthirsty warmongerer (sic).” Another piece of her “art” showed an ape (a favorite Greenberg subject) defecating on McCain’s head. The highly respected editors at Atlantic professed shock despite Greenberg’s notoriety. The name of her blog: “Manipulator.”

4. The quote doctors and math-manglers at CNN.

In a botched attack on Sarah Palin, CNN reporter Drew Griffin cited National Review writer Byron York allegedly questioning Palin’s abilities and character: “The National Review had a story saying that, you know, I can’t tell if Sarah Palin is incompetent, stupid, unqualified, corrupt, or all of the above.” York, however, was characterizing the press coverage of Palin.

In a botched tally, CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien proclaimed that an audience poll showed “overwhelming” preference for Joe Biden after the vice-presidential debate. A freeze frame of the show of hands, however, showed the audience split. The mathematically challenged O’Brien also claimed that Palin slashed Alaska’s special-needs budget by 62 percent (which she recycled from the liberal Daily Kos blog), despite the fact that the governor increased special needs funding by 12 percent. Facts, schmacts.

5. Us magazine publisher Jann Wenner’s Obama apparatchiks.
The gossip mag’s partisan slime job on Palin and her family (“Babies, lies, and scandal”) last September opened the floodgates of Palin-bashing across the mainstream media and was the nadir of the year. Wenner — a prominent Obama backer who ran countless hagiographies of him in sister publication Rolling Stone and featured the Obamas with the slavering headline “Why Barack Loves Her” on Us nagazine’s June cover — had his media flack e-mail the anti-Palin hit piece to all media in St. Paul for the Republican National Convention: “Might be useful as an illustration of how the news is playing out,” the flack wrote.

Indeed, the side-by-side covers of the Palin smears and the Obamas’ deification perfectly illustrate the year in Obamedia.

©2008 CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.

National Review Online - http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=ZmNmZDM0NzdiZmVjOGYzOWFmMTRjZjU5MjZkNmJiZmQ=
9652  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: October 29, 2008, 09:21:27 AM
http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/editorials/stories/2008/10/29/Theplumber.ART_ART_10-29-08_A6_JDBNIBM.html?sid=101

Editorial: Privacy violations
Officials shouldn't be snooping for private records on Ohioans who are thrust into public eye
Wednesday,  October 29, 2008 3:01 AM


The Dispatch does not have room to publish all letters to the editor. Many appear online only. Click here to read them.
Gov. Ted Strickland should order his agency directors not to snoop on private citizens who land in the campaign spotlight. Such scrutiny could have a chilling effect on the willingness of people to stand up and be counted prior to elections.
It also undermines the confidence of all Ohioans that their state government is serious about protecting sensitive information.

The director of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Helen Jones-Kelley, confirmed on Monday that she approved a records check on suddenly famous Joe the plumber, who was mentioned frequently by John McCain in his Oct. 15 presidential debate with Barack Obama.

Joe the plumber, real name Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, of Holland, near Toledo, was thrust into the spotlight because he told Obama at a Toledo appearance that he fears the Democratic presidential candidate's tax proposals would prevent Wurzelbacher from buying the business that he works for.

Jones-Kelley said checking for child-support data on Wurzelbacher was routine, not political, citing a previous records check on a lottery winner. Checking the child-support status of someone who has come into money makes sense. But that rationale doesn't apply to Wurzelbacher. Jones-Kelly will have to make a much better case that the records check was not politically motivated.

Strickland, who also said there were no political motives in the data-checking, apparently is giving her the benefit of the doubt.

Access to such data is supposed to be restricted to official business of government and law enforcement.

Ohio Inspector General Thomas P. Charles is investigating whether the data-checking was improper or illegal. Through public-records requests, The Dispatch has determined that there were at least four checks for records on Wurzelbacher. That sounds like an effort to dig up dirt.

Driver's-license and vehicle-registration data about Wurzelbacher were obtained from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Also, the State Highway Patrol is investigating unauthorized access to data about Wurzelbacher in the attorney general's office from a test account that the office shared with contractors who developed a computer network for the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police.

Unauthorized and unjustified dredging of restricted government databases to find possibly embarrassing information on Americans simply for participating in democracy is unacceptable.

At the very least, Jones-Kelley should be reproved, and anyone who conducted an illegal search of Wurzelbacher's records should be prosecuted.
9653  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: October 29, 2008, 09:10:13 AM
In the realm of opinion, there are obviously conservative voices out there. As far as the Mainstream Media that's supposedly filled with objective and professional journalists, is anyone seriously going to try to argue that they don't have a hard left bias?
9654  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: October 28, 2008, 10:53:39 PM
http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/31725_Illegal_Joe_the_Plumber_Searches_-_Update

Illegal 'Joe the Plumber' Searches - Update
Politics | Tue, Oct 28, 2008 at 3:09:00 pm PST

As we reported Friday, shortly after the third presidential debate Ohio government computers were used to look up personal information on “Joe the Plumber.”

Today, one of the people involved in checking the state child support system to try to dig up some dirt has been outed: Inspector general investigating access to Joe the Plumber’s personal information.

Ohio’s inspector general is investigating why a state agency director approved checking the state child-support computer system for information on “Joe the Plumber.”
Helen Jones-Kelly, director of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, confirmed today that she OK’d the check on Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher following the Oct. 15 presidential debate.

She said there were no political reasons for the check on the sudden presidential campaign fixture though the Support Enforcement Tracking System.

Amid questions from the media and others about “Joe the Plumber,” Jones-Kelley said she approved a check to determine if he was current on any ordered child-support payments. Such information was not and cannot be publicly shared, she said. It is unclear if Wurzelbacher is involved in a child-support case. Reports state that he lives alone with a 13-year-old son.

“Our practice is when someone is thrust quickly into the public spotlight, we often take a look” at them, Jones-Kelley said, citing a case where a lottery winner was found to owe past-due child support. “Our practice is to basically look at what is coming our way.”

And if you believe that, maybe I can convince you the moon landings were faked.

Because Helen Jones-Kelly also happens to be a maximum $2300 contributor to the Barack Obama campaign. (Hat tip: Ace.)

This is a little glimpse into a very dark future, in which the power of the government is used against private citizens who dare to criticize the anointed One.

And more news on this front, via Michelle Malkin; a Toledo police clerk is being charged with performing an illegal search of Joe’s records: Clerk charged with unlawful search of Joe the Plumber.

Toledo Police have confirmed that a TPD records clerk is accused of performing an illegal search of information related to ‘Joe the Plumber.’

Julie McConnell, has been charged with Gross Misconduct for allegedly making an improper inquiry into a state database in search of information pertaining to Samuel Wurzelbacher on Oct. 16.

Yesterday, the mayor of Toledo admitted that the request to search police records for dirt on Joe the Plumber came from the media.

Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner admitted yesterday that a member of the media made the request of the Toledo Police Department for Joe ‘the Plumber’ Wurzelbacher’s records, NewsTalk 1370 WSPD is reporting. The comments were made in response to questions during an unrelated press conference.

Finkbeiner did not say which news outlet, nor which reporter, made the request. He also did not identify the individual who ran the report.
9655  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: October 28, 2008, 10:31:05 PM
What of the 5.3 million dollar Barackopolis in Denver? Does the money spent on that offend anyone as much as Palin's clothes?
9656  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: October 28, 2008, 03:27:51 AM
http://michellemalkin.com/2008/10/27/the-la-times-gives-readers-the-finger/

LA Obamedia at work.
9657  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Palin phenomenon on: October 28, 2008, 12:02:56 AM
http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2008-10-27/sarah-palins-a-brainiac/1/

A different take than the usual "Protocols of the elders of Palin" hit pieces posted here.
9658  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Palin phenomenon on: October 27, 2008, 12:51:27 PM
http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/31488_Palins_Creationism_Statements-_Distorted_by_Right_and_Left

More on her actual stance.
9659  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Palin phenomenon on: October 27, 2008, 12:29:28 PM
Sarah Palin's War on Science
The GOP ticket's appalling contempt for knowledge and learning.
By Christopher Hitchens
Posted Monday, Oct. 27, 2008, at 11:43 AM ET

In an election that has been fought on an astoundingly low cultural and intellectual level, with both candidates pretending that tax cuts can go like peaches and cream with the staggering new levels of federal deficit, and paltry charges being traded in petty ways, and with Joe the Plumber becoming the emblematic stupidity of the campaign, it didn't seem possible that things could go any lower or get any dumber. But they did last Friday, when, at a speech in Pittsburgh, Gov. Sarah Palin denounced wasteful expenditure on fruit-fly research, adding for good xenophobic and anti-elitist measure that some of this research took place "in Paris, France" and winding up with a folksy "I kid you not."

**I don't think her point or position was anti-fruit fly research, but questioning the role of the federal government using taxpayer's dollars to fund it.**

It was in 1933 that Thomas Hunt Morgan won a Nobel Prize for showing that genes are passed on by way of chromosomes. The experimental creature that he employed in the making of this great discovery was the Drosophila melanogaster, or fruit fly. Scientists of various sorts continue to find it a very useful resource, since it can be easily and plentifully "cultured" in a laboratory, has a very short generation time, and displays a great variety of mutation. This makes it useful in studying disease, and since Gov. Palin was in Pittsburgh to talk about her signature "issue" of disability and special needs, she might even have had some researcher tell her that there is a Drosophila-based center for research into autism at the University of North Carolina. The fruit fly can also be a menace to American agriculture, so any financing of research into its habits and mutations is money well-spent. It's especially ridiculous and unfortunate that the governor chose to make such a fool of herself in Pittsburgh, a great city that remade itself after the decline of coal and steel into a center of high-tech medical research.

In this case, it could be argued, Palin was not just being a fool in her own right but was following a demagogic lead set by the man who appointed her as his running mate. Sen. John McCain has made repeated use of an anti-waste and anti-pork ad (several times repeated and elaborated in his increasingly witless speeches) in which the expenditure of $3 million to study the DNA of grizzly bears in Montana was derided as "unbelievable." As an excellent article in the Feb. 8, 2008, Scientific American pointed out, there is no way to enforce the Endangered Species Act without getting some sort of estimate of numbers, and the best way of tracking and tracing the elusive grizzly is by setting up barbed-wire hair-snagging stations that painlessly take samples from the bears as they lumber by and then running the DNA samples through a laboratory. The cost is almost trivial compared with the importance of understanding this species, and I dare say the project will yield results in the measurement of other animal populations as well, but all McCain could do was be flippant and say that he wondered whether it was a "paternity" or "criminal" issue that the Fish and Wildlife Service was investigating. (Perhaps those really are the only things that he associates in his mind with DNA.)

**The US Fish and Wildlife Service has a great animal forensic lab based in OR. that does outstanding work in DNA for wildlife law enforcement, but I digress.**

With Palin, however, the contempt for science may be something a little more sinister than the bluff, empty-headed plain-man's philistinism of McCain. We never get a chance to ask her in detail about these things, but she is known to favor the teaching of creationism in schools (smuggling this crazy idea through customs in the innocent disguise of "teaching the argument," as if there was an argument), and so it is at least probable that she believes all creatures from humans to fruit flies were created just as they are now. This would make DNA or any other kind of research pointless, whether conducted in Paris or not. Projects such as sequencing the DNA of the flu virus, the better to inoculate against it, would not need to be funded. We could all expire happily in the name of God. Gov. Palin also says that she doesn't think humans are responsible for global warming; again, one would like to ask her whether, like some of her co-religionists, she is a "premillenial dispensationalist"—in other words, someone who believes that there is no point in protecting and preserving the natural world, since the end of days will soon be upon us.

**Yes, mindlessly believing is religion is bad, unless the religion is "global warming", then no science is needed.**


Videos taken in the Assembly of God church in Wasilla, Alaska, which she used to attend, show her nodding as a preacher says that Alaska will be "one of the refuge states in the Last Days." For the uninitiated, this is a reference to a crackpot belief, widely held among those who brood on the "End Times," that some parts of the world will end at different times from others, and Alaska will be a big draw as the heavens darken on account of its wide open spaces. An article by Laurie Goodstein in the New York Times gives further gruesome details of the extreme Pentecostalism with which Palin has been associated in the past (perhaps moderating herself, at least in public, as a political career became more attractive).

**Ah, if only Obama's belief system and peers were vetted so closely. Oh well, one can dream.**

High points, also available on YouTube, show her being "anointed" by an African bishop who claims to cast out witches. The term used in the trade for this hysterical superstitious nonsense is "spiritual warfare," in which true Christian soldiers are trained to fight demons. Palin has spoken at "spiritual warfare" events as recently as June. And only last week the chiller from Wasilla spoke of "prayer warriors" in a radio interview with James Dobson of Focus on the Family, who said that he and his lovely wife, Shirley, had convened a prayer meeting to beseech that "God's perfect will be done on Nov. 4."

**If the clergy were only screaming "God damn America", then this would be a non-issue, right?**

This is what the Republican Party has done to us this year: It has placed within reach of the Oval Office a woman who is a religious fanatic and a proud, boastful ignoramus. Those who despise science and learning are not anti-elitist. They are morally and intellectually slothful people who are secretly envious of the educated and the cultured. And those who prate of spiritual warfare and demons are not just "people of faith" but theocratic bullies. On Nov. 4, anyone who cares for the Constitution has a clear duty to repudiate this wickedness and stupidity.
Christopher Hitchens is a columnist for Vanity Fair and the author of God Is Not Great.

Article URL: http://www.slate.com/id/2203120/

A quick dose of Palin's actual take on evolution: http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/31417_Video-_Sarah_Palin_on_Social_Issues
9660  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: October 27, 2008, 12:04:59 PM




October 27, 2008, 6:00 a.m.

The L.A. Times Suppresses Obama’s Khalidi Bash Tape
Obama, Ayers, and PLO supporters toast Edward Said’s successor, but the press doesn’t think it’s quite as newsworthy as Sarah Palin’s wardrobe.

By Andrew C. McCarthy

Let’s try a thought experiment. Say John McCain attended a party at which known racists and terror mongers were in attendance. Say testimonials were given, including a glowing one by McCain for the benefit of the guest of honor ... who happened to be a top apologist for terrorists. Say McCain not only gave a speech but stood by, in tacit approval and solidarity, while other racists and terror mongers gave speeches that reeked of hatred for an American ally and rationalizations of terror attacks.

Now let’s say the Los Angeles Times obtained a videotape of the party.

Question: Is there any chance — any chance — the Times would not release the tape and publish front-page story after story about the gory details, with the usual accompanying chorus of sanctimony from the oped commentariat? Is there any chance, if the Times was the least bit reluctant about publishing (remember, we’re pretending here), that the rest of the mainstream media (y’know, the guys who drove Trent Lott out of his leadership position over a birthday-party toast) would not be screaming for the release of the tape?

Do we really have to ask?

So now, let’s leave thought experiments and return to reality: Why is the Los Angeles Times sitting on a videotape of the 2003 farewell bash in Chicago at which Barack Obama lavished praise on the guest of honor, Rashid Khalidi — former mouthpiece for master terrorist Yasser Arafat?

At the time Khalidi, a PLO adviser turned University of Chicago professor, was headed east to Columbia. There he would take over the University’s Middle East-studies program (which he has since maintained as a bubbling cauldron of anti-Semitism) and assume the professorship endowed in honor of Edward Sayyid, another notorious terror apologist.

The party featured encomiums by many of Khalidi’s allies, colleagues, and friends, including Barack Obama, then an Illinois state senator, and Bill Ayers, the terrorist turned education professor. It was sponsored by the Arab American Action Network (AAAN), which had been founded by Khalidi and his wife, Mona, formerly a top English translator for Arafat’s press agency.

Is there just a teeny-weenie chance that this was an evening of Israel-bashing Obama would find very difficult to explain? Could it be that the Times, a pillar of the Obamedia, is covering for its guy?

Gateway Pundit reports that the Times has the videotape but is suppressing it.

Back in April, the Times published a gentle story about the fete. Reporter Peter Wallsten avoided, for example, any mention of the inconvenient fact that the revelers included Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, Ayers’s wife and fellow Weatherman terrorist. These self-professed revolutionary Leftists are friendly with both Obama and Khalidi — indeed, researcher Stanley Kurtz has noted that Ayers and Khalidi were “best friends.” (And — small world! — it turns out that the Obamas are extremely close to the Khalidis, who have reportedly babysat the Obama children.)

Nor did the Times report the party was thrown by AAAN. Wallsten does tell us that the AAAN received grants from the Leftist Woods Fund when Obama was on its board — but, besides understating the amount (it was $75,000, not $40,000), the Times mentions neither that Ayers was also on the Woods board at the time nor that AAAN is rabidly anti-Israel. (Though the organization regards Israel as illegitimate and has sought to justify Palestinian terrorism, Wallsten describes the AAAN as “a social service group.”)

Perhaps even more inconveniently, the Times also let slip that it had obtained a videotape of the party.

Wallsten’s story is worth excerpting at length (italics are mine):

It was a celebration of Palestinian culture — a night of music, dancing and a dash of politics. Local Arab Americans were bidding farewell to Rashid Khalidi, an internationally known scholar, critic of Israel and advocate for Palestinian rights, who was leaving town for a job in New York.

A special tribute came from Khalidi's friend and frequent dinner companion, the young state Sen. Barack Obama. Speaking to the crowd, Obama reminisced about meals prepared by Khalidi's wife, Mona, and conversations that had challenged his thinking.

His many talks with the Khalidis, Obama said, had been "consistent reminders to me of my own blind spots and my own biases. . . . It's for that reason that I'm hoping that, for many years to come, we continue that conversation — a conversation that is necessary not just around Mona and Rashid's dinner table," but around "this entire world."...

[T]he warm embrace Obama gave to Khalidi, and words like those at the professor's going-away party, have left some Palestinian American leaders believing that Obama is more receptive to their viewpoint than he is willing to say.

Their belief is not drawn from Obama's speeches or campaign literature, but from comments that some say Obama made in private and from his association with the Palestinian American community in his hometown of Chicago, including his presence at events where anger at Israeli and U.S. Middle East policy was freely expressed.

At Khalidi's 2003 farewell party, for example, a young Palestinian American recited a poem accusing the Israeli government of terrorism in its treatment of Palestinians and sharply criticizing U.S. support of Israel. If Palestinians cannot secure their own land, she said, "then you will never see a day of peace."

One speaker likened "Zionist settlers on the West Bank" to Osama bin Laden, saying both had been "blinded by ideology."

Obama adopted a different tone in his comments and called for finding common ground. But his presence at such events, as he worked to build a political base in Chicago, has led some Palestinian leaders to believe that he might deal differently with the Middle East than … his opponents for the White House....

At Khalidi's going-away party in 2003, the scholar lavished praise on Obama, telling the mostly Palestinian American crowd that the state senator deserved their help in winning a U.S. Senate seat. "You will not have a better senator under any circumstances," Khalidi said.

The event was videotaped, and a copy of the tape was obtained by The Times.

Though Khalidi has seen little of Sen. Obama in recent years, Michelle Obama attended a party several months ago celebrating the marriage of the Khalidis' daughter.

In interviews with The Times, Khalidi declined to discuss specifics of private talks over the years with Obama. He did not begrudge his friend for being out of touch, or for focusing more these days on his support for Israel — a stance that Khalidi calls a requirement to win a national election in the U.S., just as wooing Chicago's large Arab American community was important for winning local elections.

So why is the Times sitting on the videotape of the Khalidi festivities? Given Obama's (preposterous) claims that he didn’t know Ayers that well and was unfamiliar with Ayers’s views, why didn't the Times report that Ayers and Dohrn were at the bash? Was it not worth mentioning the remarkable coincidence that both Obama and Ayers — the “education reform” allies who barely know each other … except to the extent they together doled out tens of millions of dollars to Leftist agitators, attacked the criminal justice system, and raved about each others books — just happen to be intimate friends of the same anti-American Israel-basher? (Despite having watched the videotape, Wallsten told Gateway Pundit he “did not know” whether Ayers was there.)

Why won’t the Times tell us what was said in the various Khalidi testimonials? On that score, Ayers and Dohrn have always had characteristically noxious views on the Israeli/Palestinian dispute. And, true to form, they have always been quite open about them. There is no reason to believe those views have ever changed. Here, for example, is what they had to say in Prairie Fire, the Weather Underground’s 1974 Communist manifesto (emphasis in original):

Palestinian independence is opposed with reactionary schemes by Jordan, completely opposed with military terror by Israel, and manipulated by the U.S. The U.S.-sponsored notion of stability and status-quo in the Mideast is an attempt to preserve U.S. imperialist control of oil, using zionist power as the cat's paw. The Mideast has become a world focus of struggles over oil resources and control of strategic sea and air routes. Yet the Palestinian struggle is at the heart of other conflicts in the Mideast. Only the Palestinians can determine the solution which reflects the aspirations of the Palestinian people. No "settlements" in the Mideast which exclude the Palestinians will resolve the conflict. Palestinian liberation will not be suppressed.

The U.S. people have been seriously deceived about the Palestinians and Israel. This calls for a campaign to educate and focus attention on the true situation: teach-ins, debates, and open clear support for Palestinian liberation; reading about the Palestinian movement—The Disinherited by Fawaz Turki, Enemy of the Sun; opposing U.S. aid to Israel. Our silence or acceptance of pro-zionist policy is a form of complicity with U.S.-backed aggression and terror, and a betrayal of internationalism.

SELF-DETERMINATION FOR THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE!

U.S. OUT OF THE MIDEAST!

END AID TO ISRAEL!

Barack Obama wouldn’t possibly let something like that pass without a spirited defense of the Israel he tells us he so staunchly supports … would he? I guess to answer that question, we’d have to know what was on the tape.

But who has time for such trifles? After all, isn’t Diana Vreeland about to critique Sarah Palin’s sartorial splendor?

— National Review’s Andrew C. McCarthy chairs the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies’s Center for Law & Counterterrorism and is the author of Willful Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad (Encounter Books 2008).

National Review Online - http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=ZDFkMGE2MmM1M2Q5MmY0ZmExMzUxMWRhZGJmMTAyOGY=
9661  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: October 27, 2008, 07:05:29 AM
http://hotair.com/archives/2008/10/27/smells-like-socialist-spirit/

Smells Like Socialist Spirit
posted at 7:24 am on October 27, 2008 by Ed Morrissey   


If people thought Joe the Plumber was some kind of stumble for Barack Obama, a rediscovered interview from 2001 should dispel any doubts about Barack Obama’s redistributionism.  Seven years ago, Obama told Chicago Public Radio that the Warren Court was too conservative and missed its opportunity to redistribute wealth on a much grander scale.  In fact, Obama wanted them to break the Constitution and reorder American society far outside of what the founders intended.

Stop the ACLU has the transcript (via Michelle):


If you look at the victories and failures of the civil rights movement and its litigation strategy in the court. I think where it succeeded was to invest formal rights in previously dispossessed people, so that now I would have the right to vote. I would now be able to sit at the lunch counter and order as long as I could pay for it I’d be o.k. But, the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society.

To that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as its been interpreted and Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can’t do to you. Says what the Federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the Federal government or State government must do on your behalf, and that hasn’t shifted and one of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was, um, because the civil rights movement became so court focused I think there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change. In some ways we still suffer from that. …

I’m not optimistic about bringing about major redistributive change through the courts. You know, the institution just isn’t structured that way.

People have assumed that Obama merely offered a rhetorical stumble, and Obama and Joe Biden have strenuously attacked anyone that claimed he intended to bring about radical socialist change.  This sounds very much like socialism and radical change, and there is no mistaking the context of this statement.  While Obama recognizes in this passage that the judiciary doesn’t have the “structure” to make radical changes to the Constitution, he doesn’t sound at all happy about it.

Instead, Obama sees community organizing as the essential path to move from a Constitution of personal liberties to a Constitution of federal mandates.  He wants a new governing document that essentially forces both the federal and state governments to redistribute wealth, and he sees that as the natural outcome of the civil rights movement.  That certainly smells of socialism on a far grander scale than ever attempted in the US, with the New Deal and Great Societies looking like pale imitations of Obama’s vision.

In fact, as Jeff Goldstein notes, that’s almost classic Marxism, and it would leave America somewhere to the left of 1970s France:

In Obama’s America, we’ll finally be able to break free of the “constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution” — and in so doing, achieve “social justice” through “redistributive change.”

Well, then. Fine .

But this is not the America I knew…

The government does not exist to determine the acceptable level of wealth of its individual citizens.  For government to assume that role, it would have to end private property rights and assume all property belonged to the State.  That is classic Marxism, and as Barbara West of WFTV noted, it runs in Marx’s classic philosophy of “from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs”.  That economic direction has been an abject failure everywhere it has been tried, and in many cases resulted in famines that killed millions of people.

The RNC and the McCain campaign has to get these quotes out to the American public in the final week of this election.

Update: One more clarifying thought is in order.  Barack Obama complains that the Constitution is a “charter of negative liberties”.  That’s because the Constitution was intended as a limiting document, to curtail the power of the federal government vis-a-vis the states and the individual.  The founders intended at the time to limit the reach of the federal government, and built the Constitution accordingly.

Barack Obama wants to reverse that entirely.  And that’s radical change you’d better believe in, or else.
9662  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: October 27, 2008, 02:53:03 AM
Drudge is linking to this youtube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iivL4c_3pck

Will this have an effect on the race?
9663  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: October 26, 2008, 10:22:00 PM
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122506830024970697.html?mod=rss_opinion_main#

The Age of Prosperity Is Over
This administration and Congress will be remembered like Herbert Hoover.

By ARTHUR B. LAFFER
About a year ago Stephen Moore, Peter Tanous and I set about writing a book about our vision for the future entitled "The End of Prosperity." Little did we know then how appropriate its release would be earlier this month.

Financial panics, if left alone, rarely cause much damage to the real economy, output, employment or production. Asset values fall sharply and wipe out those who borrowed and lent too much, thereby redistributing wealth from the foolish to the prudent. This process is the topic of Nassim Nicholas Taleb's book "Fooled by Randomness."

When markets are free, asset values are supposed to go up and down, and competition opens up opportunities for profits and losses. Profits and stock appreciation are not rights, but rewards for insight mixed with a willingness to take risk. People who buy homes and the banks who give them mortgages are no different, in principle, than investors in the stock market, commodity speculators or shop owners. Good decisions should be rewarded and bad decisions should be punished. The market does just that with its profits and losses.

No one likes to see people lose their homes when housing prices fall and they can't afford to pay their mortgages; nor does any one of us enjoy watching banks go belly-up for making subprime loans without enough equity. But the taxpayers had nothing to do with either side of the mortgage transaction. If the house's value had appreciated, believe you me the overleveraged homeowner and the overly aggressive bank would never have shared their gain with taxpayers. Housing price declines and their consequences are signals to the market to stop building so many houses, pure and simple.

But here's the rub. Now enter the government and the prospects of a kinder and gentler economy. To alleviate the obvious hardships to both homeowners and banks, the government commits to buy mortgages and inject capital into banks, which on the face of it seems like a very nice thing to do. But unfortunately in this world there is no tooth fairy. And the government doesn't create anything; it just redistributes. Whenever the government bails someone out of trouble, they always put someone into trouble, plus of course a toll for the troll. Every $100 billion in bailout requires at least $130 billion in taxes, where the $30 billion extra is the cost of getting government involved.

If you don't believe me, just watch how Congress and Barney Frank run the banks. If you thought they did a bad job running the post office, Amtrak, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the military, just wait till you see what they'll do with Wall Street.

Some 14 months ago, the projected deficit for the 2008 fiscal year was about 0.6% of GDP. With the $170 billion stimulus package last March, the add-ons to housing and agriculture bills, and the slowdown in tax receipts, the deficit for 2008 actually came in at 3.2% of GDP, with the 2009 deficit projected at 3.8% of GDP. And this is just the beginning.

The net national debt in 2001 was at a 20-year low of about 35% of GDP, and today it stands at 50% of GDP. But this 50% number makes no allowance for anything resulting from the over $5.2 trillion guarantee of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac assets, or the $700 billion Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP). Nor does the 50% number include any of the asset swaps done by the Federal Reserve when they bailed out Bear Stearns, AIG and others.

But the government isn't finished. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid -- and yes, even Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke -- are preparing for a new $300 billion stimulus package in the next Congress. Each of these actions separately increases the tax burden on the economy and does nothing to encourage economic growth. Giving more money to people when they fail and taking more money away from people when they work doesn't increase work. And the stock market knows it.

The stock market is forward looking, reflecting the current value of future expected after-tax profits. An improving economy carries with it the prospects of enhanced profitability as well as higher employment, higher wages, more productivity and more output. Just look at the era beginning with President Reagan's tax cuts, Paul Volcker's sound money, and all the other pro-growth, supply-side policies.

Bill Clinton and Alan Greenspan added their efforts to strengthen what had begun under President Reagan. President Clinton signed into law welfare reform, so people actually have to look for a job before being eligible for welfare. He ended the "retirement test" for Social Security benefits (a huge tax cut for elderly workers), pushed the North American Free Trade Agreement through Congress against his union supporters and many of his own party members, signed the largest capital gains tax cut ever (which exempted owner-occupied homes from capital gains taxes), and finally reduced government spending as a share of GDP by an amazing three ?189 percentage points (more than the next four best presidents combined). The stock market loved Mr. Clinton as it had loved Reagan, and for good reasons.

The stock market is obviously no fan of second-term George W. Bush, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Ben Bernanke, Barack Obama or John McCain, and again for good reasons.

These issues aren't Republican or Democrat, left or right, liberal or conservative. They are simply economics, and wish as you might, bad economics will sink any economy no matter how much they believe this time things are different. They aren't.

I was on the White House staff as George Shultz's economist in the Office of Management and Budget when Richard Nixon imposed wage and price controls, the dollar was taken off gold, import surcharges were implemented, and other similar measures were enacted from a panicked decision made in August of 1971 at Camp David.

I witnessed, like everyone else, the consequences of another panicked decision to cover up the Watergate break-in. I saw up close and personal Presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush succumb to panicked decisions to raise taxes, as well as Jimmy Carter's emergency energy plan, which included wellhead price controls, excess profits taxes on oil companies, and gasoline price controls at the pump.

The consequences of these actions were disastrous. Just look at the stock market from the post-Kennedy high in early 1966 to the pre-Reagan low in August of 1982. The average annual real return for U.S. assets compounded annually was -6% per year for 16 ?189 years. That, ladies and gentlemen, is a bear market. And it is something that you may well experience again. Yikes!

Then we have this administration's panicked Sarbanes-Oxley legislation, and of course the deer-in-the-headlights Mr. Bernanke in his bungling of monetary policy.

There are many more examples, but none hold a candle to what's happening right now. Twenty-five years down the line, what this administration and Congress have done will be viewed in much the same light as what Herbert Hoover did in the years 1929 through 1932. Whenever people make decisions when they are panicked, the consequences are rarely pretty. We are now witnessing the end of prosperity.

Mr. Laffer is chairman of Laffer Associates and co-author of "The End of Prosperity: How Higher Taxes Will Doom the Economy -- If We Let it Happen," just out by Threshold.
9664  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: October 26, 2008, 09:37:55 PM
http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/31688_LA_Times_Hiding_Incriminating_Video_of_Obama_with_Radical_Palestinian_Update-_Ayers_and_Dohrn_Attended_Khalidi_Party_with_Obama

LA Times Hiding Incriminating Video of Obama with Radical Palestinian? Update: Ayers and Dohrn Attended Khalidi Party with Obama
Politics | Sat, Oct 25, 2008 at 8:18:26 pm PST

Gateway Pundit says he contacted the LA Times to ask about a video showing Barack Obama at a party for former PLO spokesman Rashid Khalidi, mentioned by the LA Times in this article: Allies of Palestinians see a friend in Barack Obama.

At Khalidi’s going-away party in 2003, the scholar lavished praise on Obama, telling the mostly Palestinian American crowd that the state senator deserved their help in winning a U.S. Senate seat. “You will not have a better senator under any circumstances,” Khalidi said.

The event was videotaped, and a copy of the tape was obtained by The Times.

LA Times writer Peter Wallsten said he won’t release the video or reveal his sources: Confirmed: MSM Holds Video Of Barack Obama Attending Jew-Bash & Toasting a Former PLO Operative... Refuse to Release the Video!

If true, this is media malfeasance of an almost astounding degree. They have a video that could change the stakes in this election and they’re hiding it. And they’ve been hiding it since last April.

Contact the Los Angeles Times and demand that they release this video.

UPDATE at 10/25/08 9:36:04 pm:

It gets even more interesting.

Also attending the farewell dinner described above: Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn.

In Chicago, the Khalidis founded the Arab American Action Network, and Mona Khalidi served as its president. A big farewell dinner was held in their honor by AAAN with a commemorative book filled with testimonials from their friends and political allies. These included the left wing anti-war group Not In My Name, the Electronic Intifada, and the ex-Weatherman domestic terrorists Bernadine Dohrn and Bill Ayers. (There were also testimonials from then-state Senator Barack Obama and the mayor of Chicago.)

**So Rachel, still confident in Obama's "zionist" credentials?**
9665  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sharia 101 on: October 26, 2008, 09:16:09 PM
http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/2008/10/023245print.html

October 26, 2008

Muslim students: Bali bombers are "holy warriors"

The cognitive dissonance between what these students say and what I hear from Muslim students on university campuses in the U.S. is enormous. These students openly acknowledge the Islamic imperative of violent jihad; on American campuses, Muslim students profess outrage and wounded indignation, exhorting me to "Stop the Hate" and pretending that I made up this Islamic imperative, and that it doesn't really exist at all. But if they consider Muslims such as the students at the Darusy Syahadah Islamic school -- and those who taught them -- to be twisting Islam and distorting its teachings, why is it that they never seem to do anything within the Islamic community to fight the spread of these teachings, but instead reserve all their ire for me simply for pointing out that many Muslims understand Islam to be exhorting them to violence and supremacism?

I've asked this question innumerable times, of course, and never gotten an answer, because there is no answer. Or rather, there is only one answer, and it is obvious, but Islamic groups in the U.S. still seem to be banking on the majority of Americans not noticing, or caring about, this obvious answer and its implications.


"Islamic students praise Bali bombers," from AFP, October 26 (thanks to JE):

FOR the skullcapped students of the Darusy Syahadah Islamic school there is no question that the three radical jihadis behind the 2002 Bali bombings are heroes.
Sheltering from the equatorial sun on the steps of the school's mosque, the students crowd to offer their approval of bombers Amrozi, Mukhlas and Imam Samudra.

Authorities say the three bombers will face the firing squad by early November for their role in the attack, which killed 202 people, including 88 Australians.

"They're holy warriors, that's how I respond, they're holy warriors,'' said Sir Muhammad Royhan Syihabuddin Ar-Rohmi, a slight 18-year-old.

His friend Nawawi, also 18, leaned forward in agreement: "They are like us, they wanted to do good deeds.''

Good deeds, i.e., killing 200 infidels.

With its peeling buildings, stray sheep and low-hanging mango trees, Darusy Syahadah in Central Java has long been a key hub for recruitment and indoctrination in the Jemaah Islamiah (JI) militant network, experts say.
While authorities have wound up JI cells and killed and imprisoned key militants, JI-linked Islamic boarding schools across Indonesia have been left to spread the network's radical ideology.

If a new generation of JI bombers were to emerge, it would be from schools like this. Alumni include Salik Firdaus, a suicide bomber who obliterated himself in the 2005 Bali bombing that killed 20 people.

If the Vast Majority of Peaceful Muslims™ really deplored the jihad ideology, as everyone from George Bush and Colin Powell to students at the MSA's around the country at colleges where I have been speaking would have us believe, it would be reasonable to assume that their highest priority, or one of their highest priorities, would be to educate their own people against it. After all, if "a new generation of JI bombers were to emerge, it would be from schools like this," it is because the teachers at the the Darusy Syahadah Islamic school are teaching their students the propriety of killing or subjugating unbelievers. This is an ideology that is spread by education. Yet nowhere in the world -- not in the U.S., not anywhere else -- is there any counter-pedagogical effort by self-professed anti-terror Muslims.

However, analysts say the picture is not quite that simple.
Hurt by the police crackdown and facing public disgust over bombings, JI is deeply split, said Sidney Jones, a JI expert at the International Crisis Group think-tank.

A small minority faction behind fugitive Malaysian Noordin Mohammed Top still supports and is working towards bombing local and foreign targets, she said.

The other more numerous faction, dominating the schools, continues to glorify jihad, or holy war, but many of its members have been influenced by a government "deradicalisation'' strategy that has helped halt attacks.

"I think the schools are still problematic, they are inculcating the idea of the glory of jihad. But there isn't a jihad to fight now,'' Jones said.

"The question is: what will these graduates be doing five to 10 years from now?''

Finding a jihad to fight, of course, and one that will probably end up being on the doorstep of many people who today are insisting that Islam is a Religion of Peace™ and that those who are concerned about massive Muslim immigration into the West are just bigots and racists.

For Mustaqim, the principal of Darusy Syahadah, the watchword is preparation.
The school encourages exercise and self-defence and aims to strengthen and defend Islam, said Mustaqim, sporting white robes, a wispy beard and bruises on his forehead from frequent prayer.

"It says in the Koran that infidels will strengthen each other and wage a war of falsehood. We have been instructed to strengthen Islam against falsehood,'' he said.

That's rich, given how the entire edifice of Islam in the West is built on falsehood -- a well thought-out, carefully orchestrated campaign of falsehood, that meets with furious indignation and cries of "bigotry" anyone who dares to examine the stated motives and goals of the jihadists.

On suicide bombings against civilians - the hallmark of Noordin's faction - Mustaqim stressed that the aim is noble but the methods incorrect.
"In the methods (Noordin) has taken, we're not on the same path. Methods, that's what I'm talking about, methods,'' emphasised Mustaqim, whose wife is the sister of Ubeid, a JI militant jailed for helping the fugitive Noordin.

Methods, that's what he's talking about, methods. Yet in the U.S. Lawrence Wright wrote a much-lauded piece in the New Yorker about how some jihadists were changing their methods, and innumerable commentators, conservatives and liberals alike, could scarcely contain their excitement: Muslims were denouncing al-Qaeda! The Vast Majority of Peaceful Muslims™ was finally asserting itself! The end of the War On Terror was at hand!

It never seemed to occur to these learned analysts that all that was being discussed was a change of methods, not of goals, as was patently clear from Wright's piece itself, although even Wright seemed to miss it. But since they have been focused on methods (terrorism) rather than goals (Sharia supremacism) all along, they missed this one also.

There are indeed peaceful Muslims, and there are indeed some among those who aren't interested in waging any kind of jihad. They either don't know or don't care about the imperative to struggle against unbelievers. They may have what they consider to be better things to do. Of course, such people are everywhere being challenged by Muslims who insist that they represent pure and true Islam, and that those who are not waging jihad are not good Muslims. Such people, being indifferent to or ignorant of these matters, are not going to stand up against the jihadists, and the jihadists regard them as a large recruiting field.

There is a very small group of Muslims who are actively trying to reform these Islamic imperatives, but don't kid yourself: it is a very small group, and not an influential one. The group of Muslims who feign indignation when non-Muslims discuss the jihad ideology, and who claim never to have heard of such a thing or that it is a heretical version of Islam cooked up by a Tiny Minority of Extremists™ -- they are much more numerous. They are dangerous, also, because they fool so very many people.

Outside the mosque, student Nawawi said it was "up to God'' whether he would follow the example set by the Bali bombers.
"Not everyone has to follow them,'' he said.

He is quite right. In Islamic theology there are many ways to aid the jihad. Nawawi can wage the jihad of the tongue or the pen, or the jihad of the pocketbook. He may also be referring, although this is unlikely, to the fact that in classic Islamic theology jihad warfare is fard kifaya, an obligation of the community as a whole but not of every individual believer. Jihad becomes fard ayn, obligatory on every individual Muslim to aid in some way, when a Muslim land is attacked. I say that it is unlikely that he was referring to that distinction because jihadists today generally argue that Muslim lands have been attacked, and that therefore jihad is fard ayn. On the other hand, he may be referring specifically to Bali, where it would be hard to argue that a Muslim land has been attacked.

At the al-Mukmin boarding school founded by alleged JI spiritual head Abu Bakar Bashir in the nearby town of Ngruki, the bombers are honoured but opinions are similarly mixed.
About 1,600 students attend classes in rooms bedecked with cardboard cutouts of assault rifles and posters extolling the virtues of "martyrdom''.

Cardboard cutouts of assault rifles in a religious school. Yet no Muslim who gets so indignant at me seems to be upset about this. Now, why is that? Is it really so unclear?


Sitting on the floor of his lounge in the school grounds, the acid-tongued Bashir blamed the main 2002 blast on a CIA "micro-nuclear'' device fired from a ship off the Balinese coast.
"The bomb Amrozi set off, the first one, at most it shattered glass and didn't wound people, or at most wounded them a little,'' he said.

''(The bombers) struggled in that way, not as terror, but with the aim of defending Islam, which is being terrorised by America and its friends ... they are counter-terrorists, not terrorists,'' he said.

Remember that one the next time you hear a Muslim say that he condemns "terrorism," without defining his terms.

But al-Mukmin school principal Wahyudin said the bombers' indiscriminate bombing of nightclubs on the island was a disproportionate response to the global oppression of Muslims.
"What I can fault is that Bali is not a conflict area, it's not an area of war. Although we can say there certainly were enemies there, there were also non-enemies. That has to be avoided. That was a mistake there,'' he said.

What Wahyudin is saying is that jihad violence is fine in a conflict area, but not in an area in which there are present in significant numbers people who are not considered to be at war with Islam. But he has no problem with the concept of violent jihad in principle.

Posted at October 26, 2008 8:30 AM
9666  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: October 26, 2008, 08:08:10 PM
Yes sir. You are correct.
9667  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: October 26, 2008, 08:05:24 PM
**Misuse law enforcement databases, go from being a cop to being a convict.**

Guilty plea entered in computer misuse
By William Kaempffer, Register Staff
08/14/2008


NEW HAVEN — A former Department of Correction employee has pleaded guilty in federal court to accepting cash and gift certificates to expensive restaurants from three corrupt bail bondsmen in exchange for misusing a state computer to help them catch fugitives.

James Barone, 48, is the third state employee to be ensnared in the bribery scheme and the ninth person — including three New Haven police officers — to plead guilty to corruption counts.

Among them were the three bondsmen, Robert Jacobs, 81, and his sons, Paul and Philip, who for decades used their influence to secure bail customers in Superior Court. Federal prosecutors also say the bondsmen illegally obtained information to help capture bail jumpers.

That’s where federal prosecutors say Barone came in.

It appears that Barone may have been in the sights of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for some time. He resigned from the Department of Correction in January after nearly 26 years, and just a month after the FBI arrested two court employees who Philip Jacobs helped set up in hopes of a lighter sentence.

The U.S. District Court on-line database did not have any record of Barone’s case Wednesday afternoon, and the U.S. Attorney’s office released no other records Wednesday.

Barone worked at the New Haven Correctional Center on Whalley Avenue as a counselor supervisor, DOC spokesman Brian Garnett said Wednesday. He declined further comment, referring questions to prosecutors.

Barone pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of exceeding his authorized access to a state computer, a charge that could land him in prison for up to a year when he is sentenced in November. He could get significantly less.

A former judicial marshal who pleaded guilty to providing illegal favors to Philip Jacobs got probation in May, and the two Jacobs sons received four months each, in part because of their cooperation.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, from at least 2005 through March 2007, Barone used his position at the New Haven Correctional Center to assist the Jacobses by providing them pictures of individuals who failed to appear in Superior Court, and also with inmate information from the Connecticut Online Law Enforcement Communications Teleprocessing system and the FBI’s National Crime Information Center database.

NCIC is a computerized index of criminal justice information that is available to federal, state, and local law enforcement and other criminal justice agencies. Usage is restricted to official duties and it is a crime to misuse it.

Last October, Madison Patrol Officer Bernard Durgin Jr. was arrested on state charges for misusing the state law enforcement database to look up information about ex-girlfriends and women he worked with as a security guard at Yale-New Haven Hospital.

In March 2007, the FBI went public with a months-long undercover investigation of members of the New Haven Police Department and the bail bondsmen.

The net result of the probe was the arrests of two prominent figures: New Haven Lt. William White, a cop of nearly four decades, and Robert Jacobs, who had been a fixture at the Elm Street courthouse for just as long.

White got the stiffest sentence, 38 months, for stealing money planted in a sting by the FBI and taking thousands of dollars in bribes from the Jacobs for running down fugitives while on the job. He is serving his sentence in West Virginia.

The elder Jacobs got 15 months for paying bribes. Only Philip has so far reported to prison, according to the Bureau of Prisons.

Detective Justen Kasperzyk is serving a 15-month sentence in New Jersey for planting evidence, and Detective Jose Silva has already been released from his three-month stint.

Jill D’Antona, a judicial marshal at the Elm Street courthouse, and Cynthia McClendon, a clerk in the public defender’s office, were more minor players. Both have pleaded guilty to taking “gratuities” from the Jacobses in exchange for their help. D’Antona received probation. McClendon has yet to be sentenced.

In court Tuesday, Barone admitted that as a gratuity for providing assistance, during the holiday season, the Jacobses over the years gave him gift certificates to expensive restaurants and, in December 2006, Robert Jacobs gave Barone $200 as thanks for the assistance that Barone provided in his official capacity.
9668  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: October 26, 2008, 07:48:49 PM
If the housing market was allowed to find it's real bottom pricing without interference, would that not reduce the cost of living for the working stiffs, like me?
9669  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: October 26, 2008, 07:39:26 PM
Data in NCIC files, other than the information described in "Categories of records in the system: I, J, K, M, N, and O," is disseminated to (1) a nongovernmental agency subunit thereof which allocates a substantial part of its annual budget to the administration of criminal justice, whose regularly employed peace officers have full police powers pursuant to state law and have complied with the minimum employment standards of governmentally employed police officers as specified by state statute; (2) a noncriminal justice governmental department of motor vehicle or driver's license registry established by a statute, which provides vehicles registration and driver record information to criminal justice agencies; (3) a governmental regional dispatch center, established by a state statute, resolution, ordinance or Executive order, which provides communications services to criminal justice agencies; and (4) the national Automobile Theft Bureau, a nongovernmental nonprofit agency which acts as a national clearinghouse for information on stolen vehicles and offers free assistance to law enforcement agencies concerning automobile thefts, identification and recovery of stolen vehicles.
Disclosures of information from this system, as described above, are for the purpose of providing information to authorized agencies to facilitate the apprehension of fugitives, the location of missing persons, the location and/or return of stolen property, or similar criminal justice objectives.
Information on missing children, missing adults who were reported missing while children, and unidentified living and deceased persons may be disclosed to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). The NCMEC is a nongovernmental, nonprofit, federally funded corporation, serving as a national resource and technical assistance clearinghouse focusing on missing and exploited children. Information is disclosed to NCMEC to assist it in its efforts to provide technical assistance and education to parents and local governments regarding the problems of missing and exploited children, and to operate a nationwide missing children hotline to permit members of the public to telephone the Center from anywhere in the United States with information about a missing child.
In addition, information may be released to the news media and the public pursuant to 28 CFR 50.2, unless it is determined that release of the specific information in the context of a particular case would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy;
To a Member of Congress or staff acting upon the member's behalf whom the member or staff requests the information on behalf of and at the request of the individual who is the subject of the record; and,
To the National Archives and Records Administration and the General Services Administration in records management inspections conducted under the authority of 44 U.S.C. Sec. Sec. 2904 and 2906.
System Maintenance Policies

Storage: Information maintained in the NCIC system is stored electronically for use in a computer environment.

Retrievability: On line access to data in NCIC is achieved by using the following search descriptors:


  A. Stolen Vehicle File:
  1. Vehicle identification number;
  2. Owner applied number;
  3. License plate number;
  4. NCIC number (unique number assigned by NCIC computer to each NCIC
  record.)
  B. Stolen License Plate File:
  1. License plate number;
  2. NCIC number.
  C. Stolen Boat File:
  1. Registration document number;
  2. Hull serial number;
  3. Owner applied number;
  4. NCIC number.
  D. Stolen Gun File:
  1. Serial number of gun;
  2. NCIC number.
  E. Stolen Article File:
  1. Serial number of article;
  2. Owner applied number;
  3. NCIC number.
  F. Securities File:
  1. Type, serial number, denomination of security, and issuer for other
  than U.S. Treasury issues and currency;
  2. Type of security and name of owner of security;
  3. Social Security number of owner of security (it is noted the
  requirements of the Privacy Act with regard to the solicitation of
  Social Security numbers have been brought to the attention of the
  members of the NCIC system);
  4. NCIC number.
  G. Wanted Person File:
  1. Name and one of the following numerical identifiers:
  a. Date of birth;
  b. FBI number (number assigned by the Federal Bureau of Investigation
  to an arrest fingerprint record);
  c. Social Security number (it is noted the requirements of the Privacy
  Act with regard to the solicitation of Social Security numbers have
  been brought to the attention of the members of the NCIC system);
  d. Operator's license number (driver's number);
  e. Miscellaneous identifying number (military number or number
  assigned by Federal, state, or local authorities to an individual's
  record);
  f. Originating agency case number;
  2. Vehicle or license plate known to be in the possession of the
  wanted person;
  3. NCIC number.
  H. Foreign Fugitive File: See G, above.
  I. Interstate Identification Index File:
  1. Name, sex, race, and date of birth;
  2. FBI number;
  3. State identification number;
  4. Social Security number;
  5. Miscellaneous identifying number.
  J. Witness Security Program File: See G, above.
  K. BATF Violent Felon File: See G, above.
  L. Missing Person File: See G, above, plus the age, sex, race, height
  and weight, eye and hair color of the missing person.
  M. U.S. Secret Service Protective File: See G, above.
  N. Violent Criminal Gang File: See G, above.
  O. Terrorist File: See G, above.
  P. Unidentified Person File: the age, sex, race, height and weight,
  eye and hair color of the unidentified person.

Safeguards: Data stored in the NCIC is documented criminal justice agency information and access to that data is restricted to duly authorized criminal justice agencies. The following security measures are the minimum to be adopted by all criminal justice agencies having access to the NCIC.

Interstate Identification Index (III) File. These measures are designed to prevent unauthorized access to the system data and/or unauthorized use of data obtained from the computerized file.
1. Computer Center. a. The criminal justice agency computer site must have adequate physical security to protect against any unauthorized personnel gaining access to the computer equipment or to any of the stored data. b. Since personnel at these computer centers can have access to data stored in the system, they must be screened thoroughly under the authority and supervision of an NCIC control terminal agency. (This authority and supervision may be delegated to responsible criminal justice agency personnel in the case of a satellite computer center being serviced through a state control terminal agency.) This screening will also apply to non-criminal justice maintenance or technical personnel. c. All visitors to these computer centers must be accompanied by staff personnel at all times. d. Computers having access to the NCIC must have the proper computer instructions written and other built-in controls to prevent criminal history data from being accessible to any terminals other than authorized terminals. e. Computers having access to the NCIC must maintain a record of all transactions against the criminal history file in the same manner the NCIC computer logs all transactions. The NCIC identifies each specific agency entering or receiving information and maintains a record of those transactions. This transaction record must be monitored and reviewed on a regular basis to detect any possible misuse of criminal history data. f. Each State Control terminal shall build its data system around a central computer, through which each inquiry must pass for screening and verification. The configuration and operation of the center shall provide for the integrity of the data base.
2. Communications: a. Lines/channels being used to transmit criminal history information must be dedicated solely to criminal justice, i.e., there must be no terminals belonging to agencies outside the criminal justice system sharing these lines/channels. b. Physical security of the lines/channels must be protected to guard against clandestine devices being utilized to intercept or inject system traffic.
3. Terminal Devices Having Access to NCIC: a. All agencies having terminals on this system must be required to physically place these terminals in secure locations within the authorized agency. b. The agencies having terminals with access to criminal history must screen terminal operators and restrict access to the terminal to a minimum number of authorized employees. c. Copies of criminal history data obtained from terminal devices must be afforded security to prevent any unauthorized access to or use of the data. d. All remote terminals on NCIC III will maintain a manual or automated log of computerized criminal history inquiries with notations of individuals making requests for records for a minimum of one year.
Retention and disposal: Unless otherwise removed, records will be retained in files as follows:

  A. Vehicle File: a. Unrecovered stolen vehicle records (including
  snowmobile records) which do not contain vehicle identification
  numbers (VIN) or Owner-applied number (OAN) therein, will be purged
  from file 90 days after date of entry. Unrecovered stolen vehicle
  records (including snowmobile records) which contain VIN's or OANs
  will remain in file for the year of entry plus 4.
  b. Unrecovered vehicles wanted in conjunction with a felony will
  remain in file for 90 days after entry. In the event a longer
  retention period is desired, the vehicle must be reentered. c.
  Unrecovered stolen VIN plates, certificates of origin or title, and
  serially numbered stolen vehicle engines or transmissions will remain
  in file for the year of entry plus 4.

  (Job No. NC1-65-82-4, Part E. 13 h.(1))

  B. License Plate File: Unrecovered stolen license plates will remain
  in file for one year after the end of the plate's expiration year as
  shown in the record.

  (Job No. NC1-65-82-4, Part E. 13 h.(2))

  C. Boat File: Unrecovered stolen boat records, which contain a hull
  serial number of an OAN, will be retained in file for the balance of
  the year entered plus 4. Unrecovered stolen boat records which do not
  contain a hull serial number or an OAN will be purged from file 90
  days after date of entry.

  (Job No. NC1-65-82-4, Part E. 13 h.(6))

  D. Gun file: a. Unrecovered weapons will be retained in file for an
  indefinite period until action is taken by the originating agency to
  clear the record. b. Weapons entered in file as "recovered" weapons
  will remain in file for the balance of the year entered plus 2.

  (Job No. NC1-65-82-4, Part E. 13 h.(3))

  E. Article File: Unrecovered stolen articles will be retained for the
  balance of the year entered plus one year.

  (Job No. NC1-65-82-4, Part E. 13 h.(4))

  F. Securities File: Unrecovered stolen, embezzled or counterfeited
  securities will be retained for the balance of the year entered plus
  4, except for travelers checks and money orders, which will be
  retained for the balance of the year entered plus 2.

  (Job No. NC1-65-82-4, Part E. 13 h.(5))

  G. Wanted Person File: Person not located will remain in file
  indefinitely until action is taken by the originating agency to clear
  the record (except "Temporary Felony Wants", which will be
  automatically removed from the file after 48 hours).

  (Job No. NC1-65-87-114, Part E. 13 h.(7))

  H. Foreign Fugitive File: Person not located will remain in file
  indefinitely until action is taken by the originating agency to clear
  the record.
  I. Interstate Identification Index File: When an individual reaches
  age of 80.

  (Job No. NC1-65-76-1)

  J. Witness Security Program File: Will remain in file until action is
  taken by the U.S. Marshals Service to clear or cancel the records.
  K. BATF Violent Felon File: Will remain in file until action is taken
  by the BATF to clear or cancel the records.
  L. Missing Persons File: Will remain in the file until the individual
  is located or action is taken by the originating agency to clear the
  record.

  (Job No. NC1-65-87-11, Part E 13h (Cool)

  M. U.S. Secret Service Protective File: Will be retained until names
  are removed by the U.S. Secret Service.
  N. Violent Criminal Gang File: Records will be subject to mandatory
  purge if inactive for five years.
  O. Terrorist File: Records will be subject to mandatory purge if
  inactive for five years.
  P. Unidentified Person File: Will be retained for the remainder of the
  year of entry plus 9.

System manager(s) and address: Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation, J. Edgar Hoover Building, 10th and Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20535.

Notification procedure: Same as the above.

Record access procedures: It is noted the Attorney General has exempted this system from the access and contest procedures of the Privacy Act. However, the following alternative procedures are available to requester. The procedures by which computerized criminal history record information about an individual may be obtained by that individual are as follows:

If an individual has a criminal record supported by fingerprints and that record has been entered in the NCIC III file, criminal history record information, it is available to that individual for review, upon presentation of appropriate identification and in accordance with applicable State and Federal administrative and statutory regulations. Appropriate identification includes being fingerprinted for the purpose of insuring that the individual is who the individual purports to be. The record on file will then be verified through comparison of fingerprints.
Procedure: 1. All requests for review must be made by the subject of the record through a law enforcement agency which has access to the NCIC III File. That agency within statutory or regulatory limits can require additional identification to assist in securing a positive identification.
2. If the cooperative law enforcement agency can make an identification with fingerprints previously taken which are on file locally and if the FBI identification number of the individual's record is available to that agency, it can make an on-line inquiry of NCIC to obtain the record on-line or, if it does not have suitable equipment to obtain an on-line response, obtain the record from Washington, DC by mail. The individual will then be afforded the opportunity to see that record.
3. Should the cooperating law enforcement agency not have the individual's fingerprints on file locally, it is necessary for that agency to relate the prints to an existing record by having the identification prints compared with those already on file in the FBI or possibly in the State's central identification agency.
Contesting record procedures: The Attorney General has exempted this system from the contest procedures of the Privacy Act. Under this alternative procedure described above under "Record Access Procedures," the subject of the requested record shall request the appropriate arresting agency, court, or correctional agency to initiate action necessary to correct any stated inaccuracy in subject's record or provide the information needed to make the record complete.

Record source categories: Information contained in the NCIC system is obtained from local, state, Federal and international criminal justice agencies.

Systems exempted from certain provisions of the Privacy Act: The Attorney General has exempted this system from subsection (c) (3) and (4), (d), (e)(1) (2), and (3), (e)(4) (G), (H), (e)(5), (e)(Cool and (g) of the Privacy Act pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(j)(2) and (k)(3). Rules have been promulgated in accordance with the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 553 (b), (c) and (e) and have been published in the Federal Register.
9670  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: October 26, 2008, 07:38:47 PM
National Crime Information Center (NCIC)

National Crime Information Center
Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division
1000 Custer Hollow Road
Clarksburg, West Virginia 26306
Hours of Service: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Telephone: (304) 625-2000


NCIC is a computerized index of criminal justice information (i.e.- criminal record history information, fugitives, stolen properties, missing persons). It is available to Federal, state, and local law enforcement and other criminal justice agencies and is operational 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
PURPOSE: The purpose for maintaining the NCIC system is to provide a computerized database for ready access by a criminal justice agency making an inquiry and for prompt disclosure of information in the system from other criminal justice agencies about crimes and criminals. This information assists authorized agencies in criminal justice and related law enforcement objectives, such as apprehending fugitives, locating missing persons, locating and returning stolen property, as well as in the protection of the law enforcement officers encountering the individuals described in the system.

ACCESS CONSTRAINTS: All records in NCIC are protected from unauthorized access through appropriate administrative, physical, and technical safeguards. These safeguards include restricting access to those with a need to know to perform their official duties, and using locks, alarm devices, passwords, and/or encrypting data communications.

USE CONSTRAINTS: Users of the NCIC system will be restricted to only those privileges necessary to perform an authorized task(s).

AGENCY PROGRAM: The FBI is authorized to acquire, collect, classify and preserve identification, criminal identification, crime, and other records and to exchange such information with authorized entities.

SOURCES OF DATA: Data contained in NCIC is provided by the FBI, federal, state, local and foreign criminal justice agencies, and authorized courts.

The most recent iteration of NCIC became operational on July 11, 1999 at the FBI's Criminal Justice Information Services Division in Clarksburg, West Virginia. A recent hardware upgrade to the NCIC system is responsible for this significant improvement in performance.


Categories of individuals covered by the system:


  A. Wanted Persons: 1. Individuals for whom Federal warrants are
  outstanding.
  2. Individuals who have committed or have been identified with an
  offense which is classified as a felony or serious misdemeanor under
  the existing penal statutes of the jurisdiction originating the entry
  and for whom a felony or misdemeanor warrant has been issued with
  respect to the offense which was the basis of the entry. Probation and
  parole violators meeting the foregoing criteria.
  3. A "Temporary Felony Want" may be entered when a law enforcement
  agency has need to take prompt action to establish a "want" entry
  for the apprehension of a person who has committed or the officer has
  reasonable grounds to believe has committed, a felony and who may seek
  refuge by fleeing across jurisdictional boundaries and circumstances
  preclude the immediate procurement of a felony warrant. A "Temporary
  Felony Want" shall be specifically identified as such and subject to
  verification and support by a proper warrant within 48 hours following
  the entry of a temporary want. The agency originating the "Temporary
  Felony Want" shall be responsible for subsequent verification or re-
  entry of a permanent want.
  4. Juveniles who have been adjudicated delinquent and who have escaped
  or absconded from custody, even though no arrest warrants were issued.
  Juveniles who have been charged with the commission of a delinquent
  act that would be a crime if committed by an adult, and who have fled
  from the state where the act was committed.
  5. Individuals who have committed or have been identified with an
  offense committed in a foreign country, which would be a felony if
  committed in the United States, and for whom a warrant of arrest is
  outstanding and for which act an extradition treaty exists between the
  United States and that country.
  6. Individuals who have committed or have been identified with an
  offense committed in Canada and for whom a Canada-Wide Warrant has
  been issued which meets the requirements of the Canada-U.S.
  Extradition Treaty, 18 U.S.C. 3184.
  B. Individuals who have been charged with serious and/or significant
  offenses:
  1. Individuals who have been fingerprinted and whose criminal history
  record information has been obtained.
  2. Violent Felons: Persons with three or more convictions for a
  violent felony or serious drug offense as defined by 18 U.S.C.
  Sec. 924(e).
  C. Missing Persons: 1. A person of any age who is missing and who is
  under proven physical/mental disability or is senile, thereby
  subjecting that person or others to personal and immediate danger.
  2. A person of any age who is missing under circumstances indicating
  that the disappearance was not voluntary.
  3. A person of any age who is missing under circumstances indicating
  that that person's physical safety may be in danger.
  4. A person of any age who is missing after a catastrophe.
  5. A person who is missing and declared unemancipated as defined by
  the laws of the person's state of residence and does not meet any of
  the entry criteria set forth in 1-4 above.
  D. Individuals designated by the U.S. Secret Service as posing a
  potential danger to the President and/or other authorized protectees.
  E. Members of Violent Criminal Gangs: Individuals about whom
  investigation has developed sufficient information to establish
  membership in a particular violent criminal gang by either:
  1. Self admission at the time of arrest or incarceration, or
  2. Any two of the following criteria:
  a. Identified as a gang member by a reliable informant;
  b. Identified as a gang member by an informant whose information has
  been corroborated;
  c. Frequents a gang's area, associates with known members, and/or
  affects gang dress, tattoos, or hand signals;
  d. Has been arrested multiple times with known gang members for
  offenses consistent with gang activity; or
  e. Self admission (other than at the time of arrest or incarceration).
  F. Members of Terrorist Organizations: Individuals about whom
  investigations has developed sufficient information to establish
  membership in a particular terrorist organization using the same
  criteria listed above in paragraph E, items 1 and 2 a-e, as they apply
  to members of terrorist organizations rather than members of violent
  criminal gangs.
  G. Unidentified Persons: 1. Any unidentified deceased person. 2. Any
  person who is living and unable to ascertain the person's identity
  (e.g., infant, amnesia victim). 3. Any unidentified catastrophe
  victim. 4. Body parts when a body has been dismembered.

Categories of records in the system:

 
  A. Stolen Vehicle File: 1. Stolen vehicles. 2. Vehicles wanted in
  conjunction with felonies or serious misdemeanors. 3. Stolen vehicle
  parts including certificates of origin or title.
  B. Stolen License Plate File.
  C. Stolen Boat File.
  D. Stolen Gun File: 1. Stolen guns. 2. Recovered guns, when ownership
  of which has not been established.
  E. Stolen Article File.
  F. Securities File: 1. Serially numbered stolen, embezzled or
  counterfeited, securities.
  2. "Securities" for present purposes of this file are currently
  (e.g., bills, bank notes) and those documents or certificates which
  generally are considered to be evidence of debt (e.g., bonds,
  debentures, notes) or ownership of property (e.g., common stock,
  preferred stock), and documents which represent subscription rights,
  warrants and which are of the types traded in the securities exchanges
  in the United States, except for commodities futures. Also, included
  are warehouse receipts, travelers checks and money orders.
  G. Wanted Person File: Described in "CATEGORIES OF INDIVIDUALS
  COVERED BY THE SYSTEM. A. Wanted Persons, 1-4."
  H. Foreign Fugitive File: Identification data regarding persons who
  are fugitives from foreign countries, who are described in
  "
Categories of individuals covered by the system: A. Wanted Persons,
  5 and 6."
  I. Interstate Identification Index File: A cooperative Federal-state
  program for the interstate exchange of criminal history record
  information for the purpose of facilitating the interstate exchange of
  such information among criminal justice agencies. Described in
  "

Categories of individuals covered by the system: B. 1."
  J. Identification records regarding persons enrolled in the United
  States Marshals Service Witness Security Program who have been charged
  with serious and/or significant offenses: Described in "CATEGORIES OF
  INDIVIDUALS covered by the system: B."
  K. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF) Violent Felon File:
  Described in "

Categories of individuals covered by the system: B.
  2."
  L. Missing Person File: Described in "CATEGORIES OF INDIVIDUALS
  covered by the system: C. Missing Persons."
  M. U.S. Secret Service Protective File: Described in "CATEGORIES OF
  INDIVIDUALS covered by the system: D."
  N. Violent Criminal Gang File: A cooperative Federal-state program for
  the interstate exchange of criminal gang information. For the purpose
  of this file, a "gang" is defined as a group of three or more
  persons with a common interest, bond, or activity characterized by
  criminal or delinquent conduct. Described in "CATEGORIES OF
  INDIVIDUALS covered by the system: E. Members of Violent Criminal
  Gangs."
  O. Terrorist File: A cooperative Federal-state program for the
  exchange of information about terrorist organizations and individuals.
  For the purposes of this file, "terrorism" is defined as activities
  that involve violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that are a
  violation of the criminal laws of the United States or any state or
  would be a criminal violation if committed within the jurisdiction of
  the United States or any state, which appear to be intended to:
  1. Intimidate or coerce a civilian population,
  2. Influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion,
  or
  3. Affect the conduct of a government by crimes or kidnapping.
  Described in "

Categories of individuals covered by the system: F.
  Members of Terrorist Organizations."
  P. Unidentified Person File: Described in "CATEGORIES OF INDIVIDUALS
  covered by the system: G. Unidentified Persons."



Authority for maintenance of the system: The system is established and maintained in accordance with 28 U.S.C. 534; Department of Justice Appropriation Act, 1973, Pub. L. 92-544, 86 Stat. 1115, Securities Acts Amendment of 1975, Pub. L. 94-29, 89 Stat. 97; and 18 U.S.C. Sec. 924 (e). Exec. Order No. 10450, 3 CFR (1974).

Purpose(s): The purpose for maintaining the NCIC system of record is to provide a computerized data base for ready access by a criminal justice agency making an inquiry and for prompt disclosure of information in the system from other criminal justice agencies about crimes and criminals. This information assists authorized agencies in criminal justice objectives, such as apprehending fugitives, locating missing persons, locating and returning stolen property, as well as in the protection of the law enforcement officers encountering the individuals described in the system.
Routine uses of records maintained in the system, including categories of users and the purposes of such uses: Data in NCIC files is exchanged with and for the official use of authorized officials of the Federal Government, the States, cities, penal and other institutions, and certain foreign governments. The data is exchanged through NCIC lines to Federal criminal justice agencies, criminal justice agencies in the 50 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Possessions and U.S. Territories. Additionally, data contained in the various "want files," i.e., the stolen vehicle file, stolen license plate file, stolen gun file, stolen article file, wanted person file, securities file, boat file, and missing person data may be accessed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Criminal history data is disseminated to non-criminal justice agencies for use in connection with licensing for local/state employment or other uses, but only where such dissemination is authorized by Federal or state statutes and approved by the Attorney General of the United States.

9671  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: October 26, 2008, 07:30:16 PM
A couple key points from the article:

Direct access to driver's license and vehicle registration information from BMV computers is restricted to legitimate law enforcement and government business.

The investigation could become "criminal in nature,"

The State Highway Patrol, which administers the Law Enforcement Automated Data System in Ohio, asked Toledo police to explain why it pulled BMV information on Wurzelbacher within 48 hours of the debate, Hunter said.

**Accessing law enforcement databases like NCIC without legitimate law enforcement purposes is illegal and the system is designed to leave an audit trail for tracking it's use as part of it's checks and balances.**
9672  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: October 26, 2008, 08:56:17 AM
**A nice bit of humor from Iowahawk**

http://iowahawk.typepad.com/iowahawk/2008/10/i-am-bill.html

I AM BILL

Editorial note: my previous "I AM JOE" post seems to have struck a chord, and possibly a nerve or two. As one new fan writes:

"I think it's hilarious you wingnuts want to embrace this wifebeating tax cheat non-plumber as your new populist poster boy. Funny I didn't see your concern when the Murdoch media was trying to destroy Bill Ayers' life."

You make an excellent point, T.S.! Why should us flag-humping reactionaries get all the good flesh-and-blood lumpenproles to rally behind? So, in preemptive compliance with the coming Fairness Doctrine, please allow me to ladle up another helping of righteous populist indignation on behalf of another lovable everyman who's gotten the shaft from the media for daring to speak up. Bumper stickers coming soon.

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



Every time I turn on the internet these days, it seems like another right wing blogger is digging up more baloney on Professor Bill Ayers. Apparently these people would rather talk about Bill Ayers' passionate youthful rambunctiousness than the issues that really matter to us, like Sarah Palin's shoe bill. Well, I've got a message for you, Mister Google cache McCarthy fascist: I'm mad as H-E-double sippy straws, and I'm not going to take it any more. No longer will I remain silent while you smear and slur this great America-hating American with his own quotes. Hear me now: when you mess with Bill Ayers, you're messing with me.

Because I AM BILL.

I AM BILL. I am the everyday forgotten little guy in your neighborhood, the quiet anarcho-syndicalist family man who gets up early and punches the clock at the local state university, writing the manifestos and polemics and grant proposals that keep America humming. I'm just doing my job, and all I ask in return is a little respect. And tenure. And Chicago Citizen of the Year awards. And two graduate assistants to grade exams for Practicum in Imperialist Racist Hegemony 311, because I'm teaching two sections this semester. Also, a sabbatical to Italy next summer would be nice.

I AM BILL. I grew up in a simple little gated community just like yours, with white picket fences and where all the aux pairs and gardeners know your name. When my dad came home from a hard day's work as a CEO, he was never too tired to help me with my homework or tousle my hair for winning the Lake Forest Academy essay contest on Hegelian Dialectics. Yes, he was a simpleminded bourgeois technocrat of the capitalist war machine, but he made sure I got the tuition and tutors and sailing lessons and allowance I needed to make it on my own. I wish he was still alive so I could tell him how much I really planned to kill him last.

I AM BILL. I work with my hands, grizzled and calloused from years on a non-ergonomic keyboard. Maybe I don't know pipe wrenches, but I know pipe bombs, and I've built them right there in my communal kitchen and I've watched with pride as they've offed a couple of pigs. Sure, maybe I've made a few mistakes with wiring or detonator timing and it ends up killing a couple of comrades. But you know what? I get up, dust myself off, and get right back to the drawing board. Because when it comes to international Maoist revolution, quitters never win and winners never quit.

I AM BILL. I love traveling the highways and byways of this great, puke-inducing country we call America, visiting its police stations and ROTC buildings and legislative halls. And when the pigs finally catch up with me and dad hires a legal team to get me off on a technicality, it lets me know that yes, Bill, you can go home again.

I AM BILL. I may have started small. But I still have a crazy plan that one day I will make it big and finally plunge this danged country of ours into a bloody cataclysmic race war. And if you think you can stand in the way of my dream, or escape my escape-proof reeducation death camps, well, then you don't know me.

I AM BILL. I'm still married my to my college sweetheart, and we believe in family values. Especially Manson Family values. After all these years she still hands me my lunchbox at the door every morning, which she has packed with a chocolate kiss and a tiny pinch of Semtex from her hope chest. I can't imagine where I'd be without this woman and her law school salary. Because no matter what I accomplish in this world, this beautiful, insane bitch will always be the real psychopath in the house.

I AM BILL. I believe in upholding America's great traditions, like the Days of Rage and Wounded Knee the Haymarket Riots. Call me sentimental, but my heart still swells with pride whenever I see a Boy Scout color guard parading Old Glory down the street, and a young anarchist rips it away from the those fascists and starts it on fire.

I AM BILL. I fervently believe in educatiing all our children, whether they are Black like Mumia, or Asian like Pol Pot, or Palestinian like Sirhan Sirhan, or recovering whiteys like me. Children are our future. They need funding for programs in aboriginal physics and political consciousness, so they can rebuild the collectivist agrarian labor camp society that once made this country great.

I AM BILL. Unlike Joe the Plumber, I pay my taxes. Because I know that until the inevitable violent overthrow of the dystopian AmeriKKKan nightmare, taxes are the necessary price we all must pay for critical government services like roads, and ACORN, and my university pension. Plus according to my attorney it's harder to beat the rap on tax evasion.

I AM BILL. I love the Cubs. There's nothing I enjoy more than sitting in the grandstands of Wrigley Field sipping a cold one, dreaming of the day when my beloved Chicago People's Cubbies bring home the Castro trophy at the World Series of Socialist Peace and Beisbol. And, after the Yanquis are executed during 7th inning stretch, there will be free nationalized People's Budweiser for everybody. As we Cub fans say, "wait 'til next year!"

I AM BILL. I believe in helping young people -- especially those who show potential as innocuous, non-threatening front men. I work quietly behind the scenes helping them get a foot in the door, arranging entry-level jobs on foundation boards, hosting their political events, ghostwriting their memoirs. I don't do it for the glory. I do it for the quiet satisfaction of knowing that someday these young people might just grow up to be the vanguard of the permanent worker's revolution that will destroy the system from within, and that's all the thanks I need. 

I AM BILL. I hate AmeriKKKa. Which you know, if you aren't blinded by false consciousness, means I actually love America -- because dissent is the highest form of patriotism, and bombs are the highest form of dissent. And if you don't like it, you can lump it, you fascist AmeriKKKa-loving America hater! America, hate it or leave it!

I AM BILL.

-----------------------------
9673  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: October 26, 2008, 08:51:43 AM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but with information technology and the global financial grid, isn't it easier today than any time before for capital to flee the US if taxes get worse?
9674  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gender issues thread on: October 26, 2008, 08:39:10 AM
I'd vote for Sarah Palin in a flash. And Thatcher as well.
9675  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: October 25, 2008, 04:23:01 PM
Socialism has never worked before, why would it work here and now? I guess since most people can't be bothered to learn history we get to re-learn this lesson the hard way. "Soak the rich" class warfare only hurts the middle class and the poor in the long run and removes opportunity for social mobility. Oh well, brace for "Carter II".  rolleyes
9676  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: October 25, 2008, 04:17:16 PM
Unfortunately "muslim" and loyal American sometimes are mutually exclusive terms, as my posts demonstrate.**[/b]

And unfortunately "Christian" and loyal American sometimes are mutually exclusive terms.  Should I cut and paste a dozen long articles on this subject too? 

**Yes, please cut and paste all the articles you can find where christians betrayed this nation to assist christian terrorists making war on American motivated by christian theology. BTW, what is the current body count inflicted on the US by christian terrorists?**

Would it be
relevant on the 2008 Presidential Race Post Page?

**It would, if the US were currently engaged in a war with a global movement by christians to impose christian dominance by force globally, and the US had suffered thousands of fatalities from christian terrorists while other christians worked to subvert the US, and then I posted an article bemoaning the bad rap christians are getting from the mainstream. Then it would be relevant.**


My point about extreme cut and paste was that your numerous articles do not relate to this particular post, i.e. The 2008 Presidential Race.  Controversial perhaps,
and perhaps worthy of discussion on the Islam in America Post Page, but not the 2008 Presidential Election Race Post.  As I indirectly acknowledged,
your one article pertaining to the Muslim Congressman does; it is relevant, on target, and brings up interesting points, but the rest of your articles do not even mention the upcoming election.
Just another example of "if you can't dazzle them with your brilliance, baffle them with your $%^&*".  Or "throw enough $%^&* against the wall and hope something will stick".
 
**It is relevant, as the left loves to play the "poor muslim" card, such as your post on muslims and the presidential race. The bad reputation islam has is the direct result of the oppression and violence inherent in islamic theology, which you love to ignore because it doesn't fit your politically correct narrative.**

9677  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: October 25, 2008, 04:06:08 PM
Actually, to AGAIN quote your post, "According to a seasoned professional, Winslow Wheeler, with 31 years experience on Capitol Hill, "members of Congress are granted security clearance simply by being elected."

**Let me remind you of page CRS-5, from http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/secrecy/RS20748.pdf

Mandate That Members of Congress Hold Security Clearances to Be
Eligible for Access to Classified Information. 

This would mark a significant
departure from the past.  Members of Congress (as with the President and Vice President,
Justices of the Supreme Court, or other federal court judges) have never been required to
hold security clearances.**


As for Bush...
Bush clearly admits to having a history of abusing alcohol (grounds per your post for disqualification) and;

Wikipedia - Illegal Drugs
Bush has refused to discuss speculation that he has used illegal drugs, but has said that when his father became president in 1989 and required White House employees to affirm that they had not used illegal drugs for 15 years, he would have passed that test.[12][13]
A conversation between Bush and an old friend and author, Doug Wead, touched on the subject of use of illegal drugs. In the taped recordings of the conversation, Bush explained his refusal to answer questions about whether he had used marijuana at some time in his past. “I wouldn’t answer the marijuana questions,” Bush says. “You know why? Because I don’t want some little kid doing what I tried.” When Wead reminded Bush that the latter had publicly denied using cocaine, Bush replied, "I haven't denied anything."[14]

Do I care?  No.

**The wikipedia sourcing is very, very thin. Hardly what would qualify as a confession.**



9678  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: October 24, 2008, 10:47:19 PM
So, no Obama does not have a security clearance, nor could he get one were he applying for a job rather than being elected to office.

I was going to stop, but this is getting fun, so I couldn't resist.  You just said, "So no, Obama does not have a security clearance"  yet
your previous post stated, "members of Congress are granted security clearance simply by being elected."   So I guess Obama really does have a security clearance; yes? 

**To be precise, members of congress are exempted from having to go through the security clearance vetting procedure before accessing classified materials. Obama has never been vetted, nor could he pass the vetting were he to try to do so. He does not have a clearance, he just has access. The electoral process and the media are supposed to do the vetting for elected officials, which as in the case of Obama and Keith Elleson, hasn't been done.**
 
Gotta love your logic: you say Obama "does not have a security clearance" and yet you posted within thirty minutes previously that in fact, Obama does currently have security clearance.  Huh 

**Again, he has access to classified material, but has not been vetted for a clearance, nor would he be granted one given his many "issues".**

Must be the bubbles in the beer; try some wine, you might like it.

**Sorry, about time for me to don my gear and go to work. No alcohol for me.**

For numerous reasons I doubt if the CSR's suggestions will pass; otherwise based on your post it looks like President Bush would have been denied on the basis
of "a proven history of alcohol abuse" not to mention drug usage.

**Care to cite your source for President Bush's drug usage?**






9679  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: October 24, 2008, 09:51:17 PM
**Ok, JDN. Is this just "dumping on muslims"? Is there a legitimate concern?**


http://www.debbieschlussel.com/archives/2007/02/noureddine_malk.html

February 15, 2007

Mr. X/Noureddine Malki: The Perpetual Risk (& Likelihood) With Muslim Translators

Printer Friendly

By Debbie Schlussel

I'm constantly being told by Pan-Islamists about all of the Muslim Arabic translators and soldiers we have and how patriotic and dedicated they are to America.

Actually, their numbers aren't so large, and their patriotism, well . . . . I think the many stories we've had about Muslim soldiers--from Wassef Ali Hassoun (who faked his kidnapping in Iraq, went AWOL, twice, and is now on the NCIS Most Wanted List) to Assan Akbar (who shot at fellow American soldiers in the name of Islam) and a host of similar others (Ahmad Al-Halabi, Ali Mohamed, Ryan Anderson, Semi Osman, John A. Muhammad, Jeffrey Leon Battle, etc., etc., ad nauseam)--makes the case otherwise.

The latest story--about Army Arabic translator Mr. X a/k/a Noureddine Malki a/k/a Almaliki Nour a/k/a Abu Hakim a/k/a Abdulhakeem Nour--makes the same case, ie., that we must be suspicious, instead of bending over backwards to welcome those whose co-religionists around the world (and here) are openly bent on our destruction.


The story of the Muslim Arabic translator Mr. X--we don't even know his real name--is chronicled in an AP report in New York Daily News, which I strangely didn't see in any of my print newspapers.

Mr. X/"Malki" deliberately hid information about insurgents, their location, and the location of their weaponry. By doing so, he knowingly cost American soldiers their lives. Plainly, this Muslim translator is a mass-murderer of Americans. Even worse, he is believed to have provided classified Coalition Forces intelligence (which he illegally downloaded) to insurgents in the Sunni Triangle. Again, he's a mass-murderer.

More incredible is that this man was allowed to become a U.S. citizen and a translator despite professing allegiance to Al-Qaeda and the 9/11 attacks. Prosecutors have made no attempt to strip him of his citizenship, which was likely obtained under false pretenses.

He should be given the death penalty (a little torture first would be appropriate). But, instead, he'll only do a maximum of 60 years . . . if we're lucky. Who is responsible for hiring this man? That's another person who should be tried, if it can be shown he/she knew of the man's open loyalty to Al-Qaeda and hatred of America. If so, that person is an accessory to mass murder.

More:

A former Arabic translator for the Army in Iraq pleaded guilty Wednesday to illegally possessing secret documents detailing the 82nd Airborne Division's mission against insurgents.
Among the documents was a report with precise information about U.S. weaponry and targets, court papers said. Another document contained "information about 82nd Airborne strategies for interfacing with various tribal groups in Iraq," the court papers added.

The defendant, who goes by the name Noureddine Malki, also pleaded guilty in 2005 to using an alias, Almaliki Nour, while becoming a U.S. citizen. Authorities say his true identity remains unknown.

He faces up to 60 years in prison for both charges, prosecutors said. No sentencing date was set.

U.S. Attorney Roslynn Mauskopf said the case demonstrated the importance of "safeguarding military plans and intelligence."

The 47-year-old defendant, who had been scheduled to go to trial next week, "fraudulently obtained security clearances and then stole classified military information," Mauskopf said in a statement.

Using his false identity, the defendant was hired in 2003 by a contractor as a translator and interpreter for an intelligence unit of the 82nd Airborne stationed in the Sunni Triangle, authorities said. After he returned to the United States, authorities discovered the documents - some marked "secret" - during a 2005 raid on his Brooklyn apartment.

While entering his plea in federal court in Brooklyn on Wednesday, the defendant admitted he knew he was not authorized to have the documents and made no attempt to return them, said his lawyer, Mildred Whalen.

The defense attorney said her client did not address a motive. She declined further comment.

In a memo filed last week, prosecutors had warned that if the defendant professed his loyalty to the United States at trial, they would present evidence that he supported al-Qaida and the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The evidence included propaganda downloaded from the Internet to his computer, the memo said.

Prosecutors also said they would argue the defendant "had an opportunity to provide stolen classified information to anti-coalition forces" because he was in phone and e-mail contact with people in the Sunni Triangle, including Sunni sheiks who gave him thousands of dollars in bribes.

"Religion of Peace." "Loyal Americans." "Very Patriotic." Yadda, yadda, yadda.

Thanks to reader Kent for the tip. He writes:

His true identity is unknown? What the hell was he doing having any access to anything without having been vetted?
Amen. Why? I think we all know the answer: Political correctness in favor of Muslims--at the cost of safety and security.

It'll kill ya, every time.

More info in The Washington Post.
9680  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: October 24, 2008, 09:44:31 PM
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/secrecy/RS20748.pdf

Suggested changes to congress currently exempting it's self from security clearances. So, no Obama does not have a security clearance, nor could he get one were he applying for a job rather than being elected to office.
9681  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: October 24, 2008, 09:21:11 PM
http://www.alanedmunds.com/news/security-clearance-double-standard.html

Double standard for security clearance must end

According to two Washington insiders, Washington’s double standard regarding security clearance for Congress and staff is unacceptable.  When it comes to getting access to sensitive government information, Congress and other top-ranking political officials are not held to the same standards as employees who seek security clearance.
This security clearance double standard was exemplified by the recent bribery case involving former Representative Randy “Duke” Cunningham.  This Congressman had access to sensitive information while under federal investigation for the crime of bribery.  Had a federal investigation been conducted over a congressional employee’s illegal activity, access to sensitive information would have surely been denied.  According to Keith Ashdown of the Taxpayers for Common Sense, “Lawmakers should absolutely have to go through the same security clearance process as employees do.”
Under the current system of gaining security clearance, congressional staff and other federal employees are subject to scrupulous background checks and an intensive interview process before obtaining access to sensitive information.  If an investigation reveals that a security clearance applicant might pose a threat to national security, they can be denied security clearance.  “Risks” such as associating with people who have a criminal background, a history of alcohol abuse, financial problems, and other issues can be used to justify security clearance denial.

Meanwhile, members of congress are not subject to any type of background check.  They are merely asked to promise not to reveal any of the nation’s secrets.  That’s it.  According to a seasoned professional, Winslow Wheeler, with 31 years experience on Capitol Hill, members of Congress are granted security clearance simply by being elected. 

Winslow worked for the Senate Budget Committee for six years as a security official.  He recently published a book about Congress and national security.
Ashdown and Wheeler have a different focus on what this lack of screening means for national security.  Ashdown, for example, points out that a history of alcoholism would preclude congressional staff from gaining security clearance.  He points out that, “there are more alcoholics [in Congress] than anywhere in the country.”  He stresses that Congress needs to be held to the same standards as any other person seeking security clearance.
Wheeler, on the other hand, says that if the system is working, there is no need to fix it.  His biggest concern concentrates on cases like the Cunningham bribery investigation.  Five months went by between the start of federal investigations into Cunningham’s illegal activity and the day he pled guilty to accepting $2.4 million in bribes from defense contractor MZM, Inc.  During these five months, Cunningham had full access to our nation’s sensitive information.  Wheeler argues that investigations should have immediately assessed his ethical violations to determine his fitness for security clearance.
The Cunningham case is just one example of how politics unfairly influence the security clearance process of the United States government.  In so many cases, employees are denied security clearance for ambiguous reasons, while dubious officials proceed without question.
Some experts believe situations like the Cunningham scandal turn the spotlight on a security clearance system that is broken and needs to be fixed.   
9682  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: October 24, 2008, 09:10:53 PM
**Is it "dumping on muslims" to raise the issue of loyalty to this nation? Why would Americans who are muslim do such things?**


Former Navy sailor arrested on terror charge

By Dennis Wagner, The Arizona Republic
PHOENIX — A former U.S. sailor was arrested Wednesday on charges that he took part in a conspiracy to kill military personnel by giving suspected terrorists information about American ship movements in the Middle East in 2001.
Hassan Abujihaad, 31, who served aboard the destroyer USS Benfold from 1998 to 2002, also allegedly sent e-mails to a terrorist website, according to the Justice Department. The e-mails applauded Osama bin Laden and praised al-Qaeda's attack on the USS Cole in Yemen in 2000.

Abujihaad, formerly known as Paul Hall, was arrested in Phoenix, FBI spokeswoman Deb McCarley said. He will be sent to Connecticut to face charges in federal court.

According to court records, Abujihaad linked up by Internet with British nationals Babar Ahmad and Syed Talha Ahsan through a London organization known as Azzam Publications. Ahmad and Ahsan also are under federal indictment. The government says Azzam had an intelligence and fundraising role in terrorism.

Scotland Yard agents searched Ahmad's residence in 2003 and found classified information about a Navy battle group. According to court records, Abujihaad had sent detailed intelligence from the Benfold to Azzam in 2001, nine months after the Cole attack, which killed 17 sailors.

Abujihaad's messages allegedly said the battle group would pass through the entrance to the Persian Gulf, in 19 days, adding: "They have nothing to stop a small craft with RPG (rocket-propelled grenade) etc. except their Seals' stinger missiles … Please destroy message."

Abujihaad received an honorable discharge from the Navy in 2002, according to an FBI affidavit. Abujihaad's alleged role was first reported in news media 27 months ago, but no charges were filed at the time. Thomas Carson, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney in Connecticut, wouldn't comment on what delayed the indictment.

In December, the case against Abujihaad apparently received a boost after the arrest of Derrick Shareef, 22, of Genoa, Ill. Shareef, who lived with Abujihaad in 2004, was accused of planning to use grenades to attack a mall. An informer who became acquainted with Shareef helped the FBI set up a sting against Abujihaad.

Amid reports in 2004 of Ahmad's arrest, Abujihaad turned to the Council on American-Islamic Relations for support. Deedra Abboud, then executive director at the council's Arizona office, said at the time that Abujihaad told her he sent e-mails critical of U.S. foreign policy to Azzam, but denied divulging classified information.

Contributing: The Associated Press.
9683  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: October 24, 2008, 09:00:14 PM
Oh great moderator in the sky, please explain what the last six posts by GM have to do with the 2008 Presidential Race.....
I think GM had one too many beers and his finger stuck on the cut and paste buttons, but he got the post wrong...

**You posted the article about "Muslim-Americans" bemoaning "All I want is for one of the candidates to assure me and the American public that "Muslim" and "American" are not mutually exclusive terms."

Unfortunately "muslim" and loyal American sometimes are mutually exclusive terms, as my posts demonstrate.**
9684  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: October 24, 2008, 08:48:37 PM
911 Dispatcher Arrested for Accessing Websites With Terrorist Information

A 911 dispatcher, Nadire Zelenaj, has been arrested for using computers at work to access secure government websites containing information about suspected terrorists.

Now the FBI wants to know what she did with that sensitive information.

The employee was hired in 2002 after the September 11 terrorist attack. 911 computers allow employees to access a secured police data site with criminal information.

However, Zelenaj was using that access for personal reasons.

Police say she accessed information from a terrorist watch list.

They tracked her movements in a two-year period between January ‘06 and December ‘07 and say she visited that site at least 232 times.

Richard Vega of the Office of Public Integrity said that at the present, they can only suspect what she’s been up to.

What we do know is — now the FBI is involved. Agents would not comment other than to say it’s part of a larger investigation.

Zelenaj has been charged with 232 felony counts of computer trespass and one count of official misconduct. She was fired in December.

A co-worker saw her on the site and became suspicious. From there, it was easy to track her computer movements.
9685  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: October 24, 2008, 08:26:01 PM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/22/AR2008042201994.html

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

9686  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: October 24, 2008, 08:19:19 PM
http://www.nydailynews.com/archives/news/2003/09/04/2003-09-04_9-11_book__terror_link_insid.html

9-11 BOOK: TERROR LINK INSIDE FDNY
By TRACY CONNOR DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Thursday, September 4th 2003, 8:02AM

A hero fire marshal killed in the terror attacks told the FBI of his suspicions about an Egyptian-born FDNY employee who associated with terrorists - but his warning was ignored, a new book claims.
The book, "1000 Years for Revenge" by Peter Lance, contends the feds missed opportunities to stop the attacks.
But New York FBI spokesman Joe Valiquette slammed Lance's book as a "rehash of old stories, gossip and speculation."
One thread of the book follows Fire Department veteran Ronnie Bucca and his suspicions about a department accountant, Ahmed Amin Refai.
Bucca began investigating Refai in 1999, after Refai filed a bogus report to get a new building identification pass for department headquarters, the book says.
Bucca was alarmed by Refai's association with Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, the blind sheik convicted of conspiracy in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
The marshal uncovered TV footage of Refai escorting Abdel-Rahman through a crowd at a New Jersey mosque and learned he was also acquainted with El Sayed A Nosair, who assassinated Jewish Defense League leader Meir Kahane in 1990.
That year, Refai took a pile of Trade Center blueprints that had been tossed out by the FDNY, the book says. When the complex was bombed, Refai called in sick, Lance reports.
Now retired, Refai denied any wrongdoing. He admitted to Lance that he met Abdel-Rahman and other terror figures but said he wasn't close to them. He also denied taking the blueprints and blamed the attacks on a U.S.-Israeli conspiracy.
The FBI is now investigating Refai, the book says. Valiquette declined comment yesterday on any probe.
9687  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: October 24, 2008, 08:14:46 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/14/washington/14spy.html?_r=1&pagewanted=print&oref=slogin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The court papers say Ms. Prouty’s crimes first became known to the F.B.I. in December 2005 and have been under investigation for nearly two years. The documents suggest that she came under scrutiny as part of an investigation of her brother-in-law, Talal Khalil Chahine, in a scheme to funnel millions of dollars from his restaurant to people in Lebanon. Mr. Chahine is a fugitive from tax evasion charges filed in Michigan.
9688  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: October 24, 2008, 08:04:30 PM
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2001/11/04/MN117081.DTL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This article appeared on page A - 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle
9689  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: October 24, 2008, 07:51:23 PM
Holy warriors like Junaid deeply worry authorities, but that wasn't always the case. During the Cold War, Washington encouraged the jihad movement in its drive to bog down the Soviets in Afghanistan. As many as 25,000 foreigners answered the call during the 1980s, most notably bin Laden. The majority hailed from Arab nations, but many journeyed from Sudan, Southeast Asia, China, and Great Britain. Others came from the United States, among them dozens of native-born Americans. One, Muhammed Haseeb Abdul-Haqq, was the son of a Baptist preacher in New York. A recent convert to a Pakistani Sufi sect, Muslims of the Americas, Abdul-Haqq rallied fellow Americans to fight the Soviets in the early 1980s. The group set up "jihad councils" across the country and in 1982 sent 12 members to Pakistan, intent on finding their way into battle. "It was amazing for me," recalls Abdul-Haqq. "I had no military training, but I knew what I was doing was for the Almighty."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MARTIAL ARTIST

ABU MALIK

Age: Unknown

Last U.S. address: New York

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

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

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

STUDENT

HIRAM TORRES

Age: 27

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

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

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

SOLDIER

ISA ABDULLAH ALI,

aka Kevin Holt

Age: 45

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

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

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

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

CAR SALESMAN

KHALID ABU AL-DAHAB

Age: 38

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

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

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

CAB DRIVER

RAED HIJAZI

Age: 33

Last U.S. address: Boston

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

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

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

BUSINESSMAN

MOHAMED BAYAZID,

aka Abu Rida al Suri

Age: 41

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

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

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

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

This story appears in the June 10, 2002 print edition of U.S. News & World Report.
9690  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: October 24, 2008, 07:50:13 PM
http://www.usnews.com/usnews/news/articles/020610/archive_021602.htm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

9691  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: October 24, 2008, 07:30:13 PM
Good grief this is ridiculous; say what you want about Obama; good (I doubt) or bad, but he is a standing U.S. Senator.  His security clearance is just fine and everyone knows it.

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


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

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

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



9692  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: October 24, 2008, 06:17:08 PM
www.DiscoverTheNetworks.org   Date: 10/24/2008 7:15:47 PM

KEITH ELLISON

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Most of this profile first appeared as an article titled "Louis Farrakhan's First Congressman," written by Scott W. Johnson and published by The Weekly Standard on October 9, 2006. It is reprinted here, with permission.
9693  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: October 24, 2008, 01:03:56 PM
I'm pretty disgusted with the RNC, and I see no other party I can align myself with. I'd like to see a "Let's preserve what's left of western civilization" party.
9694  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: October 24, 2008, 11:48:23 AM

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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


Rather, they seem like a chicken with it's head cut off aimlessly running everywhere.   I can smell the desperation.  If you can't win on the facts, ideas, plans, goals, well......  just throw whatever else is left against the wall.  Lately, that seems to be the McCain/Palin campaign style.
9695  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: McCain on: October 24, 2008, 10:49:58 AM
http://hotair.com/archives/2008/10/24/mccain-ad-ladies-and-gentlemen/

Thank god for Joe Biden, he might just make a difference.
9696  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: October 24, 2008, 09:38:10 AM
Innocent
I think most people do or should go along with the Webster Dictionary's definition.  Innocent: "Free from guilt or sin".  The rest is just conjecture.

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

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

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


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

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

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

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



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

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

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

Here is a little insight into your "distinguished professor": http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/31662_Bill_Ayers_Terrorist_Group_Discussed_Genocide_of_Americans **

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

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

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

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

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

**Again, this is not about freedom of speech, it's about judging the candidates for the Presidency of this nation. I gurantee that a police applicant with a clean criminal history that is known to socialize with members of a local outlaw motorcycle gang won't be getting hired. If I got the sweetheart home purchase deal from a convicted felon, like Obama got from Tony Rezko, you better believe that I'd be getting a Garrity advisal and possibly a subpeona in front of a grand jury. A law enforcement officer that had the connections to the Nation of Islam that Obama has might well be legally terminated for it. I can cut and paste the caselaw if you'd like.**
9697  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: October 23, 2008, 10:08:13 AM
http://sweetness-light.com/archive/what-do-we-know-about-abongo-obama

What Do We Know About Abongo Obama?


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



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

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

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

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

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

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

“And to a happy ending,” I said.

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

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

But the magic of his laughter remains.
9698  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: October 23, 2008, 09:23:55 AM
Why Does Obama's Pastor Matter?   
By John Perazzo
FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, February 04, 2008

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Notes:
[1] When Black Men Stand up for God (Chicago: African American Images), 1996, p. 17.
[2] Ibid., p. 102.
[3] Ibid., p. 17.
[4] Ibid., p. 17.
[5] John DiIulio, Jr., "My Black Crime Problem, and Ours," City Journal (Spring 1996), pp. 19-20.
[6] When Black Men Stand up for God, p. 16.
[7] Blow the Trumpet in Zion (Minneapolis: Fortress Press), 2005, pp. 8-9.
[8] When Black Men Stand up for God, p. 10.
[9] Ibid., pp. 11, 37.
[10] Ibid., p. 80.
[11] Ibid., p. 11.
[12] Ibid., p. 81.
[13] It should be noted that Wright's church has conducted Kwanzaa programs for its congregants. See When Black Men Stand up for God, p. iv.)
[14] When Black Men Stand up for God, p. 25.
[15] Ibid., p. 102.
9699  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: October 23, 2008, 09:07:44 AM
"When and where was this"?
My legal friend graduated from Chicago Law School in the 70's.
My female friend graduated from Northwestern about 5 years ago.
I graduated from USC with a degree in economics also in the 70's.
SC is the west coast bastion of conservatism.
Was this your question?

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

http://www.massbar.org/about-the-mba/press-room/journalists'-handbook/6-not-guilty-does-not-mean-innocent

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Security Clearance Guidelines

Allegiance to the United States

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

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

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

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

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

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

___________________________

Security Clearance Guidelines

Foreign Influence


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

_________________________

Security Clearance Guidelines

Personal Conduct


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

f. Association with persons involved in criminal activity.

__________________________

Security Clearance Guidelines

Drug Involvement

The Concern.

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

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

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

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

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

a. Any drug abuse (see above definition);

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

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

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

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


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

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

**If instead of co-founding the Weather Underground, Bill Ayers had co-founded a KKK chapter that had murdered civil rights workers, and he was quoted as saying "I wish I'd done more" in 2001, would you still minimize his conduct and defend any politician that associated himself with him?**
9700  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Coming Clusterfcuk on: October 22, 2008, 06:48:12 PM
http://www.nypost.com/seven/10202008/postopinion/opedcolumnists/america_the_weak_134398.htm?&page=0

AMERICA THE WEAK
US RISKS TURMOIL UNDER PREZ O


Posted: 4:51 am
October 20, 2008

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

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

Where would the avalanche of confrontations come from?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Think Bush weakened America? Just wait.

Ralph Peters' latest book is "Looking for Trouble: Adventures in a Broken World."
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