Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Who Is In Charge Of The Failed System?

If Bush had waited three days to publicly speak about the Northwest Airlines terrorist attack, the media would have demanded his head on a platter. In any event, the London Telegraph gives 10 reasons why the Obama administration gets an F in homeland security:
There is no more solemn duty for an American commander-in-chief than the martialling of “all elements of American power” – the phrase Obama himself used on Monday – to protect the people of the United States. In that key respect, Obama failed on Christmas Day, just as President George W. Bush failed on September 11th (though he succeeded in the seven years after that).
Yes, the buck stops in the Oval Office. Obama may have rather smugly given himself a “B+” for his 2008 performance but he gets an F for the events that led to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab boarding a Detroit-bound plane in Amsterdam with a PETN bomb sewn into his underpants. He said today that a “systemic failure has occurred”. Well, he’s in charge of that system.
...In his studied desire to be the unBush by responding coolly to events like this, Obama is dangerously close to failing as a leader. Yes, it is good not to shoot from the hip and make broad assertions without the facts. But Obama took three days before speaking to the American people, emerging on Monday in between golf and tennis games in Hawaii to deliver a rather tepid address that significantly underplayed what happened. He described Abdulmutallab as an “isolated extremist” who “allegedly tried to ignite an explosive device on his body” – phrases that indicate a legalistic, downplaying approach that alarms rather than reassures. Today’s words showed a lot more fire and desire to get on top of things – we’ll see whether Obama follows through with action. In the meantime, he went snorkelling.
On this side of the Atlantic, Col. Ralph Peters (ret.) warns that we are dealing with the international equivalent of "Bill Ayers and the Weathermen, pampered kids unhappy with the world."
Despite limited Special Operations strikes beyond our recognized combat zones, we still don't accept the nature of the threat from jet-set jihadis. Our leaders and our military are obsessed with holding ground in Afghanistan -- even though al Qaeda's growth areas are in Yemen and Africa.
We voluntarily tie ourselves down, while our enemies focus on mobility. Worse, we've convinced ourselves that development aid (the left's all-purpose medicine) is the key to defeating al Qaeda.
That's utter nonsense. Abdulmutallab's a rich kid. He didn't come from a deprived background, bearing the grievances of the slum. He's a graduate of a top English university. And Osama bin Laden's from a super-rich family. How does building a footbridge in Afghanistan deter them?

Monday, December 28, 2009

The System Didn't Work, But The Passengers Did

Open borders advocate Janet Napolitano, the hapless Homeland Security Secretary, has back-pedaled on her claim that the system worked. Instead (probably after an attitude adjustment from White House spin doctors), she now says the system failed miserably:
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano conceded Monday that the aviation security system failed when a young man on a watch list with a U.S. visa in his pocket and a powerful explosive hidden on his body was allowed to board a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit.
The Obama administration has ordered investigations into the two areas of aviation security — how travelers are placed on watch lists and how passengers are screened — as critics questioned how the 23-year-old Nigerian man charged in the airliner attack was allowed to board the Dec. 25 flight.
A day after saying the system worked, Napolitano backtracked, saying her words had been taken out of context.
Here's the perhaps soon-to-be-former DHS secretary doing damage control on the Today show:

Last year, Ed Rendell, the governor of Pennsylvania, famously said (and then retracted) that Napolitano would be perfect for the job "because for that job, you have to have no life. Janet has no family. Perfect. She can devote, literally, 19-20 hours a day to it." It appears, however, that the governor was incorrect.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Terrorist Foothold in South America

Leaving aside yesterday's attempted terrorist attack on the Northwest Airlines jet, a counterterrorism analyst maintains that Latin America could actually be America's Achilles heel in the war on terrorism:
“There is a growing presence of Islamic activism and fundraising in Latin America,” [former FBI Special Agent James] Conway told Newsmax. “There is a significant presence of human-trafficking organizations that terror cells have and could exploit for movement of people and materials into the United States, and that should be of a major concern to us from a national-security perspective.”

Passengers Use Self Help To Foil Plane Bomber

Self help in the law in general refers to a corrective or preventive remedy taken by a private citizen to solve a problem without running to court. That's kind of what the passengers did in stopping the suicide bomber on a Northwest Airlines flight:
A Northwest Airlines passenger from Nigeria, who said he was acting on Al Qaeda's instructions, tried to blow up the plane Friday as it was landing in Detroit, law enforcement and national security officials said.
Passengers subdued the man and may have prevented him from detonating the explosives, officials said.
Meanwhile, U.S. counterterrorism officials were apparently aware of the the man's terrorist ties, but gave him a visa despite the red flags:
The father of the al Qaeda terrorist behind Friday’s attempted explosion aboard a Northwest flight bound for Detroit reported his son’s fanatical religious views to the U.S. Embassy six months ago, according to a Nigerian news outlet.
The young man, Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab, is the son of Alhaji Umaru Mutallab, a former Nigerian minister and bank chairman. He became wary of his son’s religious beliefs and reported his activities to the U.S. Embassy as well as Nigerian security services half a year ago, according to the Nigerian newspaper This Day.
The elder Mutallab had left his home in Katsina today, a city in Northern Nigeria, to speak with security agencies, the site reported, quoting family sources.
...A source close to the dad said he was shocked that his son was allowed to travel to this country after he’d reported his extreme views.
As with the Ft. Hood incident, lawmakers are wondering why security officials didn't take preemptive action:
Congressional lawmakers are looking to "get to the bottom" of the attempted terrorist attack on a Detroit-bound flight, pledging to hold hearings next month and raising questions over how the suspect was allegedly able to smuggle an explosive mixture onto an airplane.
Analysts and lawmakers say the incident raises troubling questions and could lead to changes in airline security which has already gone through an overhaul since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Officials also questioned whether intelligence agencies were properly sharing information about the suspect, since sources said his name was on a federal watch list even though he was not on a "no-fly list." The suspect, Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab, had been in an intelligence database that includes people with known or suspected terrorist ties, and officials knew about that possible connection for "some time," a U.S. official told Fox News.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas in Bethlehem...But For How Much Longer?

Despite the ever-present propaganda, let's not forget that Israel is the only country in the Middle East where people are free to practice any religion or no religion:
The pilgrims will be there as midnight Mass at the Church of the Nativity is again broadcast live around the world this Christmas Eve -- but the town of Bethlehem is fast losing its last few year-round Christian residents.
Christians are fleeing the town of Christ's birth, and the much-reported hardship that Israel inflicts on residents of the West Bank town has little to do with it. It's the same reality across the Arab world: rising Islamism pushes non-Muslims away.
Islamists frown on real-estate ownership by non-Muslims -- Christian, Jew or anything else. And though the secular Palestinian Authority still controls the West Bank, the clout of groups like Hamas is growing: Even in Bethlehem, where followers of history's most famous baby once thrived, Christians are ceding the land.
Yes, ever since the PA took control of the West Bank in the early '90s, its leaders have taken care to show the world an idealized picture of Muslim-Christian solidarity. But it's a facade -- a way to score anti-Israeli political points.
...Practically the only place in the region where the Christian population is growing is in Israel.
[Source: New York Post]

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Gitmo Stays Open For Another Year

As Congress balks at funding Gitmo North, this political soap opera continues:
Rebuffed this month by skeptical lawmakers when it sought finances to buy a prison in rural Illinois, the Obama administration is struggling to come up with the money to replace the Guantánamo Bay prison.
As a result, officials now believe that they are unlikely to close the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and transfer its population of terrorism suspects until 2011 at the earliest — a far slower timeline for achieving one of President Obama’s signature national security policies than they had previously hinted.
While Mr. Obama has acknowledged that he would miss the Jan. 22 deadline for closing the prison that he set shortly after taking office, the administration appeared to take a major step forward last week when he directed subordinates to move “as expeditiously as possible” to acquire the Thomson Correctional Center, a nearly vacant maximum-security Illinois prison, and to retrofit it to receive Guantánamo detainees.
But in interviews this week, officials estimated that it could take 8 to 10 months to install new fencing, towers, cameras and other security upgrades before any transfers take place. Such construction cannot begin until the federal government buys the prison from the State of Illinois.
The federal Bureau of Prisons does not have enough money to pay Illinois for the center, which would cost about $150 million. Several weeks ago, the White House approached the House Appropriations Committee and floated the idea of adding about $200 million for the project to the military spending bill for the 2010 fiscal year, according to administration and Congressional officials.
But Democratic leaders refused to include the politically charged measure in the legislation. When lawmakers approved the bill on Dec. 19, it contained no financing for Thomson.
Separately, former terrorism prosecutor Andrew McCarthy points out in NationalReviewOnline that the Obama Justice Department just released 12 Gitmo detainees and sent them to al Qaeda hotbed Yemen, Afghanistan, and Somaliland. McCarthy also explains that "DOJ is rife with attorneys who represented and advocated for the detainees, and, in particular, Attorney General Holder's firm [Covington & Burling], represented numerous Yemeni enemy combatants."

Because of his past associations, shouldn't have Holder recused himself from all decisions pertaining to detainees? Isn't that Legal Ethics 101?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Secretary of State Project Gears Up for 2010-2012

The American Spectator warns that the so-called Secretary of State Project, the George Soros-sponsored vote fraud initiative from the 2008 elections, is reloading for the next election cycle:
A group backed by [George] Soros is gearing up to steal the 2012 election for President Obama and congressional Democrats by installing left-wing Democrats as secretaries of state across the nation. From such posts, secretaries of state can help tilt the electoral playing field.

ACORN Under Federal Scrutiny

This inquiry is long overdue and let's hope it is a real investigation rather than just a whitewash, but the congressman is correct that given the magnitude of the corruption, the FBI should also come into the case:
The Government Accountability Office has opened an investigation into ACORN’s use of taxpayer dollars, two House Republicans said Thursday.
Reps. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) made the announcement in the course of demanding a separate FBI investigation into the group.
“Only an independent criminal investigation conducted by the FBI can get to the bottom of the nationwide allegations against ACORN,” Smith said in a news release.
The GAO investigation will be completed jointly with the executive branch’s inspector general.

FBI-DHS Spar Over Intelligence Access

Apparently a disconnect exists between the FBI and Homeland Security over information sharing:
The White House has taken the unusual step of wading into a dispute between the nation's top law enforcement agencies over how much terrorist-threat information should be shared with state and local law enforcement, according to officials.
The White House involvement reflects the unusual nature of recent high-profile terrorism cases, including that of alleged bomb-maker Najibullah Zazi, which along with some undisclosed terrorist "activities" have raised tensions between the FBI and Department of Homeland Security, officials said.
Those tensions were aired during a weekend meeting at the White House with President Obama's counterterrorism chief, John Brennan, Attorney General Eric Holder, FBI Director Robert Mueller, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano and others, according to officials.
DHS officials say information about on-going investigations should be shared broadly so local authorities can identify threats in their communities, but FBI officials say some of that information could compromise their investigations and ultimately sabotage anti-terrorism efforts.
On Tuesday, Napolitano and Holder announced "major steps" to improve the sharing of threat information, but such new efforts may be undermined by the recent tensions, one U.S. official said.
Didn't inter-agency rivalries and turf protection put the U.S. at risk prior to 9/11?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Supremes Reject Gitmo Prisoners' Appeal

The detainee lobby loses one at the high court:
The U.S. Supreme Court said on Monday that it rejected an appeal by four former Guantanamo Bay prisoners arguing that they should be able to proceed with their lawsuit against top Pentagon officials for torture and religious abuse.
The justices refused to review a U.S. appeals court ruling that dismissed the lawsuit by the four British citizens over their treatment at the U.S. military base at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba on the grounds the officials enjoyed immunity.
...The Obama administration urged the Supreme Court to reject the appeal. It said the appeals court's decision was correct and that further review of the case was unwarranted.

Narco-Terrorist Stimulus Program

Drug traffickers apparent have their own bank bailout plan:
Drugs money worth billions of dollars kept the financial system afloat at the height of the global crisis, the United Nations' drugs and crime tsar has told the Observer.
Antonio Maria Costa, head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, said he has seen evidence that the proceeds of organised crime were "the only liquid investment capital" available to some banks on the brink of collapse last year. He said that a majority of the $352bn (£216bn) of drugs profits was absorbed into the economic system as a result.
This will raise questions about crime's influence on the economic system at times of crisis. It will also prompt further examination of the banking sector as world leaders, including Barack Obama and Gordon Brown, call for new International Monetary Fund regulations. Speaking from his office in Vienna, Costa said evidence that illegal money was being absorbed into the financial system was first drawn to his attention by intelligence agencies and prosecutors around 18 months ago. "In many instances, the money from drugs was the only liquid investment capital. In the second half of 2008, liquidity was the banking system's main problem and hence liquid capital became an important factor," he said.
Some of the evidence put before his office indicated that gang money was used to save some banks from collapse when lending seized up, he said.
Also from the British media, Costa earlier this month warned about drug trafficking in certain areas in Africa:
The head of the UN drugs agency (UNODC) has warned that widespread drug trafficking is transforming Africa into a major crime hub.
Antonio Maria Costa said huge amounts of heroin and cocaine were being traded by "terrorists and anti-government forces" to fund their operations.
He called for a trans-Saharan network to be set up to tackle criminal groups.
The BBC report adds that "drug traffickers have saturated Russia, much of Western Europe, and they are now spreading into Africa."

Related story from the New York Post:
Three accused terrorists arrested in Africa arrived in Manhattan [on December 18] to face charges that they plotted to fund al-Qaeda by smuggling thousands of pounds of cocaine into Europe. Oumar Issa, Harouna Toure and Idriss Abelrahman were captured in Ghana on Wednesday and arrived in the city early this morning. They are expected to appear before a federal judge this afternoon. It's the first time suspected al-Qaeda operatives have been charged in a drug-trafficking plot, prosecutors said.
And now it appears that drug cartels are diversifying into the oil business:
Drug traffickers employing high-tech drills, miles of rubber hose, and a fleet of stolen tanker trucks have siphoned more than $1 billion worth of oil from Mexico’s pipelines over the past two years, in a vast and audacious conspiracy that is bleeding the national treasury, according to US and Mexican law enforcement officials and the state-run oil company.
Using sophisticated smuggling networks, the traffickers have transported a portion of the pilfered petroleum across the border to sell to US companies, some of which knew that it was stolen, according to court documents and interviews with American officials involved in an expanding investigation of oil services firms in Texas.
The widespread theft of Mexico’s most vital national resource by criminal organizations represents a costly new front in President Felipe Calderon’s war against the drug cartels, and it shows how the traffickers are rapidly evolving from traditional narcotics smuggling.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Reagan: Free Enterprise Must Prevail Over Socialism

Whether you agree with his policies or not, one of the many admirable things about Ronald Reagan, the 40th president, was his unique and colorful career in the private sector before he sought public office. This background is in stark contrast to the career politicians, i.e., those who never held a real job, currently running the federal government. With great hubris, these politicians want to invade "the precincts of private citizens" as Reagan says in this amazingly prophetic and eloquent 1961 audio commentary about socialized medicine.
If we recall correctly, one of Peggy Noonan's books used the metaphor of Ronald Reagan, the high school lifeguard, as guiding America safely back to shore after the failed Carter presidency.

Egypt To Build Border Fence

There was a huge international outcry when Israel built a security fence in the West Bank area to protect itself from Palestinian suicide bombers. Has anyone said a word about Egypt's plans?
Egypt has begun the construction of a massive iron wall along its border with the Gaza Strip, in a bid to shut down smuggling tunnels into the territory. The wall will be nine to 10 kilometers long, and will go 20 to 30 meters into the ground, Egyptian sources said. It will be impossible to cut or melt.
The new plan is the latest move by Egypt to step up its counter-smuggling efforts. Although some progress had been made, the smuggling market in Gaza still flourishes.
Egyptian forces demolish tunnels or fill them with gas almost every week, often with people still inside them, and Palestinian casualties in the tunnels have been steadily rising.

Flipper Gets Busy

Marine mammals enlist in the war on terror:
The Navy has approved a plan to step up anti-terrorism efforts at a Washington base by sending specially trained dolphins and sea lions into surrounding waters.
Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor near Washington’s Puget Sound is stepping up its security by employing aquatic mammals to patrol its restricted waters. The animals’ deployment in 2010 will mark the realization of a program that has been more than three years in the making.
The dolphins and sea lions to defend the base were trained as part of the Navy Marine Mammal Program in San Diego. Working with human handlers, dolphins will search surrounding waters for rogue divers and swimmers. Tom LaPuzza, a spokesman for the program, told Scientific American that upon finding a diver, the dolphin will return to the handler and the handler will assess the severity of the threat.
How long will it take before some "civil liberties" group runs to court charging that the dolphins constitutional rights are under assault?

Gitmo Detainees Headed to Illinois Prison

According to, the Justice Department has drafted plans to send the enemy combatants held at Guantanamo Bay to the Thomson (Illinois) Correctional Center, a maximum security prison. As we've asked over and over, how does bringing these individuals to the mainland make America more safer and secure? And will it turn out that some fat-cat local real estate mogul and various other operatives in the "Chicago Way" foodchain get to cash in in some manner? Just asking.

Judge: ACORN Funds Freeze Unconstitutional

A Clinton-appointed judge has issued a temporary injunction preventing the government from cutting off federal funding to the corrupt community organization ACORN:
The U.S. government's move this fall to cut off funding to ACORN was unconstitutional, a federal judge ruled Friday, handing the embattled group a legal victory.
U.S. District Judge Nina Gershon issued the preliminary injunction against the government, saying it's in the public's interest for the organization to continue receiving federal funding.
In general, this is the kind of politically motivated lawsuit that is "judge shopped" by the plaintiffs to a ideologically blinded, easily manipulated jurist to get a desired outcome. Although the Obama Justice Department is probably thrilled with the result, the judge's decision demands an immediate appeal to a higher court.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Guest Blog: Silent Night

Guest blogger Jason Tabrys of shares his thoughts on the expiration of the Congressional COBRA subsidy:

Images of ivory towers. Of men and women fattened off the wealth of our labor, lackadaisical. They wake from their slumber and address the masses with promises of splendor and ease and then rumble back to their lavish suites uninspired to act with any sense of urgency. So long as they lay warm who is bothered by the cold? The Senate, the House, frozen, immobile like a glutton too overstuffed to rise from the table.

We have seen this all before, blustering and pontificating on the need to do something and then appropriately doing nothing until absolutely forced. How many Americans languished on the vine, desperately clawing their way to survival? Drowning victims praying that they would once again know air while the upper Senate debated and bickered over an unemployment compensation extension for months.

It seems yet again the mood of the Senate and House, is relaxed, while the reality for millions is anything but. Americans helped greatly by the COBRA subsidy that saw the Government pick up 65% of the health insurance premiums for those who had been laid off or otherwise lost their healthcare insurance are about to be thrust into a horrific position. Pay the full premium amount, a number that averages nearly 85% of the average monthly unemployment payout, or risk losing health coverage and be punished by future insurers who can charge exorbitant premiums and flat out deny coverage for pre-existing conditions for anyone who has been without insurance for a brief period.

With this crisis upon us Congress has done that which is typical, unleashing a mass of sound and fury signifying nothing. Bills have been proposed and are moving their way to the floor encased in Congress’ typical brew of quick dry cement and molasses. Nothing will happen before Congress takes yet another vacation to sip eggnog and bask in their good fortune. After all, they aren’t the poor souls whose cursed existences force them to rely on the timely help of elected officials for survival. One imagines the wheels of government might turn a little faster if there were more dedicated to stoking the fires.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

ABC: Feds Leaked How-To Manual For Getting Past Airport Screeners

Please don't let this shake your faith in those in charge of security procedures at America's airport checkpoints:
In a massive security breach, the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) inadvertently posted online its entire airport screening procedures manual, including some of the most closely guarded secrets regarding special rules for diplomats and CIA and law enforcement officers.
The most sensitive parts of the 93-page Standard Operation Procedures were apparently redacted in a way that computer savvy individuals easily overcame.
The document shows sample CIA, Congressional and law enforcement credentials which experts say would make it easy for terrorists to duplicate.
The improperly redacted areas describe that only 20 percent of checked bags are to be hand searched for explosives and reveals in detail the limitations of x-ray screening machines.
"This is an appalling and astounding breach of security that terrorists could easily exploit," said Clark Kent Ervin, the former inspector general at the Department of Homeland Security. "The TSA should immediately convene an internal investigation and discipline those responsible."
Just in time for the holiday travel season. And this is the same government that, by the way, wants to take over the medical delivery system, including gaining control of individual medical records. has more on the TSA security breach.

Missouri AG Having A Cow Over Raw Milk

With all the threats to homeland security that law enforcement has to deal with, Missouri undercover cops are going after... family farmers that sell raw milk.

As Mike Adams, the self-designated health ranger writes:
In a world where children are being poisoned by aspartame, senior citizens are being drugged into zombie-like states in nursing homes, where school boys are being dosed with "speed" amphetamine ADHD drugs, bacon is laced with a cancer-causing chemical known as sodium nitrite and two-thirds of the broiler chickens sold in grocery stores are contaminated with salmonella, are you telling me that the friendly selling of raw milk in a parking lot is at the top of the list of "crimes" being investigated by the Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster and his overworked staff?
While not every holistic nutrition expert recommends raw cow's milk, there is a consensus that it is far superior than pasteurized, factory produced milk. To learn more about the health advantages of raw milk, visit the Weston A. Price Foundation website and draw your own conclusions.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Montana's Would-Be U.S. Attorney

If we recall correctly, in the Woody Allen film Hannah and Her Sisters, each character wanted to be with someone else. Maybe that describes all of Woody Allen's movies. Anyway, in real life, that A wants to be with C rather than B doesn't necessarily make any of them bad persons. In general, it all depends on the circumstances. Moreover, the details of one's private life (messy or otherwise) should be kept completely private; personal privacy is one of our most cherished assets. That is, as long as public office (or the interests of shareholders) aren't implicated. The Appalachian hiking excursions of the South Carolina governor would be example of a legitimate inquiry, while the celebrity driven controversy now engulfing a certain professional golfer falls into an entirely different category altogether.

During the 2008 presidential campaign, the New York Times ran with a flimsy, page one story about Sen. McCain's supposed inappropriate relationship with a lobbyist. The story was later completely discredited. This is the same news organization that didn't lift a finger to look into McCain's opponent's qualifications or agenda.

So can you image the massive headlines that would have resulted in March if someone on McCain's side of the aisle tried to pull this stunt?
Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus’ office confirmed late Friday night that the Montana Democrat was carrying on an affair with his state office director, Melodee Hanes, when he nominated her to be U.S. attorney in Montana.
According to a source familiar with their relationship, Hanes and Baucus began their relationship in the summer of 2008 – nearly a year before Baucus and his wife, Wanda, divorced in April 2009. The Senator had informally separated from his wife in March 2008 and they were living apart when he began dating Hanes, according to Baucus' office.
Hanes ended her employment with Baucus in the spring of this year.
Hanes, who is divorced and now lives with Baucus in the Eastern Market neighborhood of Washington, D.C., ultimately withdrew her name from consideration for the U.S. attorney position in order to move to Washington, and she now works in the Justice Department’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention as a counselor to the administrator.
According a Baucus spokesman, Hanes got the DOJ job "based solely on her merit."

Friday, December 4, 2009

DHS Chief Warns Of Terrorist Sympathizers

Open borders advocate Janet Napolitano is suddenly worried about man-caused disasters:
Al-Qaeda followers are inside the United States and would like to attack targets here and in other countries, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Wednesday night.
The secretary's comments were her bluntest assessment yet of terror threats within the country, and they came one day after President Obama, in announcing his decision to send 30,000 additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan, warned that extremists have been "sent here from the border region of Afghanistan and Pakistan to commit more acts of terror."
..."The fact is that home-based terrorism is here. And like violent extremism abroad, it is now part of the threat picture that we must confront," Napolitano said. "Individuals sympathetic to al-Qaeda and its affiliates, as well as those inspired by their ideology, are present in the U.S., and would like to attack the homeland or plot overseas attacks against our interests abroad."
Napolitano has also conceded that DHS will flunk a 2012 deadline for scanning incoming ship cargo for nukes.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

ACORN: Obama's War Room?

When ACORN commits ballot fraud, voters get disenfranchised. When it steals federal funds, taxpayers gets disenfranchised. Isn't it time for a full-scale federal investigation of this corrupt organization by the Justice Department?
House Republicans accused the Obama administration Tuesday of covering up criminal activities committed by the embattled community activist group ACORN, saying that the president has used the group as an illegal political tool to help himself and other Democrats get elected.
"The current administration is fast becoming, in reality, the war room of ACORN's political machine," said Rep. Darrell Issa, California Republican. "I am concerned that the era of corruption promulgated by ACORN and protected by the White House is just the beginning."
Source: Washington Times.

Monday, November 30, 2009

High Court: Soldiers-Gone-Wild Photos Stay Sealed

Back in April, the Obama administration agreed to release detainee abuse photos that had been sought by the detainee lobby (the ACLU) under a Freedom of Information request. In May, the administration did a 180, and now it appears that the photos will be kept under wraps permanently.
The Supreme Court did all it could Monday to lock up forever some incendiary photos that show U.S. soldiers abusing foreign prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Yielding to Congress and the White House, justices took the expected but formal step of reversing a lower court's order that the pictures be released. Using its budget powers, Congress already had moved to keep the photos secret.
In a brief, unsigned decision issued Monday without elaboration, the court cited a provision in a Homeland Security funding bill that President Barack Obama signed Oct. 28. The provision permitted the Pentagon to block the public release of the pictures in question, as well as others deemed to "endanger" U.S. soldiers or civilians.
"Disclosure of those photographs would pose a clear and grave risk of inciting violence and riots against American troops and coalition forces," Solicitor General Elena Kagan had warned the Supreme Court.
...Technically, the one-paragraph ruling kicks the case back to the New York -based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which is all but certain to follow orders not to release the pictures.
Separately, while out of town for the holiday weekend, we happened to catch a glimpse of a TV commercial by one of the candidates in the upcoming special election in Massachusetts that will fill the late Sen. Kennedy's seat. Now this was perhaps just one issues ad out of a series, but the solon looked into the camera and claimed he was running for the seat because the Bush-Cheney administration engaged in torture. Okay, if someone wants to obsess about harsh interrogation, torture, whatever the term of art, until the cows come home, fine. Free speech. However, with the economy in the tank, and joblessness everywhere, a candidate for federal office airs a commercial about "standing up to Dick Cheney." Even in Massachusetts, does that make sense as a political strategy or more importantly, as an effective way to serve the constituents?

ACORN Gets Paid

It seems like just yesterday when the Bush administration was being blasted for politicizing the U.S. Justice Department. Weren't those the good old days? So let's review the bidding, now that Justice is under new management. AG Eric Holder and his agency won't investigate voter intimidation in Philadelphia but will investigate CIA interrogators and allow war criminals to be tried in civilian courts. In addition, the agency has rung up other, similar accomplishments in the past ten months. Here's the latest: "The Justice Department has concluded that the Obama administration can lawfully pay the community group ACORN for services provided under contracts signed before Congress banned the government from providing money to the group."

The full-text of the five page legal memorandum:
Obligations Public Law11168

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Connecticut Firefighters Get Supreme Court-Ordered Promotions

Despite the best efforts of lower court judges, including then-judge Sonia Sotomayor, the New Haven, Connecticut firefighters in the high-profile Ricci case finally were awarded their civil service promotions to either lieutenant or captain:
A U.S. District Court judge, under instruction by the Supreme Court decision, today issued an judgment finding the city violated the civil rights of a group of white firefighters when it threw out two promotional exams in 2004, and ordered the city to promote 14 of them.
The two-page, bare-boned judgment issued late this afternoon was the culmination of five years of litigation that wound all the way to the nation’s highest court — and has been the target of a recent flurry of legal wrangling trying to prevent the promotions from being made.
Judge Janet Bond Arterton, who in 2006 threw out the firefighters’ lawsuit only to have the decision ultimately overturned by the nation’s high court in June, laid out the city’s road map. It left no ambiguity
The formal promotion ceremony is scheduled for December 10.

Update: More fallout from the Ricci case as reported by the Hartford Courant:
Meanwhile, in Bridgeport, a dozen firefighters this week settled their reverse discrimination suit and related suits against the city, attorneys for those firefighters announced Tuesday. The attorneys cited the Supreme Court decision in the New Haven case, saying the Bridgeport settlement "came as a direct result" of that ruling.
Further Update:
New Haven officials say they will promote 10 more firefighters based on promotional exams given in 2003 that were at the center of a landmark reverse discrimination ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The 10 firefighters scored well enough to be promoted to captains and lieutenants, but were not part of the lawsuit settled by the Supreme Court last June. City fire commissioners are expected to approve the promotions Friday.

Friday, November 27, 2009

FBI: Mounting Threat of Cyber Attacks

Federal law enforcement authorities are investigating suspected al Qaaeda sympathizers who might be planning an attack on America's computer networks, possibly targetting the financial, transportation, or energy sectors:
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking at people with suspected links to al Qaeda who have shown an interest in mounting an attack on computer systems that control critical U.S. infrastructure, a senior official told Congress Tuesday.
While there is no evidence that terrorist groups have developed sophisticated cyber-attack capabilities, a lack of security protections in U.S. computer software increases the likelihood that terrorists could execute attacks in the future, the official warned.
If terrorists were to amass such capabilities, they would be wielded with "destructive and deadly intent," Steven Chabinsky, deputy assistant director of the FBI's Cyber Division, told the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday.

DHS: Make "EZ Pass" Permanent

The Homeland Security Department wants to make permanent a biometric-based international trusted traveler program:
The U.S. Homeland Security Department today proposed to make permanent its ongoing Global Entry pilot program, which expedites and automates the customs process for prescreened travelers entering the United States.
The pilot program, initially launched in June 2008 at three airports, has since expanded to include 20 major U.S. entry points, including airports in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York and Washington, D.C. Releasing the program from pilot mode would enable DHS to further expand the program. The proposal now undergoes a public comment period, ending Jan. 19, 2010.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the agency that operates the program, said Global Entry is available to travelers who pay a non-refundable $100 enrollment fee and undergo a background check to demonstrate clean criminal, customs and immigration records.
When arriving in the United States, Global Entry members can bypass lines for customs agents and scan their passport through an automated kiosk, where a photo is taken, declaration questions are fielded and the traveler is asked to submit fingerprints to be matched against those on file. CBP said the kiosk then prints a receipt, which the traveler must present to a CBP officer upon leaving the customs area.

Court Documents: Recruits Lured to Somalia

From the Los Angeles Times, Minneapolis-area men trained to fight in Somali militias:
Federal authorities unsealed criminal charges Monday against eight suspects alleged to be part of a U.S. recruiting network that sent young men to fight in Somalia -- one of the largest militant operations uncovered in this country since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
The court documents disclosed how some older members of the Somali American community in Minneapolis are believed to have lured younger ones to fight in Somalia -- some as suicide bombers -- with an Al Qaeda-affiliated group known as Al Shabab, or "The Youth."
The charges include providing financial support to fighters who traveled to Somalia, attending Al Shabab training camps and fighting with the group against the U.S.-backed transitional government there, as well as against Ethiopian government forces and African Union troops.
The recruitment of young people from Minneapolis and other U.S. communities "has been the focus of intense investigation for many months," said David Kris, the assistant attorney general for national security.

Gang Counterinsurgency in Salinas

Military counterinsurgency tactics are being deployed in gang-ridden Salinas, California:
Since February, combat veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan have been advising Salinas police on counterinsurgency strategy, bringing lessons from the battlefield to the meanest streets in an American city.
"This is our surge," said [Mayor Dennis] Donohue, who solicited the assistance from the elite Naval Postgraduate School, 20 miles and a world away in Monterey. "When the public heard about this, they thought we were going to send the Navy SEALs into Salinas."
In fact, the cavalry arrived in civvies, carrying laptops rather than M-16s and software instead of mortars. In this case, the most valuable military asset turned out to be an idea: Change the dynamic in the community and victory can follow.
"It's a little laboratory," said retired Col. Hy Rothstein, the former Army career officer in Special Forces who heads the team of 15 faculty members and students, mostly naval officers taking time between deployments to pick up a master's degree. Their effort in Salinas counts as extracurricular and is necessarily voluntary, given the constitutional bar on the military operating within U.S. borders.

Monday, November 23, 2009

9/11 Defendants Take Show Trial To Broadway

Every reasonable, commonsense person knew this was coming:
The five men facing trial in the Sept. 11 attacks will plead not guilty so that they can air their criticisms of U.S. foreign policy, the lawyer for one of the defendants said Sunday.
Scott Fenstermaker, the lawyer for accused terrorist Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali, said the men would not deny their role in the 2001 attacks but "would explain what happened and why they did it."
...Ali, also known as Ammar al-Baluchi, is a nephew of professed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
Mohammed, Ali and the others will explain "their assessment of American foreign policy," Fenstermaker said.
"Their assessment is negative," he said.
What's next--a reality TV show?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Terrorists Partnering With South Atlantic Narco-Traffickers

An investigative piece from the Washington Times on the terrorist-drug smuggling connection:
The sea lanes of the South Atlantic have become a favored route for drug traffickers carrying narcotics from Latin America to West and North Africa, where al Qaeda-related groups are increasingly involved in transporting the drugs to Europe, intelligence officials and counternarcotics specialists say.
A Middle Eastern intelligence official said his agency has picked up "very worrisome reports" of rapidly growing cooperation between Islamic militants operating in North and West Africa and drug lords in Latin America. With U.S. attention focused on the Caribbean and Africans lacking the means to police their shores, the vast sea lanes of the South Atlantic are wide open to illegal navigation, the official said.
"The South Atlantic has become a no-man's sea," said the official, speaking on the condition of anonymity owing to the nature of his work.
A spokesman for the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) confirmed the new route.
...The Washington Times reported in March that Hezbollah, an Iran-backed Lebanese Shi'ite group, is deeply involved in the drug trade. Increasingly, however, Sunni groups linked to al Qaeda are also dealing in narcotics to finance their organizations, specialists say.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Park Service Bearish on Border Security

Forest Rangers vs. Border Patrol on border enforcement, according to the Washington Times:
In the battle on the U.S.-Mexico border, the fight against illegal immigration often loses out to environmental laws that have blocked construction of parts of the "virtual fence" and that threaten to create places where agents can't easily track illegal immigrants.
Documents obtained by Rep. Rob Bishop and shared with The Washington Times show National Park Service staffers have tried to stop the U.S. Border Patrol from placing some towers associated with the virtual fence, known as the Secure Border Initiative or SBInet, on wilderness lands in parks along the border.
In a remarkably candid letter to members of Congress, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said her department could have to delay pursuits of illegal immigrants while waiting for horses to be brought in so agents don't trample protected lands, and warns that illegal immigrants will increasingly make use of remote, protected areas to avoid being caught.
The documents also show the Interior Department has charged the Homeland Security Department $10 million over the past two years as a "mitigation" penalty to pay for damage to public lands that agencies say has been caused by Border Patrol agents chasing illegal immigrants.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

9/11 Trial: Politics Unusual?

As we've repeatedly asked in other contexts, how will this latest policy decision--to try KSM and his colleagues in civilian court--help make the U.S. more safe and secure? Insuring domestic tranquility is one of the key principles of the U.S. Constitution. And apart from the court security nightmare, to what end is the politicized Justice Department giving full Constitutional rights to what amounts to non-citizen war criminals, terrorists, and combatants picked up on the battlefield?

Columnist Charles Krauthammer says granting enemy combatants the rights of American citizens is unconscionable:

Writing in NationalReviewOnline, former federal terrorism prosecutor Andrew McCarthy claims the motivation is even more invidious:
This summer, I theorized that Attorney General Eric Holder — and his boss — had a hidden agenda in ordering a re-investigation of the CIA for six-year-old alleged interrogation excesses that had already been scrutinized by non-partisan DOJ prosecutors who had found no basis for prosecution. The continuing investigations of Bush-era counterterrorism policies (i.e., the policies that kept us safe from more domestic terror attacks), coupled with the Holder Justice Department's obsession to disclose classified national-defense information from that period, enable Holder to give the hard Left the "reckoning" that he and Obama promised during the 2008 campaign. It would be too politically explosive for Obama/Holder to do the dirty work of charging Bush administration officials; but as new revelations from investigations and declassifications are churned out, Leftist lawyers use them to urge European and international tribunals to bring "torture" and "war crimes" indictments. Thus, administration cooperation gives Obama's base the reckoning it demands but Obama gets to deny responsibility for any actual prosecutions.
Today's announcement that KSM and other top al-Qaeda terrorists will be transferred to Manhattan federal court for civilian trials neatly fits this hidden agenda. Nothing results in more disclosures of government intelligence than civilian trials. They are a banquet of information, not just at the discovery stage but in the trial process itself, where witnesses — intelligence sources — must expose themselves and their secrets.
...It will be a soapbox for al-Qaeda's case against America. Since that will be their "defense," the defendants will demand every bit of information they can get about interrogations, renditions, secret prisons, undercover operations targeting Muslims and mosques, etc., and — depending on what judge catches the case — they are likely to be given a lot of it.
Former Justice Department official John Yoo echoes these concerns:
Trying Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in civilian court will be an intelligence bonanza for al Qaeda, tie up our courts for years on issues best left to the president and Congress, and further cripple our intelligence agencies’ efforts to fight terrorists abroad.
KSM and his co-defendants will have all of the benefits and rights that the U.S. Constitution accords those who live here, most importantly the right to demand that the government produce in open court all of the information that it has on them, and how it was obtained.
Arrested spies commonly use this right to get a better deal out of the government, which will want to avoid opening up its intelligence sources and methods on KSM, what information it got from him, and what else it knows about his fellow al Qaeda operatives.
Finding out what the U.S. intelligence agencies know about al Qaeda will be an incalculable boon to the terrorist organization, which will be able to drop plans and personnel it knows are compromised, and push harder in areas we appear to know nothing about.
Our intelligence agents and military personnel will now have to conduct their capture of the enemy—often in battlefield conditions—under all of the strictures that apply to arrests of garden-variety criminals in the United States. Knowing that al Qaeda leaders may be tried in court, our soldiers and agents will have to gather evidence at the scene of “arrest” and secure it to the standards of a civilian court, all while entering a hostile environment, protecting their own personnel, and leaving without casualties.
And former AG Michael Mukasey weighs in:
Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, who as a judge presided over a trial stemming from the first attack on the World Trade Center, on Friday warned that the Obama administration's decision to bring Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to New York, along with three other terrorist detainees, to stand trial in a civilian court, reflected a pre-9/11 mindset that viewed terrorism as a simple criminal matter.
Speaking at the Federalist Society's National Lawyers Convention, Mukasey described the move, as “a decision I consider not only unwise, but based on a refusal to face the fact that what we are involved with here is a war with people who follow a religiously-based ideology that calls on them to kill us, and to return instead to the mindset that prevailed before Sept. 11 that acts like the first World Trade Center bombing, the attacks on our embassies in Africa and other such acts can and should be treated as conventional crimes and tried in conventional courts.”
Mukasey added that the current administration seems to develop policy decisions "to fit and proceed rhetoric."

Despite the legal roadblocks thrown up by the "detainee lobby," the Bush administration should have pushed much harder to get these individuals tried by military commissions. Depending upon your point of view, the U.S. Supreme Court didn't help, but the Bush Justice Department has to bear significant responsibility for its lack of action. On the other hand, defense lawyers with this odd fixation with terror suspects (can we call them terrorists?) must be suffering an extreme form of what used to be called Bush Derangement Syndrome. Forget the politics; law-abiding citizens, society at large, also have rights to be protected, don't they?

White House To Push For Amnesty in 2010

With the economy still in the tank, runaway federal spending, million of Americans jobless, and looming threats to national security, what's the next logical federal initiative? Amnesty for border jumpers, of course:
The Obama administration will insist on measures to give legal status to an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants as it pushes early next year for legislation to overhaul the immigration system, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said on Friday.
In her first major speech on the overhaul, Ms. Napolitano dispelled any suggestion that the administration — with health care, energy and other major issues crowding its agenda — would postpone the most contentious piece of immigration legislation until after midterm elections next November.

Friday, November 13, 2009

9/11 Detainees: Tried In Manhattan

According to various media outlets, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is on his way to the Big Apple--the city he tried to destroy:
Self-proclaimed Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other Guantanamo Bay detainees will be sent to New York to face trial in a civilian federal court, an Obama administration official said Friday.
The official said Attorney General Eric Holder plans to announce the decision later in the morning.
The official is not authorized to discuss the decision before the announcement, so spoke on condition of anonymity.
...Holder will also announce that a major suspect in the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, will face justice before a military commission, as will a handful of other detainees to be identified at the same announcement, the official said.
It was not immediately clear where commission-bound detainees like al-Nashiri might be sent, but a military brig in South Carolina has been high on the list of considered sites.
In the meantime, the White House official who bungled the Gitmo closing (or is taking the rap for doing so) is leaving the administration:
The White House's top lawyer is announcing his resignation on Friday, senior administration officials said.
White House counsel Greg Craig has been the subject of questions about his future since late summer, dogged by talk that President Barack Obama's promise to close the controversial Guantanamo Bay military prison by January went awry under Craig's leadership.
Craig also oversaw the president's revamping of U.S. policy on terrorism interrogations and detentions, including a ban on torture, and was at the center of administration moves to release many documents relating to the treatment of terror suspects under the Bush administration - and to oppose the release of photos of abuse of detainees overseas by U.S. personnel. All those decisions earned Obama considerable criticism, some from the right and some from the left.
Anita Dunn, the White House staffer with a crush on Mao Tse Tung, is also moving on.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Senate to Investigate Ft. Hood Killing Spree

The inevitable Congressional inquiry into the Ft. Hood massacre:
Sen. Joe Lieberman announced [on November 8] that he intends to lead a congressional investigation into the mass shooting at Fort Hood, saying the attack could qualify as a "terrorist act" rooted in Islamic radicalism -- the worst since 9/11.
The Independent Democrat, who chairs the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, said there were "strong warning signs" that the alleged gunman, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, was an "Islamist extremist."
"If that is true, the murder of these 13 people was a terrorist act and, in fact, it was the most destructive terrorist act to be committed on American soil since 9/11," Lieberman [said].

Meanwhile, in a report on the Hasan case, Stratfor, the global intelligence clearinghouse, says that separating "the wheat from the chaff" is on one of the big problems in national security investigations:
Many leads are based on erroneous information or a misidentification of the suspect — there is a huge issue associated with the confusion caused by the transliteration of Arabic names and the fact that there are many people bearing the same names. Jihadists also have the tendency to use multiple names and identities. And there are many cases in which people will falsely report a person to the FBI out of malice. Because of these factors, national security investigations proceed slowly and usually do not involve much (if any) contact with the suspect and his close associates. If the suspect is a real militant planning a terrorist attack, investigators do not want to tip him off, and if he is innocent, they do not want to sully his reputation by showing up and overtly interviewing everyone he knows. Due to its controversial history of domestic intelligence activities, the FBI has become acutely aware of its responsibility to protect privacy rights and civil liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and other laws.
Stratfor also explains that in a departure from the standard operating procedure, the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command (still known by its old acronym CID) rather than the FBI is running the Hasan investigation:
As the premier law enforcement agency in the United States, the FBI will often assume authority over investigations where there is even a hint of terrorism. Since 9/11, the number of FBI/JTTF offices across the country has been dramatically increased, and the JTTFs are specifically charged with investigating cases that may involve terrorism. Therefore, we find the FBI’s absence in this case to be quite out of the ordinary.
However, with Hasan being a member of the armed forces, the victims being soldiers or army civilian employees and the incident occurring at Fort Hood, the case would seem to fall squarely under the mantle of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). From a prosecutorial perspective, a homicide trial under the UCMJ should be very tidy and could be quickly concluded. It will not involve all the potential loose ends that could pop up in a federal terrorism trial, especially when those loose ends involve what the FBI and CIA knew about Hasan, when they learned it and who they told. Also, politically, there are some who would like to see the Hasan case remain a criminal matter rather than a case of terrorism. Following the shooting death of Luqman Ameen Abdullah [in Detroit] and considering the delicate relationship between Muslim advocacy groups and the U.S. government, some people would rather see Hasan portrayed as a mentally disturbed criminal than as an ideologically driven lone wolf.
Despite the CID taking the lead in prosecuting the case, the classified national security investigation by the CIA and FBI into Hasan and his possible connections to jihadist elements is undoubtedly continuing.
Update: The Army has charged the shooter with 13 premeditated murder counts under the UCMJ (making him eligible for the death penalty if found guilty), but as yet no charges related to terrorism or treason. Additional charges may be forthcoming, however.

DHS Aims To Implement Biometric Exit System For Foreign Nationals

The Washington Post says DHS has a plan--subject to White House approval--for identifying foreign visitors who fly out of the U.S. by air:
The Department of Homeland Security is finalizing a proposal to collect fingerprints or eye scans from all foreign travelers at U.S. airports as they leave the country, officials said, a costly screening program that airlines have opposed.
The plan, which would take effect within two years, would collect fingerprints at airport security checkpoints, departure gates or terminal kiosks, allowing the government to track when roughly 35 million foreign visitors a year leave the country and who might be overstaying their visas, DHS officials said. The department plans to send the proposal to the White House as soon as next month for review and inclusion in President Obama's next budget.
Some experts and former government officials are skeptical. In a concession to industry, DHS said it probably will drop plans to require airlines to pay for the bulk of the program and is looking to cut costs, which could reach $1 billion to $2 billion over a decade, largely to be paid by taxpayers or foreign travelers. In addition, the program would not operate for now at land borders, where 80 percent of noncitizens enter and leave the country, because fingerprinting travelers there could cost billions more and significantly delay commerce.

Paglia: Limousine Liberals Driving Blind

We often wondered why the socialist-oriented, big government interventionists seem to think that they will be immune from the affects of their policies--as if they live in a space station orbiting the Earth rather than down here with the rest of us. In her latest online column, Professor Camille Paglia, a self-avowed Obama and Pelosi supporter, nails it:
As for the actual content of the House healthcare bill, horrors! Where to begin? That there are serious deficiencies and injustices in the U.S. healthcare system has been obvious for decades. To bring the poor and vulnerable into the fold has been a high ideal and an urgent goal for most Democrats. But this rigid, intrusive and grotesquely expensive bill is a nightmare. Holy Hygeia, why can't my fellow Democrats see that the creation of another huge, inefficient federal bureaucracy would slow and disrupt the delivery of basic healthcare and subject us all to a labyrinthine mass of incompetent, unaccountable petty dictators? Massively expanding the number of healthcare consumers without making due provision for the production of more healthcare providers means that we're hurtling toward a staggering logjam of de facto rationing. Steel yourself for the deafening screams from the careerist professional class of limousine liberals when they get stranded for hours in the jammed, jostling anterooms of doctors' offices. They'll probably try to hire Caribbean nannies as ringers to do the waiting for them.
A second issue souring me on this bill is its failure to include the most common-sense clause to increase competition and drive down prices: portability of health insurance across state lines. What covert business interests is the Democratic leadership protecting by stopping consumers from shopping for policies nationwide? Finally, no healthcare bill is worth the paper it's printed on when the authors ostentatiously exempt themselves from its rules. The solipsistic members of Congress want us peons to be ground up in the communal machine, while they themselves gambol on in the flowering meadow of their own lavish federal health plan. Hypocrites!
And why are we even considering so gargantuan a social experiment when the nation is struggling to emerge from a severe recession? It's as if liberals are starry-eyed dreamers lacking the elementary ability to project or predict the chaotic and destabilizing practical consequences of their utopian fantasies.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Scotland Yard Foils NYS Subway Plot

From the London Telegraph:
British spies have foiled a terrorist plot by a suspected al Qaeda operative to blow up the New York subway.
The plan, which reportedly would have been the biggest attack on America since 9/11, was uncovered after Scotland Yard intercepted an email.
The force alerted the FBI, who launched an operation which led to airport shuttle bus driver Najibullah Zazi, 24, being charged with conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction.
...Zazi, from Denver, Colorado, is understood to have been given instructions by a senior member of al Qaeda in Pakistan over the internet.
Let's hope there were no civil liberties violations in this investigation, right?

The London Telegraph also has this about the Ft. Hood gunman:
Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the gunman who killed 13 at America's Fort Hood military base, once gave a lecture to other doctors in which he said non-believers should be beheaded and have boiling oil poured down their throats.
He also told colleagues at America's top military hospital that non-Muslims were infidels condemned to hell who should be set on fire. The outburst came during an hour-long talk Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, gave on the Koran in front of dozens of other doctors at Walter Reed Army Medical Centre in Washington DC, where he worked for six years before arriving at Fort Hood in July.
Colleagues had expected a discussion on a medical issue but were instead given an extremist interpretation of the Koran, which Hasan appeared to believe.
...One Army doctor who knew him said a fear of appearing discriminatory against a Muslim soldier had stopped fellow officers from filing formal complaints.
As allegations and/or facts like this continue to emerge, it appears that Col. Ralph Peters' somewhat emotional reaction on FNC seems justified:

More from Col. Peters on political correctness in the Army here.