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The Right of the People to be Secure in their Persons, Houses, Papers, and Effects,
Against Unreasonable Searches and Seizures,
Shall Not Be Violated


Saturday, March 13, 2010

In what parallel universe is building homes for Jews in Jerusalem an insult to the USA?!

From Weasel Zippers:

Who is leading the United States these days? The Muslim Brotherhood?

First CNN puts it mildly:

Clinton calls Israeli announcement of new settlements insulting

Then Reuters elaborates on the tone Clinton is taking when talking to the prime minister of a sovereign friendly nation:

Clinton berates Netanyahu over settlements

In an election year, the Obama administration bets that the rest of the nation has been sitting with him listening to Jeremiah Wright and Louis Farahan at church for the last 22 years. Is it too much to think the stance Biden, Clinton and Obama are taking is borderline antisemitism?
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FBI Tells Congress, CAIR Is An Offshoot Of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood

Hamas Nazi Salute

From IPT:
There's another letter circulating on Capitol Hill affirming federal law enforcement's belief that the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is the product of a Hamas-support network in the United States.

Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich sent the letter last month to four members of Congress who asked for details last fall on how CAIR was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the terror-finance trial against the Holy Land Foundation and its former officials.

He included trial transcripts and exhibits "which demonstrated a relationship among CAIR, individual CAIR founders, and the Palestine Committee. Evidence was also introduced that demonstrated a relationship between the Palestine Committee and HAMAS, which was designated as a terrorist organization in 1995."

Hamas is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, and trial exhibits show the Brotherhood created the Palestine Committee. CAIR officials adamantly deny any involvement with either Hamas or the Muslim Brotherhood. The Weich letter, however, shows that the Department of Justice has not wavered in its conclusion that the internal records it possesses prove a connection.

It echoes a letter last spring from an FBI congressional liaison explaining why Bureau policy bars communication with CAIR outside of a criminal investigation. In that letter, Richard C. Powers, an assistant director in the FBI's office of Congressional Affairs, said evidence "demonstrated a relationship among CAIR, individual CAIR founders (including its current President Emeritus and its Executive Director) and the Palestine Committee."

Other exhibits showed that the Palestine Committee was a fundraising and propaganda arm in the United States for Hamas, which has been a designated terrorist organization since 1995. "[U]ntil we can resolve whether there continues to be a connection between CAIR or its executives and HAMAS," Powers wrote, "the FBI does not view CAIR as an appropriate liaison partner."

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Hey! Culturist John! Here's a Midnight Special I know you'll love.

I've Seen All Good People (Your Move)

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Friday, March 12, 2010

Goodbye Stranger

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Gore’s Wishes are Your Commands

Guest Commentary by Edward Cline:

Former Vice-President Al Gore, star of the pseudo-documentary “An Inconvenient Truth,” which won an Oscar for best documentary feature and garnered him a Nobel Peace Prize shared with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, continues beating his hockey sticks on the heads of an American public anxious about its future under multi-headed Hydra called Congress. He is determined to revive his Climategate-damaged credibility and salvage all the money he has invested in alternative energy companies -- whose “alternatives” are lower standards of living at higher costs, alternative energy sources dependent on the vagaries of nature (i.e., natural climate change) and the whims of bureaucrats.

On February 28, The New York Times carried his dour, straight-faced op-ed, “We Can’t Wish Away Climate Change,” in which he warns that “climate change” is real, notwithstanding that the whole anthropogenic global-warming thesis has been exposed as a politically-motivated conspiracy to foist false science on the world with doctored temperature numbers, hidden or destroyed evidence contrary to the thesis. Phil Jones and his colleagues at the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia also ostracized and rebuffed “skeptics” who questioned or challenged the a priori conclusions Jones and his data manipulators wished to be accepted as truth. Gore’s only concession to the scandal is to admit to merely “two mistakes,” but dismisses them as irrelevant.
It is true that the climate panel published a flawed overestimate of the melting rate of debris-covered glaciers in the Himalayas, and used information about the Netherlands provided to it by the government, which was later found to be partly inaccurate. In addition, e-mail messages stolen from the University of East Anglia in Britain showed that scientists besieged by an onslaught of hostile, make-work demands from climate skeptics may not have adequately followed the requirements of the British freedom of information law. But the scientific enterprise will never be completely free of mistakes.
Mistakes? Fraud and lies are “mistakes”? The first mistake was the acceptance as iron-bound truth that glaciers were melting as reported by a mountain-climbing magazine -- hardly a journal of scientific inquiry. The second “mistake” was climate researchers not wanting to prove their assertions and claims to climate “skeptics” who required such proof. Their willingness to dodge the British freedom of information law indicates an ulterior motive. It was the CRU’s version of taking the Fifth. Poor babies. They were “besieged” by the need to substantiate their claims. But revealing their doctored data would have not only blown their claims out of the water, but exposed them to the charge of being liars, and caused them to be discredited as “scientists.”

But the “stolen” emails reveal a multitude of “mistakes,” not least of which were the attempt to squelch dissent and the stonewalling of outside enquiries. The “mistakes” range from Phil Jones asking his accomplices in fraud to delete data being requested under the British Freedom of Information Act to another accomplice expressing his frustration with forcing the data and numbers to cooperate with the predetermined conclusion that global warming was “actual.”

Gore’s New York Times byline claims he is a “businessman.” That would be correct if businessmen by definition were scam artists and hucksters. But such a definition would comport with the character of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the CRU -- which have been exposed as dens of thieves and con-artists. Gore is in the right company.

It would be interesting to examine several of Gore’s main op-ed points.
What is important is that the overwhelming consensus on global warming remains unchanged.
Gore’s reliance on the notion of consensus about global warming is critical to understanding why he continues to believe a lie he has been promoting for a decade. Consensus is nothing more than a number of individuals agreeing that something is true or false. But truth stands apart from human consciousness. It is independent of it. The number of minds that observe it, or call it something else, is irrelevant to its existence. Numbers of minds are not going to change it. As Ayn Rand once succinctly put it, “Fifty million Frenchmen can be as wrong as one.” Yet the vaunted consensus remains “unchanged” despite the beating the thesis has taken from the truth.

Gore comes off sounding like a television evangelist claiming that God exists, is all-merciful, and will forgive you your sins if you only obey him. The evangelist’s audience is composed of stunted minds for whom the proofs that God is a metaphysical impossibility would roll off their frontal lobes like water off a duck. It is the same with Gore’s true believers. They must believe, because they refuse to think and accept the evidence of their senses. These are the people, laymen and “scientists” alike, for whom faith is as trustworthy as certainty. So many people believe in anthropogenic global warming (decades ago it was global cooling); who are they to question such an impressive consensus? It must be true.

Michael Crichton, A.B. Anthropology at Harvard, commented on the historical role of consensus:
Let's be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus...
Gore opened his op-ed with:
It would be an enormous relief if the recent attacks on the science of global warming actually indicated that we do not face an unimaginable calamity requiring large-scale, preventive measures to protect human civilization as we know it.

Of course, we would still need to deal with the national security risks of our growing dependence on a global oil market dominated by dwindling reserves in the most unstable region of the world, and the economic risks of sending hundreds of billions of dollars a year overseas in return for that oil. And we would still trail China in the race to develop smart grids, fast trains, solar power, wind, geothermal and other renewable sources of energy — the most important sources of new jobs in the 21st century.
Yes, the “attacks” do indicate not only that there is no “unimaginable calamity” in store for the planet and human civilization (unless Iran uses nuclear weapons somewhere), but that they are legitimate critiques of junk science. Those attacks are as legitimate and deserving as exposés of junk economics, junk medicine, junk education, and junk multiculturism. That junkyard is more responsible for imperiling human civilization than any amount of CO2 being released into the atmosphere.

And, I do not think Gore would be “relieved” if there were no crisis for him to exploit. His is the archetypical statist mentality that must have a crisis to serve as a platform through which to acquire power. He needs a crisis to justify his existence. He cannot project a single action of his own that would not “influence” others and establish him as a kind of Moses who received the word from God and is ready to lead the unwashed to salvation.

What has resorting to “green technologies” to do with national security? National security is the concern of our military and intelligence agencies. Whose environmental and regulatory policies made the U.S. dependent on a global oil market, specifically, a hostage of OPEC, all of whose members are hostile to this country? The federal government’s and those of a succession of administrations. Whose pragmatic foreign policies have made the Mideast the most unstable region of the world? Again, look to Washington. Aside from the hundreds of billions of dollars sent overseas for OPEC oil, we are sending hundreds of billions of dollars in foreign aid to prop up hostile regimes. But, according to Gore’s notion of foreign policy, no regime is so hostile that its “friendship” can’t be bought with foreign aid.

What “dwindling reserves” of oil? Studies indicate that the U.S. has more untapped oil off its shores than Saudi Arabia had before the feudalists there “nationalized” American and Western oil fields decades ago -- with our own government‘s sanction. And nowhere in his op-ed does Gore advocate the cleanest “alternative” energy yet invented: nuclear power.

Gore wrote:
Because these and other effects of global warming are distributed globally, they are difficult to identify and interpret in any particular location. For example, January was seen as unusually cold in much of the United States.
Just like computer models that cannot reliably project the weather twenty-four hours from now? These are the bane of meteorologists, in academia and on TV. Or computer models fed biased data to produce the “right” numbers? These are much like rigged slot machines. January was not seen as “unusually cold in much of the United States.” It was unusually cold. It’s winter, Al. Some winters are more severe than others. This has been the case for millions of years.
Similarly, even though climate deniers have speciously argued for several years that there has been no warming in the last decade, scientists confirmed last month that the last 10 years were the hottest decade since modern records have been kept.
Note how Gore distinguishes between “climate deniers” and “scientists.” Anyone who disagrees with his assertions and the claims of the warmist tribe cannot be a scientist. He does not mention the hottest decade in recent memory, which was the 1930’s. Nor mention the Medieval Warm Period, something erased from his hockey stick graph and “hidden” in the CRU data. Which “scientists” in a consensus mood have confirmed that the last ten years were the hottest decade? Gore’s link takes one to NASA, implicated in the CRU scandal, and a report that relies on the “findings” of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS).

Throughout his op-ed, Gore blames “political paralysis” on governments not acting collectively to “combat” global warming, especially in Washington, a paralysis “now so painfully evident…has thus far prevented action by the Senate -- not only on climate and energy, but also on health care reform, financial regulatory reform and a host of other pressing issues.” He introduces a term I had not encountered elsewhere, the “atmospheric commons,” an idea whose root is the socialist/feudal status of land slowly abandoned by the enclosure of private property in Britain before the Industrial Revolution. He continually refers to CO2 as a “pollutant,” forgetting that people every day exhale more “pollutants” than all smokestacks and power plants that ever existed.

In a perfidious instance of concept subversion, Gore advocates what he and others call a “market-based solution” to combat global warming, cap-and-trade. But government-coerced “solutions” are anything but “market-based,” and are no more that than is Social Security, unemployment legislation, or just plain extortion. It is a deliberate misnomer.

What he and his ilk in Washington are advocating is a form of what Ayn Rand, in her novel Atlas Shrugged, described when the purchase and use of Hank Rearden’s new metal were forbidden except by government permission, and the sale and purchase of Taggart railroad bonds were similarly forbidden, both controls spawning black markets, politically connected transactions, and, for the railroad bonds, “a new profession practiced by bright young boys just out of college, who called themselves ‘defreeezers’ and offered their services ‘to help you draft your application in the proper modern terms.’ The boys had friends in Washington.”* As will, in a reality that is emulating the novel, cap-and-trade defreeezers.

Gore not only derogates “climate skeptics” and refuses to call them “scientists,” but peevishly lashes out at other critics and doubters of catastrophic climate change.
Simultaneously, changes in America’s political system — including the replacement of newspapers and magazines by television as the dominant medium of communication — conferred powerful advantages on wealthy advocates of unrestrained markets and weakened advocates of legal and regulatory reforms. Some news media organizations now present showmen masquerading as political thinkers who package hatred and divisiveness as entertainment. And as in times past, that has proved to be a potent drug in the veins of the body politic. Their most consistent theme is to label as “socialist” any proposal to reform exploitive behavior in the marketplace.
Aside from holding the bizarre notion that newspapers, magazines, and television comprise a part of “America’s political system,” Gore perpetuates the idea that they serve only the “wealthy advocates of unrestrained markets” and help to “weaken advocates of legal and regulatory reforms.” This is Marxism straight-up. The mainstream news media, however, are dominated by editors and news anchors friendly to Gore’s policies and to legal and regulatory reforms. The country’s major newspapers and broadcasting networks indeed act as a “potent drug in the veins of the body politic” -- but to Gore’s advantage, whether he knows it or not.

Gore snidely refers to Fox News and popular radio talk show hosts without naming them as “showmen masquerading as political thinkers who package hatred and divisiveness as entertainment.” No, Al. Americans who watch Fox News or listen to Limbaugh, Hannity and others are not “entertained”; they turn to them because they are tired of listening to the same old liberal pap in the MSM. Being told in no uncertain terms that they are being prepared for involuntary servitude hardly qualifies as amusement. Socialism means fetters and shackles and ration cards and sacrifice and no longer owning your own life.

Perhaps the scariest sentence in Gore’s essay is this one:
From the standpoint of governance, what is at stake is our ability to use the rule of law as an instrument of human redemption.
The “rule of law”? Whose law? Used how and to what end? Gore can only mean redemption at the point of a gun. Pass a law -- cap-and-trade, compulsory health care, the regulation and taxation of carbon emissions, national service -- and employ government force as the instrument to compel obedience and compliance, and human redemption through “governance” is achieved.

Gore’s agenda and “counter-attack” against reason and reality fit perfectly into what columnist Mark Steyn has identified as a concerted but insidiously sly campaign by President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Senator Harry Reid and their allies in and out of Congress to establish the “legal” foundation of unbridled socialism in this country through primarily the health care legislation, even if it means sacrificing a Democratic majority to incensed voters next November.
Obamacare represents the government annexation of "one-sixth of the U.S. economy" – i.e., the equivalent of the entire British or French economy, or the entire Indian economy twice over. Nobody has ever attempted this level of centralized planning for an advanced society of 300 million people. Even the control-freaks of the European Union have never tried to impose a unitary "comprehensive" health care system from Galway to Greece. The Soviet Union did, of course, and we know how that worked out.
Obamacare would be just the beginning, or even arguably, just the continuation, of the absorption of every other facet and aspect of American life, and result in diminishing standards of living, virtual impoverishment, and the claustrophobic sense of living in a prison. The government’s obsession with “health” over the decades has conditioned many Americans to become self-conscious hypochondriacs sensitive to obesity, smoking, diet, nutrition, product safety, and anything else the government funds research to investigate what its otherwise idle “scientists” deem to be problems and crises. The relatively inauspicious hippie-inspired “ecology” movement has certainly come a long way -- unopposed -- and has been spurred by a political agenda from the start. “Earth Day,” April 22, first “celebrated” in 1970, also happens to be Lenin’s birthday. Coincidence, or intention? Ask the late Democratic Senator Gaylord Nelson, founder of Earth Day, who wrote:
The economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the environment, not the other way around.
Doubtless, Al Gore would agree.

Some columnists ascribe the ravings of Gore about climate change and the concerted campaign by Obama, Pelosi, Reid and their numerous allies in and out of Congress to transform America into a prison of indentured servants to an ignorance of economics coupled with a blindness to history. But I do not believe the paucity of comprehension can be traced to mere illiteracy or to politicians being “slow learners” or conceptually dyslexic. The phenomenon has deeper, darker roots than that. John Chapman of the American Enterprise Institute, for example, offers an incisive comparison between the methods and ends of modern statists and Lenin’s, and remarks:
Marx and Lenin were brilliant intellectuals, and Mr. Obama may be as well. But all share a fundamental lack of understanding about how an economy based on the division of labor works, and how trade, sound money, and private property rights all serve to promote peaceful, harmonious social cooperation as evinced by this division of labor. As such, all fail to see how government policy errors can cause economic disasters, such as the 1930s or today's mess -- these leaders, like most members of the political class, fail to apprehend how wealth is created, and how this process is stultified via government interventions.
However, I think that Obama, Pelosi, Reid et al. do understand how all that works, and are out to destroy America. Like Al Gore, they claim (in so many obfuscating, rhetorically-sweetened words) to want to "remake" America. But the truth is that they wish to destroy the country for the sake of destroying it. I am confident that they know the consequences of their policies, and that they wish to plunge the country into economic chaos and civil anarchy. The death of America is their sole, unspoken vision, not fashioning a materialistic socialist paradise on earth. Otherwise, why would they keep insisting that "remaking" America would require sacrifices and hardship? Their vision of America is an America on its knees, or, as Ellsworth Toohey put it to Peter Keating in The Fountainhead, “locked, stopped, strapped -- and alive.“ They want Americans to take orders, to accept their wishes as their commands.

This, of course, requires a moral judgment of the responsible parties. They can be morally judged by their actions, and their actions speak volumes about their core motivation and ends. They are driven by unadulterated malice for freedom, private property, freedom of speech, and anything else the hallmark of liberty. That malice is what Obama et al. have in common. One can write the most eloquent defense of laissez-faire, free markets, market efficiency, fiscal responsibility, and so on -- but the creatures who inhabit government now do not really care how sound and unanswerable such proofs are. Destruction is their sole aim, and destruction they mean to bring about -- with no goal beyond that, except, perhaps, the sadistic pleasure of seeing vanquished Americans inhabit the desolate ruins of their country.

To combat that malice, the battle must be fought on moral terms. Moral judgment is what our would-be czars fear the most. And to fight that battle effectively, the whole altruist/collectivist axis must be refuted in the minds of Americans and discarded.

Wishing won’t make Al Gore go away, or see reason. To him and his ilk, truth is not just inconvenient -- it is unwelcome.

*Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand. 1957. New York: Dutton, 35th Anniversary Edition, 1992, p. 352

Crossposted at The Dougout
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Joe Biden Is An Anti-Semite - And He is Representative Of The Obama Administration In General

Biden Snubs Israeli Media, Only Interviews with Al-Jazeera

These guys really just love insulting Israel:
Instead of smoothing ruffled feathers in Jerusalem with interviews to the host media, Vice President Biden snubbed them all and granted the only interview of his trip to the Arabic Al Jazeera TV, whose news content is sharply slanted against Israel, US military campaigns in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan and the Western war on terror.
By signing off his Israel visit with an Al Jazeera interview, Joe Biden tells us exactly how he feels about the Jewish state.

But wait, there's more:

Biden Rips Israel: Says They're "Undermining the Security of US Troops Fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan" by Building Jewish Homes in Jerusalem and They Will "Set the Middle East on Fire"

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Frenchmen Wearing Pig Masks Protest Halal Only Restaurants


Viva La France! It's great to see people standing up to fight the Islamization of Europe...

‘We are proud of eating pork, this is our land!’
I'm glad the French are standing up, but you gotta admit it is funny that the two things they stand up over are

Burqas and Halal Restaurants.

In other words, the French stand up against bad taste in food and fashion.


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Veteran Democratic Pollsters Warn the Dems: Drop Health Care or Face "Unmitigated Disaster in November"...

But I think we all knew, and were working toward, that. Healthcare or no healthcare.

Washington Post h/t Weasel Zippers:

If Democrats ignore health-care polls, midterms will be costly
By Patrick H. Caddell and Douglas E. Schoen
Friday, March 12, 2010

In "The March of Folly," Barbara Tuchman asked, "Why do holders of high office so often act contrary to the way reason points and enlightened self-interest suggests?" Her assessment of self-deception -- "acting according to wish while not allowing oneself to be deflected by the facts" -- captures the conditions that are gripping President Obama and the Democratic Party leadership as they renew their efforts to enact health-care reform.

Their blind persistence in the face of reality threatens to turn this political march of folly into an electoral rout in November. In the wake of the stinging loss in Massachusetts, there was a moment when the president and the Democratic leadership seemed to realize the reality of the health-care situation. Yet like some seductive siren of Greek mythology, the lure of health-care reform has arisen again.

As pollsters to the past two Democratic presidents, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, respectively, we feel compelled to challenge the myths that seem to be prevailing in the political discourse and to once again urge a change in course before it is too late. At stake is the kind of mainstream, common-sense Democratic Party that we believe is crucial to the success of the American enterprise.

Bluntly put, this is the political reality:

First, the battle for public opinion has been lost. Comprehensive health care has been lost. If it fails, as appears possible, Democrats will face the brunt of the electorate's reaction. If it passes, however, Democrats will face a far greater calamitous reaction at the polls. Wishing, praying or pretending will not change these outcomes.

Nothing has been more disconcerting than to watch Democratic politicians and their media supporters deceive themselves into believing that the public favors the Democrats' current health-care plan. Yes, most Americans believe, as we do, that real health-care reform is needed. And yes, certain proposals in the plan are supported by the public.

However, a solid majority of Americans opposes the massive health-reform plan. Four-fifths of those who oppose the plan strongly oppose it, according to Rasmussen polling this week, while only half of those who support the plan do so strongly. Many more Americans believe the legislation will worsen their health care, cost them more personally and add significantly to the national deficit. Never in our experience as pollsters can we recall such self-deluding misconstruction of survey data.

The White House document released Thursday arguing that reform is becoming more popular is in large part fighting the last war. This isn't 1994; it's 2010. And the bottom line is that the American public is overwhelmingly against this bill in its totality even if they like some of its parts.

The notion that once enactment is forced, the public will suddenly embrace health-care reform could not be further from the truth -- and is likely to become a rallying cry for disaffected Republicans, independents and, yes, Democrats.

Second, the country is moving away from big government, with distrust growing more generally toward the role of government in our lives. Scott Rasmussen asked last month whose decisions people feared more in health care: that of the federal government or of insurance companies. By 51 percent to 39 percent, respondents feared the decisions of federal government more. This is astounding given the generally negative perception of insurance companies.

CNN found last month that 56 percent of Americans believe that the government has become so powerful it constitutes an immediate threat to the freedom and rights of citizens. When only 21 percent of Americans say that Washington operates with the consent of the governed, as was also reported last month, we face an alarming crisis.

Health care is no longer a debate about the merits of specific initiatives. Since the spectacle of Christmas dealmaking to ensure passage of the Senate bill, the issue, in voters' minds, has become less about health care than about the government and a political majority that will neither hear nor heed the will of the people.

Voters are hardly enthralled with the GOP, but the Democrats are pursuing policies that are out of step with the way ordinary Americans think and feel about politics and government. Barring some change of approach, they will be punished severely at the polls.

Now, we vigorously opposed Republican efforts in the Bush administration to employ the "nuclear option" in judicial confirmations. We are similarly concerned by Democrats' efforts to manipulate passage of a health-care bill. Doing so in the face of constant majority opposition invites a backlash against the party at every level -- and at a time when it already faces the prospect of losing 30 or more House seats and eight or more Senate seats.

For Democrats to begin turning around their political fortunes there has to be a frank acknowledgement that the comprehensive health-care initiative is a failure, regardless of whether it passes. There are enough Republican and Democratic proposals -- such as purchasing insurance across state lines, malpractice reform, incrementally increasing coverage, initiatives to hold down costs, covering preexisting conditions and ensuring portability -- that can win bipartisan support. It is not a question of starting over but of taking the best of both parties and presenting that as representative of what we need to do to achieve meaningful reform. Such a proposal could even become a template for the central agenda items for the American people: jobs and economic development.

Unless the Democrats fundamentally change their approach, they will produce not just a march of folly but also run the risk of unmitigated disaster in November.


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Al-Qaida Seen Eyeing Less Complex Attacks On U.S.


Thursday, 11 Mar 2010 05:21 PM

Ever since al-Qaida attacked the United States in 2001, U.S. authorities have worked to detect and prevent the next big terrorist strike.

But officials and counterterrorism experts say the Christmas airline plot and last November's shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, may have shown al-Qaida that smaller-scale attacks also can prove unsettling, without the complexity and risk of bigger attempts.

The Christmas Day attempt to bring down a Detroit-bound flight — allegedly by a young Nigerian man with explosives in his underwear — was not successful. The attempt, however, shook the government, set agencies against each other and led to months of political second-guessing.

Short of mass casualties, the attack produced the kind of reaction that al-Qaida desires.

Now it appears that the group, which has prided itself on its ideological purism, seems to be eyeing a more pragmatic and perhaps more dangerous shift in tactics. The emerging message appears to be that big successes are great, but sometimes simply trying can be just as good.

It's not clear what Osama bin Laden and his senior leaders are thinking and plotting. But U.S.-born al-Qaida spokesman Adam Gadahn made a public pitch for such smaller, single acts of jihad in a recent Internet video.

"Even apparently unsuccessful attacks on Western mass transportation systems can bring major cities to a halt, cost the enemy billions and send his corporations into bankruptcy," Gadahn said in the video.

Officials believe this message has been evolving for the past year. It's turned upside down the prevailing wisdom that the next attack must be bigger and bolder than the one on Sept. 11, 2001.

"It's pretty clear that while al-Qaida would still love to have home runs, they will take singles and doubles if they can get them," said Bruce Riedel, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution Saban Center and a former CIA officer. "And that makes the job of counterterrorism much, much harder."

The partisan bickering that followed the Christmas bombing may have played into al-Qaida's hands.

Counterterrorism officials note that al-Qaida leaders monitor the U.S. closely and watched the reverberations of the attack. They saw the scramble to boost security, the members of Congress criticizing agencies for intelligence and screening failures, the political drumbeat against the Obama administration's national security efforts and the agency leaders who rushed to blame each other.

The shift is ideological as well as tactical. Before Gadahn's latest video message, al-Qaida leaders bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri had not seemed to embrace the call for smaller, more singular insurgent operations.

"Big al-Qaida still has too much of an ego. They still want big, synchronized, high-visibility attacks," said Jarret Brachman, an expert on jihadist groups. "They haven't yet said, 'Let a thousand flowers bloom.'"

Al-Qaida's senior leaders have worried that unleashing scattered and untrained insurgents who could make mistakes could do more harm than good to the greater jihadi message.

Brachman pointed to the November 2005 hotel bombings in Amman, Jordan, when one of the bombers set off his suicide belt in a wedding reception at a hotel rather than the lobby — killing the groom's father and 16 other family members and in-laws.

Killing vast numbers of innocent civilians — including fellow Muslims — was one of the factors leading to the erosion of al-Qaida in Iraq, a mistake the group doesn't want to make again.

In larger, more elaborate plots there are often many people involved, and the chances are greater that one will make a mistake or that law enforcement authorities will get a tip or notice something is going on.

For example, Najibullah Zazi's plot to bomb the New York City subway system late last year unraveled after investigators got a tip and gathered information from an imam who was communicating with the 24-year-old Afghan immigrant, as well as others at the same mosque.

Zazi, who has said he was recruited by al-Qaida and received training in a camp in Pakistan on how to build a bomb, was arrested in Denver before he was able to make his planned drive back to New York to set the plot in motion.

In contrast, officials allege that Maj. Nidal Hasan acted alone at Fort Hood after exchanging e-mails with radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki.

Officials have raised concerns that while U.S. authorities were aware that Hasan was communicating with al-Awlaki, that information wasn't passed along to the military. But the assault did not include other people and occurred on a base where he was allowed to be, so it would have been difficult to predict or prevent.

The call for more individual jihad is not a new idea to al-Qaida followers on Internet forums. One writer scolded those who condemned Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the alleged airline bomber, as a failure.

"From my prospective living in the United States brother Abdulmutallab succeeded. Maybe he didn't achieve his full objective but you do not necessarily need to achieve a grade of 100 percent to pass the class," the writer said in an early January posting on the Ansar al-Mujahideen discussion forum, which is pro-al-Qaida and is now closed to new members.

"What Abdulmutallab did was instill a fear in Americans. This is a very significant accomplishment. An increased fear of flying, for example, can cripple the airlines and cause economic problems."

Another poster answered: "What did he accomplish? How many billions do you think they will spend to boost security that won't work anyway? He humiliated the Americans, afterward Newark Airport was on lock down for 6 hours because someone walked the wrong way. Success comes in many ways."

Gadahn, in his video, took a broader view, telling followers: "Jihad is neither the personal property nor the exclusive responsibility of any single group, organization or individual. ... Instead it is the personal duty of every able-bodied Muslim on the face of this earth."


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The Mark of the Beast

No ticket, no job.


Senate Plan Calls for National ID Card to Curb Illegal Immigration
Wednesday, 10 Mar 2010 01:16 PM By: Dave Eberhart

A national ID card using biometric data such as fingerprints is at the center of an immigration reform bill being hammered out in the U.S. Senate – a measure that once again probably will pit advocates of homeland security and tough immigration enforcement against civil libertarians, employers and immigrant rights groups.

The new effort by Sens. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Lindsey Graham, R- S.C., will revive the “Real ID” debate that has festered for years with little effect on illegal immigration. Under their plan, a universally required card would be encoded with all sorts of information regarding the holder, as well as contain a unique biometric signature created from either fingerprints or the vein patterns on the tops of the hands.

Bottom line: Employers will not be able to hire applicants who do not present a valid ID.

Schumer and Graham are slated to meet soon with President Barack Obama to brief him on their work. An administration official said the White House has no position on the biometric card, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

Graham’s approach to the controversial IDs is simple: Americans already carry Social Security cards – this is the same thing, except tamperproof. So what’s the big deal?

“We’ve all got Social Security cards,” he said. “They’re just easily tampered with. Make them tamper-proof. That’s all I’m saying.”

“It’s the nub of solving the immigration dilemma politically speaking,” Schumer told the Journal. The card, he argued, would nip in the bud any surge of illegal immigrants. “If you say they can’t get a job when they come here, you’ll stop it.”

All sounds well and good, but predictably there are critics who see the card as the ultimate invasion of privacy that puts Big Brother at the shoulder of every honest American worker.

Conservatives are divided depending on their views on immigration vs. the potentially intrusive role of government. Fox New host Bill O’Reilly said Tuesday night that he favors a National ID Card, citing among other things the additional taxes that would be collected through reduced fraud. He called it a “moneymaker for the U.S.” O’Reilly, as well as former CNN host Lou Dobbs, an advocate of strong immigration enforcement, wants the measure fast-tracked this year.

But others don’t like the idea of a government with control of biometric data of every U.S. citizen.

“It is fundamentally a massive invasion of people’s privacy,” said Chris Calabrese, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, according to Homeland Security Newswire. “We’re not only talking about fingerprinting every American, treating ordinary Americans like criminals in order to work. We’re also talking about a card that would quickly spread from work to voting to travel to pretty much every aspect of American life that requires identification.”

Meanwhile, Alex Nowrasteh, an analyst at the pro-business Competitive Enterprise Institute, conjured up a number of reasons why America should steer clear of a national ID card.

“Every worker would have to ask permission from the federal government to get a job. American workers shouldn’t have to beg or plead to anybody to get permission to work. Being employed should be a private agreement between an employer and employee,” he told for FoxNews.com.

What's more, the system will exclude millions of legal workers by accident and fail to catch the majority of undocumented immigrants, Nowrasteh said.

“For instance, if E-Verify were instituted nationwide, 3.6 million Americans would be denied employment each year and have to visit the Social Security Administration to correct their records,” he said. (E-Verify is an online system to check whether potential employees are in the United States legally, but there have been chronic worries about the reliability and effectiveness of the system.)

There is also a question of practicality for the small business owner who would be required either to buy a special $800 scanner or trot his applicant worker information down to the nearest DMV to use a public scanner.

“The last thing an employer wants to do is spend time at the DMV when he could be spending it improving his business,” Nowrasteh said.

The cards would treat every American like a criminal by requiring them to enter their most intimate and personal data into a government database, he said.

Even as the national ID card remains a hot-button issue in any rework of immigration laws, the amnesty word still lingers. Under the Graham/Schumer bill, the 10.8 million or more people living illegally in the United States would be offered a path to citizenship.

To ensure that the path to legality does not smack too much of the dreaded “amnesty” word, the bill requires the illegals to register, pay taxes, pay a fine and wait in line. Meanwhile, a guest-worker program would crack the gates open to let a limited number of new foreigners come to the United States legally to work.

White House aides made it clear last year that immigration reform legislation would be on the administration’s target list in 2010. However, healthcare and attempts to mitigate the nation’s unemployment crisis has pushed immigration reform to the background.


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UK Mosque: The People Win

Some good news at last from the land of dhimmified politicians. At last the people are fighting back and showing that they are no dhimmies.

Victory was being celebrated yesterday in the leafy avenues and Victorian villas of Camberley.
In a triumph for local democracy, a plan to build a huge £3 million mosque with two 100ft minarets, which would have been visible from Sandhurst Royal Military Academy, was thrown out on Wednesday night by the town's councillors.

A thousand people from the affluent Surrey town queued to get into the meeting, some waiting for hours from 9am to get in.

They waved placards declaring: 'Camberley Says No', 'Hands Off Our Heritage' and 'We Want Justice.' When the result was announced, just before 11pm, there were jubilant roars inside the public meeting - and from the crowds outside.

Protesters claimed the plan for the mosque in the heart of Camberley was an inflammatory act of provocation by the Muslim community, intended to show their cultural superiority.

In return, the mosque's supporters accused them of being "racist and hostile" to the Islamic way of life.

They would say that wouldn't they?

Here was an extraordinary clash between Christians and Muslims in the heart of the Surrey commuter belt.

The mosque plan had been devised by a radical Islamic group which supports polygamy, the amputation of thieves' hands, the veiling of women, and the killing of non-Muslims if they refuse to convert to Islam.

During a planning battle lasting months, 6,000 people signed a petition objecting to the new mosque, which was to be built on the site of a listed former church primary school where many locals had been educated.

Local Church leaders weighed in, saying the building would create antagonism for many years in a part of the country where only 2 per cent of the population are Muslim.

One vicar declared that the mosque proposal was a 'supremacist' act; another warned it was a 'political statement' rather than a religious one by the Islamic community.

Of course, this was denied by local Muslims, but the battle soon spread. Read more>>

I say bring it on. Ignore the politicians and their ostrich like talk of diversity and inclusion. With the alien moonbat cult let them know we say enough and no more.


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British Conservative Party's New Campaign Theme Song

David Cameron, leader of Britain's Conservative Party, has officially announced the party's theme song for the up-coming campaign, this designed especially to appeal to our Muslim voters. Said Cameron, "Ours is no longer the party of dinosaurs and reactionary Englishmen; ours is a progressive party; and our new theme song is designed to show all British voters our new and vibrant approach to multi-culturalism and our sensitivity to all British peoples. Because each of us is, in his or her own way, special.

Hear the British Conservative Party campaign theme song here.

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Kidnapped schoolboy tortured with hot iron and boiling water by gang for £20,000 ransom

From the Daily Mail:

A gang who kidnapped and tortured a schoolboy by burning him with a hot iron to gain a £20,000 ransom have been jailed for a total of 40 years it was confirmed today.

The 16-year-old had boiling water poured over his legs during the five-hour ordeal in a bid to blackmail his family as part of a 'drugs debt'.

Shaheed Rahman and Syed Ahmed, both 24, admitted conspiring to kidnap the boy and blackmail at Leeds Crown Court yesterday.

The gang, which also included brothers Shuel Ali Hussain, 28, and Hassan Ahmed, 25, and Abdul Rajaque, 29, also threatened to cut off his fingers and kill him unless they were paid the money.

Shaheed Rahman
Syed Ahmed

'Despicable': Shaheed Rahman (left) and Syed Ahmed (right) were jailed for 12 years and nine months and 12 years respectively for torturing a teenage boy

The teenager was bundled into a van as he walked home from a takeaway in Leeds on April 30 last year. He was driven to a nearby house where he was burnt eight times with the iron.

He also had a carrier bag and a pillow case placed over his head, was scalded with boiling water, threatened with a knife and punched, while the gang phoned his brother several times during the ordeal to demand the money.

When his family said they could only come up with £1,400, a gang member warned he would be 'returned in pieces' and said £1,400 was only enough for one of the boy's fingers.

Helen Hendry, prosecuting, said the gang members, all from Leeds, had not been careful to conceal their identities from the boy, showing a 'certain degree of arrogance'.

The court was told the boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was made to speak to his brother on a mobile phone while held captive.

He was forced to say: 'I was kidnapped. They are going to kill me. They want £20,000.'

A gang member then told the brother: 'I want £20,000 or I'm going to kill him.'

Ali Shuel Hussain
Abdul Rajaque

Guilty: Shuel Ali Hussain (left) and Abdul Rajaque (right) were also jailed. The gang threatened to cut off the schoolboy's fingers and kill him

The teenager was left with a catalogue of injuries, including burn imprints on his legs in the shape of an iron, the court heard. A burn on his thigh caused by hot or boiling water was in the same place as an iron burn.

Six months after his ordeal he was still too frightened to attend school, was having sleepless nights and suffering headaches.

Jailing the five gang members for a total of 40 years, Judge Rodney Grant said: 'There was violence and [the victim] was tortured. There is no other word which can be used.

'He was handcuffed and then subjected to scalding hot water being poured over his leg. A hot iron was applied to his leg on eight occasions and that must have been excruciatingly painful and terrifying for him as well.'

Referring to the ransom, the judge added: 'A threat was made that in the refusal of payment, this victim, a 16-year-old boy, would be murdered and mutilated.

'His fingers would be cut off, he would be sent back in pieces. These threats must have had a terrifying effect on his family.'

The court was told how police initially went to the house in Leeds after receiving a phone call from a worried neighbour, who reported hearing 'shouts and screams'.

But Rahman persuaded the teenager to lie about what had happened and he gave a false name to officers, who left the property despite recovering items including balaclavas, handcuffs and a kitchen knife.

Police returned later that night when the victim's brother reported the kidnapping.

Judge Grant jailed Rahman for a total of 12 years and nine months, while Syed Ahmed received a 12-year sentence.

Hussain was jailed for nine years after admitting conspiracy to blackmail and will serve an additional year after pleading guilty to drugs charges.

Rajaque, who played a lesser role, was jailed for five years and three months for conspiracy to blackmail.

Hassan Ahmed will be sentenced on March 22 to allow for the completion of a risk assessment for danger.

A sixth suspect, Ibrahim Majid - known as 'Biggie Brian' - is believed to have fled to Bangladesh.

Detective Superintendent Bill Shackleton, who led the investigation, said: 'This was a deeply traumatic experience for the young man who was taken hostage, and also for those members of his family who were obliged to deal with the demands made by the kidnappers.

'The fact that a 16-year-old young man was needlessly tortured with a hot steam iron and by having red hot water poured onto his skin made this offence all the more despicable.

'What this investigation has shown is that with the use of technologies now available to support the work of the police we are exceptionally adept at detecting this type of offence and in gathering evidence, arresting those responsible and bringing them before the courts.

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An IT developer -- another case of someone being educated and gainfully employed, but who still managed to "misunderstand" Islam. An update on this story. "British Airways employee faces terrorism charges," from CNN, March 11.

Click on the title above to read the whole thing at Jihad Watch.
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But, of course. "Sweden labels mass killing of Armenians genocide," by Karl Ritter for the Associated Press, March 11 (thanks to Rich):

STOCKHOLM - Sweden's parliament narrowly approved a resolution Thursday recognizing the 1915 mass killing of Armenians in Turkey as genocide, prompting the Turkish government to recall its ambassador in protest.
The measure passed with a one-vote margin in a surprise decision that came a week after a U.S. congressional committee approved a similar resolution.
Sweden's governing center-right coalition opposed the measure but it passed in a 131-130 vote because a handful of center-right lawmakers broke party lines. Eighty-eight lawmakers were absent in the 349-seat assembly.
"After 95 years it is time for people who have suffered so long to obtain redress," said Gulan Avci, a Liberal Party lawmaker who broke her party's line and backed the measure, which had been proposed by the left-leaning opposition. Avci is a Kurdish immigrant from Turkey.
Historians estimate that up to 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks around the time of World War I. Turkey denies that the deaths constituted genocide, saying the toll has been inflated and those killed were victims of civil war and unrest.
Turkey recalled its ambassador to Sweden immediately after the vote and the Anatolia news agency reported that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan canceled a visit to Sweden on March 17.
"We condemn the decision. Our government, and our people strongly reject the resolution crippled by big mistakes and devoid of basis," the Turkish government said in a statement.
The resolution also labeled as genocide the killings of Assyrians and Pontian Greeks, ethnic groups that also suffered under the Ottoman Turks.
Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said he regretted the Parliament's decision, saying it "will unfortunately not have a positive effect on the ongoing normalization process between Turkey and Armenia."
The U.S. congressional committee approved a similar measure there in a 23-22 vote that would send it to the full House of Representatives, if the leadership decided to bring it up. Minutes after the vote, Turkey withdrew its ambassador to the U.S.
Turkish Ambassador to Sweden Zergun Koruturk told Anatolia that the Parliament's decision was harmful for relations between the two countries.
"I hope they are aware of the damage done here," she said.
Countries recognizing the genocide include Uruguay, Chile, Argentina, Russia, Canada, Lebanon, Belgium, Greece, Italy, the Vatican, France, Switzerland, Slovakia, the Netherlands, Poland, Lithuania and Cyprus.
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OIC's "Islamophobia Observatory" Condemns Swedish Newspapers For Reprinting Mohammed Cartoon...Fails to Condemn Islamist Plot to Kill Cartoonist Lars Vilks

(OIC.org)- A spokesman of the Organization of the Islamic Conference’s Islamophobia Observatory condemned the reprint of the controversial drawing of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) by Swedish artist Lars Vilks in three Swedish newspapers, namely Dagens Nyheter, Expressen, and Sydsvenska Dagbladet, and electronic media including radio and television broadcasts as reaction to an alleged plot to murder the cartoonist, which was uncovered in Ireland on March 9, 2010.

The spokesman said that the OIC had always spoken against violence including death threats against the originators of the blasphemous cartoons. He said however, that the Swedish media’s explanation of the action taken to reprint the cartoons in the name of freedom of expression was unacceptable, unwise and irresponsible as it has caused hurt and insult to the Muslim citizens of Sweden as well as the 1.5 billion Muslims across the world who had nothing to do with the alleged death threat. The spokesman added that there were other options available for the Swedish media to show their protest instated of resorting to an action that could potentially open a raw wound and incite avoidable unrest.
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New and startling information has been released concerning President Barack Obama’s spiritual life and his close relationship with ardent Islamists.

Mr. Obama, who rarely attends public church services, turns often to Muslims and Islamic sympathizers for prayer and spiritual and moral discussion.

The President, according to Daniel Burke, writing for the Washington D.C. based Religion News Service, prays on the phone with individuals from around the country “to frame his policies in moral terms.”

One of Mr. Obama’s prayer partners is Rashad Hussain, an Islamic lawyer and critic of America’s alleged “terror prosecutions” of his fellow Muslims.

Mr. Obama has appointed Mr. Hussain to serve as his deputy associate counsel and special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), the second largest inter-governmental organization after the United Nations.

The mission of the OIC is to safeguard and protect “the interests of the Muslim world,” should be of serious concern to Congress and the American public.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Mr. Hussein has a history of participating in events connected with the Muslim Brotherhood. The Chicago daily describes the Muslim Brotherhood as “the world’s most influential Islamic fundamentalist group” whose goal is to create Muslim states throughout the world.

In 1991, Mohamed Akram, a prominent leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, said the members of his radical organization “must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ’sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”

Mr. Hussein’s ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, according to Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch, date to his days at Yale Univerity’s Law School.

In announcing Mr. Hussein’s appointment as his deputy associate counsel, Mr. Obama proudly announced that Hussain is a Hafiz, someone who has completely memorized the Qur’an.

The news that Mr. Obama regularly prays with Mr. Hussein verifies reports that the President prays to Allah.

Denis McDonough, a Roman Catholic who serves as deputy national security adviser and chief of staff of the National Security Council, also has been identified as one of the President’s prayer partners.

This would give credence to Mr. Obama’s claim that he is a Christian save for the fact that Mr. McDonough says that he is “a crucial player” in solidifying the President’s ties to Islam in order to restore “moral authority” to America.

Mr. McDonough, whose brother is a priest, also says that he wants the country “to get back on a shared partnership” with the Muslim world that focuses on America’s “shared values” with Islam.

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Emerson, Lake and Palmer
Knife Edge

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Steep Canyon Rangers
Lovin' Pretty Women

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Hamas releases British journalist they held for a month

Paul Martin, the freelance reporter from Britain who was taken prisoner by Hamas, has been released after a month:
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Gaza’s Hamas rulers on Thursday released a British journalist they had held for a month amid allegations that he endangered the Palestinian territory’s security.

Paul Martin said he was arrested because of his work as a journalist and called his release, with the help of the British and South African governments, a "great victory for the freedom of the media."


Mahmoud Zahar, a Hamas leader, said Martin was suspected of serious security offenses and would not be able to return to Gaza. No charges were filed against him.

Zahar suggested Thursday that Martin’s activities as a journalist brought about his arrest.

The Hamas leader alleged Thursday that Martin "was working on defaming the image of the Palestinian people by saying that they smuggle weapons through tunnels," Zahar said, referring to hundreds of border tunnels that bypass the blockade of Gaza imposed by Israel and Egypt.

The tunnels bring in commercial goods, but are widely believed to be a conduit for cash and weapons as well.

Zahar complained that Martin was also working on a story about the alleged use of civilians as human shields by Hamas.

The Hamas leader also alleged Martin was in touch with Gazans suspected of collaborating with Israel.
Now we can guess why Martin was taken hostage! And those tunnels are a conduit for weaponry. Not that the AP Wire would want to admit that. It remains to be seen, however, if Martin is willing or will be allowed to write about all these cases.
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Corrupt Corrupt Corrupt


Holder Failed To Alert Senate To Old Brief
March 11, 2010 - 7:13 AM by: Mike Levine

During his confirmation more than a year ago, Attorney General Eric Holder failed to notify lawmakers he had contributed to a legal brief dealing with the use of federal courts in fighting terrorism, the Justice Department acknowledged on Wednesday.

“The brief should have been disclosed as part of the confirmation process,” Justice Department spokesman Matt Miller said in a statement. “In preparing thousands of pages for submission, it was unfortunately and inadvertently missed.”

Still, the “amicus brief,” filed with the Supreme Court in 2004, resonates years later as Holder finds himself defending the handling of some recent terrorism cases, particularly the interrogation of alleged “Christmas Day bomber” Umar F. Abdulmutallab.

The brief – filed by Holder, then a private attorney, former Attorney General Janet Reno and two other Clinton-era officials – argued that the President lacks authority to hold Jose Padilla, a U.S citizen declared an “enemy combatant,” indefinitely without charge.

In making their case, Holder and the others argued that using federal courts to fight terrorism, which includes providing Miranda rights to terror suspects, would not “impair” the government’s ability to obtain intelligence, which they called “the primary tool for preventing terrorist attacks.”

“Many terrorists who have been arrested and provided counsel have decided to cooperate and provide valuable information to the government,” their brief said. “Over the last decade, the investigative, detention, and prosecutive authorities [of the federal court system] have been used in many cases not only to identify, arrest, and punish persons who have committed terrorist acts, but to disrupt and thwart terrorism before it can occur.”

But the brief did acknowledge a possible risk in such use of the federal court system – a risk, the brief said, that is outweighed by the advantages.

“It may be true that in some cases the government will not be able to obtain information from citizens who are informed of their right to counsel, or that obtaining that information may be delayed,” the brief said, noting that a lower federal court characterized such a scenario as speculative. “But this is an inherent consequence of the limitation of Executive power. No doubt many other steps could be taken that would increase our security, and could enable us to prevent terrorist attacks that might otherwise occur. But our Nation has always been prepared to accept some risk as the price of guaranteeing that the Executive does not have arbitrary power to imprison citizens.”

That assertion does not reflect the same level of certainty that Holder has expressed recently about the ability of the federal court system to obtain intelligence and fight terrorism.

“I am confident that … the decision to address Mr. Abdulmutallab's actions through our criminal justice system has not, and will not, compromise our ability to obtain information needed to detect and prevent future attacks,” Holder said in a Feb. 3 letter to lawmakers. “Neither advising Abdulmutallab of his Miranda rights nor granting him access to counsel prevents us from obtaining intelligence from him.”

In fact, Holder recently said, Abdulmutallab has been providing “very useful” information to counterterrorism officials after being persuaded to cooperate with authorities.

Two former Bush Administration officials accused Holder of being disingenuous.

“Now that Holder is attorney general, he no longer acknowledges the risks to national security of treating terrorists as criminals,” former White House Press Secretary Dana Perino and former Deputy White House Counsel Bill Burck said in a column posted on the National Review web site Wednesday. “Holder could never admit that now, of course.”

After President Obama nominated Holder to be Attorney General, the Senate Judiciary Committee sent Holder a 47-page questionnaire, including a request for any briefs he had filed with the Supreme Court “in connection with your practice.”

In response, Holder said he participated in a total of five such briefs, none of which dealt with terrorism-related issues. He did not include the Padilla brief, and he signed a statement saying the information he provided was accurate and complete “to the best of my knowledge.”

Perino and Burck called Holder’s failure to notify lawmakers about the brief “disappointing and perhaps troubling.”

“Had Holder disclosed these briefs to the Senate Judiciary Committee, no doubt he would have been extensively questioned about the views expressed in them,” they said.

Miller, though, suggested Holder has always been open about his views on such subjects, and lawmakers knew where he stood during the confirmation process.

“The Attorney General has publicly discussed his positions on detention policy on many occasions, including at his confirmation hearing,” Miller said. “As the brief noted and as the Attorney General has said many times publicly, the government has ample lawful ability to detain and interrogate terrorists and disrupt attacks without resorting to making claims of executive power that strain the Constitution.”

In fact, during confirmation hearings with the Senate Judiciary Committee in January 2009, Holder promised to fight terrorism “within the letter and the spirit of the Constitution.”

“Adherence to the rule of law strengthens security by depriving terrorist organizations of their prime recruiting tools,” he said. “America must remain a beacon to the world. We will lead by strength. We will lead by wisdom. And we will lead by example.”

In addition, Holder and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) engaged in a lengthy discussion of how to interrogate and detain terror suspects, including the use of the federal court system.

“Now, as we decide what form to try people and how to interrogate them, and how to detain them, the only thing I ask of this new administration is that we not criminalize the war,” Graham told Holder.

“[I’ve] struggled with that, and continue to struggle with that,” Holder said. “How do we deal in an appropriate way with somebody who we know is a danger to this country, and yet be true to our values?”


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From Reliapundit the Astute Blogger:
Some 50,000 new housing units in Jerusalem neighborhoods beyond the Green Line are in various stages of planning and approval, planning officials told Haaretz. They said Jerusalem's construction plans for the next few years, even decades, are expected to focus on East Jerusalem.

Most of the housing units will be built in predominantly Jewish neighborhoods beyond the Green Line, while a smaller number of them will be built in Arab neighborhoods. The plans for some 20,000 of the apartments are already in advanced stages of approval and implementation, while plans for the remainder have yet to be submitted to the planning committees.

The planned construction includes the 1,600 homes in the ultra-Orthodox East Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo that were approved Tuesday.



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Lars Vilks: why some European artists are building panic rooms


From the Christian Science Monitor:

Atlanta – Why did Lars Vilks, a mild-mannered Swede who calls himself “the artist,” booby-trap his art with electrified barbed wire, keep an ax by his bedside, and build a panic room upstairs? For one, Mr. Vilks’s 2007 cartoon of the prophet Mohammed as a stray dog continues to bring death threats and even a bounty on his head from an Al Qaeda-related group in Iraq. But after US authorities on Tuesday arrested Colleen LaRose, a Philadelphia woman known on the Internet as Jihad Jane, for allegedly planning to travel to rural Sweden and assassinate Vilks, civil libertarians such as George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley are pointing to another potential incentive for European artists to protect themselves: growing deference shown to Islam by European governments and journalists worried about stoking fanatical flames.

IN PICTURES: American Jihadis Since various cartoon controversies erupted after 9/11, European governments from Finland to the Netherlands have publicly upheld constitutional ideals of free speech and expression. But those same governments have also prosecuted people under new blasphemy laws intended both to extend legal protections to non-Christians and to calm religious tension in increasingly multicultural Europe.

It's not just Westerners defaming Islam who are being targeted by European governments. Last year, Dutch prosecutors charged the Arab European League under a blasphemy law after it published a cartoon questioning the Holocaust.

While the US Constitution does not allow blasphemy laws, the Obama administration changed policy direction last year when it supported the move by Muslim nations in the United Nations' Human Rights Council to recognize exceptions to free speech when it comes to “negative racial and religious stereotyping.” “Government prosecutions have quietly worked to chill any speech in the area of religion,” says Mr. Turley. “And I think that’s linked to journalists and artists who are living in fear of being physically attacked or killed. [Would-be terrorists] see Western governments willing to put people in jail for insulting Islam, and that tends to validate their views.”

Go read the whole pathetic thing.

Thank God governments are upholding Free Speech in law. But, it is the artists who are truly upholding Free Speech, and they are doing it with sheer courage.
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New York's Statist Anti-Saline Insanity

The nanny state of New York won't be satisfied until everything in restaurants tastes like hospital food. That's how you'll know it's "healthy".

Chefs Call Proposed New York Salt Ban 'Absurd'

Updated March 11, 2010

Bill introduced by state assemblyman would ban the use of salt in New York restaurant cooking.

Some New York City chefs and restaurant owners are taking aim at a bill introduced in the New York Legislature that, if passed, would ban the use of salt in restaurant cooking.

"No owner or operator of a restaurant in this state shall use salt in any form in the preparation of any food for consumption by customers of such restaurant, including food prepared to be consumed on the premises of such restaurant or off of such premises," the bill, A. 10129, states in part.

The legislation, which Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, D-Brooklyn, introduced on March 5, would fine restaurants $1,000 for each violation.

"The consumer needs to make their own health choices. Just as doctors and the occasional visit to a hospital can't truly control how a person chooses to maintain their health, neither can chefs nor the occasional visit to a restaurant," said Jeff Nathan, the executive chef and co-owner of Abigael's on Broadway. "Modifying trans fats and sodium intake needs to be home based for optimal health. Regulating restaurants will not solve this health issue."

Nathan is part of the group My Food My Choice, which calls itself a coalition of chefs, restaurant owners, and consumers, called the proposed law "absurd" in a press release issued on its Facebook page.

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U.S. values are no longer civilised values.

A hard hitting piece from Peter Oborne of the Daily Mail:

Ever since World War I, there has been one solid plank of British foreign policy - the special relationship with the U.S. Two basic calculations lay behind this decision to stick with America through thick and thin.

The first was that we believed it stood for everything that was decent and true: freedom under law, democracy, human rights, freedom of expression.

There was also a more cynical consideration. Successive prime ministers have maintained that our selfish national interest benefited from standing blindly behind the U.S.

The belief has been that this country's security will benefit from defence and intelligence co-operation. However, a number of recent events have led me to ask an important question: has the time come to ditch our oldest and strongest ally?

For evidence is growing that the U.S. can no longer be regarded as a loyal or trustworthy friend of Britain.

Even more worryingly, it's no longer clear that Barack Obama's administration represents the decent and humane values of which Britain has long been so proud.

As a result, standing by the traditional transatlantic alliance is beginning to be damaging to our reputation overseas and to our national interest.

For example, consider the appalling revelations contained in this week's speech to the House of Lords by the former MI5 spy chief Elizabeth Manningham-Buller.

Dame Elizabeth shockingly disclosed that U.S. officials had deceived Britain over their use of torture following their capture of the Al Qaeda commander Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in 2003.
She said that when she asked why he was talking so freely to his captors, she was cynically told he was boasting because he was proud of what he'd done.

The truth, she later found out, was that he had been subjected to the controversial torture technique known as waterboarding.

'It wasn't until after I retired that I read that he had been waterboarded 160 times,' she said. 'The Americans were keen to conceal from us what they were doing.'

This remarkable admission proves there was no trust in the relationship between British and U.S. intelligence chiefs - in complete contrast to the easy-going and harmonious relationship of popular myth.

This deception by the White House made Britain complicit in its barbaric and illegal behaviour, and thereby inflicted deep damage to our reputation around the globe.

Moreover, this revelation follows the controversial role played by the U.S. in the case of the terror suspect and torture victim Binyam Mohamed.

We now know that when U.S. officials leaned on British ministers to bring pressure to bear on our courts not to disclose information about his mistreatment (arguing that it would jeopardise the sharing of intelligence between the two countries), ironically, the same information had already been released by a U.S. court.

The British court's decision to release that information was said to be one of the reasons behind the Obama administration's coldness to Britain's concerns when Argentine forces recently started to menace the Falkland Islands in an uncomfortable echo of their 1982 invasion.

Britain was surely entitled to expect President Obama to come to the aid of an ally which, alone among European nations, has stood loyally alongside the U.S. in its two greatest conflicts of recent times - Afghanistan and Iraq.

Thousands of British soldiers have been injured in these hideous conflicts and many hundreds killed.

But their sacrifice, the support of the British public and the loyalty of successive prime ministers (despite the huge problems it causes in the polls) has apparently counted for nothing with the U.S..

Obama's team made the coldhearted calculation to stay neutral in the Argentine standoff, thus seeming to condone the menace to dearly held British interests and citizens.

Perhaps we shouldn't have been surprised.

For the U.S. is also the country that has launched a long and deeply shameful campaign of persecution against Gary McKinnon, a British citizen who hacked into Pentagon computers in a misguided quest for information about UFOs.

The U.S. authorities' campaign to extradite him to face trial there is devoid of all humanity, decency and compassion. American prosecutors have been told many times that they risk inflicting the most appalling mental damage on McKinnon, who has Asperger's.

They have been told that a psychiatric report has warned that suicide was an 'almost certain inevitability' should he be extradited and that he is, beyond all doubt, not an Al Qaeda spy.
Sadly, in this instance, the Americans seem to be driven by sheer vindictiveness over a dysfunctional young man who humiliated the Pentagon.

Another case of a different order, but indicative of the strain between London and Washington, concerns the fate of Cadbury.

For almost two centuries, it has been one of Britain's proudest companies and a model of corporate governance. Yet it was the subject of a vicious take-over battle by U.S. giant Kraft Foods (which was advised by the amoral U.S. investment banks Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley). Within weeks, in a shameful breach of promise, Kraft announced it was to close the Cadbury plant in Somerdale, near Bristol, with the loss of 400 jobs. It is also likely that the company pension scheme will come under threat.

Yet Kraft chief executive Irene Rosenfeld has contemptuously turned down a request to be questioned by a committee of MPs who are investigating the takeover.

Many blame this new era of anti-Britishness on the election 16 months ago of President Obama, whose anti-colonialism has been traced to stories of his grandfather having been imprisoned and tortured by the British in Kenya in the Fifties.

For many years I have been a passionate admirer of the U.S. and never had the slightest doubt that Britain was utterly right to stand by the Americans in the long Cold War against the Soviet Union.

But I have come to believe - and it pains me terribly to say this - that U.S. values are no longer civilised values. Read it all>>


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posted by Ray Boyd at permanent link# 6 Comments

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