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Saturday, May 02, 2009

Homegrown Terrorists

Homegrown Terrorists in the U.S. and U.K.: An Empirical Examination of the Radicalization Process
Daveed Gartenstein-Ross and Laura Grossman
04/27/2009

The Center for Terrorism Research has released its newest study, Homegrown Terrorists in the U.S. and U.K.: An Empirical Study of the Radicalization Process, by Daveed Gartenstein-Ross and Laura Grossman. The study is a product of over a year and half of research into the phenomenon of homegrown terrorists--Westerners who have chosen to take up arms against the society in which they were born or raised. Homegrown Terrorists in the U.S. and U.K. examines six different steps are particularly significant as homegrown terrorists radicalize: the adoption of a legalistic interpretation of Islam, coming to trust only a select and ideologically rigid group of religious authorities, viewing the West and Islam and irreconcilably opposed, manifesting a low tolerance for perceived religious deviance, attempting to impose religious beliefs on others, and the expression of radical political views. These steps have recurred frequently among homegrown terrorists, and they help to provide insight into these individuals' state of mind as they hurtle toward the embrace of violence again innocents.


To download a pdf version of the study, please click here.

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Shut up and Kiss Me

Shifting Gears on a Saturday

Willie Nelson
Maria (Shut Up and Kiss Me)

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Female LightSabre Battle

Pinched this one from Carlos, too.

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Bear in the Woods Remix

Pinched this one from Carlos:


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One Helluva Message in the Bottle

from ABC:

Workers find message hidden in Auschwitz wall
Posted Tue Apr 28, 2009 5:11am AEST

Workers demolishing the wall of a building that once belonged to the former Nazi German Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp have found a message in a bottle written by prisoners 65 years ago, Auschwitz museum officials said.

"We know two of the Auschwitz prisoners who signed the message survived the camp, but their later fate isn't known," Auschwitz-Birkenau museum historian Jerzy Mensfelt told AFP in a telephone interview.

"If they are alive, they would be in their 80s now. Perhaps the publicity surrounding this discovery will lead to more information," he said.

Workers found the bottled message when recently demolishing a wall at the State Higher Vocational School in the southern Polish town of Oswiecim, the site of the infamous World War II Auschwitz Nazi German death camp.

The bottle with a note inside had been placed in the mortar of a wall of building which had served as a warehouse for the camp's Nazi guards during the war.

Hand-written in pencil, the note bears the names and camp ID numbers of seven camp prisoners including four Poles and one Frenchman from Lyon, Mr Mensfelt confirmed. All were aged 18 to 20.

Further details are expected to be made public in the coming days, he said.

More than 1 million people, mostly European Jews, perished at the Auschwitz-Birkenau twin death camps during World War Two.

Nazi Germany established Auschwitz as part of Adolf Hitler's systematic genocide against European Jews. In total, 6 million Jews died in the Holocaust.

Others who died there as well included tens of thousands of non-Jewish Poles, Soviet prisoners of war, Romas (gypsies) and anti-Nazi resistance fighters from across Europe.

- AFP

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Obama uses WH press corps as threat against Chrysler investors

If this is true -- and I have no reason to believe otherwise -- Obama is taking the Chicago way to a whole new level.

at Hot Air:

Obama uses WH press corps as threat against Chrysler investors
posted at 11:15 am on May 2, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

An attorney representing several Chrysler bondholders accused the Obama administration of intimidating his clients by issuing threats of public humiliation if they opposed their brokered deal to resolve the automaker’s debts. Speaking to WJR, Thomas Lauria said that the White House called the bondholders “vultures” for insisting on their rights as senior creditors and told them that the Obama administration would use the White House press corps to attack them in the media. Corky Boyd has the transcript (also via HA reader Geoff A):

Lauria: Let me tell you it’s no fun standing on this side of the fence opposing the President of the United States. In fact, let me just say, people have asked me who I represent. That’s a moving target. I can tell you for sure that I represent one less investor today than I represented yesterday. One of my clients was directly threatened by the White House and in essence compelled to withdraw its opposition to the deal under the threat that the full force of the White House Press Corps would destroy its reputation if it continued to fight. That’s how hard it is to stand on this side of the fence.

Beckman: Was that Perella Weinberg?

Lauria: That was Perella Weinberg.


Glenn Reynolds wonders how the White House press corps will feel about being used as an arm of the administration to beat its opposition into submission. My guess? Enchanted, with just a couple of exceptions. He also wonders whether they will show the slightest inclination to ask about these allegations. So far, it looks like the Sounds of Silence on the WHPC dial rather than We’re Not Gonna Take It.

Bear in mind that this is one attorney operating in his client’s interest, and attorneys do like to make media waves by fighting cases on the evening news and the front page before they fight them in court. However, the WHPC should be asking whether they’re getting played by the Obama administration — and consider the strong possibility that they’ve allowed themselves to be put in that position.

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The LA Times weeps for terrorists

(LA Times) Lately, we've heard and read much about torture memos, waterboarding and insects in a box. It has been the occasion for somber reflection on our past and serious deliberation about our future. This is as it should be. It was Arizona Sen. John McCain, in talking about torture, who rightly reminded us that "it's not about who they are. It's about who we are."

But perhaps we also should remember that there was a human being strapped to that board. His name is Zayn al Abidin Mohamed Hussein, known to the world as Abu Zubaydah.

More... if you can stand it.

Poor baby... I thought Islamic Jihadists were manly, men.

No, what they are, are trained whiners, who have learned how to milk our PC system of apathetic, appalling, muslim apologists.

May he and others like him, rot in hell on earth, with insufferable migraines, nightmares of drowning and gout.


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Culturism or Multiculturalism for Korea?



This is my second and last Korea video. It illustrates a way we can trip up multiculturalists. They would not begrudge other nations their sovereignty, but attack ours. Furthermore they call all attempts to foster unity 'racist.' We can challenge them by using the words "culturism' and 'culturist' in our speech and writing. Spread the words! The more people who use them, the safer we'll be.

www.culturism.us

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The Russia, Islamic Terrorist Alliance

Via Israpundit

Russia and Islam are not Separate:
Why Russia backs Al-Qaeda


Americans generally believe that Russia is afraid of Islamic terrorism as much as the U.S.A. They are reminded of the war in Chechnya, the hostage crisis at the Beslan School in 2004 and at the Moscow Theater in 2002, and of the apartment house blasts in Moscow in 1999, where over 200 people were killed. It is clear that Russians are also targets of terrorism today.

But in all these events, the participation of the FSB, Federal Security Service, inheritor to the KGB, is also clear. Their involvement in the Moscow blasts has been proven by lawyer Mikhail Trepashkin, a former FSB Colonel. For this he was illegally imprisoned, and is now suffering torture and deprivation of medical assistance, from which he is not likely to survive.

A key distinction between Russian and American attitudes towards Islamic terrorism is that while for America terrorism is largely seen as an exterior menace, Russia uses terrorism as an object as a tool of the state for manipulation in and outside the home country. Islamic terrorism is only part of the world of terrorism. Long before Islamic terrorism became a global threat, the KGB had used terrorism to facilitate the victory of world Communism.


Go here to read the rest.

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More Evidence For Our Continued Underappreciation Of Sylvester Stallone

So I watched Rambo (the recent film) and realized that somehow Rambo has become our modern-day Crusader legend.

John Rambo is an aging knight. That's what the movie is about. That's what Rambo is about. Consider these facts of the recent film (spoilers):


  • He guides and protects pilgrims.
  • The pilgrims travel by sea first, and then over land.
  • The pilgrims are Christians motivated by religion.
  • They are told they don't belong in the lands they seek, that they are outsiders and should go home.
  • They preach to locals when they get there.
  • They do not approve of their guiding knight's violent methods.
  • But they need him and end up acknowledging it.
  • The enemies are heathens: nihilistically evil, rapacious, in some cases homosexual-pedophiliac.
  • The enemies kidnap innocents (children) for their armies.
  • The politics of the region are confused, with warring factions, shifting alliances, all hands bloody.
  • The knight is motivated solely by devotion to one particular Lady.
  • His love for his Lady is not sexual or romantic, but something else: it is chivalrous.


All of this adds up to nothing more or less than a standard chivalry story. All of these aspects were features of standard Grail-quest and similar chivalrous legends from a thousand years ago. Rambo is essentially just a remake of those stories. Although the plot was set in modern-day Thailand (where the journey begins) and Burma (the destination), in all important respects it could just as easily have taken place in 11th-century France and Palestine. (I wonder why from a literary point of view, "holy lands" in these sorts of stories always need to be harsh, inhospitable places; Rambo's adventures take place in dank jungles rather than parched deserts, and nobody going there is seeking any holy person's birthplace, but still, functionally they serve as "holy land" every bit as much as the deserts of the Levant.)

The only thing going against my interpretation, perhaps, is that there's a happy ending and homecoming for the knight, which wouldn't usually be the case, probably. But who would deny Rambo his happy ending after all these years?

Great movie, by the way. Goes right up near the top - if not the top - of my best-of-2008 list. My only (minor in the grand scheme) complaint would be the overuse of obviously digitally-inserted bright red blood/gore splashes, etc...not sure if the overuse was intentional or just that the indie budget didn't allow for cleaning up the effects to make them more subtle, but whatever the case, while one obviously expects gore in a Rambo movie, a little of that stuff would've gone a long way.

Needless to say, though, I had not expected to get such a strong Arthurian undercurrent from such a movie. Now I'm motivated to go back and watch the others to see if the subtext was present there too and I just missed it. It has been a while, after all....

[Originally posted at Rhymes With Cars And Girls]

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Infidel Hunk of The Week


Magdi Allam is an Egyptian-born Italian journalist, noted for his criticism of Islam and his articles on the relations between Western culture and the Islamic world. Once an apologist for Islam, his christening during the Vatican's 2008 Easter vigil service in St. Peter's Basilica presided over by Pope Benedict XVI, made headlines.

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Dems latino gambit paying off, right now. Republicans lost

For years now, I have been talking about a SECURE BORDER, ALONG WITH a return to pre 1924 immigration rules.

What occurred in this nation from colonial times until 1924 in terms of immigration is what made us great.

We fearlessly (as a nation) let the masses in.

But all nations must have secure borders, and illegal immigration in the millions is proof this is a joke.

The republicans have managed to allow themselves to be painted into a corner of being anti immigration by being for a secure border and seemingly mass deportations.

Immigration reform has come to mean amnesty for criminals and nothing about a border.

Now Obama has called for closed borders and relatively open immigration.

Obama has adopted the position of someone like me, and left the republicans NOWHERE on this critical issue among a rapidly growing voting, catholic (and therefore seemingly more conservative???) demographic.

If the republicans are, LIKE BUCHANAN, against immigration itself, then I have basic problem with them on a large issue, and find myself in (gulp) alignment with Obama (altho I think his call to close the border is a bunch of baloney to shut people up..I'd recommend he DO THAT FIRST).

I would also say, get ready for a generation of democratic rule.

Somebody with some brains better grip the wheelbarrow by the handles in the republican party pretty quick, or soon it won't matter.

Just an observation from Maine


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Reality Check: Demographics



Now, many readers are not Christians and will disagree with the evangelical message at the end of the above video.

But if not Christian evangelizing, what are the acceptable and practical alternatives leading to the preservation of Western culture?

We are running out of time to find those alternatives!

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Jakey and Jenny

(hang in there, talking in my Dutch accent is easier than typing in it)
(Jewel, don't you dare give this punchline away :)

Jakey and Jenny Yoder were a young newly married Amish couple.

Like most young married couples, they spent a lot of time hein' & shein'.

When they weren't hein ' shein' Jenny was at home cookin ' cleanin' and trying to keep a proper Amish home.

Jakey worked down at Stoltzfus' Deli slicin' Lebanon Bologna.

Every morning he'd go to work at the deli, slice Lebanon bologna all day long, then go happily home to Jenny where they'd get about to hein' & shein'.

Then one day Amos Stoltzfus called Jakey into the office.

"Chakey," said Amos "Ah'fe been hearin' some bad stories 'bout you."

"Oh, noah, " replied Jakey "Vat could you be hearin'?"

"Chakey, Ah been hearin' that you been stickin' your pecker in the pickle slicer."

"Oh, Amos, vell, nah, that's true nah onct."

"Chakey, ve can't haf that 'round here. You haf to stop that nah onct."

"Okay, Amos, Ah'll stop."

And that was that. Jakey went home to Jenny that night, said nothing about it and they went about hein' and shein'.

Several days later Amos called Jakey into the office again.

"Chakey, Ah heared you'f been stickin' your pecker in the pickle slicer again."

"Yes, Amos. Ah haf. Ah just couldn't help myself."

"Look, Chakey. This is your last varning. You haft to stop stickin' your pecker in the pickle slicer. Ve haf to vorry 'bout health laws and all, Chakey. Ve chust can't haf that 'round here."

"Okay, Amos, Ah unnerstand."

And that was that. Jakey went home to Jenny without a word about the incident and they went about hein' and shein.'

Several days later Amos again called Jakey into the office.

"Chakey, Ah'm sorry, boy, but ve haf to let you go."

"Oh noah, Amos, vy?"

"Chakey, Ah told you tvicet you had to stop stickin your pecker in the pickle slicer and Ah chust found out you're still doin' it. Ah'm sorry, Chakey, but I haf no choice."

"Okay, Amos, I unnerstand."

So Jakey went home to Jenny. She was very surprised to see him home in the middle of the day.

"Chakey, vat are you doin' home so early for onct?"

"Vell, Chenny, Amos had to let me go today."

"Oh, Chakey, vy?"

"Vell, Amos told me tvict not to stick my pecker in the pickle slicer anymore. But AH couldn't help myself and Ah chust had to stick my pecker in the pickle slicer vun more time. So Amos said he had to fire me."

"But, Chakey, vat about the pickle slicer? Vat did Amos do about the pickle slicer?"

"Vell, he had to fire her, too."

(yeah, I know. I'm going to Hell. S'okay. I tell bad Polish jokes, too.)

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If It Looks Like a Duck. . . Updated at Bottom

My God. All my life, I never recognized the threat for what it was.

Insidious. I’ve lived among them for 47 years and never realized it.

All the men have beards.

The women are covered head to foot. No skin showing but hands and face. And always the dark clothes, no bright colors. Outside of the home they always keep their heads covered.

You never see them smile. Never see them show humor.

No music except their holy music. No rock ‘n roll, bluegrass, jazz, blues. None of it.

You never see them in bars, never see them drink. No carousing. Although they do use the tobacco. No cussing from them either.

And they keep to themselves, very wary of outsiders.

Even amongst themselves they segregate. The women always off to the side, rarely congregating with the men.

The women staying at home to do the cooking, cleaning, housekeeping, child rearing, seldom seen outside without their men.

And the children, raised early to work. When they go to school it’s all grades in one room. And always studying that book.

They follow a very strict adherence to their religious texts. And if you leave the faith none will have anything further to do with you.

No public displays of affection. No hand holding, no kissing, no hugging.

And God forbid you should marry outside the faith.

With their names strange to American ears, they claim no allegiance to our laws, but that they are guided by the laws and teachings of their God, that is what guides them and what they live and breath and work and die by.

And such strict observance of prayer. Faithful to their services at the appointed time. The singing. Chanting. Praying. And always, that book. The one they live by. All they need they say. The word of their God handed down through his earthly messengers.

Yes, I see I’ve been a fool. All these years I’ve been blinded by their taqiyya while living right among them.

The blatant lie that theirs is a peaceful religion. That all they want is to live in peace and be left to themselves, to live as they believe their faith commands them to.

But no more can they fool me.

I see through it all now.

After all, if it looks like a duck, acts like a duck, walks like a duck, it must be a duck.

Right?




Update:

Right?

Wrong.

This was meant to be about appearances. How someone appears to us and our reaction to it, absent any other information beyond the appearance.

Or how someone wants to appear to us, though they may or may not be successful at it.

Or how someone wants us to perceive someone else. For good or for ill.

Muslims want us to think they are peaceful, that they can live among us, follow their own laws without imposing on us. And many do. But clearly, we have seen, a great many can't.

The Amish are a perfect example that it can be done if the people are truly willing to do so. They live peacefully among us but keep themselves separate from out modern trappings.

They largely follow their own moral laws and code. They do contribute to society and certainly the economy (the goods they make and sell) but they ask for and take little or nothing from it. They largely care for their elderly themselves. Unemployment is not a problem. The community takes care of itself without imposing it's beliefs on others.

But also I was thinking about our discussions on ODS. BNP. VB. and so forth.

Just because he has a Muslim name does not a Muslim make.. Just because he has socialist ideas does not make him an America Hating Manchurian candidate bent on the destruction of the United States.

Just because they say they're mainstream, they say they're peaceful, they say they are friends of the Jews doesn't mean it is so. Doesn't mean they aren't really anti-semites. Doesn't mean they aren't racist.

So if someone tells you a man must be Muslim because "he has a beard" remember this post.

Conversely, if someone tells you they are Amish and look and dress the part, yet you see them going to mosque every Friday. . .

I think you get the idea. Maybe it was a clumsy way to go about it but strange things happen when I make notes deep in the night after hitting the Wild Turkey.

One final thing.

Lest anyone think otherwise, I have the deepest respect for The Amish. I don't agree with many of their ideas (pacifism for starters) but they walk the walk if you will. If I had faith as deep and strong as they I could move mountains.

And maybe we could take a bit of a lesson from them. Not necessarily their beliefs or religion, but the way they live their lives. Simply. Off the grid.

When that EMP goes off they are best set to survive the aftermath.

If they could only take up the gun.

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Iran and Venezuela, sitting in a tree.....

Iraq Better, Pakistan Worse, Iran the Most Active Terror Sponsor, Report Says
Friday, May 01, 2009
By Patrick Goodenough, International Editor

(CNSNews.com) - Along with a drop in terror attacks worldwide – significantly so in the case of Iraq – 2008 saw a dramatic rise in attacks in Pakistan and deterioration in Afghanistan, while Iran continued to facilitate terror. India was among countries hardest hit, and the situation in Yemen and Venezuela remained worrisome, according to a new State Department report.

Al-Qaeda and related networks, while losing ground, continued to pose “the greatest terrorist threat to the United States and its partners in 2008,” the annual report on terrorism said.

Overall, the number of terror attacks recorded around the world declined during 2008 by 20 percent, with 30 percent fewer fatalities, Russell Travers of the National Counterterrorism Center told a press briefing on the report’s release Thursday.

As it has for well over a decade, Iran continues to top the list of state sponsors of terrorism, where it has been since 1984.

-------

“Iran has long employed terrorism to advance its key national security and foreign policy interests, which include regime survival, regional dominance, opposition to Arab-Israeli peace, and countering western influence, particularly in the Middle East,” the report said.

It cited Tehran’s support for the Palestinian terror groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah in Lebanon, militant Shia groups in Iraq, and select Taliban members in Afghanistan. Iran’s main tool for cultivating and sponsoring terrorism abroad, it said, was the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Qods Force.

The Qods Force’s involvement in Iraq included the provision of “lethal support, including weapons, training, funding, and guidance, to Iraqi militant groups that targeted coalition and Iraqi forces and killed innocent Iraqi civilians.”

Among other things, Iran supplied insurgents with especially lethal improvised explosive devices (IEDs), designed to overcome armored vehicle protection. The Qods Force, along with Hezbollah in Lebanon, also provided weapons training inside and outside Iraq for insurgents, the report said.

-------

Pakistan brought less promising news, however. Travers reported 1,839 incidents, which killed 2,293 people in Pakistan in 2008, a jump from 890 incidents in 2007 that cost 1,340 lives.

Pakistan was both a major target of terrorism last year and a terrorist safe haven. The report said al-Qaeda and allies had moved into “the remote areas of the Pakistani frontier, where they have used this terrain as a safe haven to hide, train terrorists, communicate with the followers, plot attacks and send fighters to support the insurgency in Afghanistan.”

The report said the Pakistan government’s authority in the areas near the border with Afghanistan continued to be challenged.

It identified the Taliban umbrella group, Tehrik-i-Taliban (TTP), active in North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) and the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas, as “the most public signal of broad local militant coordination aimed at attacking Pakistani security forces.”

---

Another government identified as uncooperative in counter-terror efforts was that of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

The report noted Chavez’ “ideological sympathy” for Colombia’s FARC rebels and said his government had not systematically policed its border with Colombia to prevent the movement of armed terrorists or to interdict weapons or narcotics.

It also highlighted concerns about Hezbollah activity in Venezuela, noting the U.S. Treasury Department’s designation in June of a Venezuelan diplomat and a travel agency owner as Venezuelan Hezbollah supporters.

The report said passengers on weekly flights connecting Caracas with Tehran and Damascus “were reportedly subject to only cursory immigration and customs controls” on arrival in Venezuela.

“Venezuelan citizenship, identity, and travel documents remained easy to obtain, making Venezuela a potentially attractive way station for terrorists.”

In May 2008, Venezuela was re-certified as a country “not cooperating fully” with American antiterrorism efforts under U.S. arms export legislation



On the topic of Venezuela,

Does any of that come to the mind of Obama's administration? Apparently not, according to Hillary Clinton,

"We buy a lot of their oil,"
"Let's see if we can begin to turn that relationship."
After witnessing Obama's obviously entertaining (to them) powwow, Venezuela's escalating domestic repression, harboring of Hezbollah and building relationship with Iran, was not a deal breaker either.

And now, Iran and Venezuela have brokered a deal to make Venezuela even more dangerous:

Iran Stresses Aid to Venezuelan Army

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar Thursday underlined Tehran's all-out efforts to help Venezuela promote its defense capabilities and bolster its power of deterrence through bilateral Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) on military cooperation.

Speaking in a meeting with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez during his three-day visit to Caracas, Najjar presented a report on the process of defense cooperation between the two countries.

He also conveyed the best regards of the Iranian nation and government to the president and people of Venezuela.

Chavez, for his part, referred to the goals and ideals of the Bolivarian Revolution, and said, "The Bolivarian and the Islamic Revolutions have a lot in common and these commonalities have consolidated the two countries' bonds."

Stressing that Iran has a special place in Venezuela's foreign policy, Chavez referred to the two countries' armies, and underlined that armed forces of the two countries should be reinforced in a bid to help strengthen sustainable security.

The Iranian defense minister, heading a high-ranking military delegation, arrived in Caracas on Monday to promote ties between Iran and Venezuela.


Guess Obama will file that one away too.

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What Do You Think Of This As A Rallying Cry?

ISLAM?

OK!

SHARIA?

NO WAY!

(hat tip to an Anonymous commenter)
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Friday, May 01, 2009

JIHADI IN THE WHITE HOUSE: OBAMA DECLINES IRAN OFFER OF AL-QAIDA MEMBERS


Proving Obama can still shock me with his bizarre antics, check out this story. 

From Atlas Shrugs:

I am speechless. And horrified.Why would Obama refuse Al-Qaeda members? Because the Mansourian candidate is shutting down Gitmo?

Obama Declines Iran Offer of al-Qaida Members Ken Timmerman, Newsmax

When Iranian government official Ahmad Samavati arrived in Washington, D.C., in February at the head of a five-man negotiating team, he thought he had an offer the Obama administration couldn’t refuse.

The Iranian regime was going to turn over scores of top al-Qaida operatives, including some on the FBI’s “Most Wanted Terrorists” list.

To Samavati’s surprise, the State Department officials he met declined the offer. “They told him they did not want any al-Qaida people. They told him they didn’t want them in the United States,” an Iranian source familiar with the negotiations told Newsmax.

The decline, and the very fact that the Iranian regime sent Samavati to Washington in the first place, shows the profound policy shift that has occurred in both Tehran and Washington since Barack Obama became president.

But Washington seems to be going in one direction and Tehran in another.

In the annual report on terrorism it released last April, the State Department blasted Iran for its unwillingness to cooperate in arresting, rendering, or controlling al-Qaida members operating from its territory.

“Iran has repeatedly resisted numerous calls to transfer custody of its AQ [al-Qaida] detainees to their countries of origin or third countries for interrogation or trial. Iran also continued to fail to control the activities of some AQ members who fled to Iran following the fall of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan,” the report stated.

Obama’s determination to shift gears on Iran is no secret.

He announced his intention to negotiate with the regime during the presidential campaign, and he has repeated that determination many times since taking office.

But no one at Foggy Bottom will comment on why the State Department refused the Iranian offer in February, despite numerous phone messages and e-mails entreaties.

To piece together this story, which goes beyond the public policy statements from the administration, Newsmax has sought out Iranians with personal knowledge of the secret negotiations, including some who work closely with the Iranian government and current and former U.S. officials in the military and intelligence community.

Persian-language Web sites also have detailed leaks from Tehran.

At the time Samavati came to Washington, the State Department was still in the throes of a “policy review” concerning Iran.

So on one level, his offer was premature. But beyond that, the Obama administration, like the Bush administration before it, may be simply too disorganized to coordinate a government-wide response to such a forward-leaning proposal, a source close to the negotiations suggested.

There is much more. Go.

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Traffic

Glad

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Delara Darabi Has Been Executed

This Iranian site is reporting that 20-year-old Iranian artist Delara Darabi, sentenced to death when she was 17, was hanged in the prison yard in Rasht, Iran, early this morning. The execution came 11 days after an Iranian court had officially postponed it for two months.

It appears the lying scum used the false stay of execution to distract human rights organizations such as www.stopchildexecutions.com which were trying to save Darabi's life, and to avoid international and internal protests.

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Buchanan, Walt, Mearsheimer ..this one's for you:Case against ex-AIPAC staffers dropped

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- A source with intimate knowledge of the case against two ex-AIPAC staffers accused of passing along classified information says the case has been dropped.

Keith Weissman, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's former Iran analyst, and Steve Rosen, its former foreign policy chief, were charged under a rarely used section of the 1917 Espionage Act that makes it a crime for civilians to receive and distribute closely held defense information. Both men were later dismissed by AIPAC, with the organization claiming the two had violated its rules; Rosen, in turn has filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against AIPAC.

Federal prosecutors reportedly had been considering dropping the criminal case in the wake of a number of recent judicial decisions that make the prosecution more difficult. Among these was an appeals court rejection of a prosecution request to review the trial judge's order that prosecutors make the case that the defendants harmed the United States and not merely benefited Israel.

Note that this could be applied to people who 'leaked' satellite info to Britain during the war with Argentina over the Falklands in 1982

Some Democrats see the case as a piece with Bush-era efforts to expand government secrecy powers, but the Post quoted its sources as saying that the review would have occurred whether or not Barack Obama had won election as president.

The dropping of the case comes just days before the start Sunday of AIPAC's annual policy conference in Washington.



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The two most important posts so far this year

Are HERE and HERE.

After all












Hey, it's friday
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Ahmadinejad: America on 'Verge of Death'

Geez -- I thought he wanted to be pals. Now he's talking about us the same way he used to talk about Israel.

Newsmax:

Ahmadinejad: America on 'Verge of Death'

Thursday, April 30, 2009 2:49 PM

Israel and America are on the ‘verge of death’ and as a result, Iran will never give up its nuclear research facilities, according to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who recently offered this insight in a rambling television interview.

In the interview, broadcast on IRINN –TV on April 22, Ahmadinejad told the story of a prime minister from an “industrialized country” who was seeking to do business in Iran. But that was only possible, the minister told Ahmadinejad, if Iran gave up the “nuclear issue.”

“I felt very sorry for him, so I put my hand on his shoulder, and said: ‘Dear sir, don't be so afraid of America. Don't be afraid of those Zionists. They are on the verge of death. Their time has past. Do not surrender your people to them,’" Ahmadinejad told the interviewer.

The Iranian president then described a similar encounter at the recent Durban Review Conference on racism in Geneva, where Ahmadinejad prompted a walkout by nearly two dozen countries after he called Israel a racist state.

“Somebody, somewhere, when we went to that conference [Durban II] a few days ago, said to me: ‘Sir, you are in Iran, not in Palestine. Do not deal with this issue. Let the 'front of arrogance' (an Iranian term for the West) implement their plans over there,’” Ahmadinejad said. “’Don't get so involved.’

“Let me tell you the answer I gave him. I said to him: ‘Don't you know the nature of the Zionists? Don't you know who the Zionists are?’” the Iranian president said. “’They came in order to take over our region in its entirety. At first, they said that they wanted [a country] from the Nile to the Euphrates. Once the got settled, they said that there had been a mistake, and that they wanted all the Islamic lands.’”

Ahmadinejad then suggested that the debacle at Durban was a Zionist-inspired conspiracy.

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The Gathering Storm Over Guns

Human Events:

The Gathering Storm Over Guns

by (more by this author)
Posted 05/01/2009 ET

Barely 100 days into the new Obama-Biden administration, ominous storm clouds are already gathering over your most fundamental right as a free citizen: Your right to own a gun to protect yourself, your family and your freedom.

Betraying all their campaign promises to protect your right to keep and bear arms or your freedom to hunt, the Obama administration has put its chess pieces in place and set in motion its strategy to do just the opposite.

Throughout the West Wing, they’ve appointed a cabinet composed of some of the most experienced and politically effective gun grabbers Washington, D.C. has ever seen.

Meanwhile, powerful members of the U.S. Senate and House have admitted that gun bans remain a top objective, but only “when the time is right.” Which really means “when some awful tragedy conveniently captures national attention.”

Yes, Barack Obama had an extensive and extreme anti-gun voting record as an Illinois senator. Yes, he called for gun bans during the Democratic presidential primaries. But once he won his party’s nomination, Obama reversed that spin and spent millions showering key states with flyers promising voters that he would never try to take their guns. But after winning the presidency, those pro-freedom showers dried up overnight.

Pre-Election Promises Become Post-Election Perfidy

Barely 100 hours after winning the election, the Obama-Biden transition team posted an Internet web page outlining its ambitious anti-gun agenda.

Its legislative goals included permanently reinstating the Clinton gun bans, banning sale or transfer of firearms between private citizens (at gun shows and presumably anywhere else), and requiring that handguns be “childproofed” through nonexistent technology that, even if developed, would make them prohibitively expensive and far less reliable.

American voters immediately and rightfully cried foul. That’s when Obama and Biden -- who’d bragged, “I’m the guy who originally wrote the assault weapons ban” -- quickly deleted that web page from the Internet.

But they swiftly set about assembling an anti-gun all-star cabinet to achieve all that and more. Consider just a few of the gun-ban extremists who populate Obama’s inner circle.

Obama Cabinet Stacked with Anti-Gun Veterans

Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel worked as President Bill Clinton’s point man on gun control. When Clinton administratively outlawed imports of many firearms and accessories, Emanuel bragged, “We’re bending the law as far as we can to ban an entirely new class of guns.”

After leaving the Clinton White House, Emanuel went on to make gun bans his stock in trade as a congressman from the anti-gun mecca of Illinois. There, he co-sponsored a bill to extend and expand the Clinton gun ban and repeatedly voted to expose America’s firearms industry to bankrupting, politically motivated lawsuits.

Attorney General Eric Holder served as deputy attorney general under Clinton, where he tried to make you get a government-issued license to exercise your Second Amendment rights.

He also pushed mandatory waiting periods, “one-gun-a-month” rationing of your rights, mandatory trigger-lock regimes and bans on ammunition magazines.

As signer of a “friend of the court” brief defending the D.C. gun ban before the U.S. Supreme Court, Eric Holder believes that -- as his own Justice Department under Janet Reno asserted -- “the Second Amendment does not extend an individual right to keep and bear arms.”

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton advocated gun bans long before she even assumed elective office. She helped organize the 2000 “Million Mom March,” and said of the protesters, “The moms have it right: we have to license and register all handguns.”

During her first run for the U.S. Senate, Clinton proposed that gun purchasers should be required to pass tests to obtain licenses; that all gun sales be recorded in a national registry; that new guns be logged in a “ballistic database”; that the Consumer Products Safety Commission regulate guns; and that gun purchasers be limited to one per month.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan was named “Man of the Year” by the Illinois gun-ban lobby last year, and upon his appointment in the White House, the Brady Campaign called him a “wonderful selection” for the job. Their praise is telling.

As the superintendent of Chicago Public Schools, Duncan last year bused Chicago schoolchildren to the state capital -- at taxpayer expense -- to serve as props for lobbyists pushing gun control in the state. He urged schools to have students submit entries in the annual Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence “Essay, Poetry and Art Contest.”

Regulatory Czar Cass Sunstein has a long record as a radical animal “rights” advocate. In a speech at Harvard, Sunstein said, “We ought to ban hunting, if there isn’t a purpose other than sport and fun. That should be against the law. It’s time now.”

Sunstein has also said that livestock and wild animals should have legal “rights” and be permitted to file lawsuit; that current uses of animals are akin to “human slavery”; and that meat eating should be eliminated.

An Anti-Gun Strategy in Search of Tragedy

Though the administration and Congress haven’t publicly put gun control legislation at the top of their agenda yet, they’ve admitted they’re just waiting for the right moment to pounce.

U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said so April 12 on “60 Minutes.”

When “60 Minutes” correspondent Leslie Stahl asked Feinstein about the new gun bans, Feinstein allowed that she “wouldn’t bring it up now.”

But when pressed whether she would bring it up at all, Feinstein vowed, “I’m going to pick the time, and the place. No question about that.”

Despite Obama’s campaign promises and his stealthy approach to gun control since then, Feinstein made it clear on “60 Minutes” that she and her anti-gun allies are arrayed from one end of Pennsylvania Avenue to the other.

In her interview, Leslie Stahl asked, “Has anybody -- the Democratic leadership in the Senate, or anybody from the Obama administration -- looked at you and said, ‘Back off’?”

“No,” Feinstein admitted. “Nobody said a word to me.”

Like all anti-gun strategists, they’re waiting for the perfect tragedy to exploit. As of press time, the drug-fueled violence devastating Mexico appears to be it.

At a February news conference, Attorney General Holder plainly blamed Americans’ Second Amendment rights for mayhem in Mexico:

“[T]here are just a few gun-related changes that we would like to make,” Holder said, “and among them would be to reinstitute the ban on the sale of assault weapons.”

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton followed suit at a news conference in Mexico City, claiming, “We know very well that the drug traffickers are armed by the transport of weapons from the United States.”

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D–Ill.), the senate’s second most powerful Democrat, lamented that “an iron river of guns from the United States arms Mexican drug cartels to the teeth,” and he blamed American gun shows for the violence.

Make no mistake: New gun bans and restrictions are very much at the top of the agenda in the White House and Congress -- even if they don’t admit it yet.

If you want to keep your most fundamental rights as a free citizen, get ready. The onslaught is planned, prepared and unprecedented. And it’s coming.

Get informed and get involved. Join the NRA. Keep up with all the news on your rights through NRAnews.com on the Internet or Sirius satellite radio Patriot channel 144.

We must stand united and ready for this fight. Considering the players, their power, their promoters and their war chest, this will be the toughest and most definitive contest to preserve firearm freedoms in America for generations to come.

Mr. LaPierre is Executive Vice President and CEO of the National Rifle Association of America.

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War Is Over (If You're An Idiot)

From Jihad Watch:

Leading analyst: The global jihad is over, we won

"West Has Already Won War with Islam, Says Leading Geopolitical Analyst," by Aaron Task inNewsmakers, April 30 (thanks to Freckles):

With the Taliban on the march in Pakistan, Osama bin Laden still unaccounted for, attacks against U.S. troops in Iraq rising again and Afghanistan a quagmire, it would seem the war against jihadist Islam is only accelerating in intensity.

But what if it's already all over but the shouting?

"It is debatable whether the U.S. has actually won the U.S.-jihadist war - but it has certainly achieved its strategic goals," - preventing another 9/11 and avoiding jihadist uprising in the Arab world, George Friedman, founder of STRATFOR, writes in his latest book The Next 100 Years. "The U.S. has succeeded, not so much in winning the war as in preventing the Islamists from winning and, from a geopolitical perspective, that is good enough."

Friedman expands up this theory in the accompany video, where we discuss the following:

* What he calls the "fundamental weakness" of the Muslim world.
* The likely endgame in Afghanistan, where he says the U.S. "cannot win."
* The potential for a jihadist uprising in Turkey, which Friedman sees as one of the great regional powers of the 21st Century.
* The likelihood of Pakistan falling into Taliban control, if it hasn't already.
* The "real" meaning of Iran's rhetorical threats.
* Whether Bin Laden is better captured and put on trial, dead, or alive and isolated. And whether Al Qaeda is still able to carry out major terrorist attacks today.

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White Owl Song

Native American music played on a Lakota-style flute.

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People Like Me Die Young

I'm in too deep, I've gone too far
I've lost all innocence and shame
I've attitude to be a star
I'm destined toward greater fame
I've got the look they say you need



I've got drive and inherent greed
And soon the world will know my name
I'm winning at this losing game



I'm the latest fashion
Your deepest passion



Upon your wall I'm hung



I'm in the lap of Luxury
The cover of the magazine



I'm who the world longs to be
I'm huge upon the silver screen



I'm well aware and yes I know
That once I reach the top of this
There's only one place left to go
And money won't buy happiness
People like me die young

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Young Saudi girl's marriage ended

Media reports say an arranged marriage between a Saudi girl aged eight and a man in his 50s has been annulled, in a case attracting worldwide criticism.

The Saudi Gazette says the divorce was agreed in an out-of-court settlement after a judge rejected two attempts to grant the girl a divorce.

The case prompted Saudi officials to say it would start regulating the marriages of young girls.

Rights groups say some Saudi families marry off young daughters for money.

The judge who first heard the case in the town of Unaiza refused to end the marriage at the request of the girl's mother , but he stipulated the groom could not have sex with the girl until she reached puberty.

The girl's father is said to have married her off against her mother's wishes to a close friend in order that he could pay off a debt.

A new judge was appointed to oversee the case, who issued the annulment after the husband finally gave up his insistence that the marriage had been legal, reports say.

Saudi Arabia implements an austere form of Sunni Islam that bans free association between the sexes and gives fathers the right to wed their children to whomever they deem fit.

Saudi commentators pointed out that the marriage took place in the central province of Qaseem - the heartland of Saudi Islamic fundamentalism.

Earlier this year, the country's highest religious authority, the Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Shaikh, said it was not against Islamic law to marry off girls who are 15 and younger.

On 15 April, after this case generated considerable negative publicity, Justice Minister Muhammad Issa said he wanted to put an end to the "arbitrary" way in which parents and guardians could marry off their young daughters.

However, he he did not say that the practice would be banned.

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Rock 'n Roll Animal

Lou Reed
Sweet Jane
(with the really gooood intro)

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Warriors

from Theo:


View the full film at the 2009 GI Film Festival, held at the Carnegie Institute in Washington, DC.http://military.discovery.comhttp://www.gifilmfestival.com

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Lucky Strike

Smoker. And I like old ads. No apologies.

And besides, the babe is hot.

from Theo:

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Boogers!

pic & vid pinched from Grouchy Old Cripple:

Obey TOTUS!



Watch the Character Right Rear. . .

Ewww. . .

Hey, if CNN can air that swagga shit yesterday. . .

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The Obama-Netanyahu Schism

Front Page (again):

The Obama-Netanyahu Schism
By Joseph Puder
FrontPageMagazine.com Thursday, April 30, 2009

U.S. President Barack Obama and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the new leaders of their respective democratic nations, are like two horses bound to a carriage, each pulling in a different direction as it relates to Middle East policy. For Netanyahu however, the Middle East is home turf, and any wrong move might have critical if not existential consequences. For Obama on the other hand, half the world away, a peace settlement between Israel and the Palestinians based on a Two-State solution, would bring him and his administration prestige, and perhaps Arab triumphalism, but little more.

It is apparent that the two leaders are pursuing different agendas in the region. For Israel, the existential issue of how to avert an Iranian attack that would end Israel as we know it is top priority. President Ahamdinejad, like Hitler before him (who made his intentions known in his book Mein Kampf), takes advantage of every opportunity and camera to assert his goal “to wipe Israel off the map.” Iran’s Supreme Leader the Ayatollah Ali Khameini, in lock step with its President, has referred to Israel as the “cancerous tumor that must be eradicated.” With the Holocaust as an historical backdrop, the leader of the Jewish State must take these words emanating from Iran’s Islamic Republic seriously and urgently address the threat they pose.

By Obama’s estimates Iran does not pose an immediate problem or an existential threat to the U.S. And, in Obama’s dogged determination to convince the Arab-Muslim world that George W. Bush’s policies and direction will be changed and hoping to win their approval, he will push for Israeli concessions on Palestine and a dialogue with Iran. He has therefore made the resumption of Palestinian-Israeli peace talks that would lead to an expedited time-table for a Palestinian state his top priority.

In fact, just last Thursday Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made the illogical statement: "For Israel to get the kind of strong support it is looking for vis-a-vis Iran, it can't stay on the sidelines with respect to the Palestinians and the peace efforts. They go hand in hand."

This is hardly new. Immediately upon taking office President Obama called Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and made a pledge to him that he will seek to establish a Palestinian State as soon as possible. According to the American Task Force for Palestine (ATFP) website, “US President Barack Obama reassured Arabs with his unambiguous support for a Palestinian state this week and he nudged Israel’s conservative government, which has carefully avoided committing itself to that goal.” ATFP’s advocacy director, Ghaith al-Omari stated that "By saying what he said in Turkey, I think it sent a clear signal about the two-state solution. It's non-negotiable. It has now become a pillar of US policy."

The White House’s lame denials notwithstanding, Obama’s bowing to Saudi King Abdullah at the G20 summit in London appears to be more than symbolism - it meant the acceptance of the Saudi “Peace Initiative” formulated back in 2002, which has now become the official Arab (Arab League) initiative. The Saudi Plan calls for the forced evacuation of close to 500,000 Jews from Judea, Samaria, and suburban Jerusalem. Moreover, the Saudi plan would condition peace on the Palestinian refugees “right of return,” a sure formula for the demographic annihilation of the Jewish State. This initiative, if implemented, would set the stage for a civil war within Israel and would be a prescription for the destruction of the Jewish State.

Obama’s notion of a “Two-State solution” is inherently false. There are already two Palestinian states in the West Bank and Gaza for all intents and purpose. In Gaza there is Hamastan and, Fatahland which is led by Mahmoud Abbas, in the West Bank. In addition, Jordan’s (at 35,000+ square miles is almost 5 times the size of Israel) majority (70%) population is Palestinian. In both the West bank and Gaza the Palestinians have full control over their affairs except in areas that directly threaten Israel’s security: Palestinian acquisition of heavy armament, i.e. tanks, aircrafts, and border control, which Israel retains. One only need look at Hamas’ continued rocketing of Israeli towns from Gaza to realize that without border control, and demilitarization, Iran and Syria, would arm Gaza and the West Bank to the teeth.

Both the Saudi Plan and the demands of the Palestinians include the removal of Jewish settlements in order to achieve contiguity of the Palestinian territories. According to what we’ve heard the Obama administration seems to agree with this. But, why then should Jewish contiguity in Israel be cut off by Arab towns and villages, and why the double standard? If Israel has been able to live with 1.2 million Arabs in its midst, why can’t the Palestinians live with less than 500,000 Jews? Is it that Palestinian Arabs need to have their state judenrein just as Jordan and Saudi Arabia are?

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s speech this week at Durban Two, the UN conference on Racism, Xenophobia, and Intolerance in Geneva, confirmed the need for Netanyahu to hold to his priorities. For Israel a nuclear Iran poses the same kind of threat a rearmed Hitler posed to the Jews of Europe – extinction.

While the Netanyahu government has not fully formulated its policies vis-à-vis the Palestinians,
Netanyahu’s notion of ‘economic peace’ is a promising option for “hope and change,” contrary to Obama’s advocacy of the worn out peace process that seeks to create a Palestinian terrorist state without a genuine peace. Netanyahu will remind Obama that the Palestinians, whether Hamas in Gaza or the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah have not adhered to any of the conditions for peace - instead they have refused to recognize Israel as a Jewish State, dismantle the terror infrastructure, or stop anti-Israel and anti-Jewish incitement in schools, mosques or the media.

An ‘economic peace’ aimed at raising the living standards of average Palestinians would empower Palestinians to seek stability and peace - leading them to pressure their non-democratic leaders to curb violence and terrorism. A peace process that begins from the bottom up would bring lasting results. Conversely, providing Abbas with additional billions in U.S. and E.U aid, which has done little for the Palestinian people or for peace, is only throwing good money after bad.

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Uncle Barry was on da TeeVee!

Hey! Any of you watch Uncle Barry on the TeeVee?

Nah, me neither.

Did anybody tape it?

Nah, me neither.

Anybody care that they missed it?

Nah, me neither.

Want to see a video of it?

Nah, me neither.

So go search for one yerself. Meantime, from Front Page Mag:


Dumb Enchanted Evening
By Ben Johnson
FrontPageMagazine.com Thursday, April 30, 2009

OBAMA’s 100 DAYS OF ENCHANTMENT press conference WILL BE REMEMBERED for one’s reporters fawning question: What has “Enchanted you the most from [sic.] serving in this office?” Jeff Zeleny, who writes for the – wait for it – New York Times, buried hard news by becaming part of the story. However, the ho-hum presser featured important revelations on three foreign policy issues: “torture,” Iraq, and releasing state secrets. Obama’s comments on abortion and illegal immigration should have raised eyebrows, as should a series of statements that would have gotten Dan Quayle or George W. Bush crucified.

The Real Churchill Record

To defend his banning CIA interrogators of using harsh interrogation techniques against al-Qaeda operatives, Obama claimed:

I was struck by an article that I was reading the other day talking about the fact that the British during World War II, when London was being bombed to smithereens, had 200 or so detainees. And Churchill said, ‘We don't torture,’ when the entire British – all of the British people were being subjected to unimaginable risk and threat.

This tidbit was presumably gleaned from Niall Ferguson’s 2006 piece “Why Churchill Opposed Torture” in the Los Angeles Times, or Andrew Sullivan’s recent blog on a topic he’s exploited for months. However, as Charles Johnson has long since pointed out, it’s absolutely false. At the outset of World War II, the Chamberlain government passed Defence Regulation 18B, which allowed for the internment of anyone dubbed to be of “hostile origin or associations.” Churchill biographer Martin Gilbert records how within a year Churchill detained “tens of thousands” of “enemy aliens,” and some “were German anti-Nazi refugees…including many German and Austrian Jews.” These detainees could be held indefinitely, without benefit of habeas corpus, and the ranks soon expanded to include native Britons of suspect political views. Shortly, Sir (yes, Sir!) Oswald Mosley would be carted off, along with most of the membership of the British Union of Fascists.

Nor did Churchill hold all uniformed German soldiers in placid dignity. Many were taken to a prison known as the “London Cage,” a long-kept wartime secret, which operated from July 1940 to September 1948. Its commander, Lt. Col. Alexander P. Scotland, remarked how he would tell himself each day upon entering, “‘Abandon all hope ye who enter here.’ For if any German had any information we wanted, it was invariably extracted from him in the long run.” The (UK) Guardian reported the Cage’s “prisoners had been forced to kneel while being beaten about the head; forced to stand to attention for up to 26 hours; threatened with execution; or threatened with ‘an unnecessary operation.’” (You can read more on the London Cage here.)

Not only did Conservative icon Winston Churchill support the measure, there is every reason to believe his socialist successor, Clement Atlee, approved of Regulation 18B (which he helped implement) and presided over even worse tortures of Germans.

Needless to say, Ferguson’s conclusions are as wrong as his “facts.” Niall wrote, “Few, if any, American soldiers currently find themselves in enemy hands. But in the long war on which Bush has embarked, that may not always be the case. The bottom line about mistreating captive foes is simple: It is that what goes around comes around.” Yet even when he wrote this article, there had been two conspicuous examples of Americans “in enemy hands”: the four American contractors in Fallujah, whom they tortured, killed, charred, and then put on display; and Nicholas Berg, whom they beheaded, specifically in retaliation for the photos of Abu Ghraib.

Torture, Iraq, and State Secrets

…On which theme, ABC’s Jake Tapper asked Obama the most penetrating question of the evening: if the Bush administration approved waterboarding, and Obama believes “waterboarding...is torture,” does this mean “the previous administration sanctioned torture?” Obama’s answer, in box-step fashion, was yes; the Bush administration approved of – and uniformed U.S. officials carried out – acts of torture against Muslims. While Obama tipped his hat to “information that was yielded” from waterboarding, he thinks “we could have gotten this information in other ways...that were consistent with our values.” He acknowledged, “In some cases, it may be harder,” but as he said in his speech before the CIA, doing his best Stuart Smalley impression, “That’s O.K.” After all, he theorized last night, ending the practice “takes away a critical recruitment tool that al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations have used to try to demonize the United States and justify the killing of civilians.” His assertion that Americans perpetrated torture will itself stir anti-American sentiment, not least as it follows his recently order for the Defense Department to release hundreds of photos of detainee abuse. Apparently Obama believes this al-Qaeda recruitment package can be waved away with an assurance that (wink, wink) we no longer do those things – and by the way, Eid-eh Shoma Mobarak!

The release of these photos, accompanied by memos detailing “torture,” took a more important tone as the president told Time magazine’s Michael Scherer he plans to reveal more state secrets of this sort. “I actually think that the state secret doctrine should be modified. I think right now it's overbroad,” he said. He then revealed, “Eric Holder and Greg Craig, my White House counsel, and others are working on that as we speak.” The selection of Holder – and Craig, whose commitment to the rule of law led him to assist Bill Clinton’s evasion of it – makes one worry Obama plans to make “a foreign-aid program out of American secrets.”

However, the foreign policy aspect of the conference was not all naïve promises. He explained “his” long-range Iraq withdrawal policy, which is identical to President Bush’s withdrawal policy, saying, “more work needs to be done on the political side to further isolate whatever remnants of Al-Qaeda in Iraq still exist.” But if Iraq was a fraud, a “war of choice” as the Left insists, why must we win it? In one phrase, he admits al-Qaeda is in Iraq; that it remains a threat; that Bush’s troop surge was the right policy (though Obama opposed it as late as last July); that Nancy Pelosi was wrong to insist, “If we leave Iraq, then the insurgents will leave Iraq, the terrorists will leave Iraq”; and the immediate withdrawal his entire party counseled for years was the wrong policy formulated either out of stupidity or with something other than the nation’s best interests in mind.

Social Issues

Obama also made minor headlines on social issues like abortion and illegal immigration. Summarizing the pro-abortion point of view he said, “I don't want to create straw men here.” There’s a first. Then he announced, “The Freedom of Choice Act is not my highest legislative priority.” Which means he’s either a liar now or he was a liar on the campaign trail when he told Planned Parenthood, “[T]he first thing I'd do as president is, is sign the Freedom of Choice Act. That's the first thing that I'd do.” (Even the Left's Messiah lies.) The word “highest” is also troubling, as it means rolling back the vox populi in every state in the union that demands sensible restrictions is still a part of his (anti-)Democratic agenda.

On immigration, he told Lori Montenegro of the Spanish-language network Telemundo he planned to continue his push for “immigration reform,” though he stopped shy of endorsing her one-year time frame. He referred to illegal immigrants as “undocumented workers,” but he also mentioned the tragic reality of their position in the economy: “they can be exploited at the same time as they're depressing U.S. wages.” He proceeded to call for “a more thoughtful approach than just raids of a handful of workers.” Not that he wants to create a straw man or anything....

The Iowa Primary?

The majority of the press conference consisted, as most press conferences do, of self-congratulations and nonsense. He continued his penchant for Carteresque just-plain-folks solutions to global problems: “keep your hands washed; cover your mouth when you cough,” inflate your tires….

However, he made two statements no Republican could have gotten away with. When CBS’s Chip Reid tossed him the second softest softball of the evening – “What do you think [Arlen Specter’s party] switch says about the state of the Republican Party?” – Obama replied, “You're talking to a guy who was 30 points down in the polls during a primary in Iowa.” Iowa doesn’t have a primary. It has caucuses, as do some of the other 56 states.

On the softest softball, he said he felt “humbled” that he “can't just press a button and suddenly have the bankers do exactly what I want.” In President Bush, this would have been denounced as cowboy “hubris.” For ObaMessiah, a lack of power breeds humility.
May he be richly rewarded with that virtue in his remaining 1,361 days in office.

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