Tuesday, January 17, 2012
"Quod facimus in vita resonat in aeternum."(What we do in life, echoes in eternity). Gladiator.
Homeland Security Shreds Constitutional Right to Anonymous Political Speech – Not to Protect Our Security – But to Monitor Dissent
Homeland Security Shreds Constitutional Right to Anonymous Political Speech – Not to Protect Our Security – But to Monitor Dissent.(WB).Anonymous political speech has a special place in American history.As leading economic blogger Tyler Durden points out:
Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority. it thus exemplifies the purpose behind the bill of rights, and of the first amendment in particular: to protect unpopular individuals from retaliation– and their ideas from suppression– at the hand of an intolerant society.
Though often maligned (typically by those frustrated by an inability to engage in ad hominem attacks) anonymous speech has a long and storied history in the United States. Used by the likes of Mark Twain (aka Samuel Langhorne Clemens) [and the founding fathers in the Federalist Papers], we think ourselves in good company in using one or another nom de plume. Particularly in light of an emerging trend against vocalizing public dissent in the Uunited States, we believe in the critical importance of anonymity and its role in dissident speech. like the Economist magazine, we also believe that keeping authorship anonymous moves the focus of discussion to the content of speech and away from the speaker- as it should be.
Gene Howington provides details in a must-read essay:
Do you have a right to anonymous political free speech?But DHS is shredding anonymity.Read the full story here.
According to the Supreme Court, you do. According to the Department of Homeland Security, you don’t. They’ve hired General Dynamics to track U.S. citizens exercising this critical civil right.
HOAX Story - Obama’s Chicago home gets foreclosed.(STN).CHICAGO, IL – President Obama’s Chicago homecoming on Wednesday was less welcoming than he expected, as Obama was shocked to learn his Hyde Park residence had been foreclosed upon some time last year. Obama was in Chicago for a series of fundraisers and decided to visit his old home, only to discover the locks had been changed and a new family had moved in.Since his inauguration, President Obama had neglected to make a single payment on the home he’d shared with his wife and two daughters, while the house itself fell into grave disrepair.“The place started to become a real eyesore,” said Kevin Deckman, who owns a home on the opposite side of the street from the former Obama residence. “The lawn was nothing but weeds, and there were a bunch of stray cats that would come and go through an open window, I think. It was a real health hazard.Ironically, Obama had joked before heading to his old house that the untended structure was "bringing down property values" in the neighborhood, which turned out to be true. Sheila Kravitz, a retired schoolteacher, tried to sell her home on Obama's block last year but couldn't, as any prospective buyer was uninterested in living next to the decaying structure.Hmmmm..............But was Pres Obama ever the 'owner' of the property in the first place?Read the full story here.
Update Correction : Snopes. This article was widely circulated on the Internet outside of its original context, which left many readers and myself unaware that it was nothing more than a fictitious bit of humor.The web site which notes in its About Us page that it is "a satirical news site launched in January 2011 to lampoon the events, circumstances and players of the 2012 United States presidential election."Still it leaves the doubt about the real ownership of the house.Source Snopes.
Joint US-Israel drill called off by Netanyahu, to Washington's surprise.(Debka).debkafile's sources disclose exclusively that, contrary to recent reports published in Washington, Jerusalem - and this site too - it was Israel Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, not the Obama administration, who decided to call off the biggest ever joint US-Israeli military exercise Austere Challenge 12 scheduled for April 2012.
Washington was taken aback by the decision. It was perceived as a mark of Israel's disapproval for the administration's apparent hesitancy in going through with the only tough sanctions with any chance of working against Iran's nuclear weapon program: penalizing its central bank and blocking payments for its petroleum exports.
This was the first time Israel had ever postponed a joint military exercise; it generated a seismic moment in relations between the US and Israel at a time when Iran has never been so close to producing a nuclear weapon.
This week, Netanyahu further orchestrated a series of uncharacteristically critical statements by senior ministers: Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon called the Obama administration "hesitant" (Jan. 15), after which Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman urged the Americans to "move from words to deeds" (Jan 16).
The underlying message was that the Israeli government felt free to attack Iran's nuclear sites on its own if necessary and at a time of its choosing.
Debkafile's sources report that Netanyahu decided on this extreme course after careful consideration when he judged the Obama administration's resolve to preempt a nuclear Iran to be flagging, as indicated by four omissions:
1. Washington has taken no action against Iran's capture of the RQ-170 stealth drone on Dec. 4 more than a month after the event, and not even pressed President Obama's demand of Dec. 12 for the drone's return.
Tehran, for its part, continues to make hay from the event: This week, our Iranian sources report, the Islamic Republic circulated a new computer game called "Down the RQ-170." Players assemble the drone from the components shown on their screens and then launch it for attacks on America.
2. Silence from Washington also greeted the start of 20-percent grade uranium enrichment at the underground Fordo facility near Qom when it was announced Jan. 9. Last November, Defense Minister Ehud Barak warned in two US TV interviews (Nov. 17 and 22) that as soon as the Fordo facility went on stream, Iran would start whisking the rest of its nuclear facilities into underground bunkers, out of reach and sight of US and Israeli surveillance.
Barak made it clear at the time that Israel could not live with this development; therefore, the Netanyahu government believes Israel's credibility is now at stake.Hmmm....The maximum of 3,000 centrifuges that Fodow can contain will never produce enough to supply the fuel needed for a nuclear reactor.However, their performance is perfect for making nuclear bombs.
3. Exactly three weeks ago, on Jan. 3 Lt. Gen. Ataollah Salehi, Iran's Army chief, announced that the aircraft carrier USS Stennis and other "enemy ships" would henceforth be barred from entering the Persian Gulf through the Strait of Hormuz . Yet since then, no US carrier has put this threat to the test by attempting a crossing. Tehran has been left to crow.
4. Even after approving sanctions on Iran's central bank and energy industry, the White House announced they would be introduced in stages in the course of the year. According to Israeli's calculus, another six months free of stiff penalties will give Iran respite for bringing its nuclear weapon program to a dangerous and irreversible level.Read the full story here.
- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity situation Philipines 5.0 ; Indonesia 4.9 !More info here.
- Calling Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney: Will you meet Avigdor Lieberman? (IsraelMatzav).Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is scheduled to visit the United States next week. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has decided to leave town in honor of the occasion, and no one else in the Obama administration is willing to meet Lieberman. The word on the street is that the Obama administration, which was willing to meet with Ahmadinejad and Assad without preconditions, is unwilling to meet with the foreign minister of its erstwhile ally, and has effectively declared him persona non grata, saying that no one wants to be photographed with him or with what he represents.Here's a report from Israel's Channel 2 news, which was aired on Monday night. The report is in Hebrew, so I apologize in advance to the Hebrew-impaired. In the report that I summarized above, Channel 2 also says that American spokespeople are treating Lieberman as if he's a representative of a terror organization, and suggests that Prime Minister Netanyahu ought to intervene because this is a breach of protocol.I wonder how many of the Republican candidates for President would be willing to meet with Lieberman and attack the Obama administration for the manner in which it is treating him. Hmmm..........These are supposed to be the people who will defend Israel against Iran......Good luck with that one!Read the full story here.
- Islamic Sudan has started ‘confiscating’ Southern oil.(Al-Jazeera).Sudan has started to confiscate some oil exports from South Sudan to meet “unpaid transit fees” but said it will not shut down a pipeline carrying the southern state's oil."Since early December we've started taking part of our share after the southern government refused to agree on a deal for a transit fee," Saber Mohammed Hassan, a member of the Sudanese delegation in Addis Abba for talks on the oil issue, said on Sunday.The talks on Tuesday, sponsored by the African Union, are being held after previous rounds ended in failure.South Sudan said on Saturday that diversion of its oil was "blatant theft." It accused Khartoum of ordering its security services to load 650,000 barrels of southern oil worth $65m on a Sudanese tanker at Port Sudan."The government of Sudan has chosen to steal this oil in broad daylight just days before its own proposed commercial oil negotiations with the Republic of South Sudan," Stephen Dhieu Dau , South Sudan's oil minister, said in a statement on Saturday.He said the oil pipeline would be closed within days since storage capacity was filling up in Port Sudan but Azhari Abdalla, director general of Sudan's oil exploration and production administration, dismissed this."What I can confirm from our side is we will not close any line. It will stay open. You can take this for granted," he told the Reuters news agency.Saber Mohamed Hassan, Khartoum's chief negotiator on economic issues, did not say directly how much oil Sudan has confiscated.But he said Khartoum is applying the rate of $36, up from an initial demand of $32, to the volume exported by South Sudan, which is then divided by the global oil price "to get the number of barrels we take." He did not say what Khartoum is doing with the seized oil.South Sudan has accused Khartoum of blocking oil exports of 3.4 million barrels in Port Sudan and asking foreign oil firms to divert some oil to refineries in Khartoum and El-Obeid.Pagan Amum, South Sudan's top negotiator, said on Sunday oil companies had sent a letter to Khartoum verifying that South Sudan has paid for the use of oil infrastructure in Sudan since July."This letter makes it clear that the government of Sudan has no basis to demand any payment from the government of South Sudan because it has been paying and we cannot pay twice," Amum told reporters in the southern capital Juba.In a second demand, Khartoum wants South Sudan to pay a total of $1 billion for transit fees since July, said Badr el-Din Mahmoud, the deputy governor of Sudan’s central bank who is also part of the delegation.He said South Sudan also owed Khartoum another $6bn in debt. "The South has sent us a letter demanding $5bn but this amount is not correct. We actually demand from the South $6bn," he said.Hmmmm......As i predicted it did not take long.Read the full story here.
- How Obama Betrays Martin Luther's King's Dream.(AT).By George Picard.President Obama has mocked Martin Luther King by policies and actions that judge people by the color of their skin and not by the content of their character.Martin Luther King, Junior's "I Have A Dream Speech" was one of his more eloquent and moving speeches. His words have resonated with all Americans for the past five decades and will do so for many decades to come. Among his dreams was an America where his four children would be judged not "by the color of their skin but by the content of their character"Of course, he was not just referring to his own children or to children at all. He meant to heighten the disgrace of racism by picturing innocent children as the victims. What he truly meant -- as was made clear during the rest of his oration -- was that his dream was that all people would "not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."The man who campaigned on the theme that there was no "white America" or "black America" has used his powers as President to practice identity politics on a scale never before seen in America. Barack Obama has overtly chosen top officials on the basis of their skin color and not on the content of their character. Moreover, he has enacted policies that overtly favor "people of color" over "people of pallor" regardless of the merits of the individuals impacted by his programs.What were we expecting from a man whose moral compass was the race-baiting Pastor Jeremiah Wright, whose views of white people and America would have repulsed Martin Luther King, Jr.?Has Barack Obama chosen the best people to run America -- has he picked people in a color-blind way who would do best in helping all Americans or has he used a color filter to discriminate among candidates for office? He chose Eric Holder to be our Attorney General, despite a controversial background involving the granting of a pardon by Bill Clinton to the ex-husband of a wealthy donor. Holder became America's first black Attorney General. The past three years have seen the Department of Justice tarnished by the Fast and Furious Scandal, incompetency involving whether to try terror suspect in civilian trials in New York City, the Department's refusal to pursue a "lay-up" case involving violent voter intimidation by the New Black Panther Party, and the transformation of the Civil Rights Division into a battering ram against businesses and banks on behalf of minorities.Perhaps the latter dereliction of duty should not surprise us considering that Holder has amply displayed his own true feelings regarding America and how white people treat black people. He has called us a "nation of cowards" when it comes to discussions of race, has characterized criticism of Obama and himself as being a manifestation of racism since "we're both African-Americans" and carries in his wallet a card containing language that Holder says represents his views that "there's a common cause that bonds the black United States attorney with the black criminal." Was that a Never go To Jail Card for the New Black Panther Party members?Holder's record as Attorney General has been so disgraceful that a growing list of 60 Congressmen, two Senators, GOP presidential candidates and at least two sitting governors have called for his resignation. Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer has called him one of the most incompetent attorney generals in American history.Yet Obama chose him and continues to support him despite a record of failure. Is Holder serving all the American people? Is there truly no one in the vast ranks of attorneys who could serve in that role? Does Obama care about the content of Holder's character or the color of his skin?Barack Obama campaigned on theme that there is not a "white America" or a "black America".President Obama is not practicing what Senator Obama preached. Instead of channeling the heroic Martin Luther King's dream that people be judged by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin President Obama instead seems to be channeling the views of his moral compass, Jeremiah Wright, Jr.Read the full story here.
- Mr. President, please don’t play the race card in 2012....(FB).By Congressman Allen West.In the 2010 election cycle, 42 black Republicans were vying for seats in the House of Representatives, and 14 of them made it to the general election. Two of those candidates, myself as well as Tim Scott from South Carolina, carried that success all the way to the House of Representatives. I represent a Congressional District where more than 90 percent of my constituents are not black. A powerful movement of respect for black conservatism is brewing in this country, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would be proud of it.With all of this progress, why is it that we continue to hear charges of racism emanating from the left, and most disturbingly, from the White House itself? It seems anytime there is criticism of the President or any of his black members of his administration, such as Attorney General Eric Holder, that criticism is decried as racist.Mr. Holder recently said of his critics, “This is a way to get at the president because of the way I can be identified with him, both due to the nature of our relationship and, you know, the fact that we’re both African-American.” In other words, he insinuated Republicans -- along with Conservatives and Tea Party members -- are incapable of judging anyone solely by their character, something I take very personally.Mr. Holder and others need to know, the criticism of the President is not of his person, but of his policies, which have clearly failed our nation--and most tragically of all in this supposedly post-racial period --have failed the black community.As of December 2011, black unemployment remained in double digits, nearly double the national average for men at 16.4 percent, and 14.1 percent for women.According to a Washington Post poll in September 2011, the proportion of black Americans with a “strongly positive” view of President Obama has slipped from 83 percent to 58 percent. It would obviously be absurd to say the black community’s changing view of President Obama is racially biased, so how can one make the same claim about white members opposing his policies?My message to President Obama is this: “Mr. President, your very presence in office demonstrates Dr. King’s dream has indeed come true. But how devastated would Dr. King be to know the Americans who are still fomenting racism at the highest levels are the very people for whom he fought for and died?”Read the full letter here.
- DSA Marxists Take Over the Occupy Movement: Plan “Spring Offensive”, With Widespread Occupations of State Capitols, Schools and Workplaces.(NZ).By Trevor Loudon.The US’s largest Marxist organization Democratic Socialists of America is moving to infiltrate and direct the Occupy Wall Street Movement into a more organized and socialist focused protest movement. DSA is working hard to sustain ‘Occupy’ over the winter in readiness for a major “spring offensive” largely directed at Republican controlled state capitols as they struggle to address massive budget problems.Writing in the latest issue of Democratic Left, DSA leader and Temple University political science professor Joseph Schwartz, explicitly calls for DSA to launch connect occupy more to the mainstream left, in order to use their combined muscle against responsible state governments come spring.The mass protests of the 1930s and 1960s did not rise and fall in a year. They were grown, sustained and nurtured, over several years, by the communist and socialists movements of the day. They were directed at achieving certain social reforms, and were relentlessly expanded by a core of committed Marxist cadre, until the bulk of their demands were met.OWS will follow the same pattern. This is just the beginning. The big difference, is that today’s activists will not satisfied with liberal social reform. These people believe they can achieve full blown socialist revolution – the end of capitalism is within their grasp. Unless they are treated as the serious national security threat that they are, they will have a very good chance of achieving their goal.Read the full story here.
- A bold move to fast track amnesty for illegal aliens.(NIN).By Douglas Hagmann.When Barack Hussein Obama stated that his work is far from over, he meant it. He is not the meandering dolt as portrayed by some right-wing media pundits, but a dangerous Marxist dictator with powerful handlers at the helm who create the agenda for him to implement. A big part of that agenda includes providing permanent amnesty for individuals living in the U.S. illegally, resulting in the “Balkanization of America.”There are many on both sides of the political divide who assert that reinforcing our borders and actually implementing our immigration laws is impossible and impractical. Some deliberately confuse legal immigration with lawless illegal immigration, while the government purposely skews facts and figures about illegal immigration to push for blanket amnesty.Well buckle up, legal Americans, because you are about to witness the acceleration of the amnesty program via executive fiat. An end-around congress and the U.S. Constitution is about to take place through a little known arm of the executive branch of government known as the U.S. Domestic Policy Council.Cecilia Munoz, 49, served as the Director of Intergovernmental Affairs at the White House since early 2009 before being tapped by Obama to take over the U.S. Domestic Policy Council. She also worked for the National Council of La Raza, a group that aggressively lobbies for amnesty for illegal aliens and mass immigration.Few would be surprised to learn that Munoz is also tied at the hip with George Soros, in her boardroom position with the Center for Community Change, a Soros-funded community organizing group with direct ties to MoveOn.org and ACORN among other similar organizations. She has also served on the board of George Soros’ Open Society Institute.Her new position will involve “coordinating the policy-making process and supervising the execution of domestic policy” in the White House, and her prior positions and contacts will most certainly continue to flow into the West Wing.It is important to remember that it is the Center for Community Change, the organization where Munoz working through 2008, openly uses as its training programs made infamous by socialist radical Saul Alinsky. One can ultimately follow the ties between the Center for Community Change to the Woods Fund, a Chicago based nonprofit group on which Obama directed along with Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers.The biggest threat to America, my friends, is that coming from within.Hmmmm..........I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes. ~ Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776.Read the full story here.
- Rick Perry says Turkey should be expelled from NATO, calls leaders 'Islamic terrorists'.(Mediate).During Fox News’ South Carolina debate, Texas Governor Rick Perry suggested it might be time for Turkey to be kicked out of NATO, saying the country was being ruled by what many would perceive to be Islamic terrorists. Perry’s response might surprise many, as Turkey is a longstanding US ally in NATO, and a critical diplomatic partner engaged in “a working relationship that is one of the most important but least discussed developments shaping (2011)’s change in the Arab world.”Moderator Bret Baier asked the Republican hopeful about the country’s Islamist governing party, and outlined many of the problems going on in the nation, including a high murder rate among women, lessening press freedom, and military issues in the region. “Do you believe Turkey still belongs in NATO?”“ Obviously when you have a country that is being ruled by what many would perceive to be Islamic terrorists, when you start seeing that type of activity against their own citizens, then ... not only is it time for us to have a conversation about whether or not they belong to be in NATO but it’s time for the United States, when we look at their foreign aid, to go to zero with it,” Perry said, adding that Turkey "moved far away from the country it once was in the 1970s," when Perry was stationed in Turkey as a pilot, Perry boldly proclaimed. Read and see (Video) the full story here.
- Obama's Grand Scheme and Great Obsession.Syria, Iran, Israel and Palestine and the Coming War to Make the Middle East Safe for 'Islamic Democracy'.(BR).Forget mere appeasement and engagement--that's so last year.As 2012 gets going, an outline of Obama's Grand Scheme seems to be coming into focus, and the image, while still fuzzy, is frightening, to say the least. The plot that the Arab Spring-supporting President--think of him as the Candidate of Still More Change--and his pro-Islamist advisors appear to be hatching can be summarized as follows: First, there will be another "humanitarian" intervention--in Syria, this time. Under R2P (Responsibility to Protect) cover, NATO will establish no-fly zones, buffers, etc. The objective, of course, will be to install a Muslim Brotherhood-dominated Sunni government in Damascus.Intervention in Syria will trigger an all-out war with its ally, Iran. The nuclear-arming, Shiite Islamist regime will make good on its threat to close the strategic Strait of Hormuz, through which 20 percent of the world's oil is shipped, and the United States and the UK will have to respond militarily. Iran will retaliate by attacking U.S. forces in the Middle East.Iran, Hezbollah, and Syria will attack Israel, too, firing thousands of missiles into Tel Aviv and Haifa, and maybe Jerusalem, also, aiming, as well, for Israel's Negev nuclear reactor.Israel will retaliate with great force; CNN rules won't apply; but, as civilian casualties climb--cities and towns will constitute the front in this war--Israel will threaten to unleash its presumed atomic arsenal against Iran to prevent a new Holocaust.An Israeli threat to obliterate much of Iran (as Hillary Clinton put it during her failed 2008 Presidential campaign) will force the U.S. to escalate conventional aerial attacks on Iranian military targets in order to forestall the unprecedented destruction of an Islamic nation, the fallout from which, figuratively and literally, could engulf the entire region and potentially involve Russia and Pakistan.The war will be short but vicious, ending the threat posed by Iran's nuclear and missile installations and Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. Establishment of NATO buffer zones in Iran--this is the tricky part--will allow Iran's U.S.-backed "Green" opposition to rise up and take power with the support of former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and other so-called centrist and moderate mullahs--meaning the more pragmatic wing of the country's clerical fascist elite--and members of the regular armed forces (as opposed to the IRGC). The proverbial "freedom fighters" will somehow avoid being branded as traitors for clearly benefitting from the regime's defeat at the hands its foreign enemies.A reformed Islamic Republic system will replace the present system; but Iranian secular democracy will remain a distant dream, as the U.S. under Obama has no real interest in promoting genuine democracy in Iran or in any other predominantly Muslim country, seeing rightwing political Islam as the unstoppable wave to ride across "the Muslim world."As for Israel, victorious but badly wounded, it will be pressured by the U.S. into finally surrendering the disputed West Bank territories, including East Jerusalem, and withdrawing to indefensible, pre-June 1967 borders in order to make way at last for Obama's Great Obsession--a "contiguous Palestinian state" comprised of the aforementioned areas and Hamas-ruled Gaza, with a land corridor connecting the far-flung Palestinian parts.Read the full story here.
- 'Witness to Extermination' - Auschwitz Museum Publishes Prisoner Sketchbook.(Spiegel).By Alex Macbeth.Found hidden away in a bottle, the Auschwitz Memorial Museum has published sketches drawn by a prisoner at the Birkenau extermination camp. They provide a rare first-hand glimpse of life and death inside."The Sketchbook from Auschwitz" includes the 22 pages of drawings from an unknown prisoner whose initials were apparently MM. They represent a rare first-hand historical account of the Holocaust. "These sketches are the only work of art made in Birkenau that depict exterminations," The book is part of the museum's plans to launch a catalogue of 6,000 artworks in its archives.Read the full story here.
- Russian Communist Party boss believes “good chance” of victory in run-off vote against Putin, gloats over “ex”-red PM’s sagging popularity and refusal to join public debates.(OUTITW).On January 11, Russia’s Communist Party boss, Gennady Zyuganov, who believes in restoring the Soviet Union and official socialism, predicted that he has a “good chance” of defeating Vladimir Putin, Russia’s “ex”-red prime minister in the March 4 presidential election. He also warned Kremlin authorities that rigging the election would amount to “raping” the country. The 67-year-old Zyuganov opined that Putin’s approval ratings would not allow him to receive the 50 percent plus one vote needed to secure an outright victory in the first round of voting.“It would be impossible to push him through in the first round, even if votes were added in his favor. At best they have 30 percent,” Chairman Zyuganov told a news conference.“Sticking on another 20 percent would mean raping the whole country,” said Zyuganov, who will be standing in his fourth presidential election since 1996, when he was narrowly defeated by Boris Yeltsin. “An illegitimate president means complete destabilization and … distrust of the authorities,” said Zyuganov.If the Soviet strategists believe that 2012 is a propitious year in which to return an open communist in the Kremlin, then they may resort to several tactics to bring this about.First, Putin has again declined to participate in televised debates with his chief “opponent,” Zyuganov, a calculated move that will no doubt portray him as “out of touched” and “alienated” from “the people.” Taking time off for debates would “undoubtedly impede his ability to duly carry out his duties,” Kremlin spokesentity Dmitry Peskov haughtily told Russian media.“Not only must [Vladimir Putin] go on leave, but also officially agree to take part in open political debates,” insisted Zyuganov in remarks broadcast on Russian news channel Rossiya 24. Communist Duma deputy Sergei Obukhov, moreover, accused Putin of “hogging” TV coverage in controlled political advertisements. “In the last 20 days, Putin dominated the television screens 70 to 100%,” he said, adding: “We believe this makes the election process illegal, as does Putin’s continuing status of presidential candidate and prime minister.”Read the full story here.
- US Set to Free Key 9/11 Taliban Terrorist.(CC).By Clare M. Lopez.The U.S. intelligence community is warning that the Taliban have abandoned none of their goals to conquer all of Afghanistan and enforce strict Islamic law (shariah). A new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), which represents the collective judgment of the most senior U.S. intelligence analysts, warned the White House in December 2011 that the Taliban would settle for nothing less than total control over "an Islamic emirate."Nevertheless, the Obama administration acknowledges that its envoys have been pursuing talks with the Taliban for the past year, are working on the opening of a political office for the Taliban in Doha, Qatar, and are considering the release of several Taliban detainees from Guantanamo Bay—as a "trust-building measure." What could possibly go wrong?Aside from the fact that Afghan President Hamid Karzai seems somehow to have been left out of this flurry of diplomatic activity with the Islamic jihadists who have been fighting for the better part of two decades to take over his country, the continuing failure of U.S. leadership to know the enemy cripples our ability to defend America's most critical national security needs and exposes the homeland to the very real possibility of another 9/11. The December 2011 NIE on the Afghan Taliban plainly stated that Mullah Mohammad Omar, the Pashtun warlord whose government sheltered Usama bin Laden and al-Qa'eda in the 1990s, remains totally committed to taking over all of Afghanistan and subjugating it to the harsh dictates of shariah.When the Taliban ruled The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan from 1996 until they were ousted by U.S. forces in late 2001, the world saw the most barbaric cruelties of Islamic law inflicted on the Afghan people: amputation, flogging, and stoning, as well as the savage repression of women and girls.As became obvious on one clear day in September 2001, it wasn't the Afghan people alone who would suffer at the hands of the Taliban. Mullah Omar's Afghanistan harbored Usama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and the rest of al-Qa'eda as they plotted the attacks of September 11 together with the Iranian regime. As we now know from the December 2011 ruling in the Havlish case by Judge George Daniels of the Southern District of New York, the top levels of the Iranian regime, and specifically the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and intelligence service (MOIS—Ministry of Intelligence and Security), were closely involved in providing "direct and material support" to al-Qa'eda in the 9/11 attacks—and it was Mullah Omar whose steadfast loyalty to Usama bin Laden and secret dealings with Iran allowed those attack plans to proceed.This is the same Mullah Omar with whom Department of State envoy Marc Grossman has been meeting for months, unbeknownst to the American people and unbeknownst to the thousands of American troops who are still fighting against the Taliban, dying, and coming home maimed for life, in a valiant effort to defeat the forces of shariah Islam.Unfortunately, most Americans and most of our service members probably don't know that the Department of State long ago helped write the Afghan constitution, which placed the country firmly under Islamic law, complete with dictates that apostasy is punishable by death, blasphemy/slander against Islam is a capital crime, minority faiths such as Buddhism and Christianity face institutional discrimination, women are officially second-class citizens, and freedom of speech and expression is non-existent. This means that, for the last decade or so, thousands of Americans and other NATO coalition forces have been fighting to defend a government in Kabul that was already subjugated to shariah (one of the key objectives of al-Qa'eda and the Taliban in the first place).As Iran continues to drive towards a deliverable nuclear weapons capability and with Pakistan already in possession of a nuclear arsenal, the forces of shariah Islam clearly are ascendant across multiple fronts. Prospects for stability in West Asia look increasingly dim. Prospects for American leadership in defense of genuine democracy and freedom look even worse.Read the full story here.
- Israel - 'Cyber attacks didn't harm vital systems'.(Ynet).Cyber-safe? None of Israel's vital online systems were compromised in the recent series of cyber attacks on Israeli websites, Shin Bet sources told Ynet Monday. The National Information Security Authority (NISA), which operates by proxy of the Israel Security Agency, has been following the various hacking incidents of the past few weeks very closely. NISA maintains that the hackers have not been able to penetrate any of Israel's strategic infrastructure systems, such as the Water Authority, Israel Electric Co. and communication bodies. Unlike private websites or even those used by credit card companies, vital infrastructure systems enjoy a higher level of encryption and protection. Strategic bodies are defined by the government and though each body is in charge of its own security, they are constantly monitored and guided by the Shin Bet, in an effort to thwart terror attacks – cyber and otherwise – and espionage attempts. "There's a difference between someone hacking into an Israeli site and replacing its homepage with anti-Israel slogans in Arabic or stealing credit card information, and someone hacking into strategic systems that control water and power, or billions in state funds," a security source explained. "Nowadays, you don't need missiles to terrorize a population of millions – all you need is to hack into a country's classified database and abuse it in a way that could lead to a catastrophe." Monday morning saw the pro-Palestinian hackers group "Nightmare" breach the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and El Al websites. Saudi hacker "0xOmar," who leaked the credit card information of tens of thousands of Israelis two weeks ago, warned that the group – which he was a part of – is capable of hacking any Israeli website and that the cyber attacks on Israel would only grow stronger. Major banks and financial institutions in Israel are currently considering blocking online access for overseas users – a move First International Bank of Israel and Discount Bank have already applied. A banking system official told Ynet that given the recent cyber attacks, such drastic measures are necessary, even at the expense of inconveniencing clients. Minister of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Yuli Edelstein warned that "An escalation in cyber attacks can become a real threat to Israel's stability. The virtual war on Israel is a concrete threat to Israel's security. "Today it's hacking credit card companies and tomorrow it will be stealing security information and harming infrastructures. Some say that lending this too much importance is paranoia, but as we saw this morning – these are anti-Israel acts of violence and outright anti-Semitism that aim to destabilize Israel," he said.Still, Minister of Improvement of Government Service Michael Eitan (Likud) attempted to downplay the severity of the situation: "There is no need to panic. Israel's strategic infrastructure was not harmed."Read the full story here.
- Adolf for Everyone: 'Mein Kampf' Extracts To Be Sold in Germany.(Spiegel).By Martin U. Müller and Florian Zerfaß.A British publisher plans to sell excerpts from Hitler's "Mein Kampf" in Germany, claiming he wants to demystify the infamous book. But the controversial move could provoke a legal dispute with the Bavarian government, which owns the copyright and refuses reprint permission.Is it permissible to sit in a cafe and read Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf?" British publisher Peter McGee, 51, has no doubt. "Of course it is. It's long overdue that a broad public should get the opportunity to deal with the original text."And because McGee is so sure he's right, he plans to serialize extracts of the book in three small 15-page brochures with an initial print run of 100,000 copies each. The front cover features a photo of Hitler with a black bar obscuring his eyes and a headline that translates to "The unreadable book."The plans could trigger opposition from Bavarian civil servants, though. Contrary to common belief, "Mein Kampf" is not banned in Germany. But the state of Bavaria, which seized Hitler's assets after his death, owns the copyright to his infamous treatise and has so far consistently prohibited efforts to reprint it.McGee likes a fight and is no stranger to scandal. In 2009, he published reprints of vintage Nazi newspapers like Der Angriff and Völkischer Beobachter with print runs of up to 300,000, delivered alongside comments from historians.The move caused a minor uproar in Germany, with the conservative Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung warning of an "embellishment of horror" and the Central Council of Jews in Germany labelling the reprints potential "blueprints for budding Nazis." The row escalated and the Bavarian government, which also owns the copyright to the two newspapers, dispatched police throughout the nation to seize the republished copies. The Bavarian Finance Ministry takes a similarly strict view of the planned publication of "Mein Kampf." It declared: "Permission to publish volumes isn't granted in Germany or abroad." It added that Bavaria would use "all means at its disposal" to fight copyright infringements. Their aim was to prevent the spread of National Socialist propaganda and to send a "clear signal" of opposition to its content, it continued. McGee regards that as nonsense. "Mein Kampf is an extremely bad book, it is badly written, has awkward language and no internal logic," he says. "The thoughts are strewn across the whole book." But he adds that one can only recognize its insanity if one confronts the text.Read the full story here.
- Hamas brutally assaults Shi'ite worshippers in Gaza.(Haaretz).Armed Hamas men broke into a gathering of some 30 Shi'ite worshippers in the Gaza Strip last Friday and brutally attacked them, Haaretz has learned. The assault was part of a broader crackdown on Shi'ite organizations, including charities, that has been sparked in part by Hamas' fear of growing Iranian influence in Gaza.The worshippers had gathered in a house in the Sheikh Zayyad neighborhood, between Beit Lahia and Jabalya, to mark Arbaeen, the end of the 40-day mourning period for Imam Hussein, founder of Shia Islam, who was killed in 680 C.E. Hamas militants arrested 14 of the men and beat up the rest. They continued beating the worshippers even after taking some to a hospital and others to a Hamas detention facility. One Gazan, Rafik Hamad, told the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper that a senior security official called him at about 10 P.M. on Friday to tell him that his brother was under arrest at the Sheikh Zayyad police station. At the station, he found his brother suffering from fractures in his arms and legs and other serious injuries. Hamad accused the Hamas government of persecuting Shi'ite believers. "The police said my brother was a heretic and asked me to keep him at home and not let him out," he said.The Hamas-run government is convinced that Iran is expanding its influence in Gaza by means of Islamic Jihad. Gazan sources told Haaretz that Islamic Jihad now contains a group of converts to Shia Islam. The group is led by Iyad al-Hosni, also a convert, who was ousted from Islamic Jihad but recently reinstated, probably under Iranian pressure: Islamic Jihad's leadership visited Iran two months ago, and afterward, al-Hosni was appointed a senior officer in its military wing.Becoming Shi'ite is a growing trend in the Gaza Strip: Hundreds of Sunnis, both Islamic Jihad activists and ordinary people, are known to have converted. Hmmmm......Read the full story here.
- Defecting Syrian General Sets Up Military Council in Exile in NATO Member State Turkey to Coordinate Operations of 40,000-Man Free Syrian Army, Oust Assad.(OUTITW).Behind the frontlines in Syria’s insurgency, General Mustafa Ahmad al-Sheikh, the most senior commander to defect from the Syrian army, has announced the formation of a military council in exile to coordinate the combat operations of the rebel Syrian Free Army. This move will create a serious wedge between Damascus and Ankara. Sheikh was in charge of security in northern Syria before defecting. In a media statement, he explained had deserted two weeks ago because he was sickened by the regime’s ruthlessness and the killings.“This council, headed by Sheikh, will oversee military operations in conjunction with the Free Syrian Army (FSA),” Sheikh’s media advisor, Fahad Almasri, told AFP news agency. “It will also help organise defections within the army and will be in contact with officers in the regular army to encourage large-scale rather than individual defections.” Formed from deserters from the regular army, the FSA says it has some 40,000 fighters, possibly including hundreds of veterans of last year’s Libyan civil war.Last Friday, thousands of Syrians rallied in Damascus to express solidarity with the rebel troops of the FSA . Burhan Ghalioun, head of the Syrian National Council, an umbrella group that initially opposed the use of force in the uprising but has now allied itself with the defecting soldiers, met last Thursday with rebel army chief Colonel Riad al-Asaad. According to the SNC, they agreed to “formulate a detailed plan, to include the reorganization of FSA units and brigades, and the creation of a format to accommodate within FSA ranks additional officers and soldiers, especially senior military officials, who side with the revolution.”Read the full story here.
- The World from Berlin - 'There Is No American Ratings Conspiracy'.(Spiegel).Several German politicians have reacted angrily to the decision by Standard and Poor's to downgrade the ratings of nine euro-zone member states on Friday, complaining that the euro is "under attack." German commentators scoff at the idea on Monday, but say that the agencies have too much power.Powerful German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said that he didn't think the rating agency had fully appreciated the significance of steps already taken by Europe in its attempt to combat the ongoing euro-zone debt crisis. "I don't believe that Standard and Poor's has really understood what we in Europe have already set in motion," Schäuble told public radio station Deutschlandfunk. "In addition, Standard and Poor's has perhaps not sufficiently examined measures undertaken to reduce deficits by all those countries in Europe that have been hit by difficulties."Economy Minister Philipp Rösler, who is head of Merkel's junior coalition partner, the Free Democratic Party, complained that "the euro is under attack." Senior CDU parliamentarian Michael Fuchs said that the ratings agencies use different criteria in Europe than they do in the US and Britain. Elmar Brok, a leading CDU politician in European Parliament, said the downgrades "are almost the equivalent of a currency war."Read the full story here.
- QE3 has already begun in Europe.(NYP).Most Americans associate a covert action with the CIA, not the Fed. But that’s exactly what Ben Bernanke did at the end of November.The Fed chief authorized a coordinated action that lowered pricing on US “dollar swaps” by 50 basis points (0.5 percent) to its key allies in central banking. The Bank of England, the ECB, the Swiss National Bank, the Bank of Japan and the Bank of Canada are each a party to the agreement.This was done, purportedly, “to ease strains in financial markets and thereby mitigate the effects of such strains on the supply of credit to households and businesses and to help foster economic activity,” the Fed’s release said.In reality, though, the Federal Reserve has just extended essentially unlimited lines of credit, camouflaged as a swap to the world in US dollars.And now the strapped European Central Bank can and has tapped the Fed for very cheap money — cheaper than US consumers can borrow for, if they can get access to credit at all.Essentially, we just bailed out Europe’s banking system with the full faith and credit of the United States.On Dec. 21, the ECB put some of our money to work and lent out 489 billion euros to 523 different banks for a full three years.So now, through the Fed, we are invested in a circular, circumventing fashion in 523 of Europe’s weakest banks — at all-time low interest rates, no less. And the ECB has chosen to withhold the names of these banks.To sum it up:
- The Fed essentially borrows or is backed up by US taxpayers, already in debt through mortgages, credit cards, student loans.
- The ECB in turn borrows from the Fed and then leverages that money up under its ECB umbrella.
- The ECB then lends it out to 523 of Europe’s most overleveraged banks.
- The desperate banks keep some to fortify their balance sheets, and use the rest to buy sovereign debt in some of the most overleveraged countries in the world, like Italy and Spain,which were just downgraded Friday by S and P.So after the long laundering of US dollars, the Fed now is investing in and lending to Europe’s most desperate banks, which have in turn invested some of that money in the debt of some of Europe’s weakest countries.Hmmmm.........Suddenly Solyndra looks like a great investment.Read the full story here.
- Qatar’s Muslim Brotherhood Connection.(BigPeace).The Switzerland of the Middle East or the Nation State of the Muslim Brotherhood?The small Middle Eastern country of Qatar ruled by Amir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani is larger than life. Boasting the world’s largest per-capita GDP due to its substantial oil and natural gas revenues, Qatar flourishes. Home to Al Jazeera, indoor skating rinks, indoor skiing, and a series of man-made tiny islands, Qatar’s riches come at a price, playing a game among nation states and terrorists groups.Very few understand Qatari power. From assisting rebel forces in the overthrow of the Qaddafi regime to mediating negotiations between the U.S. and Taliban, Qatar has a history of positioning itself as a powerful neutral nation state. Unfortunately, Qatar’s neutrality is not very neutral.Resting in the middle of today’s main center of global conflicts, Qatar is listed as the fifth safest place in the world. I remember a few years back being told by a government employee that many terrorists freely roam the streets of Qatar’s capital Doha. When seeking further insight towards this fascinating revelation, I was later told that the Qataris have a deal with many terrorists organizations and it goes like this– “Don’t play any games on our soil and we will leave you alone.”Not only will the Qatari government leave terrorists alone, they will actually embrace them. It is known that the Qataris have openly invited terrorist organizations into their country for safe haven. In April 2012, Hamas was offered space in Qatar to establish a headquarters. Interestingly enough, Qatar has been known to work hand in glove with the world’s largest Sunni extremist entity known as the Muslim Brotherhood for well over thirty years.Hamas was founded by the Muslim Brotherhood. In 2006, a five day skirmish between Israel and Hezbollah entailed. Qatar stepped up as a negotiator between the two rivals eventually assisting in ending the ordeal. Israel and Qatar strengthened their relations but that tie didn’t last long. Needless to say, Israel eventually caught onto Qatar’s motives which entailed supporting Palestinians who are heavily backed by the Muslim Brotherhood puppet Hamas.The United States is soon going to fall into a similar trap the Israeli’s fell into. Qatar approved the creation of a Taliban office. A negotiation is soon to occur between the U.S. and the Taliban with Qatar (Muslim Brotherhood)serving as the mediator. Sound familiar?Many anti-Obama Americans believe the U.S. President is either part of the Muslim Brotherhood or is associated with them. In fact, Robert Spencer had recently written for Human Events an article linking President Obama to the Brotherhood. Believe what you will.Taliban were supported by Al Qaeda during the Russian-Afghan War. Al Qaeda has ties to the Brotherhood. Whether formally of informally, so does the Taliban. In the end, while President Obama may or may not be linked the to “al-Banna monster,” it is obvious that the tiny Middle Eastern state of Qatar has some type of relationship to the Muslim Brotherhood. We need to take caution and learn an invaluable lesson from the Israeli’s when dealing with Qatar. Qatar is not the Switzerland of the Middle East.Hmmmm...................Based in Qatar, Sheikh Qaradawi has reportedly amassed substantial wealth through his role as Shari’ah adviser to many important Islamic banks and funds. He is also considered to be the “spiritual guide” for Hamas.It is interesting to note that the headquarters of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), completed in 1983, was funded by $21 million raised from Brotherhood figures Youssef Qaradawi and Youssef Nada as well as the emir of Qatar.Read the full story here.
- Vatican Spokesman: “Among Our Most Serious Concerns Is The Increase In Islamic Extremism – Persons Dedicated To Extremist Islamic Ideology Perpetrate Terrible Acts of Violence”.(Catholic Culture) — The director of the Holy See Press Office has used his weekly message to draw attention to the plight of persecuted Christians.“The recent annual report of the international evangelical non-governmental organization Open Doors on the persecution of Christians in the world contains a world index of persecution according to which the first ten places are occupied by the following countries in descending order: North Korea, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Iran, Maldives, Uzbekistan, Yemen, Iraq and Pakistan,” notes Father Federico Lombardi.“Among the most serious concerns, the increase in Islamic extremism merits special attention,” he continued. “Persons and organizations dedicated to extremist Islamic ideology perpetrate terrible acts of violence in many places throughout the world: the Boko Haram sect in Nigeria is but one example. Then there is the climate of insecurity that unfortunately in some countries accompanies the so-called “Arab spring”–a climate that drives many Christians to flee and even to emigrate.”“Such sufferings are a part of the Christian journey,” Father Lombardi concluded. “Nor ought we be amazed. Jesus said so in the Sermon on the Mount: ‘Blessed are they that are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,’ is the last of the Beatitudes; its promise is reward in heaven.” Hmmmm.......“Violence does not build up the kingdom of God, the kingdom of humanity. On the contrary, it is a favorite instrument of the Antichrist, however idealistic its religious motivation may be,” ~ Pope Benedict XVI .Read the full story here.
- Saudi Arabia: Islamic Morality Police Arrest Maid For Murder After “Djinn” Interrogation.(Emirates 24/7) — A Saudi father insisted that his Asian housemaid killed his little daughter and tried to eliminate the entire family through magic, saying questioning of jinn gripping another daughter confirmed his accusations.The father told police that his eight-year-old daughter died suddenly while her mother and elder sister had been admitted to hospital in serious condition.The unnamed man said that he had sought the help of a Raqi (Koran reader and healer) to cure his daughter who is still lying at hospital.“The Raqi interrogated the jinn gripping my daughter and confirmed that the family has been subject to evil magic work,” the father said, quoted by the Saudi Arabic language daily Kabar.In an earlier report, Okaz daily said Saudi Arabia’s feared religious police arrested the maid after her employer accused her of causing the death of their child and seeking to destroy the family through witchcraft.The father told the members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice that they found paper and nails in the hair of some family members and were told by mosque preachers they were magic spells.Hmmmm.....What language do Djinns speak?Read the full story here.
Via Weekly Standard:
On the Sunday before the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett visited Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta to give a political speech, in support of her boss (Barack Obama) and congressional Democrats:“Teachers, and firefighters, and policemen, whose jobs are now in jeopardy because Congress–well let me be specific–because the Republicans in Congress,” Jarrett told the crowd. According to the CBS affiliate in Atlanta, at this point, “Before she could finish her sentence, people in the congregation were laughing, and applauding.”Read the full story here.