Posted under Terrorism
Archive for the 'Terrorism' Category
American militants like Anwar al-Awlaki are placed on a kill or capture list by a secretive panel of senior government officials, which then informs the president of its decisions, according to officials.
There is no public record of the operations or decisions of the panel, which is a subset of the White House’s National Security Council, several current and former officials said. Neither is there any law establishing its existence or setting out the rules by which it is supposed to operate.
It’s not like this has popped up overnight without warning. The central government long ago decided traditional America was an obstacle to its quest to globalize this country and achieve world hegemony. No wonder DC allied itself with groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center to target those who oppose “abortion or immigration,” or any other item in DC’s radical agenda, as national security threats.
C’mon, people. Stop letting our handlers manipulate us into trashing our civil liberties in the name of swatting exaggerated threats. DC is the greatest threat to our freedom — a realization now shared by 49% of Americans. This is your wake-up call.
Here is a CATO article by Julian Sanchez on the al-Awlaki killing which we have already beaten to death. I link to it here because it has a very perceptive discussion on the issue of blowback.
First, over the last decade we have been repeatedly told by foreign policy hawks that it is foolish, and even borderline offensive, to suggest that aggressive U.S. action abroad may have the counterproductive and unintended consequence of swelling the ranks of terror groups. When evaluating the wisdom of drone strikes or invasions of other countries, we need not even factor in the downside risk of “blowback” stemming from such actions, because “they hate us for our freedoms.” In other words, radical Islamist terrorists are fundamentally motivated by a vision of a global caliphate, not by any grievances stemming from real or perceived injuries inflicted by U.S. policy. I think of this as the “No Marginal Terrorist” Theory, because it posits that people are motivated to join terror groups strictly for reasons connected with either personal psychology or theology, such that reactions to specific U.S. actions never make the difference at the margin.
At the same time—and often by the same people—we are told that Anwar al-Awlaki posed a grave threat to the United States, not so much because of any particular logistical genius he possessed, but because he was so dangerously effective as a recruiter and propagandist who could inspire people already living in the West to jihad. Surely, then, it’s relevant to inquire into the nature of this lethally effective propaganda. Here is an excerpt from what The Guardian calls one of ”his most direct, English-language statements endorsing terror attacks on Americans”:
With the American invasion of Iraq and continued U.S. aggression against Muslims, I could not reconcile between living in the U.S. and being a Muslim, and I eventually came to the conclusion that jihad against America is binding upon myself just as it is binding on every other Muslim….
To the Muslims in America, I have this to say: How can your conscience allow you to live in peaceful coexistence with a nation that is responsible for the tyranny and crimes committed against your own brothers and sisters?
Possibly al-Awlaki is just a sort of Salafist James Earl Jones, and the sheer hypnotic beauty of his voice is what compels people to sacrifice their lives for him, without regard to the specific contents of his sermons. Still, it seems to be a problem for the No Marginal Terrorist Theory if a propagandist who was believed to be uniquely effective at motivating people to become terrorists used rhetoric like this to do it.
The “No Marginal Terrorist Theory.” I like that. I would just add that the interventionist hysterics do not just suggest that discussing blowback is “borderline offensive.” Many suggest it is evidence of America hating at best and treason (a capital offense) at worst.
PCR has turn out two blistering commentaries recently. I think advancing age has given PCR license to just let fly without regard for consequences or who he offends. As a result he goes too far and over states things at times, but he also tells truths few other are willing to tell so straight-forwardly. BTW, I don’t know if PCR still considers himself a conservative. His writing increasingly is posted at left-wing sites, and he is merciless in his criticism of conservatives. He is also publicly embracing conspiracy theories.
First here is “Is the War on Terror a Hoax?” Read it.
I would not say that the threat of terrorism is entirely a hoax, because I don’t believe it is, and if you say that many people will just tune out everything you say after that. But I would say that the threat of terrorism has been vastly overblown. PCR makes a point I have made before. If you are a terrorist in America why would you try to blow up the Pentagon with a model airplane? That is just silly. There are many soft targets that could easily be attacked and there is nothing we could do to prevent it short of a completely locked down police state. Why no suicide bombers at the local mall? Why no car bombs outside the local kindergarten? If Muslims are such an unmitigable menace then why aren’t our home grown Muslims not out bombing targets on a routine basis? The sad fact is that modern Western society corrupts Muslims just like it corrupts Christians. The average Westernized Muslim young man is more interested in surfing the net for porn and getting it on with his girlfriend who dresses just as hoochie mama as the neighborhood “Christian” girls than he is committing acts of terror in the name of jihad. That’s not to say that there aren’t radicalized Muslims, but there aren’t as many or they aren’t as radical as the Muslim phobes would have us believe or else things would be blowing up around us all the time. (The Fort Hood shooter is a good example of the havoc that can be wrought by small scale acts of terror.)
Second here is “The Day America Died.”
This article is about the assassination of al-Awlaki. The assassination was illegitimate in the way it was done, although I don’t rule out the possibility of declaring war against Al-Qaeda and then treating people like al-Awlaki as irregular enemy combatants. I concede, however, that there isn’t an entirely clean way to do this since everyone in Al-Qaeda is an irregular combatant by definition. I also would be leery about using a declaration of war against al-Qaeda as an excuse to continue meddling. Any declaration of war should accompany our hasty disengagement from the region.
But PCR makes a point here that I was meaning to make and hadn’t gotten around to. (You’ll have to trust me on that I guess.) Since an executive order by Reagan we are theoretically not supposed to covertly attempt to assassinate anyone. Now whether this was just rhetorical window dressing and assassinations have been sanctioned since I don’t know, but that is our public stance nonetheless. But just for the sake of the argument, theoretically of course, if the US did decide it needed to covertly assassinate someone, then we should KEEP OUR BIG MOUTHS SHUT about it. (Al-Awlaki is dead? Really? I don’t know anything about that.) Calling a press conference and announcing you just assassinated someone is unseemly and couter-productive, and proves that the War on Terror is as much about PR as it is stopping terrorism.
Before some readers write to declare that Awlaki’s murder is no big deal because the US government has always had people murdered, keep in mind that CIA assassinations were of foreign opponents and were not publicly proclaimed events, much less a claim by the president to be above the law. Indeed, such assassinations were denied, not claimed as legitimate actions of the President of the United States.
The FBI thinks so. This is an amazing story and should scare anyone who writes negatively against our war effort.
When I first saw the memo from the FBI’s counterterrorism center in Newark, declaring that I’m “a threat to National Security,” not to mention an “agent of a foreign power,” I was incredulous. These can’t be real FBI documents, I thought to myself. Someone is pulling my leg.
Sadly, no. As I discovered upon further investigation, the memo is all too real. The provenance of the documents, which indicate that the feds launched a “preliminary investigation” of Antiwar.com, myself, and our webmaster, Eric Garris, is as follows: An obscure blogger made an FOIA request for information about the FBI’s investigation of the “High Fivers”—the five Israelis who were arrested on September 11 and held for six months on suspicion that they had some foreknowledge of the events on that dark day. I wrote about this subject in the August 2003 issue of Chronicles—and, what do you know, that piece is included in the FBI file! Isn’t it encouraging to learn that our state-subsidized sneaks are reading this magazine?
For those of you who were following blogger discussions about journalists sacrificing truth for political correctness when reporting on black flash mobs, here’s another interesting piece of information that might help explain the very PC coverage of the 9-11 anniversary. Apparently the Society of Professional Journalists has has issued the following (Orwellian) guidelines for journalists to use when discussing 9-11 or Islamic terrorism:
— Portray Muslims, Arabs and Middle Eastern and South Asian Americans in the richness of their diverse experiences;
— Seek out people from a variety of ethnic and religious backgrounds when photographing Americans mourning those lost in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.
— Seek out people from a variety of ethnic and religious backgrounds when photographing rescue and other public service workers and military personnel.
— Do not represent Arab Americans and Muslims as monolithic groups. Avoid conveying the impression that all Arab Americans and Muslims wear traditional clothing.
— Use photos and features to demystify veils, turbans and other cultural articles and customs.
— Make an extra effort to include olive-complexioned and darker men and women, Sikhs, Muslims and devout religious people of all types in arts, business, society columns and all other news and feature coverage, not just stories about the crisis.
— Seek out experts on military strategies, public safety, diplomacy, economics and other pertinent topics who run the spectrum of race, class, gender and geography.
— When writing about terrorism, remember to include white supremacist, radical anti-abortionists and other groups with a history of such activity.
— Do not imply that kneeling on the floor praying, listening to Arabic music or reciting from the Quran are peculiar activities.
The Onion couldn’t even make up such idiotic guidelines. It’s no wonder that nearly everyone now believes that MSM journalists are liars, and it’s unsurprising that more people now turn to independent media or bloggers for the truth.
With the FBI now asserting new powers to spy on Americans, no wonder a majority sees the federal government as a threat to liberty. So this “hang ‘em high!” pronouncement from Mitch McConnell, the Senate’s only Amphibian-American, is particularly troubling:
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R – KY) today demanded that the Obama Administration immediately remove two Iraqis arrested in Kentucky as “suspected terrorists” from his home state, saying they should be immediately sent to Guantanamo Bay for military detention.
“Send them to Guantanamo where they belong,” insisted McConnell, adding that the two suspects don’t deserve civilian trials and should be sent to the notorious island prison for “the justice they deserve.”
Yes, the two suspects are Iraqi immigrants, and my position against Third-World immigration couldn’t be clearer. But these suspects are here legally, and government MUST be constrained by the law of the land. In the never-ending, global war against
freedom terror, DC has been expanding its power to arrest, detain, and punish at will. Every affront to the Bill of Rights is a precedent for the next.
Anyone reading this post could be a victim — and in the name of “national security.” These days, every dissident is viewed as a “terrorist.” If we assent to McConnell’s totalitarian proposal because of our opposition to Muslim immigration, we diminish our own liberty. That’s a trap we must avoid.
Posted under Terrorism
Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, The Atlantic:
A key facet of bin Laden’s anti-American warfare has always been economic. It’s a lesson he drew from the Afghan-Soviet war, in which he first served as a financier of mujahidin efforts and then as a fighter. He watched the Soviet Union withdraw from Afghanistan in defeat and then dissolve altogether in 1991. Bin Laden asserted on multiple occasions that the mujahidin were responsible for destroying the Soviet empire. Whether or not he’s right, he clearly believed that the high costs imposed by the Afghan-Soviet war prevented the Soviet Union from adapting to other challenges, such as grain shortages and a collapse in world oil prices.
After declaring war on America, bin Laden compared the U.S. to the Soviet Union on multiple occasions, arguing that al-Qaeda would undermine America in the same way the mujahidin undermined the Soviet economy. His strategy of economic warfare went through several iterations over time, as al-Qaeda responded to external events, seized upon opportunities provided to it, and incorporated lessons learned by the group over time.
Concerning just the 9/11 attacks alone:In a video he released in October 2004, he emphasized the cost effectiveness of the attacks. “Al-Qaeda spent $500,000 on the event,” he said, “while America, in the incident and its aftermath, lost — according to the lowest estimate — more than $500 billion, meaning that every dollar of al-Qaeda defeated a million dollars.”
Osama Bin Laden’s death by U.S. forces (instead of being by natural causes in some remote cave) is a major turning point.
Obviously having OBL killed and his body captured on your watch is a big deal for the Obama Administration, which hasn’t much to crow about for a broad base of Americans who don’t agree with his policies to support or point to as a success. Like it or not, he will benefit just as much as Reagan benefited from the successful Grenada invasion in 1983, a year before his re-election. Had this happened under Bush II it would have been just as important to him and his administration and the Republican Party. Sorry, but “birtherism” or “gradeism” or “bookism” or “he doesn’t believe in American exceptionalism” all this trivial crap, is pretty much done and over with now. There’s plenty of things to campaign against Obama, but not his legitimacy in office. We need to find real issues which will be effective in defining an opposition.
Second, there’s no other terrorist of bin Laden’s stature or symbolism who can simply “rise up” and take his place. He was important source not just of leadership but also money from his family construction fortune. Even before his death the Al Qaeda network as it existed on 9-11 was already badly degraded, many of its operatives killed or captured and many such groups which still exist are basically “franchises” inspired by him rather than controlled by him. They can be dealt with and dealt with regionally or in cooperation with other countries.
Third, OBL’s death at the hands of U.S forces is an important psychological marker for many Americans. If he had died eluding capture, he basically would have gotten away with the deaths of over 4,000 of their fellow countrymen without some sort of retaliation at him directly and that would been seen as a defeat in the minds of many given the amount of money and the number of people killed trying to capture him. Hopefully this takes away the fear which has affected the minds of Americans since 9-11 and hopefully it will lead to more and more people wondering why the hell they’re continuously being felt up at the airport now that OBL is dead.
Fourth, the argument which is going to be made over and over again from now through the upcoming campaign is “The War on Terrorism Is Not Over”. This must be made the crux of the upcoming debate. This war cannot be an open ended commitment. You cannot defeat nor wage war against a tactic. But you can kill the person who is responsible for 9-11 and now he’s dead. So let us declare victory and end this thing. There’s always going to be terrorists. You don’t need to spend nearly $900 billion a year to defend against them. Any attempt to continue this war is simply a way to continuously feed the military-industrial complex and the empire money it doesn’t need to handle the problem of defending against terrorism, which existed long before 9-11. Sure you need to stay vigilant, but not to the point of creating a police state which kind of defeats the purpose. And changing our foreign policy will do wonders in taking what ever is left of any terrorist beef against us, especially if the end result is going to eventual death at some point (let alone trying to recreate the Caliphate, if that was even at all possible. If bin Laden got away with it, the opposite might have happened). Oh and on top of all of it is the simple fact that we can’t afford it. To continue the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq long well after the person largely responsible for them taking place is deceased is irresponsible and financially bankrupt. (No doubt some Afghani is probably saying right now: “Okay, you got your man. Now go home and leave us in peace.”) Come Home America after declaring victory is going to sound awfully attractive now that OBL is dead. We’ll see who wants to take the side of “lets continue the war indefinitely.” The U.S. has enough of “War Against (insert unwinnable War here)”. This will be good stand for a candidate in 2012 to take.
It’s been 10 years since 9-11 and in those 10 years the country had to live with the not only the tragedy but also the shame of how it happened to those innocent of the machinations of U.S. foreign policy or one man’s twisted madness in response to it. We can break with the past and finally put it behind us for good to get our own house in order instead continuing to live in fear and chained to a foreign and economic policy which only feeds off of it. Thankfully OBL’s death can allow us to do so.
Look at all the people cheering outside the White House and in Times Square. We haven’t seen this since the end of World War II. Maybe the people think this war over as well…..
Russia’s most wanted terrorist, Doku Umarov, has claimed he was the mastermind behind January’s bombing at Domodedovo Airport, which took the lives of 36 people and injured more than 180.
He sees all Western countries as enemies of Muslims and has been proven to have links to Al-Qaeda.
Posted under Terrorism
Yesterday, a bomb was discovered along the Martin Luther King parade route in Spokane, Washington:
A bomb left along the route of a Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade was sophisticated, with a remote detonator and the ability to cause many casualties, an official familiar with the case said Wednesday.
“They haven’t seen anything like this in this country,” the official said. “This was the worst device, and most intentional device, I’ve ever seen.”
No one was hurt (the bomb didn’t go off, thankfully).
It’s rather suspicious however:
Three parade workers spotted a backpack with visible wires on a bench at North Washington Street and West Main Avenue in downtown Spokane about 30 minutes before the parade was scheduled to begin Monday.
Is this the work of a false flag (Democratic pollster: Obama needs an Oklahoma City bombing moment to reconnect with the American people)? Hopefully there’s no link to anyone on the right or faux-right, though the mass media is working diligently to make such a connection.
Continue Reading »
Posted under Terrorism
Francis Fox Piven:
The reason I respect nonviolence is I think it helps to protect the protesters. The espousal of the goal of nonviolence is a form of self-defence. … It’s partly a problem of strategy and propaganda. … Probably, unless you have good reason for breaking a window, probably you shouldn’t do that – unless it’s a big part of your strategy.
This year, AD 2011, will mark the 10th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks and the beginning of the so-called Global War on Terrorism (GWOT). And yet after 10 years of war, there are a number of U.S. citizens who hate their fellow Americans more than they do the perpetrator of the New York and Washington attacks, Osama bin Laden. All an Al Qaeda operative would have to do to find out the state of American morale and unity is to browse the comment sections of major news outlet websites and gauge the vitriol following the shooting of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords themselves. It would be an enlightening experience. The operative would no doubt tell his bosses all Al Qaeda has to do is simply hold out indefinitely and the U.S. war effort may very well fall apart due to the nation’s own internal differences.
“Grandma Got Molested at the Airport” to the tune of “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer.”
We’ve been warning for years that DC’s policy of Invade the World/Invite the World was a perfect formula to guarantee continued attacks on Americans here at home. But the War Hawks insisted that invading and occupying Muslim countries was the only means of keeping us safe.
One of the War Party’s leading pom-pom girls claimed back in 2008 that the Neocon Wars were keeping America safe. But now that al-Qaeda has issued threats to attack during Christmas, that same blogger now worries the terror threat has indeed worsened:
My bet is that we’ll indeed see “Mumbai-style” attacks in the U.S. at some point. The national security focus remains overwhelmingly on air travel, and the jihadi extremists will simply develop new approaches.
But — Obama escalated the Afghanistan War! He’s sent an additional 50,000 troops. US troops have been “fighting them there, so we won’t have to fight them here,” as the Neo-jingoist cheer went out at the inception of those wars.
Could it be we paleos had a point when we warned DC’s illegal and immoral invasions would only enrage more Muslims?
Posted under Terrorism
It was almost normal for people over thirty to be frightened of their own children. And with good reason, for hardly a week passed in which the Times did not carry a paragraph describing how some eavesdropping little sneak – ‘child hero’ was the phrase generally used – had overheard some compromising remark and denounced his parents to the Thought Police.
Orwell. 1984. Continue Reading »
Posted under Terrorism
This is what passes for principled dissent in Imperial America:
The way is clear for the government to strip Awlaki of his citizenship, which should be a necessary precondition for any covert direct action against any American. Assassinating U.S. citizens abroad, even loathsome creatures like Awlaki, is a high crime against the Constitution. Mr. Obama would do well to take note of that before pulling the trigger.
Yes, you read that right — it just won’t do for Obama to have an American citizen executed without a trial UNLESS he pretties up the whole affair with a legalistic veneer. Since the government cannot arbitrarily snuff American citizens on a whim, the government simply MUST declare its victims “non-Americans” in order to preserve the appearance of legality. Do that, and all the anonymous Washington Times editorialists can sleep well at night, confident they have taken a stand for the rule of law.
This reminds me of what happened to Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn when he was arrested for criticizing Stalin. When Solzhenitsyn protested that the Soviet Constitution guaranteed freedom of speech and right to a trial, he was informed that those rights only applied to “loyal” Soviet citizens. His criticism proved his disloyalty.
Compare that argument with the Washington Times’ conclusion:
[Awlaki's] consistent use of the third person in referring to Americans is a clear indication that he doesn’t consider himself one of us. He made this point explicitly when he stated that followers of Islam such as himself and Americans “are two opposites who will never come together.” In his heart and mind, Awlaki has left his birth country behind.
There are two vital lessons here for Americans in a time of perpetual war: 1) The president as Commander-in-Chief can determine whether or not individual citizens have rights. 2) Be very careful how you use the third person in your writing. It could get you killed.
A link to this story was sent to me from a social conservative organization called Vision to America. Notice it was titled “TSA Warns: Submit or Pay” not “The Price of Safety” or something supportive. (Right)
Here is a front page Yahoo article “Why the Public Turned on TSA.” (Center?)
Wednesday, the heaviest travel day of the season, is National Opt Out Day. (Right primarily?)
New York City Council moves to ban nude scanners at NYC Airports. (Left)
New Jersey Legislators and ACLU come out against TSA. (Left)
Orlando Airport to opt out of TSA. (Center)
Rep. John Duncan (R-TN) says a “nationwide revolt is developing” in address on the floor of the House. (Right)
Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) speaks out on floor of Congress. (Right)
San Mateo County DA to investigate allegations of sexual battery by TSA agents at San Francisco Airport. (Left) (This actually strikes me as a bit of grandstanding, because he would have to prove sexual intent. The TSA agents shouldn’t be prosecuted for doing their jobs. This just shouldn’t be part of their job.)
Art Carden at Forbes: “Abolish the TSA.” (Right)
Rep. John Mica urges airports to opt out of TSA. (Right) Reported by Byron York (Right/Center)
Ann Coulter is against it. (Right)
I could go on, but I think I have made my point. For those pessimists who think Americans will submit themselves to whatever the government says in the name of fighting terrorism, I submit the above as evidence to the contrary.
The new TSA procedures are outraging people in massive numbers. Any attempt on the part of Congress to curtail this nonsense will win praise from left, right and center. There is no constituency for this. Even the most terrorism phobic security state advocate recoils at the reality of his wife or daughter getting felt-up or ogled in the name of safety. The religious right should be a prime target for this anti-TSA appeal. These new procedures should be opposed by all right-thinking Christians on moral grounds alone. Ron Paul has introduced legislation to do just this. Here he is below discussing his proposed legislation.