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Archive for the ‘terrorism’ Category

Seed Newsvine

clipped from www.reuters.com
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The FBI possibly violated the law or its rules more than 1,000 times since 2002 in collecting data about phone calls, e-mails and financial records while investigating terrorism or espionage suspects, FBI officials said on Thursday.
The potential violations found by an FBI audit were far greater than the approximately two dozen previously documented violations in a U.S. Justice Department report released in March that was based on a much smaller sampling, they said.
The vast majority of newly discovered violations were instances in which companies, such as telephone and Internet providers, gave more information than the FBI sought, the officials said.
They said the FBI has drafted new guidelines in an effort to prevent future abuses, but civil liberties groups and Democrats in Congress expressed doubt that they would be sufficient to protect the privacy of Americans.

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When I was growing up in the 1950’s we were forced to watch propaganda films telling us all about the evils of the Soviet Union, especially the danger from the Secret Police. We were briefed on the potential abuse in such a system, one which went so far as to encourage children to spy on their parents, workers on their bosses and colleagues, and friend on friend. Awards, we were told, were given to those who reported to the secret police crimes real or imagined.I wonder just what the difference might be if the FBI takes upon itself the role of secret police. Of course, there is a great difference here. The FBI investigated itself and slapped its own hand. What would an external investigation, one that is independent of the Justice Department under the questionable leadership of Alberto Gonzales, might find?

Sad fact is that I am not surprised by any of this. Just another potential scandal for George II’s administration.

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Seed Newsvine

clipped from www.boston.com
WASHINGTON — The Bush administration is writing a new plan to maintain governmental control in the wake of an apocalyptic terrorist attack or overwhelming natural disaster, moving such doomsday planning for the first time from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to officials inside the White House.
The policy replaces a Clinton-era “continuity in government” post-disaster plan. The old plan is classified;
the new policy centralizes control of such planning in the White House and puts a greater emphasis on terrorism spurring the catastrophe.
The policy requires all government agencies to have clear lines of succession if top officials are killed and be prepared to operate from a new headquarters within 12 hours of a catastrophe. They must be prepared “to lead and sustain the nation during a crisis” — a charge ranging from “providing leadership visible to the nation and the world” to “bringing to justice perpetrators of crimes or attacks.”

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Kind of makes one wonder. In the face of a massive, apocalyptic disaster, why it is so important to put a face on national unity? If the disaster is so great that new a HQ must be formed within 12 hours–apparently somewhere away from the White House–then I wonder who might be left to really care about the face of America in the world or “bringing to justice” any perpetrators of attacks.

Boston.com further said:The new policy focuses on a worst-case scenario in which a terrorist nuclear bomb explodes without warning and wipes out much of the nation’s top leadership. Older plans were instead premised on a Cold War-era long-range missile attack, presuming it would be detected in enough time to evacuate the president and other top government officials.

I suppose those in power need to feel like they are doing something but this sounds like something scripted out of a Hollywood disaster film. What is it they say–Life imitates art?

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Seed Newsvine

When Bush breaks out the veto pen he does so objecting to what he calls an artificial withdrawal timetable. But what is your plan Mr. President? For the past four years you have insisted that you have a strategy for victory in Iraq and the conflict just deepens. For four years you have insisted that we are winning the war and the death toll continues to rise. For four years you have insisted that the war in Iraq is the front line of the global war on terror but you have presented only rhetoric to support your claim.The time has come for you extend your hand to the Congress and work out a reasonable compromise that contains a withdrawal strategy. The Iraqi government must now step up and take control of their own country. Only Iraqis can solve the Iraq problem that you created in your over zealous desire to invade that nation. Only Iraqis can ease the religious conflict that is a curse on that nation, a curse resulting from your lies and hubris. Not another American life need be lost over this venture and now only you have the power to end what you started. Bring our men and women home. End this conflict sooner rather than later.

clipped from www.cnn.com
WASHINGTON (CNN) — Four years after declaring victory in Iraq in a much-ballyhooed speech from the deck of an aircraft carrier, President Bush prepared to veto a war-spending bill that calls for pulling American combat troops out of the now-unpopular conflict.
Before sending the bill to the president Tuesday afternoon, Democratic congressional leaders urged Bush to sign the bill and begin winding down the war.
“A veto means denying our troops the resources and the strategy they need,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada. “After more than four years of a failed policy, it’s time for Iraq to take responsibility for its own future.”
The spending bill, which Congress passed last week, funds military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, but it also calls for the withdrawal of U.S. troops beginning in October, with the goal of getting all U.S. combat forces out of Iraq by the end of March 2008.

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Seed Newsvine

It is ironic that the root of extremist Islam took shape in Saudi Arabia under the teachings of Muhammad ibn Abdul Hahhab (1703-1792) whose goal it was to bring the Arabian peninsula back to the strict teachings of the Prophet. It is just this form of Wahhabism that is taught in the madrases of Pakistan also reported to be funded by the Saudis. Wahhabism is the root of Islamic extremism in the world today.

Do the Saudis themselves feel threatened by the very form of Islam that was developed and is practiced on their soil? What is going on here?

Memri reported the following:

Dr. Abd Al-Rahman Al-Hadlaq, supervisor of the counseling committee, told Al-Watan that the amount of aid given to the families depended on their financial situation, and added that this support also “had a positive effect on the prisoners themselves, and on their attitude towards the ideological therapy [provided by] the counseling program.” He said that the financial incentives were meant to “demonstrate the humanitarian side of the security forces, [and to show] the prisoners’ families that the state empathizes [with their problems], cares about their needs, and truly wishes to rehabilitate their sons, who have fallen prey to a misguided group that [merely] wishes to exploit the [difficult] conditions in which they and their families live in order to recruit further members from their families.”

Ali Sa’d Al-Mussa, a lecturer at King Khaled University in Abha, criticized the financial support granted to extremists and their families. He wrote in Al-Watan: “The honorable Sheikh Muhammad Al-Najimi, member of the ideological counseling committee, said that the state has so far spent over 100 million riyals on presents, weddings, cars and monthly salaries for prisoners who had espoused a distorted ideology, and for their families. It was also stated that this [financial aid] was one of the factors that convinced some of [these prisoners] to renounce their previous views…

“I am afraid that, [in this way], holding [extremist] views leads to earning a prize, or worse – a steady income. What extraordinary thing have these [extremists] done that we give them a free car only for renouncing their [extremist] views, while thousands of honest young people can only dream of [owning] a car? What extraordinary thing have these [prisoners] done that we [finance] their weddings, when thousands of honest young people can only dream – not of the scent of a woman but even of a bottle of perfume? What extraordinary thing have they done that we grant them and their families a monthly salary, while thousands of honest men cannot even dream of a job as security guards? People should be rewarded for their actions, but it seems that we have turned this concept upon its head…

clipped from www.memri.org
As part of its fight against terrorism, the Saudi Interior Ministry has been operating an ideological counseling program for security prisoners in the Saudi jails aimed at encouraging them to renounce their extremist beliefs. The program, which has been running for several years, is implemented by a counseling committee composed of ulema, psychiatrists and psychologists who hold counseling sessions with the prisoners and gives them lessons in Islam. When the counselors become convinced that a prisoner is reformed, they recommend his release from jail. [1]
It has recently been reported that, in addition to counseling, prisoners receive financial incentives to renounce their extremist views.

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Seed Newsvine

This page presents a powerful video that raises questions for all of us to think about. I found some of the piece disturbing not because of anything other than the fact that it rang true and reminded me that I do not do everything I could to end the war in Iraq. The video presents a powerful case for action. It calls on each of us to step up and be counted. Watch and be disturbed also.

To view the video click on www.djpauledge.com

clipped from www.djpauledge.com

 
 
 
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Seed Newsvine

Oh Rudy, hubris runs deep among you Republicans. Your shameless exploitation of 9-11 is a deep seated example of the excessive pride and arrogance of the right. Hubris generally is the precursor to downfall or destruction in classical tragedy. The hubris of the Bush White House led to the quagmire in Iraq that, in the final analysis, will prove to be the greatest threat to American security interests at home and abroad by Islamic fundamentalists; a threat far greater than existed prior to that ill-conceived war.Your remarks call into question your capacity to govern the nation. You should be deeply ashamed of your remarks and offer an apology to your Democratic brothers and sisters before you continue on in your efforts to become the president of the United States.

Your claim that the Democrats would cause more death and take longer to defeat terrorism is, quite clearly, the remark of a prideful and ambitious politico who will stop at nothing to further his campaign. It is, in the end, a Faustian deal you make. Name calling may bring short-term gains but, when the battlefield is sorted out, disaster follows.

Do yourself and the country a favor, Rudy, and withdraw from contention. The nation cannot afford a small town mayor as its leader.

clipped from today.reuters.com
What? Giuliani’s shamelessly exploiting 9/11 for political gain? Well, that’s surprising. I thought the man had more integrity than that
All joking aside, Giuliani said Tuesday night at a town hall meeting in Manchester, NH that a Democratic presidential win in 2008 would almost certainly ensure another terrorist attack on the scale of 9/11. What’s the alternative to thousands of American civilians being killed you ask? Giuliani has the obvious answer. “If any Republican is elected president —- and I think obviously I would be the best at this — we will remain on offense and will anticipate what [the terrorists] will do and try to stop them before they do it.”
What’s good for liberals is that Giuliani, a faux-conservative, is currently leading in national polls for the Republican nomination. Giuliani seemed to further ignore the reality of our current situation by claiming Democrats would cause more death and take longer to defeat terrorism.

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