Thursday, June 7, 2012

An Old Cowboy ...

An old cowboy was riding his trusty horse followed by his faithful dog along an unfamiliar road. The cowboy was enjoying the new scenery, when he suddenly remembered dying, and realized the dog beside him had been dead for years, as had his horse. Confused, he wondered what was happening, and where the trail was leading them.

After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall that looked like fine marble. At the top of a long hill, it was broken by a tall arch topped by a golden letter "H" that glowed in the sunlight.

Standing before it, he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother-of-pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like gold.

He rode toward the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side. Parched and tired out by his journey, he called out, 'Excuse me, where are we?'

'This is Heaven, sir,' the man answered.

'Wow! Would you happen to have some water?' the man asked.

'Of course, sir. Come right in, and I'll have some ice water brought right up.'

As the gate began to open, the cowboy asked, 'Can I bring my partners, too?'

'I'm sorry, sir, but we don't accept pets.'

The cowboy thought for a moment, then turned back to the road and continued riding, his dog trotting by his side.

After another long ride, at the top of another hill, he came to a dirt road leading through a ranch gate that looked as if it had never been closed. As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book.

'Excuse me,' he called to the man. 'Do you have any water?'

'Sure, there's a pump right over there. Help yourself.'

'How about my friends here?' the traveler gestured to the dog and his horse.

'Of course! They look thirsty, too,' said the man.

The trio went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old-fashioned hand pump with buckets beside it. The traveler filled a cup and the buckets with wonderfully cool water and took a long drink, as did his horse and dog.

When they were full, he walked back to the man who was still standing by the tree. 'What do you call this place?' the traveler asked.

'This is Heaven,' he answered.

'That's confusing,' the traveler said. 'The man down the road said that was Heaven, too.'

'Oh, you mean the place with the glitzy, gold street and fake pearly gates? That's hell.'

'Doesn't it make you angry when they use your name like that?'

'Not at all. Actually, we're happy they screen out the folks who would leave their best friends behind.'

h/t Jay - huge thank you for sharing a "smile" via E-mail

Assad must be quaking in his boots


Syrian President Bashar al-Assad must be quaking in his boots: Hillary Clinton has told him to quit and leave Syria.
"Assad must transfer power and depart Syria," Clinton told a news conference in Istanbul after meeting foreign ministers from Arab and Western nations to discuss counterterrorism.

"The regime-sponsored violence that we witnessed again in Hama yesterday is simply unconscionable. Assad has doubled down on his brutality and his duplicity and Syria will not, cannot be peaceful, stable or certainly democratic until Assad goes."

United Nations observers have been prevented from reaching the village of Mazraat al-Qubeir, near Hama where anti-Assad activists say Syrian troops and militiamen loyal to the president massacred at least 78 villagers, the head of the monitoring mission said on Thursday.

The reported carnage came hours before a divided UN Security Council discusses Syria.

The latest killings will heap pressure on world powers to act, but they have been stymied by divisions pitting Western and most Arab states against Assad's defenders in Russia, China and Iran.
But wait... no... not yet....
[Clinton] suggested that peace envoy Kofi Annan's plan, whose central plank was a ceasefire that never took hold, needed to be given a last chance, saying other nations - presumably Russia and China - would not support stronger action unless its failure was incontestable.

"We think it is important for us to give Kofi Annan and his plan the last amount of support that we can muster because, in order to bring others into a frame of mind to take action in the Security Council, there has to be a final recognition that it's not working," Clinton said.
How much more recognition do you need? Isn't it nice to be in a post-American world where everyone does what is fit in his own eyes? And by the way, to whom does Clinton propose to transfer power in Syria? The Muslim Brotherhood? Al-Qaeda? What could go wrong?
posted by Carl in Jerusalem @ 7:23 PM

Former Arafat advisor sentenced to 15 years in jail

June 7, 2012

PA court sentences Mohammed Rashid for embezzlement and money laundering, making him the most senior PA official to be sentenced for corruption. Deceased PLO chairman Yasser Arafat
Palestinian Authority court in Ramallah Thursday sentenced Mohammed Rashid, a former advisor to Yasser Arafat, to 15 years in prison after finding him guilty of embezzlement and money laundering.
Rashid, who served for nearly two decades as Arafat's financial advisor, was also fined $15 million and ordered to give back $34 million which he and others allegedly stole.
Rashid is the most senior PA official to be sentenced for corruption by a PA court. He and three other former PA officials were sentenced in absentia after they refused to appear before the court.
Rashid, who is an Iraqi Kurd, left the Palestinian territories shortly after Arafat's death in late 2004. He has since been living in a number of Arab countries.
For many years he was one of Arafat's most trusted aides and, at one stage, headed the Palestine Investment Fund, which was established in 2003 as an independent company to strengthen the Palestinian economy through key strategic investments.
Rashid was also behind the PA's Oasis Casino project near Jericho. The casino, which was open mostly for Israelis, was closed down shortly after the beginning of the secondintifada, which erupted in September 2000.
The court also sentenced two other Palestinians, Walid Abdel Rahman Najjab and Khaled Abdel Ghani Farra, to 15 years in prison for their role in embezzlement of public funds and money laundering.
A consultant company belonging to the Palestine National Fund was fined $5 million and dissolved by the court.
Last month, the PA's Anti-Corruption Commission, in a surprise move, announced that Rashid was wanted for corruption and asked Interpol to help in arresting him.
Interpol rejected the demand on the grounds that the PA was not authorized to make such a request because it was not a sovereign state.
The decision to prosecute Rashid came after he gave a series of interviews to the Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya TV station in which he criticized PA President Mahmoud Abbas and other officials.
Rashid has since scoffed at the decision to prosecute him, saying Abbas was seeking to silence him and prevent him from exposing financial corruption in the PA.
The head of the Anti-Corruption Commission, Rafik Natsheh, visited Saudi Arabiya recently in an attempt to persuade the government to stop broadcasting the interviews with Rashid. The Saudis, according to sources close to Rashid, refused to interfere under the pretext that Al-Arabiya is an "independent"news channel.
In the past few weeks Rashid, who is presumed to be living in London, launched a scathing attack on Abbas and his two businessmen sons, holding them responsible for corruption and embezzlement.
Rashid claimed that Abbas's wealth was estimated at $100 million and called for a probe into the source of his and his sons' income. He also claimed that Abbas was the owner of five "palaces" worth more than $20 million.
Rashid also claimed that he had personally handed Abbas $25,000 when the latter arrived in the Gaza Strip after the signing of the Oslo Accords.
In an article published earlier this week, Rashid claimed that Abbas had "colluded" with Israel to keep jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti in prison. He further claimed that Abbas had conspired against Arafat by convincing the Americans and Israelis that the former PLO chief was an obstacle to peace.

Bee's Note:  Has anyone investigated Abbas?  How many BILLIONS has the USA contributed to the corrupt Palestinian leaders under the pretense of "humanitarian" aid?  
After November's elections, I would like to see Congress hold hearings into the foreign aid i.e. bribes sent yearly to the nations that are enemies to both the USA and our allies.
We may not be at war with Islam, but every single terrorist act throughout the world involves Islamic extremists and terrorist organization - some have even been invited to the White House recently (Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood).  
Don't you think it is past time we, as citizens of the United States, demanded a hault to sending tax payers monies to Islamic extremists?!
Ask the "lawmakers" in Washington how supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, Palestinian Hamas leaders, etc. has anything to do with America's "best" interests.  
How is aiding the Muslim Brotherhood any different than aiding the dictator Murbarak for over 30 years?

ABBA - Another Town, Another Train

Written by:Benny Andersson & Björn Ulvaeus
Recorded late 1972 or early 1973 at KMH Studio, Stockholm 

Lead vocal: Björn

Day is dawning and I must go 
you’re asleep but still I’m sure you’ll know 
why it had to end this way 
you and I had a groovy time 
but I told you somewhere down the line 
you would have to find me gone 
I just have to move along 

Just another town, another train 
waiting in the morning rain 
Lord give my restless soul a little patience 
just another town, another train 
nothing lost and nothing gained 
guess I will spend my life in railway stations 
guess I will spend my life in railway stations 

When you wake I know you’ll cry 
and the words I wrote to say goodbye 
they won’t comfort you at all 
but in time you will understand 
that the dreams we dreamed were made of sand 
for a no-good bum like me 
to live is to be free 

Just another town, another train 
waiting in the morning rain 
Lord give my restless soul a little patience 
just another town, another train 
nothing lost and nothing gained 
guess I will spend my life in railway stations 
guess I will spend my life in railway stations

Probing Obama’s secrecy games

Probing Obama's secrecy games

This photo provided by the White House shows President Barack Obama meeting with his national security team on Afghanistan and Pakistan, Thursday, May 6, 2010.


 Will high-level Obama officials who leak for political gain be punished on equal terms with actual whistleblowers?

Over the past several months, including just last week, I’ve written numerous times about the two glaring contradictions that drive the Obama administration’s manipulative game-playing with its secrecy powers: (1) at the very same time that they wage an unprecedented war on whistleblowers, they themselves continuously leak national security secrets exclusively designed to glorify Obama purely for political gain; and (2) at the very same time they insist to federal courts that these programs are too secret even to confirm or deny their existence (thereby shielding them from judicial review or basic disclosure), they run around publicly boasting about their actions. Just over the past month alone, they have done precisely this by leaking key details about Obama’s commanding role in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, drone attacks that have killed allegedly key Al Qaeda figures, sophisticated cyber-attacks on Iran’s nuclear program, and the selection of targets for Obama “kill list”: all programs that are classified and which the White House has insisted cannot be subjected to judicial review or any form of public scrutiny.
Official Washington is now noticing this systematic abuse, and they are at least making noises that they intend to do something about it. The two top members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Democrat Carl Levin and Republican John McCain, announcedSenate hearings to investigate these high-level leaks. Democrat Dianne Feinstein, Chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee,pronounced herself ”deeply disturbed by the continuing leaks,” (somewhat ironically) described a “classified letter” she sent Obama objecting to classified disclosures, and said she spoke to Levin “about the possibility of a joint hearing to investigate these leaks.” McCainaccused the administration, with good reason, of leaking with the intent to “enhance President Obama’s image as a tough guy for the elections” and said the high-level leaks are a concerted “attempt to further the president’s political ambitions for the sake of his re-election at the expense of our national security”; McCain also called for the appointment of a Special Prosecutor, making this important argument:
He noted the “unacceptable” incongruity of prosecuting lower-level personnel such as Bradley ManningJeffrey Sterling or John Kiriakou for allegedly leaking classified information while holding senior officials blameless for what appear to be comparable offenses.
The fact that this administration would aggressively pursue leaks perpetrated by a 22-year-old Army private in the Wikileaks matter and former CIA employees in other leaks cases but apparently sanction leaks made by senior administration officials for political purposes is simply unacceptable,” Sen. McCain said.
It is indeed. But that’s how Washington justice, by definition, always works. Marginalized Muslims are imprisoned for decades for the most minimal contacts with designated Terrorist organizations, while high-powered D.C. officials openly receive large sums of money and become enthusiastic influence-peddlers and advocates for a Terror group with total impunity. Lynndie England is prosecuted and imprisoned for her low-level prisoner abuse, while the high-level government officials and lawyers who designed, authorized and implemented a worldwide torture regime are fully protected. Ordinary citizens who film abusive police conduct are arrested and prosecuted, while Bush officials and the nation’s telecom giants who systematically eavesdropped on Americans without the warrants required by law are immunized. Petty corner drug dealers and even users are imprisoned by the hundreds of thousands, while Wall Street criminals whose fraud caused a massive global economic crisis never see the inside of a courtroom, let alone a prison cell.
Here we find the same pattern of lawlessness: we have low-level whistleblowers who exposed serious government corruption and illegality — matters clearly in the public interest — prosecuted and imprisoned with unprecedented aggression by the very same administration that serially leaks far more sensitive national security secrets purely for the President’s political gain. The New York Times‘ Scott Shane has an article this morning on this controversy that includes some important facts about just how manipulative the Obama administration is with its secrecy powers:
[C]ontradictory behavior on the secrecy front has been especially striking under the Obama administration.
Mr. Obama campaigned for the presidency in 2008 by denouncing his predecessor’s secret prisons and brutal interrogations, which were public knowledge only because of leaks of classified information to the news media. He began his term by pledging the most transparent administration in history.
In office, however, he has outdone all previous presidents in mounting criminal prosecutions over such leaks, overseeing six such cases to date, compared with three under all previous administrations combined. . . .
The administration’s inconsistency, however, has been particularly evident on the drone program. Officials routinely give reporters limited information on strikes, usually on the condition of anonymity. Mr. Obama spoke explicitly about the strikes in Pakistan in an online appearance in January, arguing that they were precisely aimed at Al Qaeda.
Yet the drone attacks in Pakistan are part of a C.I.A. covert action program designed to be “deniable” by American leaders; by law they are in the most carefully protected category of secrets that the government keeps. In court, the administration has taken the position that it can neither confirm nor deny the existence of such operations.
“There’s something wrong with aggressive leaking and winking and nodding about the drone program, but saying in response to Freedom of Information requests that they can’t comment because the program is covert,” [Bush DOJ official Jack] Goldsmith said.
All of these leaked Executive Branch programs — the bin Laden raid, cyber-attacks on Iran (which is an act of war under the Pentagon’s doctrine), continuous drone attacks on Pakistan and Yemen, the President’s “kill list” — are clear matters of public concern. They should not be shrouded in secrecy. So in one sense, these leaks have achieved an important public good: informing the citizenry about highly consequential covert wars and U.S. militarism that otherwise would have been shielded from public scrutiny and debate. From Shane’s article:
“The U.S. is embarked on ambitious and consequential moves that will shape the security environment for years to come, whether they succeed or fail,” said Steven Aftergood, who studies government secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists. “Secrecy cloaks not only the operations, but their justification and rationale, which are legitimate subjects of public interest.”
Mr. Aftergood said drones and cyberattacks were “extreme examples of programs that are widely known and yet officially classified.” That, he said, has prevented informed public discussion of some critical questions. Should the United States be inaugurating a new era of cyberattacks? What are the actual levels of civilian casualties caused by the drone attacks, and what are the implications for national sovereignty?
“Keeping these programs secret may have a value,” said Jack Goldsmith, a Harvard law professor and Bush administration Justice Department official who writes about national security and the press. “But there’s another value that has to be considered, too — the benefit of transparency, accountability and public discussion.”
But all of that is equally true — in fact, more true — of the whistleblowers whom the Obama administration continues to persecute. Tom Drake exposed serious corruption and potential illegality at the NSA. Jeffrey Sterling, if he did what he’s accused of, informed the public of gross and dangerous ineptitude by the CIA in attempting to infiltrate Iran’s nuclear program. Bradley Manning, if he is the WikiLeaks leaker, single-handedly produced more journalistic scoops than any individual in the last three decades, and exposed very serious corruption and illegality by numerous regimes around the world, including the U.S. There is zero national security harm that has been identified from any of those disclosures.
What all of this reflects is the wildly excessive, anti-democratic secrecy behind which the U.S. Government operates, and the solution in the face of this growing controversy ought to be serious attempts to increase transparency and dilute the wall of secrecy. But that’s highly unlikely to happen. When people like Dianne Feinstein, Carl Levin and John McCain start digging their hands into these controversies, they reflexively do the opposite: they are devoted to always-increasing levels of government secrecy.
For Security State servants like these, secrecy is the currency on which their power, influence and self-importance depends: the more government actions which they know about but which are concealed from the citizenry, the more influential and unaccountable they are. So as is usually true when bipartisan groups of self-important Senators gather in common cause, they’re certain to make the core problem worse. In response to the genuine problem of selective leak-punishment by the Executive Branch, they will not try to increase transparency but will do the opposite: attempt to plug leaks, punish whistleblowers, and fortify U.S. Government secrecy powers even beyond where they are now.
Still, whatever else is true, what is completely intolerable is to allow this glaring double standard to continue. The prevailing rules under this administration are definitively corrupt: if you leak to expose government corruption and in the process embarrass political officials, then you are severely punished (whistleblowers); but if you leak to glorify the President and his highest-level advisers, then you are protected and rewarded (senior Obama officials).
This is similar to the issue of high-level Washington support for the MeK Terror group: the law itself — criminally punishing advocacy deemed to be on behalf of Terror groups — is a pernicious assault on free speech and should not be permitted; but since it is permitted, it should be applied to the marginal and the powerful alike. The same is true here: all of these leaks are in the public interest and should be permitted, not prosecuted; but since leaks by low-level government employees are harshly prosecuted when they expose serious wrongdoing, then leaks by senior Obama officials designed to politically benefit the President should be prosecuted as well. Often, the best (or only) way to put an end to unjust legal practices is to subject the most powerful elites to those laws on equal terms with everyone else.
White House spokesman Jay Carney responded to these accusations of politically-motivated leaking with this denial: “Any suggestion that this administration has authorized intentional leaks of classified information for political gain is grossly irresponsible.” Oh, yes: perish the thought. Carney’s denial is implausible in the extreme.
The media accounts disclosing the Obama-glorifying national security leaks repeatedly attribute them to Obama officials: the NYT “kill list” article was based on interviews with “three dozen of his current and former advisers [who] described Mr. Obama’s evolution since taking on the role”; the NYT‘s Iran cyber-warfare article cited, among others, “American officials,” including “a senior administration official”; the same White House that insists in court that it cannot confirm the existence of the CIA’s drone program this week once again anonymously boasted of its latest drone kill in Pakistan; and weknow that key White House officials met with and passed sensitive information to Hollywood filmmakers about the bin Laden raid.
Moreover, these disclosures include glorifying details only those very close to Obama could possible know (he grapples with the profound moral teachings of Augustine, Thomas Aquinas and Bush-era CIA official John Brennan when building his “kill lists”; “‘From his first days in office, [Obama] was deep into every step in slowing the Iranian [nuclear] program — the diplomacy, the sanctions, every major decision,’ a senior administration official said. ‘And it’s safe to say that whatever other activity might have been under way [cyber-warfare] was no exception to that rule’”). Does that not sound exactly like close Obama aides leaking national security secrets in order to venerate him as a hands-on, tough guy Commander-in-Chief?
And if these leaks weren’t authorized by the White House, then it’s highly, highly coincidental — an extraordinary stroke of serial good luck for the White House — that these leaks over and over again have the same effect: depicting Obama in the best possible political light, as a strong, bold, unflinching Commander-in-Chief. It’s just so very lucky for the White House that these leaks continuously disclose actions by Obama that make people like Andrew Sullivan gush over his Warrior Greatness and claim he’d merit elevation to Mount Rushmore if done by Bush. Given all that, it is, I suppose, theoretically possible that the leaks are not coming from the White House, but it’s very, very unlikely.
But let’s assume for the sake of argument that Carney is actually telling the truth this time. That would mean that all of these leaks are unauthorized: which is another way of saying that they are illegal. Doesn’t that mean that the DOJ should immediately commence a criminal investigation to uncover the identity of and punish the “three dozen” current and former Obama advisers who furnished details about Obama’s “kill list,” and the “senior administration official” who hailed Obama’s role in the cyber-attacks on Iran, and all the other officials who have planted with newspapers highly flattering accounts of the President’s classified role in Killing America’s Enemies and Keeping Us Safe?
When those senior administration officials who glorified the President with their leaks are occupying prison cells next to Bradley Manning and Jeffrey Sterling and the other whisterblowers who exposed government wrongdoing, then you’ll know that the Obama administration genuinely views secrecy as an important security value rather than as a gross instrument of propaganda, intimidation, and unaccountability. And it’s only once those leaking senior Obama officials face decades in prison for “espionage” will the White House’s denials — and the notion of a rule of law — be remotely plausible.

* * * * *
In a horrifying suicide attack this week in Afghanistan, the Taliban first detonated a bomb at a truck stop outside a military base, killing numerous civilians, and then moments later detonated a second bomb as bystanders “had rushed in to help the bloodiest and most helpless of the victims of the first thundering explosion.” Compare that repellent tactic to this and this.

Targeted Killings and Double Standards

June 7, 2011
According to Human Rights Watch’s test of legality of targeted killings, there are significant differences between Israel’s policy, which has been conducted in almost full compliance with this test, and the policies of Western armies, which have resulted in far more civilian fatalities.
On the one hand, there is an IDF policy executed with remarkable transparency, and put under intense local and international public scrutiny (including judicial review). Furthermore, this policy was implemented with precision targeting and virtually no mistakes regarding the location of the terrorist – and with less than one civilian fatality average per targeted killing.
On the other hand, there is a Western policy which in many cases did not comply with HRW’s stated test, and was conducted behind a cloak of systemic and deliberate opacity, with virtually no public scrutiny. Due to faulty or compromised intelligence, this policy resulted in many incidents which ought to have raised red flags regarding the core principles of distinction and proportionality – and had a ratio of more than ten civilian fatalities per targeted killing. The writer, an international human rights lawyer, is a Scholar in Residence at the Jerusalem Center. (Justus Reid Weiner, J.D. – Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

Bee's Note;
How do you suppose the media would have handled the following report, had it been Israel striking a wedding party in Gaza? ... just saying!

Women, children among 18 Afghans dead in NATO wedding strike - report (PHOTOS)
 Afghan villagers sit on the back of a vehicle carrying dead bodies of children who were killed in a NATO airstrike on a home in Sajawand village in Logar province south of Kabul on June 6, 2012 (AFP Photo/Sabawoon Amarkhil)
Afghan villagers sit on the back of a vehicle carrying dead bodies of children who were killed in a NATO airstrike on a home in Sajawand village in Logar province south of Kabul on June 6, 2012 (AFP Photo/Sabawoon Amarkhil)

IDF Preparing for Conflict in Lebanon


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Video: Scott Walker’s Victory Speech - posted by Weasel Zippers

If you think tonight feels good, imagine what it will feel like when we beat Obama in November.


Obama Campaign Tries To Spin Wisconsin Recall Defeat: A “Strong Message Was Sent To Governor Walker”…

And that message would be, we love you Scott Walker!
WASHINGTON — The Obama campaign — which has largely kept President Obama himself out of the Wisconsin recall election — puts out a statement saying that a message had been sent to Gov. Scott Walker, despite his win.
“While tonight’s outcome was not what we had hoped for – no one can dispute the strong message sent to Governor Walker. Hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites from all walks of life took a stand against the politics of division and against the flood of secret and corporate money spent on behalf of Scott Walker, which amounted to a massive spending gap of more than $31 million to $4 million,” Tripp Wellde, campaign state director, said in a statement.
“It is a testament to all of those individuals who talked to their friends, neighbors, and colleagues about the stakes in this election of how close this contest was. The power of Wisconsin’s progressive, grassroots tradition was clearly on display throughout the run up to this election and we will continue to work together to ensure a brighter future for Wisconsin’s middle class,” Wellde said.
“This vision was shared by the voters tonight, as exit polling showed President Obama beating Mitt Romney 52-43, a 9-point difference. On the questions of who would do a better job on the economy and who would help the middle class the most, President Obama again held a strong advantage over Romney. These data points clearly demonstrate a very steep pathway for Mitt Romney to recover in the state,” Wellde said.

The Long-Delayed Trial of the Fort Hood Terrorist

by Daniel Greenfield ... MIDDLE EAST AND TERRORISM

It’s around 5,000 miles from El-Bireh, a dirty little administrative center for the Palestinian Authority bureaucracy, to Kileen, Texas. A year after Nidal Hasan opened fire in Fort Hood, killing 13 and wounding 29, a public square in El-Bireh was dedicated to Dalal Mughrabi, a terrorist who took part in the murder of 38 Israelis, including 13 children.
El-Bireh may one day yet dedicate a public square to Nidal Hasan, the most famous of its sons, but for now Hasan sits in Bell County Jail, where the Texas weather is twenty degrees warmer than back in El-Bireh, and the families of his victims sit in their own jails, waiting for Hasan to finally be brought to trial.
The Fort Hood courthouse was being boarded up two years ago for the hearings that have dragged on. Fences were added, windows were covered over and the court was made wheelchair accessible as a courtesy for Nidal Hasan, not for any of his victims, like Staff Sgt. Patrick Zeigler, who in the time that Hasan has sat waiting for a trial, has managed to learn to walk again.
Every year the cost of keeping Hasan locked up runs about half a million dollars, payable by the army to the county. That’s over a million dollars in the last two years. Where does all that money go?
Nidal Hasan’s living quarters are not exactly those of the ordinary prisoner. He has a handicap accessible shower in his cell, along with his own bathroom, and a bed with an air mattress. Those are better conditions than those of veterans in many VA hospitals, who describe everything from blood spills to fecal matter, and who would welcome the kind of facilities that a murderer of American soldiers enjoys.
Hasan’s defense team has relied on one tactic, endless requests for postponements in a delaying game that has gone on for years. After all their delaying tactics, the trial is scheduled for August of this year. Whether it will actually take place then is another matter.
Faced with an unwinnable case, public anger and a difficult client—Hasan’s defenders have stalled for time, hoping that public interest will die down and that their client will become more cooperative at playing the part they need him to play. An insanity defense would be their best shot, but a jihadist like Hasan is not likely to welcome being portrayed as a madman.
The endgame of the defense is to keep Hasan from receiving the death penalty. That’s why a capital mitigation specialist has been digging into Nidal Hasan’s biography looking for a way to unbalance the scales of justice. The mitigation specialist has led to more delays and a quarter million dollar bill to the government for his services on Hasan’s behalf.
Sooner or later Hasan will face some small amount of justice, but it will not be until the defense team has wrung every last billable hour and every dubious claim out of the process, while the families of the dead stand by and wait. If Hasan gets the death penalty, then he will eventually be executed. More likely though he will spend another thirty years in a room with a private shower, with regular visits from a physical therapist, and more comforts than a man in his condition would enjoy out of prison. While the Obama Administration slashes Tricare benefits for veterans, Hasan has nothing to worry about.
Nidal Hasan had told Anwar Al-Awlaki that he couldn’t wait to join him in Islamic paradise, but for now his paradise is taxpayer hell, as the men he tried to kill are forced to help foot the bill for his daily comforts. Meanwhile the years pass.
To the Obama administration’s misfortune, the shooting happened on an army base by a terrorist who was serving as a military psychiatrist, making it impossible to move him into the civilian court system. But it has done its part by refusing to recognize him as an Islamic terrorist, or a terrorist of any kind. Instead the Fort Hood Massacre was classified as “workplace violence.”
In a strange twist of terminology, Dalal Mughrabi is considered a terrorist, but Nidal Hasan is not. Al-Qaeda, in the person of Anwar Al-Awlaki, was willing to claim Hasan, but the Obama administration was not willing to let them have him. Not only was the Obama administration unwilling to concede that Hasan, whose business cards identified him as a “Soldier of Allah,” was a terrorist, but it was equally unwilling to concede that the soldiers he attacked deserved Purple Heart medals for being wounded in the service of their country.
Inside the massive heft of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2013, buried in sections 551 and 552, was a small attempt to honor the fighting men and women of the armed forces confronting the terrorist threat of Islam, despite the unwillingness of the authorities to recognize its existence.
Section 551 modified the terms under which the Prisoner of War Medal is granted, amending the original text, which reads, “By foreign armed forces that are hostile to the United States,” to eliminate the “Hostile to the United States” part. This was not done because non-hostile armed forces are likely to take American soldiers prisoner, but because giving the medal requires overcoming the refusal of our government to concede that the people taking American soldiers prisoner are hostile.
Section 552 awarded the Purple Heart to the soldiers who had been wounded at Fort Hood and in the Muslim terrorist attack against the recruiting station in Little Rock, Arkansas. In recognition of the deeply perverse mindset the legislation was up against, 552 included an exception, preventing the medal from going to someone like Nidal Hasan, who perpetrated an attack.
In its long list of objections to the NDAA, the Obama Administration took special exception to the idea of giving Purple Hearts to the soldiers wounded at Fort Hood and Little Rock, describing them as “shooting incidents,” not terrorist attacks.
The initial investigation into the attacks had focused on Hasan’s mosque and his Islamic connections, but that investigation, like the one that might have prevented the attack, was quickly short-circuited. The case has been kept simple by the prosecution, but complicated by the defense, which is still digging through piles of documents, searching for a defense.
By the time the trial begins, it will have been nearly three years since the initial charges were filed against Nidal Hasan. His defenders have tried to close the hearings to the public and to delay the case as long as possible. The Obama administration has tried to hide the terrorist nature of the attacks. Like the dirt heaped on the graves of the dead, the hope is to hide away what happened until everyone forgets.
And in a cell in Texas, a soldier of Allah lies on his air mattress, waiting for rivers of honey and mountains of musk, for silver palaces and the obligatory seventy-two virgins, “dark-eyed,” “chaste as hidden pearls” with “rounded breasts.” While his victims suffer, he waits for paradise.
Daniel Greenfield

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Time Running Out on Iran

Posted by  Bio ↓ on Jun 6th, 201

The recently held negotiations of the P5+1 (U.S., Russia, China, France, Britain, and Germany) and the Islamic Republic of Iran in Baghdad followed similar talks that took place last month in Istanbul – both of which produced one clear result – the enabling of Iran to buy more time in its pursuit of nuclear arms.
The IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) reportedly found traces of enriched uranium at a 27% level in Iran’s Fordow facility.  According to the Center for American Progress, which reflects the views of President Obama, “The United States and the International community have time to continue negotiations with Iran and let sanctions pressure the Tehran regime to come clean about its program.”
These kinds of statements and the West’s squandering of time as Iran’s centrifuges spin, has led the Netanyahu government to believe that the West is about to give in to Iran.
For Israel, time is of the essence.  Israelis are not only worried about the lack of concrete results from the talks with Iran; they are deeply concerned about Obama’s habitual appeasement of Iran.  Obama has tried his best to avoid imposing hard hitting sanctions (he had to be publicly rebuked by Senator Menendez (NJ) to sign the latest piece of legislation) and has been obvious in his avoidance of a military confrontation with Iran – thereby empowering the Islamic Republic, which also wants to avoid a conflict – so that it can complete its nuclear program.
The New York Daily News reported on May 30, 2012 that, “As a candidate Obama pledged to meet personally with Iranian leaders and predicted that Iranians would start changing their behavior if they started seeing that they had some incentives to do so.”  As president, Obama declared in his June 4, 2009 speech in Cairo, Egypt of the need to “overcome decades of mistrust.”  In this narrative, according to the Daily News, “Talks are successful insofar as they end not in collapse but in a sustained negotiating process…”
Earlier, on March 20, 2009, Obama videotaped a message to the Iranian people and leaders in honor of Nowruz, the Iranian New Year.  In the message he declared that, “My administration is now committed to diplomacy that addresses the full range of issues before us, and to pursuing constructive ties…this process will not be advanced by threats, we seek instead engagement that is honest and grounded in mutual respect.”  There was no mention in Obama’s message of Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons.
Commenting on Obama’s gesture to Iran, the liberal New York Times columnist Roger Cohen wrote (March 23, 2009), “President Obama achieved four things essential to any rapprochement. He abandoned regime change, as an American goal.  He shelved the so-called military option.  He buried a carrot-and-stick approach viewed with contempt by Iranian as fit only for donkeys. And he placed Iran’s nuclear program within the full range of issues before us.”
The Iranian response was to mock Obama as a hypocrite.  Ayatollah Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, said, “They [Obama and his administration] say we have stretched a hand towards Iran …If a hand is stretched covered with a velvet glove but it is cast iron inside that makes no sense.” Ayatollah Khamenei furthermore asked Obama, “Have you released Iranian assets? Have you lifted oppressive sanctions? Have you given up mudslinging and making accusations against the great Iranian nation and its officials?
It is becoming apparent that Obama is not inclined to use the military option, unless, in desperation, he does so in order to win the U.S. presidential election. For Israel, however, time is running out for a viable military solution to Iran’s nuclear weapons program.  Israelis must consider several difficult questions.  First and foremost is the question of how the Obama administration will react to an Israeli attack. At best, a successful Israeli attack will delay the production of an Iranian nuclear weapon.  If the U.S. would then tighten sanctions on Iran and mobilize the international community to deny the Iranian regime the materials to rebuild what an Israeli attack destroyed, then it would be worthwhile for Israel to risk the lives of its pilots in order to end the threat to Israel and the Western world from the fanatical theocracy of Iran.
In the absence of a solid U.S. commitment to support Israel in the days after such an attack has taken place, it would be sheer madness for Israel to risk Iranian as well as Hezbollah missile attacks on Tel Aviv.  It is understood that the Iranians would be able to rebuild their nuclear facilities within a year or two, and that an Israeli attack would unite all Iranians behind the regime with a renewed focus on manufacturing a nuclear bomb immediately.  Conversely, strong U.S. backing of Israeli military action, and continued international vigilance that would prevent Iran from obtaining materials for a nuclear bomb, would shake up the regime, strengthen the opposition and empower the Sunni minorities (Kurds, Baluchis, and Ahwazi-Arabs) to increase their military pressure on the Ayatollahs’ regime.
U.S. Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman flew to Israel immediately following the conclusion of the Baghdad talks to brief the Israeli leadership on the results. It seems that the pressure put on the Obama administration by the Israeli government to refrain from making any concessions to the Iranians unless they stop their uranium enrichment is being carefully debated in Washington.  Obama does not much care whether the Iranian regime acquires the bomb.  What makes Obama jittery is an Israeli attack that might impact negatively on his reelection campaign.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said that the international community “would keep tightening tough economic sanctions on Iran.”  He added, “We will continue to pressure Tehran, continue to move forward with sanctions that will be coming online as the year progresses, and we expect those to have the kind of effect on Iran in terms of making it clear to the regime what the price of a continued failure to meet its obligations will mean for the country and for its economy.”
To frustrate Obama even further, and prove Israel’s assertion that Iran is simply seeking to buy time, Iran’s President Ahmadinejad declared on Wednesday May 30, 2012 that he does not expect talks this month in Moscow (June 18-19) on Iran’s nuclear program to yield any breakthroughs.  Reuters reported that Ahmadinejad reiterated “Iran’s legal right to enrich uranium to 20% (level).”
Iran is, of course, lying to the world in the best tradition of taqiyya and kitman, which in the Quran (16:106) notes that under certain circumstances lying is permitted to gain the trust of non-believers in order to defeat them.  The IAEA already established that Iran’s uranium enrichment is at 27%, and that precludes nuclear sites yet unknown to the world.  But for President Obama “talking” with the Iranians is a way of avoiding action.  And if President Jimmy Carter “lost” pro-Western Iran to the staunchly anti-American Ayatollahs, President Obama’s legacy is to be the president who enabled Iran to acquire a nuclear bomb, and thus strengthen the hold of the oppressive Islamic regime over Iran.