If you get the reference, chances are you don’t need these anyway…
Photo courtesy of Abe Lee.
Condoms from Japan.
Thu 31 Dec 2009 15:01
If you get the reference, chances are you don’t need these anyway…
Photo courtesy of Abe Lee.
Condoms from Japan.
Thu 31 Dec 2009 10:42
No, Mr. President, it was not an "attempted act." It was in fact a real, bone fide, actual, real-life, genuine, authentic, honest-to-goodness, factual, concrete, you-betcha act.
Man with bomb gets on a plane. That’s it. That’s the act. Right there. See it? It’s jumping up and down and waving a flag. It’s yelling "Yoohoo!" Hey, over here. I’m the act. Look at me!"
That, Mr. President, is what you failed to prevent. You do not get a B+ grade. This is pass-fail. Prevent man with bomb getting on plane = pass. Permit man with bomb to get on plane = fail.
Furthermore, it was quite successful terrorism in that people are more afraid to fly today than they were a few days ago. So, by the only criteria that matters for the terrorism-making people afraid-what happened over Detroit on Christmas Day was in fact quite successful. I for one wouldn’t be more frightened of flying had the plane been blown out of the sky and hundreds of lives lost than I am today. I’d be considerably sadder, but no more frightened.
Hell. I’m more afraid today when a plane flies overhead.
Because a man with bomb got on a plane.
I’m certainly more frightened of flying, Mr. President, than I was during those dark years when the apparatus of intelligence and defense was in the hands of your constitution-shredding not-as-articulate-as-you predecessor.
It was a long time ago, back in November in fact, when another terrorist was successful attacking innocent Americans at Fort Hood, Texas. That was an act, too. A successful terrorist act.
The penetration of our defenses by a terrorist a few days ago, was the second successful attack on the United States in the last few weeks.
And, Mr. President, those weeks belong to you.
Thu 31 Dec 2009 10:18
It’s showtime, folks! Today’s the deadline President Obama imposed on Iran’s leaders to give up their nuclear ambitions and be nice.
Not sure if the deadline expires at midnight in Tehran or on Washington time, but the mullahs and President Mahmoud "Mighty Mouse" Ahmadinejad aren’t scrambling to give Obama a New Year’s Eve smooch.
Rather than cave in to our president’s mighty rhetoric, the Tehran tyrants took a break from killing protesters in the streets to attempt to import more than 1,300 tons of make-a-nuke uranium ore from Kazakhstan.
They’ve also increased their nuke-cooker centrifuge count, tested new long-range missiles and lied like Persian rugs about hidden nuke sites. In response, our president threatened to huff and puff and blow their house down.
Iran’s retort? "Love the cool breeze, Barack."
This is another debacle of Obama’s own making. It’s a fundamental rule of playgrounds and security policy that you shouldn’t make threats you can’t or won’t back up. But Obama’s in love with the sound of his own voice. The fanatics in Tehran are more interested in the sound of a nuclear blast.
Desperate leftists in our country still compare Obama to Bush, insisting that, well, Obama’s not doing so badly, not really, not if you really think about it.
Bush, for all his faults, worried our enemies. Obama amuses them.
Obama’s primary threat against the Tehran thugs has been sanctions. OK, let’s see if he can get internationally recognized sanctions that actually bite. I’m offering 100-to-1 odds in Tehran’s favor.
China won’t play. Beijing wants Iran’s oil and values Tehran as a regional cat’s paw.
Dubai won’t halt its massive illicit trade with Iran. Local ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s desert playground is $80 billion in the hole. And smuggling’s Dubai’s only growth industry these days.
And Russia will cheat on any paper agreements. As will the ‘stans of Central Asia. And Qatar, the UAE and Kuwait. Iraq, too. And Pakistan.
Obama’s threatened sanctions get even more laughable, since they’d target only Iran’s power elite. Insiders in any dictatorship are those best able to duck the pain of sanctions. So Ahmadinejad can’t get a visa for a Vegas vacation. That’ll teach him a lesson.
Only comprehensive sanctions backed by a military blockade have any chance of working. Otherwise, as we’ve seen in North Korea, the well-connected continue to feast while the commoners faint from hunger. And there won’t be a blockade, folks.
If sanctions weren’t enough of a joke, we also have Obama’s all-too-obvious reluctance to back the millions of Iranians struggling for freedom and democracy. Our president’s empty remarks this week checked the block for nervous American leftists, but provided no useful support to Iranians risking their lives for basic rights.
What should this inept administration do? Provide clandestine, covert and overt support to Iran’s freedom crusaders. And funnel money and arms to Baluchi, Kurdish, Azeri and Arab separatists willing to take on the Revolutionary Guard jihadis.
Meanwhile, a paradox arises from those courageous demonstrations in Iran: They really do threaten the monstrous regime of the mullahs — and that makes Iran’s bully-boys even more likely to use nukes as soon as they get them.
If Ahmadinejad and the turbaned tyrants sense that time’s running out, they’ll launch any nukes they have against Israel in a frantic attempt to kick-start Armageddon and entice the Hidden Imam to return.
These are not rational actors by our standards. They’re authentic fanatics. And the (shrinking) civilized world is racing against the clock to change the Tehran regime before the regime can change the world.
President Obama’s answer? Make it harder for Iran’s rulers to acquire foreign luxury goods. Guess Ahmadinejad and the Ayatollah Khamenei won’t be drinking Chateau Margaux or Cheval Blanc at their we-popped-a-nuke celebration.
While Obama dithers, Israel may have to act. The Gulf will explode. Oil will be a bargain at $400 a barrel. The global economy will freeze. And we’ll be in the fight anyway.
And then? Obama will interrupt another vacation to explain that those wicked Israelis didn’t give his sanctions time to work. And it’ll be Bush’s fault, too. And America’s. And Islam will have nothing to do with religious madmen murdering their own people in the streets and begging Allah to help them nuke their neighbors.
Happy New Year!
Thu 31 Dec 2009 09:17
Thu 31 Dec 2009 09:01
Thu 31 Dec 2009 08:35
Leading Democrats like to hold up the Veterans Benefits Administration as an example of how well government can provide health care. But veterans who deal with the complex federal bureaucracy have invented an unhappy refrain to describe the VBA: "Deny, deny until you die."
VBA, the branch of the Department of Veterans Affairs that dispenses aid and assistance to veterans and their families, is simply overwhelmed. It reported on Monday that there are 481,751 pending claims, some of which will take more than a year to be processed.
Among those flooding the VBA’s facilities with claims are retirement-aged Vietnam veterans and elderly World War II veterans, middle-aged Gulf War veterans, and younger Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. All of these groups are applying in larger numbers because of the weak economy, said Larry Scott, the founder of the advocacy group VAwatchdog.org.
"You’re getting a lot of people who came out of Vietnam and said, ‘Excuse me, screw it.’ They put their uniform away and didn’t want anything to do with the VA. Now they’re getting older and know if their boots were on the ground [in Vietnam], they were presumably exposed to Agent Orange," Mr. Scott said, referring to the common name for a chemical defoliant widely used in Vietnam that can cause cancer and other diseases.
"There is also great stress on the system because people who qualified for private health insurance are now unemployed, or underemployed and their employer doesn’t provide health care. So you’ve got all these people crawling out and saying, ‘I didn’t know I could get this, but let me go see now.’"
Three government investigations released in September paint a picture of an agency that simply can’t keep up with the demand:
• An audit released Sept. 23 by the inspector general of Veterans Affairs found that 3 percent of all claims took more than a year for the VBA to process.
• A separate audit released Sept. 28, this one investigating VBA’s control of veterans’ claims folders, said that 437,000 claims – more than 10 percent of the 4.2 million on file – had been lost or misplaced.
• In a third report, released Sept. 30, the inspector general said employees at VA regional offices had shredded claims forms containing information needed to obtain benefits. Although the inspector general was unable to determine how many claims had been wrongly destroyed, the investigation found claims placed in shred bins, waiting to be destroyed, at 41 VBA locations nationwide.
Efforts to speak with someone at the VA about these matters on the record were not fruitful. The only person the VA would make available was a high-level technology officer at the VA, and that interview was canceled twice at the last minute.
The VA did provide information to The Washington Times attributable to a "VA spokesman," saying it hired an additional 4,200 people over the past three years to help reduce claims-processing times and is testing a number of pilot programs to streamline the process.
The VA also has put new controls in place to prevent workers from shredding needed documents; two staffers and a facility records management officer must now review a document before it can be shredded.
But any improvement will come too late to help Greg Hasler, who filed a disability claim with Veterans Affairs in May 2008 after being diagnosed with a severe form of internal cancer. His oncologist recognized it as a kind of cancer commonly caused by radiation and said it likely was caused by Mr. Hasler’s service in the early 1960s in Operation Dominic at Christmas Island, a Pacific Ocean atoll where many nuclear tests were conducted.
Mr. Hasler died from his fast-spreading cancer on Feb. 4, 2009, at age 66. It wasn’t until July that the VBA notified his wife that it was examining the claim; the agency told her in September – seven months after her husband’s death – that his illness was service-connected and that she was entitled to benefits.
Mrs. Hasler said she was able to get the claim opened only after seeking help from advocates at VAwatchdog.com, who exposed her problems with the VBA to the public as "the Case of the Atomic Widow."
Other veterans, including former Vietnam helicopter pilot Jim Massey, are still fighting for benefits. Mr. Massey has retained legal counsel at his own expense after being spurned by the system. He can barely walk because of his back problems but was awarded a disability rating of only 20 percent, meaning the VA thinks he still has 80 percent of his normal function.
Mr. Massey is appealing the ruling, but the process is time-consuming and requires frequent appointments at far-away military hospitals. His wife, Georgia, must schedule time off work in order to drive her husband to the appointments since he cannot drive himself.
Such problems are not uncommon, said Jim Strickland, one of the two men who run VAwatchdog.com. "It is routine for the majority of people to have some sort of major glitch with filing their claim," he said.
Mr. Massey, whose military awards include the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star and numerous Air Medals, first hurt his back while serving as a door gunner in Vietnam when his helicopter crashed from engine failure in November 1966.
He reinjured his back twice during his 20-year Army career, once in 1972 lifting a heavy roll-up door of a helicopter hangar and more severely in 1984 while extracting a fellow soldier from concertina wire during a field exercise.
"Helicopters have vibrations, beats," said Mr. Massey, who served as a helicopter pilot and test pilot for 13 years. "It vibrates your head and just beats your neck and back continuously up and down and side to side."
Since 2003, Mr. Massey has undergone 10 surgeries, five of which have been on his lower back. Because of the "horror stories" he had heard about the VA application process, he said, he delayed filing for service-connected disability benefits until June 2007.
He was given a disability rating of just 20 percent even though he has extreme difficulty walking and requires strong pain medication, making it hard for him to seek a job. "I’m basically housebound," Mr. Massey said.
He and his wife are now appealing, a process requiring tremendous time and effort. Mrs. Massey, who keeps meticulous records, said she took her husband to 69 doctor appointments in 2008 alone.
"One time, they just measured the scars on my back," Mr. Massey said, after traveling 240 miles to be evaluated by the VA.
Mr. Massey was notified by mail about when and where to appear next and was not given any choices. Paperwork from his VA medical center warned: "Failure to report for any scheduled examination could have a detrimental effect on the outcome of your claim."
In August, Mr. Massey received a mind-boggling letter from the VA.
"We propose to rate you as incompetent for VA purposes," it said. "Evidence from your VA psychiatric examination dated February 6, 2008, revealed you stated that your short-term memory is quite poor, and your wife often makes you a list that you at times will even forget to read or follow through on.
"You said that you lose objects regularly, including telephone, camera, keys, and stated this has been going on for the past six to seven years. The examiner stated on the basis of this evaluation, you appeared minimally to partially capable of managing your VA benefits."
Mr. Massey worries that such a ruling would mean someone else would be appointed to manage his personal finances. "Who doesn’t misplace items?" he asked.
Mr. Strickland has advised the Masseys to seek legal counsel, which they have done. "All I am asking for is fair compensation for the injuries my body and mind received during my 20 years of service in the defense of our country," Mr. Massey said.
Drew Early, a veterans lawyer based in Decatur, Ga., who is working with the Masseys, said it is not unusual to be threatened with a finding of incompetency.
"Any time they see anything that looks like it could be dementia or Alzheimer’s, that rings a bell in their head, and they will automatically default to a finding of incompetency, which in and of itself can be harming," he said.
"The problem is that this is a federal agency making a determination that has many ramifications beyond the scope of the VA. They can extend it to say you can’t own a gun. ‘We are a federal agency and we are declaring you incompetent,’ and that has baggage throughout [an individual’s] life and engagement with the government."
Such findings are difficult for a veteran to appeal.
"An enemy combatant in Guantanamo Bay has more rights than does a veteran," Mr. Early said. "And who has the time? These poor veterans don’t have time to sit and wait and confront the nation’s second-largest bureaucracy. They are in need of help, but this bureaucratic fortress stands in their way."
Mr. Massey hopes eventually to be rated as 100 percent disabled, but regrets having to work so hard to get the rating to which he feels entitled.
Mrs. Hasler, the "atomic widow," is similarly upset that she had to get help from the men at VAwatchdog.com to receive compensation from the military that her husband served before dying prematurely from that service.
She said it "unnerved" her having to share the details of her husband’s untimely death with other people, but "the one thing he made me promise was that I would not give up on the claim" that could provide her with payments on which to live.
"I’m a relatively private person, and the average person doesn’t know where to go, and there is certainly no handbook from the VA to guide you," she said. "I don’t think they give a rip."
Thu 31 Dec 2009 08:14
An intriguing name has surfaced in the worldwide investigation into Christmas Day bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s life. That name is Moazzam Begg, and it is a name that is well known to those left-wing journalists and human rights lawyers who take everything former Gitmo detainees say at face value.
Abdulmutallab is the privileged son of a wealthy Nigerian family. As such, his journey to jihad has prompted much reporting. As the press has probed Abdulmutallab’s radicalization, Begg’s name has surfaced as one of the extremists he associated with, perhaps only briefly, in London. Although we don’t know yet how extensive the relationship between Abdulmutallab and Begg is, it is a conspicuous connection to say the least.
Begg is a famous former Guantanamo detainee who has become a masterful anti-American propagandist. His organization, Cage Prisoners, claims to be a "human rights organization that exists solely to raise awareness of the plight of the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and other detainees held as part of the War on Terror." In reality, Begg’s organization exists solely to demonize the U.S. military and smear America’s post-9/11 war efforts.
Begg himself is a demonstrable fraud. He claims that he was an innocent who was wrongly detained and then "tortured" by the U.S. in Afghanistan and Cuba. The only part of Begg’s story that is true, however, is that he was once detained by America. The rest of Begg’s tale is a demonstrable lie. Yet, Begg has many fans in the West including, apparently, Abdulmutallab.
In early 2007, Abdulmutallab was the president of the Islamic Society at the University College of London (UCL). The press has uncovered a number of disturbing aspects of Abdulmutallab’s tenure as the head of the society. First and foremost, his organization hosted a "War on Terror Week" that was really a "Blame America" fest. The New York Times has aptly described the Islamic Society’s "guest speakers" at this and other events as "radical imams, former Guantanamo Bay prisoners and a cast of mostly left-wing, anti-American British politicians and human rights advocates."
From January 29, to February 2, 2007, the Islamic Society hosted "a series of lectures" as part of its "War on Terror Week." One of the lectures, according to the Times (UK), was entitled "Jihad v. Terrorism" and billed as "a lecture on the Islamic position with respect to jihad."
The lecture was given by Asim Qureshi, who is a "senior researcher" at Begg’s organization, Cage Prisoners. Qureshi’s own words make his real purpose plain to see as he is, at times, an overt jihadist. During one particularly troublesome episode, Qureshi was captured in an online video ranting at a rally hosted by Hizb ut Tahrir, an organization that the BBC has found "promotes racism and anti-Semitic hatred, calls suicide bombers martyrs and urges Muslims to kill Jewish people." Indeed, the video shows Qureshi praising his "brothers and sisters fighting in Chechnya, Iraq, Palestine, Kashmir, [and] Afghanistan." Qureshi tells the crowd: "We know that it is incumbent upon all of us to support the jihad of our brothers and sisters in these countries when they are facing the oppression of the West." Qureshi and the crowd then break into a chant of "Allah Akhbar."
This is the Begg associate that Abdulmutallab invited to speak about jihad during his 2007 "War on Terror Week."
With respect to jihad, Abdulmutallab and his cronies are all for it. As the Times (UK) informed readers earlier this week: Abdulmutallab "is the fourth president of a London student Islamic society to face terrorist charges in three years. One is facing a retrial on charges that he was involved in the 2006 liquid bomb plot to blow up airliners. Two others have been convicted of terrorist offences since 2007."
Another of the speakers invited to give a presentation during "War on Terror Week" was Moazzam Begg himself. According to the Daily Mail (UK), "A poster advertising the week carried the name Umar Farook and includes events featuring former British Guantanamo detainee Moazzam Begg entitled Bring Our Boys Home." The "Umar Farook" in question is the same student-turned-bomber who almost got away with mass murder on December 25. Copies of the poster (which also lists Qureshi as a speaker) can be found online.
You can also still read Abdulmutallab’s announcement for "War on Terror Week," which trumpets Begg’s appearance as well as that of other speakers (including the far-left, tyrant coddling MP George Galloway, who reportedly denies speaking at the event) on an online Islamic forum. The handle of the poster on this forum, "Farouk1986," is the one that Abdulmutallab reportedly used regularly. Indeed, this is probably one of the web postings that the Telegraph (UK) had in mind when it reported that Abdulmutallab "made postings referring to a visit to UCL by the former Guantanamo detainee Moazzam Begg."
Up until the last day or two, an online advertisement for the Islamic Society’s "War on Terror Week" was still publicly available on You Tube. That video is now listed as "private," but before it was obscured from public view you could see what Abdulmutallab’s event was all about. Reenactments of Gitmo detainees in orange jumpsuits being harangued by American soldiers at Camp X-Ray during the first weeks of Gitmo were spliced together with a video montage of Begg, Qureshi, and other speakers.
The image that was conveyed in the video was deliberately misleading–and intended to portray American soldiers in the worst possible light, while making the detainees appear to be innocent lambs. The primitive Camp X-Ray was only operational for four months in 2002 and has been replaced by multi-million dollar facilities. Long gone, too, are the orange jumpsuits. But the far left and jihadists love the images of Gitmo detainees in that garb because it makes them appear to be innocent victims abused by a ruthless and depraved America. That’s why Abdulmutallab’s organization, and Begg, use them.
It is not clear what Begg said when it was his turn to speak at Abdulmutallab’s conference. A cursory search does not produce any online footage or transcripts of his talk. But it is likely that Begg went through his usual routine, claiming that he was an innocent who was wrongly detained and "tortured" by America.
Begg’s story is a complete fabrication.
Begg has claimed that not only did the military and CIA personnel abuse him, but also FBI agents. The Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) investigated Begg’s claim that the FBI forced him to sign a single-spaced eight page confession indicating, "among other things, that Begg sympathized with the cause of al Qaeda, attended terrorist training camps in Afghanistan, Pakistan and England so that he could assist in waging global jihad against enemies of Islam, including Russia and India; associated with and assisted several prominent terrorists and supporters of terrorists and discussed potential terrorist acts with them; recruited young operatives for the global jihad; and provided financial support for terrorist training camps."
The OIG "concluded that the evidence did not support the allegation that [FBI agents] coerced Begg into signing the statement." Begg even made handwritten modifications to his confession and initialed the accusations he conceded were true. Begg’s confession is, in other words, a damning piece of evidence against him. It is for this reason, among others, that the national security establishment objected to Begg’s release from Gitmo in 2005. The Department of Defense also performed three investigations into Begg’s claims of abuse while in military custody and "found no evidence to substantiate his claims."
Despite the fact that Begg once admitted his noteworthy ties to terrorism and that his allegations of abuse and torture are unfounded, Begg has gained notoriety in the West. He is quite the celebrity and is regularly cited by the media as a credible source when it comes to all things Gitmo. Begg currently stars in an anti-American propaganda film on the ACLU’s web site and regularly writes op-eds for Western newspapers. One well-known journalist here in the United States, David Ignatius of the Washington Post, even wrote a fawning forward for Begg’s self-serving book, Enemy Combatant.
Incredibly, Ignatius wrote approvingly of Begg’s shameless and deceptive self-promotion even though Begg admitted in that very same book that he approves of violent jihad. In Enemy Combatant, Begg writes:
"Linguistically jihad means ‘struggle’, the word that some scholars had attempted to confine its meaning to. They said that it was restricted only to the struggle within, the nafs, the inner self. Whilst that was partly true, I learned that throughout history–from the time of the Prophet, and the first Caliphates–up until modern times, the majority of Muslims (and the non-Muslims they used it on) always understood jihad as warfare."
As if to add an exclamation point on his allegiance to jihad, Begg then went on to explain that the most popular book sold at his bookstore in London was Abdullah Azzam’s Defence of the Muslim Lands–a standard jihadist text. Abdullah Azzam was a co-founder of al Qaeda who was probably killed by his al Qaeda comrades, but this was because he and bin Laden disagreed with respect to tactics, not long-term strategic objectives. That is, Azzam was fully committed to the task of reestablishing the Caliphate and imposing sharia law wherever the jihadists might. Azzam remains a legend in jihadist circles.
Abdulmutallab was likely radicalized long before he consorted with the likes of Begg and Qureshi at the Islamic Society’s January 2007 conference. For example, in a web posting dated February 20, 2005, he wrote of his "jihad fantasies." Abdulmutallab elaborated: "I imagine how the great jihad will take place. How the Muslims will win, and rule the whole world," then adding, "do I have to clarify anything further?"
Still, there is a chance that Begg and his ilk helped solidify Abdulmutallab’s jihadist inclinations. Begg and Abdulmutallab also share another jihadist connection: Anwar al Awlaki, the al Qaeda cleric who was a "spiritual advisor" for at least two of the 9/11 hijackers and counseled the Fort Hood shooter.
Begg has been one of Awlaki’s most vocal backers. Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens of The Centre for Social Cohesion in the UK has released a dossier on Awlaki’s supporters in the UK. Begg and his Cage Prisoners organization are featured prominently.
In 2006, Cage Prisoners organized a public relations campaign to pressure the Yemeni government into releasing Awlaki. Then, when Awlaki was released in 2007, Cage Prisoners told readers that they could submit congratulations to Awlaki through them. As Meleagrou-Hitchens notes, this likely means that Awlaki was in direct contact with the organization. In December 2007, Begg interviewed Awlaki for the Cage Prisoners’ website and Awlaki praised Begg’s group for its support. (A transcript of the interview is available online here and you can also find audio of the interview, with pictures of Begg and Awlaki, on You Tube.) Meleagrou-Hitchens rightly observes that the interview is "extensive and friendly."
In September of 2008, just a few months before Awlaki was contacted by Major Nidal Malik Hasan (the Fort Hood Shooter) via email, Cage Prisoners hosted a fundraising event called "Another Ramadan 2008" during which Awlaki delivered a "live lecture" via his cell phone. Cage Prisoners called it a "big draw" for its attendees.
Then, in August 2009 (just weeks after Awlaki blessed attacks on non-Muslim soldiers on his web site), Cage Prisoners organized a conference called "Beyond Guantanamo" that was scheduled to feature a video of Awlaki. Local authorities forced Cage Prisoners to withdraw Awlaki’s lecture. The group did so, but only under protest.
Press reports now indicate that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab spent time with Awlaki in Yemen.
The Washington Times has cited an anonymous intelligence official as saying, "It was Awlaki who indoctrinated [Abdulmutallab]." The intelligence official added: "He was told, ‘You are going to be the tip of the spear of the Muslim nation.’" This same official told the Times that Abdulmutallab explained to the FBI how he was in a room in Yemen where he received Muslim blessings and prayers from Awlaki along with other wanna-be terrorists who were "all covered up in white martyrs’ garments" and known only by their nom de guerres.
Thus, the al Qaeda cleric who Begg and his organization have supported for years is the same imam who reportedly blessed Abdulmutallab’s Christmas Day operation. Perhaps this is just a monumental coincidence and Abdulmutallab’s time with Begg in London (however long) did not amount to anything more than two jihadists commiserating on the state of the world.
In addition, none of this is intended to suggest that Begg played any direct role in Abdulmutallab’s act of terror. The operational details may have been left to other alumni of Gitmo. Begg is a propagandist and a valuable one at that. From the UK he is an effective Trojan horse for jihadists around the globe, skillfully spewing his anti-American rhetoric with a deceptively smart-sounding British accent.
As Paul Rester, the director of the Joint Intelligence Group at Guantanamo, explained to Lieutenant Colonel Gordon Cucullu, the author of Inside Gitmo, "[Begg] is doing more good for al Qaeda as a British poster boy than he would ever do carrying an AK-47."
Indeed. Then again, perhaps there is more to this nexus than even the press knows at this juncture. Perhaps Begg’s jihadist propaganda operation helped push Abdulmutallab further down his dark path.
The press, and U.S. authorities, would be well-served to investigate further.
Thu 31 Dec 2009 00:49
Wed 30 Dec 2009 18:28
A couple of Nigerian students have posted what they call "The re-enactment of Nollywood Flight 253".
Napolitano will be issuing these pieces of garbage VISAs no doubt.
Wed 30 Dec 2009 12:15
Five days after the Christmas Day bomber tried to blow up NWA Flight 253 over Detroit, President Obama is still on vacation in Hawaii. He has delivered two hasty, tie-less statements on homeland security from a makeshift podium in Honolulu whose underwhelming sum impact has been the equivalent of voting “present” (Obama’s career m.o.) By his own admission and in direct contradiction to his hapless DHS Secretary, the president acknowledged yesterday that “systemic failure” led to the breach.
Obama is not scheduled to return to Washington until Sunday. That’s four more full days of reinforcing his image as detached, aloof, and too damned tired to tackle the jihadi epidemic with the once-hyped energy and passion of a 48-year-old Super-Agent of Hope and Change.
Team Obama’s stage managers and image gurus are all about symbolism. Wouldn’t the president send a more credible message to jihadi plotters around the world (and to Americans) by cutting his holiday break short and getting back to work in the White House, rather than by phoning it in for the next four days?
And how many more tropical paradise pow-wows and basketball games with his Chicago cronies Valerie Jarrett, Marty Nesbitt, and Eric Whitaker does he need, anyway?
We’ve gone from “Blood, toil, sweat, and tears” to “Beach, golf, (gym) sweat, and (self-pitying) tears.”
Rough men stand ready to keep and defend our safety. As for President Obama, it’s still Me Time.
This Politico piece (http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1209/31049.html) tries to make hay of the supposedly unfair double standard in how Bush was treated during the shoe bomber attack during Christmas 2001 versus the “heat” that Obama is taking now for remaining on holiday.
A few inconvenient differences and facts that the article glosses over: Bush had been working non-stop since September 11 on homeland security issues and had the public’s trust. The attacks consumed him. By contrast, the current Democratic majority and White House have been working non-stop to lower our defenses and speed the jihadi revolving door.
In December 2001, Bush had not yet amassed his lousy record on Katrina, Harriet Miers, Dubai Ports, shamnesty, and the massive bailouts (all of which have been lambasted extensively on this website and in my columns over the last four years). In December 2009, Obama has already amassed enough Culture of Corruption material to fill an encyclopedia set.
And unlike the low-key Bush, President Obama has been a shameless, consummate TV hog from Day One — willing to turn anything and everything, including a race-baiting tiff between his good friend Professor Henry Louis Gates and Cambridge MA police — into a global “teachable moment” of “unprecedented” proportions. When he doesn’t rush to address Americans after a matter of real import strikes, “heat” — no matter how hypocritical his supporters may paint it – is entirely appropriate.