Israel & Palestine: The Maps Tell The True Story

The truth is that far from being the poor victim it likes to portray itself as, Israel is in fact the most aggressive and belligerent nation in the region, having invaded pretty much everyone it shares a border with.

The following maps show just who is wiping who off of the map! Continue reading

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ACLU Files Lawsuit Challenging Constitutionality of NSA Phone Spying Program

The American Civil Liberties Union and the New York Civil Liberties Union today filed a constitutional challenge to a surveillance program under which the National Security Agency vacuums up information about every phone call placed within, from, or to the United States. The lawsuit argues that the program violates the First Amendment rights of free speech and association as well as the right of privacy protected by the Fourth Amendment. The complaint also charges that the dragnet program exceeds the authority that Congress provided through the Patriot Act.
“This dragnet program is surely one of the largest surveillance efforts ever launched by a democratic government against its own citizens,” said Jameel Jaffer, ACLU deputy legal director. “It is the equivalent of requiring every American to file a daily report with the government of every location they visited, every person they talked to on the phone, the time of each call, and the length of every conversation. The program goes far beyond even the permissive limits set by the Patriot Act and represents a gross infringement of the freedom of association and the right to privacy.”

The ACLU is a customer of Verizon Business Network Services, which was the recipient of a secret FISA Court order published by The Guardian last week. The order required the company to “turn over on ‘an ongoing daily basis’ phone call details” such as who calls are placed to and from, and when those calls are made. The lawsuit argues that the government’s blanket seizure of and ability to search the ACLU’s phone records compromises sensitive information about its work, undermining the organization’s ability to engage in legitimate communications with clients, journalists, advocacy partners, and others.

“The crux of the government’s justification for the program is the chilling logic that it can collect everyone’s data now and ask questions later,” said Alex Abdo, a staff attorney for the ACLU’s National Security Project. “The Constitution does not permit the suspicionless surveillance of every person in the country.”

The ACLU’s 2008 lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the FISA Amendments Act, which authorized the so-called “warrantless wiretapping program,” was dismissed 5–4 by the Supreme Court in February on the grounds that the plaintiffs could not prove that they had been monitored. ACLU attorneys working on today’s complaint said they do not expect the issue of standing to be a problem in this case because of the FISA Court order revealed last week.

Yesterday, the ACLU and Yale Law School’s Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic filed a motion with the FISA Court, requesting that it to publish its opinions on the meaning, scope, and constitutionality of Patriot Act Section 215. The ACLU is also currently litigating a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, filed in October 2011, demanding that the Justice Department release information about the government’s use and interpretation of Section 215.

“There needs to be a bright line on where intelligence gathering stops,” said NYCLU executive director Donna Lieberman. “If we don’t say this is too far, when is too far?”

Attorneys on the case are Jaffer and Abdo along with Brett Max Kaufman and Patrick Toomey of the ACLU, and Arthur N. Eisenberg and Christopher T. Dunn of the NYCLU.

An interactive graphic examining the secret FISA Court order revealed last week is available here.

Today’s complaint is at: aclu.org/national-security/aclu-v-clapper-complaint

CONTACT: 212-549-2666, media@aclu.org

Amnesty Bill is a Massive Multi-Million Dollar Fraud

 

Native-born and naturalized Americans who are currently seeking work are already competing with illegal immigrants-a term that the Associated Press says it will no longer use-or standing in line behind them as they sign up for all manner of welfare benefits. The official estimate of the number of illegal aliens-oops, undocumented aliens-in the nation is estimated to be eleven million, but if the “Gang of Eight” amnesty bill becomes law, it will act as a magnet to attract millions more.

As Roy Beck, the founder and president of NumbersUSA, points out, “If Congress passes the Senate Gang of Eight bill, it would be like re-creating ALL of the Top 20 cities in the United States, filling them entirely with foreign citizens and giving them lifetime work permits to compete with America’s struggling workers-in just ten years’ time.”

NumbersUSA analysts spent two weeks reading the 844-page bill, concluding that 33 million lifetime work permits would be given to foreign citizens in the first decade if the bill passes. A revised bill has 867 pages and, according to a Daily Caller article, “contains 999 references to waivers, exemptions, and political discretion”, more even thanObamacare.

That’s a lot of competition for jobs and it will hit those graduating from high school and college the hardest. Right now, the youth unemployment rate for 18-29 year olds is 11.7% and, among them, the African-American cohort’s rate it 20.1% and Hispanics’ rate is 12.6%. An additional 1.7 million young adults are not counted as “unemployed” because they are not in the labor force, meaning that they have given up looking for work due to lack of jobs. Do we really want to add millions of formerly illegal immigrants to the work force at this time?

The Center for Immigration Studies also analyzed the Gang of Eight amnesty bill and discovered that it is essentially a Get Out of Jail card:

The report, by Ronald Mortensen, a Fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies, shows that the token penalties, when they do exist, are not commensurate with the employment-related felonies committed by the majority of illegal aliens, nor are they commensurate with the benefits received by illegal aliens.

Just as unfortunate is the fact that millions of victims of these crimes are ignored while the amnestied illegals are rewarded and even benefit from the so-called penalties, as the monies actually go into a fund that provides services to the very people who paid the “penalties”.

“Illegal aliens will be rewarded for breaking laws for which American citizens are routinely punished,” said Mark Krikorian, Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies. “For example, an American citizen would face a maximum penalty of ten years in prison and fines of up to $250,000 for using a fraudulent Social Security card, but under this bill the illegal alien would face a $1,000 penalty covering all his many offenses, a penalty which in many cases will be waived. Then, they would be issued a new Social Securitynumber without any past bad credit or arrest records.”

View the full report at: http://cis.org/immigration-reform-amnesty-illegal-aliens-and-their-employers

Dr. Mortensen discovered the following amnesties for illegal aliens and their employers:

  • Amnesty for the estimated 75 percent of illegal aliens committing Social Securityfraud.
  • Amnesty from returning to home countries for 10 years before adjusting status.
  • Amnesty for illegal aliens committing Identity theft.
  • Amnesty for illegal aliens by officially authorizing them to continue committing identity theft by using fraudulently obtained Social Security numbers belonging to American citizens.
  • Amnesty for illegal aliens who have committed perjury on I-9 forms.
  • De-Facto amnesty from the token $1,000 penalty, since it effectively pre-pays services provided to illegal aliens.
  • Amnesty from existing exclusion, deportation, and removal orders.

While illegal aliens would be granted amnesty for crimes they have committed, government employees who discover Social Security fraud, identity theft, or perjury on I-9 forms while reviewing applications for provisional status would be prohibited from notifying victims, law enforcement, etc. with a threat of a $10,000 penalty. This is 10 times more than the $1,000 penalty paid by an illegal alien who has committed felony identity theft.

Amnesty for employers found to have employed illegal aliens or who are currently employing illegal aliens. Moreover, employers may continue to employ illegal aliens, accept fraudulent Social Security numbers, and renew falsified I-9 forms for those who apply for provisional status.

Amnesty for employers who did not withhold and/or submit payroll taxes for individuals illegally in the United States.

Amnesty for employers who violated labor laws by paying unfair wages, who failed to pay wages, etc.

Amnesty for employers who facilitated Social Security fraud and identity theft by providing or accepting false Social Security numbers.

While employers would be held harmless, government employees who find that employers violated the law while reviewing applications for temporary status would be prohibited from notifying the appropriate law enforcement authorities. If government employees do report tax or labor violations, they could face a fine of $10,000.

Thanks to the passage of Obamacare, the amnesty bill would increase the cost of the nationalized health care system. Betsy McCaughey, the lieutenant governor of New York from 1995 to 1998, in an April 29 letter in The Wall Street Journal, warned that “One looming cost is health care. Under the Obama health law, starting January 1, 2014 legal immigrants will be eligible for subsidized private health plans on the exchanges as soon as they arrive in the U.S.”

“The Senate Gang of Eight’s proposed bill will add $100 billion to the cost of Obamacare’s subsidies over the next decade by doubling the number of legal immigrants entering the country with green cards.” Ms. McCaughey noted that, in 2012, 484,072 immigrants entered that way. “The Gang of Eight plan will push it to about one million. About half of those green card holders will be eligible for the maximum assistance with premiums, subsidies and copays, totaling $9,000 per person, and more than 80% will qualify for at least some taxpayer-funded Obamacare subsidy.”

Little known or reported is the fact that the Schumer-Rubio bill includes two “slush funds” amounting to $150 million that would be used to fund groups like La Raza and the American Immigration Lawyers Association with taxpayer money.

The prevailing wisdom is that the amnesty bill will create more Democrat than Republican voters and that is precisely its purpose. Its victims will be every native-born and naturalized citizen paying taxes and trying to cope with a healthcare system that will be on life-support soon enough.

The proposed bill is a massive multi-billion fraud.

 

 

http://www.aim.org/guest-column/amnesty-bill-is-a-massive-multi-million-dollar-fraud/

Israel PM Netanyahu says Hawking needs to study facts about Israel

Stephen Hawking

BEIJING/LONDON – Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu slammed Prof. Stephen Hawking for joining the boycott against Israel and cancelling plans to attend President Shimon Peres’s conference next month, saying the celebrated physicist should “study the facts.”

Asked by The Jerusalem Post about Hawking’s boycott at a press briefing, Netanyahu said, “He should investigate the truth, he is a scientist. He should study the facts and draw the necessary conclusions: Israel is an island of reason, moderation and a desire for peace.”

Netanyahu said that Hawking knows that there are many false theories in science. “There are also false theories in politics, and this [the slandering of Israel] is one of them, maybe the foremost among them,” he said. “There is no state that yearns for peace more than Israel, nor any state that has done more for peace than Israel.”

One official in the prime minister’s entourage went even further, comparing Hawking to Shakespeare and Voltaire, both of whom held anti-Semitic sentiments.

“History shows that there are people who are no less great than Hawking who believed things about Jews that it was impossible to imagine they actually believed,” he said. “I am talking about Voltaire, or Shakespeare. How do you explain that someone with the encyclopedic knowledge of Voltaire believed what he did about the Jews. How can you explain it? But it is a fact.”

Apparently, the official continued, “intelligence and achievements are no guarantee for understanding the truth about the Jews or their state.

What was true regarding Jews for generations, is now true about the state of the Jews.”

Meanwhile questions have been asked as to why Hawkins felt it fit to visit Iran in 2007 and China in 2006.

Left-wing political blog Left Foot Forward, sister-site of the US blog Think Progress, questioned why Hawking visited China “where some of the most visible and egregious human rights violations committed by the Chinese state have occurred” and were highlighted by Human Rights Watch several years before his visit.

Commenting on Iran, the blog said: “As far as I am aware, there was no statement at the time from Hawking refusing to travel to the Islamic Republic out of “respect” for the country’s political dissidents, or until the government stopped executing homosexuals.”

In summary, Left Foot Forward said: “Is Israel uniquely bad, or has hypocrisy towards the Jewish state become so widely accepted among some progressives that even an eminent scholar like Hawking is susceptible to hypocritical and lazy double standards?”

Cambridge University said on Thursday that The Jerusalem Post was the catalyst behind the decision to retract its statement about Hawking’s ill health and confirm what was really behind his decision to withdraw from next month’s Presidents of Major American Jewish Communities Conference.

On Wednesday morning the university had released a statement saying the renowned physicist pulled out of the Jerusalem event because of ill health.

“Professor Hawking has decided to cancel his planned visit to Israel on the advice of doctors,” the spokesman said.

Later that day, the university retracted this after the Postshowed proof that Hawking had told organizers of the June 18-20 conference that pressure from Palestinian academics made him withdraw.

“I have received a number of emails from Palestinian academics,” Hawking said in the letter. “They are unanimous that I should respect the boycott. In view of this I must withdraw from the conference.”

When this was put to Tim Holt, acting director of communications at Cambridge, he was surprised and said he would look into it. Hours later, the university retracted its statement and confirmed that Hawking withdrew in order to respect the boycott.

“We had understood previously that his decision was based purely on health grounds, having been advised by doctors not to fly,” Holt said. On Thursday, Holt said that the information from the letter provided by the Post had made them amend their position.

“When we realized that the letter was being made public by you [the Post] we changed the statement to reflect this.

Prof. Hawking’s health is a factor and his doctors have indeed instructed that he should not travel,” he said.

 

 

http://desertpeace.wordpress.com/2013/05/11/hawkings-boycott-has-rocked-the-foundations-of-zion-more-than-any-other/

S

Baby burned to death on bonfire in Chile after cult leader decided she was the antichrist

Four people have been arrested after a baby was thrown on a bonfire and burned to death in ChileA three-day-old baby was thrown on a bonfire and burned to death in an horrific ritual because a cult leader had decided she was the antichrist and that the end of the world was near.

Police in Chile have arrested four people accused of taking part in the ritual in which the baby was placed on a board with her mouth taped before being thrown into the flames.

The baby was taken to a hill in the town of Colliguay near the Chilean port of Valparaiso on Nov. 21 where the ritual took place.

The baby’s mother, 25-year-old Natalia Guerra, had allegedly approved the sacrifice.

Miguel Ampuero, of the Police investigative Unit, Chile’s equivalent of the FBI, said: ‘The baby was naked.

 

‘They strapped tape around her mouth to keep her from screaming. Then they placed her on a board.

‘After calling on the spirits they threw her on the bonfire alive.’

Authorities said the 12-member sect was formed in 2005 and was led by Ramon Gustavo Castillo Gaete, 36, who remains at large.

Wanted: Chilean authorities said the 12-member sect was formed in 2005 and was led by Ramon Gustavo Castillo Gaete, 36, who remains at largeWanted: Chilean authorities said the 12-member sect was formed in 2005 and was led by Ramon Gustavo Castillo Gaete, 36, who remains at large

‘Everyone in this sect was a professional,’ Ampuero said. ‘We have someone who was a veterinarian and who worked as a flight attendant, we have a filmmaker, a draftsman. Everyone has a university degree.’

Police said Castillo Gaete, the ringleader, was last seen traveling to Peru to buy ayahuasca, a hallucinogenic brew plant that he used to control the members of the rite.

 

 

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2314866/Baby-burned-death-bonfire-Chile-cult-leader-decided-antichrist.html#ixzz2RWIgLyt3

Boston: Brothers Were ‘Regular American Kids’

Boston bomb suspects Tamerlan Tsarnaev (L) Dzhokhar A Tsarnaev (R)

 

Ruslan Tsarni, Uncle of Boston bombing suspects

Ruslan Tsarni, the uncle of suspected Boston bomber Dzhokhar A Tsarnaev, has urged his nephew to hand himself in. Tsarnaev’s brother was killed after a gunfight with police.

Tsarnaev arrived in the US around a decade ago.

Neighbours recall the ethnic Chechen brothers riding bikes and skateboards on the street in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where they lived.

Former classmates expressed their surprise that the quiet, but popular and athletic brothers could be responsible for the twin bomb attack that killed three people, including an eight-year-old boy, and injured more than 180 others.

Despite having become a devout Muslim, Tamerlan married a Boston woman, Katherine Russell, from a Christian family and had a three-year-old daughter. Neighbours told the MailOnline that his 24-year-old wife had converted to Islam.

Dzhokhar, 19, attended the prestigious Cambridge Rindge & Latin school and had a place on the wrestling team.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev
Tamerlan Tsarnaev had ambitions to box for the US

In May 2011, his senior year, he was awarded a $2,500 scholarship from the city to pursue higher education. His success was even celebrated with a reception at city hall.

He attended the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, but the school would not say what he was studying.

The father of the suspects, Anzor Tsaraev, told The Associated Press his younger son was a second-year medical student.

“My son is a true angel,” he said by telephone from the Russian city of Makhachkala. “He is such an intelligent boy. We expected him to come on holidays here.”

Boston Marathon Explosion
Dzhokhar with a friend at his graduation

He added: “They were set up, they were set up! I saw it on television; they killed my older son Tamerlan.” He ended the call angrily, saying: “Leave me alone, my son’s been killed.”

Dzhokhar’s page on the Russian social networking site Vkontakte says that before moving to the US, he attended a school in the capital of Dagestan, a predominantly Muslim republic in Russia’s North Caucasus. The men’s uncle said they had been born in Kyrgyzstan.

Dzhokhar describes himself as speaking Chechen as well as English and Russian and says that his world view is “Islam”.

Those who knew him have been stunned. The host of a Boston-based public radio programme, Robin Young, posted on Twitter a photo of her nephew with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, their arms around each other, at their graduation.

“Heartbreaking pic,” Ms Young wrote.

FBI photo of suspects in Boston Marathon shooting
Dzhokhar, in the white baseball cap, with brother Tamerland at the marathon

Tim Kelleher, a wrestling coach for a Boston school that competed in 2010 against Dzhokhar’s team, said: “He was a tough, solid kid, just quiet.”

Dzhokhar’s brother, Tamerlan, 26, who died during the police shootout, was a keen participant in martial arts and boxing, even aspiring to fight on the US Olympic team.

A local Massachusetts news article in 2004, quoted a boxer called Tamerlan as saying: “I like the USA. America has a lot of jobs. That’s something Russia doesn’t have. You have a chance to make money here if you are willing to work.”

Tamerlan, who was identified in footage of the bombing as the suspect in the dark baseball cap, was reportedly arrested in 2009 for assaulting a girlfriend.

Boston police handout of  Djohar Tsarnaev
A young Dzhokhar: remembered as a ‘regular American kid’

Despite assurances by former friends and neighbours that the brothers fitted in, Tamerlan wrote in a photo package that appeared in a Boston University student magazine in 2010: “I don’t have a single American friend. I don’t understand them.”

He identified himself as a Muslim who was studying to become an engineer at the Bunker Hill Community College and said he did not drink or smoke, because “God said no alcohol”. He said he hoped to fight for the US Olympic team and become an American.

Government officials said Tamerlan had travelled to Russia last year and spent six months there before returning to the US.

A YouTube user bearing the name Tamerlan Tsarnaev has posted a series of religious videos on the site. One extolled the prophesy of the Black Banners of Khurasan, which has been embraced by al Qaeda.

Other videos included those of the Australian Muslim preacher Feiz Mohammad, who preaches against the evils of Harry Potter.

His aunt Maret Tsarnaeva, who lives in Toronto, said he had recently become a devout Muslim who prayed five times a day.

She said: “He has a wife in Boston and from a Christian family, so you can’t tie it to religion.”

She said he had dropped out of university, causing his father great concern.

She said her brother had very high expectations for his sons, especially Tamerlan.

Before moving to Dagestan, the Tsarnaev family lived in Kyrgyzstan, a former Soviet republic in Central Asia. Leila Alieva, who went to school with Tamerlan Tsarnaev in the Kyrgyz town of Tokmok, remembered them as being an educated family.

 

 

http://news.sky.com/story/1080494/boston-brothers-were-regular-american-kids

‘Boston Bombers’ Tsarnaev brothers: Where the dots won’t connect

Tamerlan Tsarnaev (Image from vk.com)

Tamerlan Tsarnaev (Image from vk.com)
(RT) After a dramatic and near unprecedented manhunt for the Tsarnev brothers – accused of staging the Boston Bombings – what appears most clear is that very little clarity surrounds the case.

The whole world is now rehearsing the exotic names of the main suspects fingered as the ‘Boston bombers’: Tamerlan and Dzhokhar.  The two young men have been treated with ‘celebrity’ attention by the media as the public is struggling to define the motives and circumstances that led to their recent actions.

The younger of the two – Dzhokhar – is now in hospital with severe wounds he supposedly received from police after an extensive Friday night manhunt. His older brother Tamerlan was killed during the manhunt. He is said to have been wounded from head to toe when he was rushed into a hospital where he later died.

Also, he was reportedly wearing a suicide bomber’s belt.

The 19-year old Dzhokhar hasen’t spoken to investigators yet because he can’t. He is said to be ‘intubated and sedated’ with a throat wound. Boston Mayor Tom Menino voiced concerns Sunday that authorities may never be able to question him at all.

One thing remains unclear though – how the young man could walk out of the boat he was hiding in already with a throat wound that he is now almost dying from.

 

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing who was captured Friday night, April 19, 2013.(AFP Photo / CBS NEWS)

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing who was captured Friday night, April 19, 2013.(AFP Photo / CBS NEWS)

 

With Dzhokhar stuck somewhere between life and death, the FBI is actively searching for the two brothers’ ‘terror links’, scrutinizing Tsarnaevs’ contacts. However, so far there are more questions to the story than answers.

First, the ‘Chechen link’. Being ethnically Chechens, the brothers spent very little time in their historic motherland in the mountains of Caucasus. The reaction of the Republic authorities can be summed up as ‘We don’t know them, we have not heard of them’.

The former Soviet State of Kyrgyzstan was the family’s homeland for many years before the brothers emigrated to the US to receive a refugee status. Kyrgyz authorities confirmed the fact, saying they the Tsarnaevs left the country in 2001. While in Kyrgyzstan, the family lived in a town of Tormok, predominantly ethnically Chechen. ‘Kyrgyz’ Chechens were sent there on the orders of Joseph Stalin in 1944 amid the accusation – or pretext – of cooperating with the Nazi’s.

The Tsarnaev’s parents, after a few years in the US, are currently living in Dagestan, another turbulent republic in Russia’s south that draws a lot of active attention from the security forces. It might be believed to have some of the strongest and most conservative Muslim communities in the country but so far does not seem to have enough to qualify as a ‘radical Islamic breeding spot’.

When asked about the motives behind their moving to the US, the father of the family, Anzor Tsarnaev, said:

“Chechens are stereotypically not welcome in so many places. We hoped the US will be the place to leave peacefully and free from judgment. Now I see it was a mistake”.

 

Anzor Tsarnaev (Image from vk.com)

Anzor Tsarnaev (Image from vk.com)

 

Tsarnaev senior believes his children have been framed. He says it’s impossible that they could do something like that.

“I’m sure about my children, in their purity. I don’t know what happened and who did this. God knows and he will punish the guilty,” he said.

An RT’ team flew to Dagestan to speak to Tsarnaevs’ parents and neighbors. The psychological ‘portrait’ of the two brothers has little to do with what has been ascribed to them. Open and respecting, calm and friendly, the two brothers are described by people who’ve known them for some time in often the best terms.  The news of their involvement in the Boston bombing has largely been met with shock.

“I lived next to this family both in Chechnya and here, in Dagestan,” the neighbor told RT. “Their kids couldn’t have done that, they couldn’t have been involved”

A similar reaction was heard in outpourings from those who knew them in America.

“I’m in complete shock,” Rose Schutzberg, 19, who graduated high school with Dzhokhar told USA Today. “He was a very studious person. He was really popular. He wrestled. People loved him.”

None of the people around them had any suspicion something of this sort was cooking up. The only concern was that the brothers did not actually feel integrated into American society, judging by their comments made known to the public.

“I don’t have a single American friend,” Tamerlan said in a photo essay about his love of boxing. “I don’t understand them.”

Before refusing to give anymore interviews, the mother of the two, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva talked to RT and expressed confidence her sons were framed by the FBI, [LINK] alleging that they had been following Tamerlan in particular for at least 5 years.

 

Zubeidat Tsarnaeva (Image from vk.com)

Zubeidat Tsarnaeva (Image from vk.com)

 

“They were controlling him, they were controlling his every step…and now they say that this is a terrorist act! Never ever is this true, my sons are innocent!” the mother exclaimed.

It would be indeed strange to suggest somebody so closely watched by the FBI could have plotted terrorist acts without setting off alarm bells. The FBI, however, has in the past been accused of enticing socially-aloof Muslims into plotting a terror act and then ‘disclosing’ and jailing them, claiming they just saved the world from another villain (watch Fox News report). Could it be another such case that went incredibly wrong?

So far the investigation has failed to spot and track any ‘real people’ who could be helping the brothers in their plot.

“I think it’s limited to the two brothers,” Edward Deveau, the chief of police of Watertown, said. “Every information that I have been seeing, where we looked at Boston, Watertown, the greater New England area, is safe.”

Little has been gathered from the Tsarnaev’s online activity. The US media is sending panic waves that Tamerlan had been visiting extremist web-sites and was becoming becoming affiliated with conservative (you may read it as radical) Islam. However – there is again little proof of that in real life. For starters, the brothers are barely known in their local (or any other) mosque.

“The brothers were members of our community in Cambridge,” the head of the local Muslim center told RIA-Novosti. “They wouldn’t come very often and they had never expressed any radical views.”

Tamerlan is said to have set up a YouTube playlist that he labeled ‘Terrorist’. This and his visits to what is considered a radical source Kavkazcenter.com made the investigation suggest he could be linked to the notorious terrorist Doku Umarov. However, the website has denied any link to the Boston Marathon bombings that have been blamed on the brothers.

 

Tamerlan Tsarnaev (Image from vk.com)

Tamerlan Tsarnaev (Image from vk.com)

 

At the same time, Tamerlan failed to get hold of an American passport, instead obtaining just a Green Card. The New York Times reports his citizenship was held up because of an FBI interview in 2011 and not because of a domestic abuse episode – where he is said to have hit his girlfriend.

He still got married in the US – to Katherine Russell, who converted to Islam for him. The couple has a little daughter. Both the woman and the girl are choosing to hide out the media storm have at Katherine’s parents.

The US media speculate that Tamerlan started to cling to radical Islamist ideas when already in the US, but cemented his beliefs while traveling to Russia (Chechnya and Dagestan) in 2012. His parents confirm nothing of this sort, saying he traveled to renew his Russian passport and decided to prolong his stay.

“The command of the Vilayat Dagestan Mujahidin… declares that the Caucasus fighters are not waging any military activities against the United States of America. We are only fighting Russia,” the Kavkazcenter.com website said in an official statement.

Tsarnaevs’ father, Anzor, is confirmed to be en route to the United States to be with his remaining son in hospital and try to iron the details of his arrest.

 

FBI investigators and Watertown Police officer walk in parking lot as they investigate the shooting scene near the boat where bombing suspect was hiding from police on Franklin Street on April 20, 2013 in Watertown, Massachusetts (Reuters / Kevork Djansezian)

FBI investigators and Watertown Police officer walk in parking lot as they investigate the shooting scene near the boat where bombing suspect was hiding from police on Franklin Street on April 20, 2013 in Watertown, Massachusetts (Reuters / Kevork Djansezian)

 

Now, however hard the FBI is trying to connect the dots, they still hardly can. Two young successful friendly men, the joy and pride of their family, with no history of radicalism, all of a sudden choose to commit a terror attack. No ‘Allah Akbar’ calls, no radical organization affiliation, not a hint of hatred noticed by those close to them. Tamerlan leaving a family behind, Dzhohar just a regular teenager with seemingly common teenage interests. Their actions have not brought around any evident benefit to either of them.

Moreover, it has sent curses and sorrow into their families’ lives, especially back in Russia since the traditional Caucasus cultures focus on immense respect towards parents, where fathers and mothers are idolized and honored by the younger generation – and are expected to take responsibility for their children’s action no matter what the age.

 

Runners continue to run towards the finish line of the Boston Marathon as an explosion erupts near the finish line of the race in this photo exclusively licensed to Reuters by photographer Dan Lampariello after he took the photo in Boston, Massachusetts, April 15, 2013 (Reuters / Dan Lampariello)

Runners continue to run towards the finish line of the Boston Marathon as an explosion erupts near the finish line of the race in this photo exclusively licensed to Reuters by photographer Dan Lampariello after he took the photo in Boston, Massachusetts, April 15, 2013 (Reuters / Dan Lampariello)

 

Nobody is saying Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev didn’t do what everybody is saying they did – nor the police words of violent resistance to arrest which caused further fatalities. It’s just their action looks bizarre and illogical based on how they lived their lives.

FBI interviewed Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, for possible extremist ties two years ago but found no incriminating information

  • FBI interviewed Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, ‘Suspect 1’ for suspected extremist ties in 2011
  • A unspecified foreign government had requested the investigation
  • Officials found no incriminating information
  • Both suspects are brothers from the Russia region near Chechnya and had lived in U.S. since 2002
  • Officials say the two were behind the Boston Marathon bombing that killed three and left 176 injured
  • Tamerlan was killed after explosions and machine gun fire in Boston suburb of Watertown on Friday morning
  • Manhunt continues for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, ‘Suspect 2’

By LESLIE LARSON

The FBI revealed on Friday that they had interviewed Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev in 2011, after a foreign government alerted officials that he had possible ties to extremists.

Federal officials vetted Tamerlan Tsarnaev but their probe not produce any ‘derogatory’ information and the matter was put ‘to bed,’ a U.S. law enforcement source said.

The revelation is the first indication that Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his younger brother, Dzhokhar, were known to U.S. security officials prior to Monday’s bombings, U.S. authorities said.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev
Tamerlan Tsarnaev

Suspect: Tamerlan Tsarnaev (left in 2010) was identified by the FBI as a main suspect (right in surveillance video on Monday) in the Boston Marathon bombings. He was killed by police on Friday

Traditional values: While appearing like an all-American 20-something man, Tamerlan said in an interview that he is a devout Muslim who does not drink and upholds traditional valuesTraditional values: While appearing like an all-American 20-something man, Tamerlan said in an earlier interview that he is a devout Muslim who does not drink and upholds traditional values

The government that asked for the investigation was not identified but security experts have speculated that Russia could have issued the request, based on fears that Tamerlan had links to Chechen extremists.

Based on FBI procedure, it is likely investigators performed a background check on Tamerlan and discussed his behavior and international travel with other agencies.

CBS News believes officials would have called Tamerlan in for a sit-down interview and their findings would have been compiled into a report and sent to the requesting government.

Federal authorities determined that there were no conclusive links between Tamerlan and any extremist groups.

 

 

After the deadly attacks on Monday in Boston, the FBI released surveillance footage of the two suspects they believe were responsible for the blasts.

Officials say Tamerlan and his younger brother, Dzhokhar, refugees from the Caucasus region, were the men behind the horrific terrorist attack that took the lives of three and left 176 injured.

Tamerlan, 26, was killed by police early on Friday morning during a shoot-out in Watertown, Mass. His younger brother, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is still on the loose and is being hunted down in  a massive search.

SuspectsSuspects: Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, (right) was killed during an exchange of gunfire with police early on Friday. His younger brother Dzhokhar, 19, (left) is still on the run

Captured on camera: Blurry CCTV images show the brothers (pictured front: Tamerlan and back: Dzhokhar) walking in single file toward the finishing line of the race, approximately 13 minutes before the explosionsCaptured on camera: Blurry CCTV images show the brothers (pictured front: Tamerlan and back: Dzhokhar) walking in single file toward the finishing line of the race, approximately 13 minutes before the explosions

The mother of the two suspects, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, told RT America on Friday that the FBI had been monitoring her oldest son for being a ‘leader’ in a religious politics movement.

In broken English, she claimed ‘he was controlled by the FBI for 3-5 years. They knew what my son was doing. They knew actions, and what sites on the internet he was going.’

‘They used to tell me that they were controlling him, he was a serious leader and they were afraid of him,’ she claimed.

‘He never, never told me that he would be on the side of jihad,’ she said.

She said that he became interested in religion about five years ago.

‘The FBI, they were scared of him. They are afraid of him because he is a leader, he talks about Islam a lot. They were talking about my son, they told me he was an excellent boy,’ she said.

The mother issued a staunch defense of her sons and insisted on their innocence, alleging that the charges against them were part of a setup.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2311953/FBI-interviewed-Boston-Marathon-bombing-suspect-Tamerlan-Tsarnaev-26-possible-extremist-ties-years-ago-incriminating-information.html#ixzz2R1ci0eEJ

Rabbis tell 60,000 in NY: Get rid of the Internet if you know what’s good for you

Sunday's Citi Field gathering. (YouTube screen capture)

 

In an extraordinary gathering of nearly 60,000 ultra-Orthodox Jews, leading rabbis of the yeshiva and Hassidic world all but banned the Internet.

A halachic decision rendered by Rabbi Shmuel Halevi Wosner, one of the senior rabbis in the Orthodox world, said the Internet could be used for work purposes in an office — but only if absolutely necessary, and with the use of a filter. There was no justification for Internet use at home under any circumstances.

The ruling came during a five-hour program Sunday at the Citi Field baseball stadium in Queens, NY, in which prominent rabbis from the so-called Lithuanian (non-Hassidic) yeshiva world along with Hassidic rabbinical leaders discussed the dangers of the Internet and how to cope with them. While some speakers seemed to advocate a more moderate approach that might have allowed the compromise of a “religious” or highly filtered Internet, most were dead set against it, stating categorically that all Jews who considered themselves Orthodox were obligated to stay as far away from the Internet as possible.

Much of the program was conducted in Yiddish. Several of the speakers stressed the “historic significance” of the day, with one, Rabbi Efraim Wachsman of Yeshiva Meor Yitzchok in Monsey, NY, telling the assembled that the event was a “historic crossroads. Your strength and resolve today will decide what Judaism will look like in a few years from now.”

Those who wished to ensure their future, and more importantly their children’s futures, as Orthodox Jews, would do well to heed the words of the “gedolim” — the rabbinical leaders addressing the gathering — the audience was warned.

Speakers drew on Biblical, Talmudic, rabbinical, and general philosophical sources to back their positions. The ethos of the Internet, which values ever faster access and ever greater instant gratification was contrasted unfavorably with the traditional Jewish values of patience and perseverance.

“The Internet, is about the moment, the fleeting,” said Wachsman, terming people hooked on Web surfing click vegetables.

“People say the gedolim don’t understand the Internet,” he continued. “That could be true. But they understand the trends, and they understand that the instant gratification is the opposite of the holiness needed to become a Torah scholar. The nation of Torah, the nation that gave the world so much wisdom, is now turning into a people of yentayachne.com,” using the Yiddish term for “nasty gossip.”

At least a third of the Internet — “and that is probably an old report” — was full of content that no Jew should be looking at, he said, although he did not use the term pornography.

Wachsmann singled out for special condemnation the damage caused by social media to the stature of rabbis and Jewish scholars. He was referring to the numerous blog posts in which leaders have been excoriated for their silence and inaction on such issues as child molestation in the Orthodox community.

Several of the speakers called on yeshivas to deny admission to applicants who had Internet at home, and Rabbi Wosner included this principle in his halachic decision. Speaking in Yiddish, Rabbi Don Segal, who has been spiritual adviser in numerous yeshivas, said that even those who thought they needed Internet at work should try to find ways to avoid using it, as it was perhaps the “evil inclination” convincing them that they truly needed it.

In a letter sent to event organizers, Bnei Brak’s Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, perhaps the senior authority in the ultra-Orthodox world today, wrote that the Internet was “a great destruction for the Jewish people, with many reaching the lowest levels. There is no home that has these devices that has not fallen prey to terrible sins…. It is the obligation of everyone to gather together and destroy this evil inclination.”

Anyone who felt he had need for Internet use without a filter was required to obtain permission from a rabbi, he wrote.

Rabbi Mattiyahu Salomon of the Lakewood Yeshiva, who was the driving force behind the event, emphasized in his remarks the importance of protecting Jewish children from the ravages of the Internet, which destroys their intrinsic holiness. He also asked members of the audience to pray for the protection against “the great danger in Israel that a law may be passed to draft yeshiva students into the army. We know the Torah is the protection of the Jewish people,” he said. “[Yeshiva students] are the army, and to take them from their studies” would bring tragedy to the Jewish people.

Some 42,000 men participated in the sold-out event at Citi Field in Queens, New York, along with nearly 20,000 in a nearby stadium, added at the last minute for the overflow demand. Women were able to view the proceedings via closed-circuit TV.

Numerous protests took place outside the stadiums, including one by a group proclaiming that “the Internet is not the problem,” and another protesting rabbinical silence on the child abuse scandals. At least one blogger who had proclaimed somewhat lukewarm support for the eventsaid he felt “fooled” by what had gone on. “Nothing positive about the Internet was discussed,” he wrote. “Websites with Torah and the ability to communicate with friends and family was ignored. In short, this event set the clock back to zero. I was wrong. Things are more bleak than I presumed.”

Officially, there was no Web coverage — for obvious reasons — yet numerous live feeds sprang up online enabling people around the world to see the event. The feeds were furnished by attendees who used smart devices to record and upload the proceedings, and many of these people were sending out tweets on Twitter describing the goings-on, to the extent that the hashtag “asifa” (the term used to describe the gathering) was high on Twitter’s trending topic list while the event was taking place.

As could be expected, many of the tweets were furnished by skeptics,with enough to populate a list of the funniest, like this one: “Were it not for social media I would not be able to keep track of the asifa.”

Chechen Terrorist Networks Trace Back to the US State Department

Activist Post

With the latest developments regarding the suspects identified in the Boston Bombing, reports of the alleged perpetrators’ Chechen heritage are being used by the whole of the mainstream media to draw connections between the bombing and Islamic terrorism. Even despite the desire of mainstream magazines like Salon for the bomber(s) to have been white Americans, the narrative being paraded in front of the American collective is currently satisfied with the meme of the Chechen Muslim fundamentalist.

Indeed, in a recent report by FOX News, entitled “Ties Between Islamic Extremist Groups and Chechnya Well-Documented,” the organization states,

Reports that the suspects in the Boston bombing are believed to be from the region near Chechnya may have caught some by surprise — rebels in Chechnya are known for their violent and long-running campaign to break away from Russia, but not for exporting terror to America.

But congressional researchers and foreign policy analysts have long tracked a connection between the Chechnya region and Islamic extremists with Al Qaeda and the Taliban. If the suspects are indeed Chechen, analysts told Fox News they may represent part of a jihadi network which has made its way to American soil.

The report also clearly states that “The ties between major Islamic extremist groups and Chechnya are well-documented, particularly pertaining to extremists’ support for the separatists in Chechnya.”

 

Likewise, it was stated by Michael Wines of the New York Times, in an article published as far back as December 9, 2001, entitled “War on Terror Casts Chechen Conflict in New Light,” that “Chechnya’s guerrillas are indisputably financed by a web of Islamic charities, banks and other organizations that have served as cash conduits for terrorist groups.”
Wines also writes,

On one hand, the Wahhabi takeover here, like much of the Chechen war, was clearly propelled by outside support. Residents say the Wahhabis also had ties to a notorious training camp that indoctrinated Chechens and foreigners alike in Islamic militancy and military tactics.

There are strong indications that the camp and its leader, a guerrilla from the Middle East known as Khattab, have ties to Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda.

 

Yet, although the narrative promoted by both FOX News and The New York Times, as well as the vast majority of the other mainstream media outlets revolves around the traditional notion of crafty Arab Muslims hiding in caves and successfully plotting to outsmart one of the most sophisticated police states in the world, as is almost always the case, these outlets are fundamentally missing the most important piece of the puzzle.

 

Interestingly enough, this missing puzzle piece was hinted at in 2001 by Michael Wines where he mentions that “the Wahhabi takeover” in Chechnya, “like much of the Chechen war, was clearly propelled by outside support.”

 

But what forces are propelling this continued conflict?

 

Wines and other mainstream commentators may, of course, suggest that the terrorists are “financed by a web of Islamic charities, banks and other organizations that have served as cash conduits for terrorist groups.”

 

However, the true source of funding, training, and arming may prove to be more difficult to fit in to the traditional mainstream narrative surrounding Islamic fundamentalist terrorism.

 

Chechen “rebels,” much like their “rebel” cousins in Syria, are, in fact, receiving training, weapons, and financial support via the very networks that so vociferously claim to oppose them – the United States and British governments.

 

Indeed, in order to see the direct connection between the U.S. government and Chechen terrorism, one need only look toward the leader of the “Chechen rebels,” the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Chechen Republic-Ichkeria, Ilyas Akhmadov, who resides internationally by bouncing back and forth between the United States and Britain all on the tab of the U.S. State Department ever since 2004.

 

Being more willing to report on the treachery of the United States than the American press, the Russian news agency KMNews was quite willing to pick up on the American bankrolling of foreign terrorists. The agency wrote,

 

In early August, . . . Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Chechen Republic-Ichkeria, Ilyas Akhmadov received political asylum in the USA. And for his ‘outstanding services,’ Akhmadov received a Reagan-Fascell grant,” including a monthly stipend, medical insurance, and well-equipped office with all necessary support services, including the possibility of meetings with political circles and leading US media . . .”[1]

KMNews then asked, “What about our partners in the ‘anti-terrorist’ coalition?”

 

The agency then went on to cite the official expressions of support by then-President George W. Bush, Condoleezza Rice, and State Department spokesman Richard Boucher in order to acknowledge the seemingly bizarre hypocrisy of these officials as they prosecuted a war OF terror all across the globe.
KMNews also pointed out that the generous grant money provided to Akhmadov by the Reagan-Fascell Foundation is nothing more than a thinly veiled payment to Akhmadov by the U.S. State Department. This is because the Reagan-Fascell Foundation is actually financed by the U.S. Congress via the budget of the State Department itself.

 

KMNews then tellingly explained the motivation behind the funding and support of Chechen terrorist networks. It stated,

 

Thus, the conclusion is obvious. Willingly or not, Downing Street and the White House provoked the guerrillas to these latest attacks [Beslan school massacre in 2004]. Willingly or not, Great Britain and the USA have nurtured the separatists with material, information and diplomatic resources. Willingly or not, the policy of London and Washington fostered the current terrorist acts.” “As the ancients said, cui bono? Perhaps we are too hasty with such sweeping accusations against our ‘friends’ and ‘partners’? Is there a motive for the Anglo-American ‘anti-terrorist coalition’ to fan the fires of terror in the North Caucasus?” “Alas, there is a motive. It is no secret, that the West is vitally interested in maintaining instability in the Caucasus. That makes it easier to pump out the fossil fuels, extracted in the Caspian region, and it makes it easier to control Georgia and Azerbaijan, and to exert influence on Armenia. Finally, it makes it easier to drive Russia out of the Caspian and the Caucasus. Divide et impera! – the leaders of the Roman Empire already introduced this simple formula for subjugation.

Yet Akhmadov was not the only separatist terrorist that was given asylum in the Western Anglo Zone. Akmad Zakayev and Aslan Mashkhadov (given asylum in London, England) were also granted protection by the U.S. and Britain in 2003. Zakayev is designated as the “special representative” of Mashkhadov.

 

In addition, it is also widely known within European media, political, and intelligence circles that certain leaders of the Chechen terrorist networks are closely connected to the American CIA, if not agents outright. Shamil Basayev, described as the “brutal Chechen field commander” by Webster Tarpley, happens to be one of those individuals. It should be noted that Basayev was linked to the Beslan school massacre as well.

 

Furthermore, as Webster Tarpley writes in his article, “Russians Blast US-UK Sponsorship Of Chechen Terror,”

As Michel Chossudovsky pointed out some years back, the Chechen leaders Basayev and Al Khattab were trained in the CIA-run camps for Islamic fighters in Afghanistan. In 1999, Putin rode to power on a backlash against Chechen terror which he had in all probability staged himself – thus judoing a long-standing US-UK capability. The key point is that the Russian press is now openly denouncing London and Washington as centers for terrorist control.

Tarpley continues by stating,

Around the time of 9/11, Putin had pointed to open recruitment of Chechen terrorists going on in London, telling a German interviewer: “In London, there is a recruitment station for people wanting to join combat in Chechnya. Today — not officially, but effectively in the open — they are talking there about recruiting volunteers to go to Afghanistan.” (Focus — German weekly newsmagazine, September 2001) In addition, it is generally known in well-informed European circles that the leaders of the Chechen rebels were trained by the CIA, and that the Chechens were backed by US-sponsored anti-Russian fighters from Afghanistan. In recent months, US-UK backed Chechens have destroyed two Russian airliners and attacked a Moscow subway station, in addition to the school atrocity.

Some aspects of Putin’s thinking were further explained by a press interview given by Aslambek Aslakhanov, the Chechen politician who is one of Putin’s official advisors. A dispatch from RIA Novosti reported Aslakhanov’s comments as follows: “The terrorists who seized the school in Beslan, North Ossetia, took their orders from abroad. ‘They were talking with people not from Russia, but from abroad. They were being directed,’ said Aslambek Aslakhanov, advisor to the President of the Russian Federation. ‘It is the desire of our “friends” – in quotation marks — who have probably for more than a decade been carrying out enormous, titanic work, aimed at dismembering Russia. These people have worked very hard, and the fact that the financing comes from there and that they are the puppet masters, is also clear.” Aslakhanov, who was named by the terrorists as one of the people they were going to hold talks with, also told RIA Novosti that the bid for such “talks” was completely phony. He said that the hostage-takers were not Chechens. When he talked to them, by phone, in Chechen, they demanded that he talk Russian, and the ones he spoke with had the accents of other North Caucasus ethnic groups. (RIA Novosti, September 6, 2004)

On September 7, RIA Novosti reported on the demand of the Russian Foreign Ministry that two leading Chechen figures be extradited from London and Washington to stand trial in Russia. A statement from the Russia Foreign Ministry’s Department of Information and Press indicated that Russia will put the United States and Britain on the spot about extraditing two top Chechen separatist officials, who have been given asylum in Washington and London, respectively. They are Akhmad Zakayev, known as a “special representative” of Aslan Maskhadov (currently enjoying asylum in London), and Ilyas Akhmadov, the “Foreign Minister” of the unrecognized “Chechen Republic-Ichkeria” (now residing in the USA). (RIA Novosti, September 7, 2004)

 

Even more than the open harboring of Chechen terrorists, however, is the fact that Western agents have themselves been caught in the act of aiding and actually conducting acts of terror. Indeed, toward the end of 2004, it was reported by RBC that a British agent who was working for a Czech Republic-based NGO was arrested for blowing up a Russian armed personnel carrier. It was also reported that other British agents were caught “instructing Chechen gangs in how to lay mines.”

 

Again, as Tarpley writes,

The RBC commentary goes on to cite the Economist of August 19, which contained what RBC characterizes as a virtual ultimatum to Russia. RBC notes that “the carrying out of such a series of coordinated, professional terrorist attacks, would be impossible without the help of qualified ‘specialists’.” RBC notes that at the end of August one such “specialist,” working for an NGO based in the Czech republic, was arrested for blowing up a Russian armed personnel carrier. Also, British “experts” have been found instructing Chechen gangs in how to lay mines. “It cannot be excluded, that also in Beslan, the logistics of the operation were provided by just such ‘specialists’,” notes RBC.

The RBC editorial concludes: “Apparently, by having recourse to large-scale terrorist actions, the forces behind that terrorism, have now acted directly to force a ‘change’ in the political situation in the Caucasus, propagating interethnic wars into Russia. “The only way to resist this, would be for Moscow to make it known, that we are ready to fight a new war, according to new rules and new methods — not with mythical ‘international terrorists’, who do not and never existed, but with the controllers of the ‘insurgents and freedom fighters’; a war against the geopolitical puppet-masters, who are ready to destroy thousands of Russians for the sake of achieving their new division of the world.” (RBC, September 7, 2004)

 

Regardless of the final connections regarding the Boston Bombing, the alleged perpetrators, and the connection to Chechen terrorism, one must always be cognizant of the relevant geopolitical facts in order to avoid being swindled and wholly misinformed by clouded mainstream accounts of narratives that are, themselves, entirely mythical.

 

The myth of an independent (of Anglo-American control) and organic al-Qaeda is one that is easily dismantled upon even a small modicum of research and investigation. From the founding of al-Qaeda by Western forces in the 1970s to the use of death squads in IraqLibya, and now Syria, it is clear that al-Qaeda is nothing less than a wholly owned subsidiary of the Anglo-American intelligence community. It is, in effect, the CIA Arab Legion.

 

If the United States government eventually blames the Boston Bombings on Chechen terrorists, whether legitimately or intentionally by virtue of a false flag, then such a situation is undoubtedly a two-edged sword. If the American people are ever capable of understanding that international Muslim fundamentalist terrorist networks – from the United States, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Libya, or Chechnya – are entirely organized, directed, and controlled by Western Anglo-American powers themselves, it may prove to be the end of the imperialist foreign policy, domestic police state mechanisms, and austerity measures. If the American people, however, continue to bite the bait of terror and fear, there may be no limits to the depths the United States and the rest of the world will sink.

Notes:[1] Tarpley, Webster Griffin. 9/11 Synthetic Terror: Made In USA. 4th Edition. Progressive Press. 2007. Pp. 428-431.


Read other articles by 
Brandon Turbeville here

Brandon Turbeville is an author out of Florence, South Carolina. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from Francis Marion University and is the author of three books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom7 Real Conspiracies, and Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident. Turbeville has published over 200 articles dealing on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s podcast Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV.  He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com. 

A growing sense that we’re not getting the truth about Boston bombing

 

Thomas Lifson

See also: Dancing on the graves of ‘old media’

 

While the media are bearing the brunt of public skepticism over the handling of the Boston bombing, the behavior of government is also eroding public trust. Yesterday’s promised but cancelled news briefing is just one symptom. Andrew McCarthy of PJM notes that “Misinformation rather than enlightenment has been the order of the day in the investigation of Monday’s terrorist bombing of the Boston Marathon,” and that part of it is the natural outgrowth of the desire of investigators to keep the details of their investigations secret, so as not to alert suspects. In these circumstances, the media, hungry forsomething to say in  their wall-to-wall coverage, press law enforcement sources, to whom they offer anonymity, for information. In the circumstances, misinformation is almost certain to get reported.

 

But there is something else at work: a taboo, widespread in the MSM and government, on suspecting jihadists. McCarthy writes:

 

We don’t know what the investigators know, but on our state of information, it would be irresponsible to discount the possibility that this is an instance of jihadist terror. Of course, other ideological motivations cannot be ruled out, either. My point is that it is ludicrous to enforce a politically correct filter in which the most plausible explanation must not be spoken on pain of being cast out as a racist “Islamophobe,” yet every other theory, no matter how half-baked, is given a respectful airing. (snip)

…no radical ideology that urges violence should be ruled out at this point when, apparently, no perpetrators have been identified. How strange, though, that what experience suggests are the least likely scenarios – conservatives or anti-government extremists striking savagely at their defenseless fellow citizens – are being embraced seriously (even wistfully) by some media pundits, while one must walkon eggshells to describe scenarios whose proving out would surprise no one.

 

The avoidance of jihad as an explanation is particularly ridiculous given the initial suspicions focused on Abdulrahman Ali Alharbi, the 20 year old Saudi student, who is now rather mysteriously being deported, we are told. Jim Host of Gateway Pundit reports:

 

Tonight Steven Emerson told Sean Hannity that the non-suspect Abdulrahman Ali Alharbi is being deported back to the Saudi Kingdom.

 

 

 

Barack Obama met with the Saudi foreign minister today. It was not on public schedule.

 

In addition, Walid Shoebat focuses attention of the Alharbi Clan:

 

Out of a list of 85 terrorists listed by the Saudi government shows several of Al-Harbi clan to have been active fighters in Al-Qaeda:

#15 Badr Saud Uwaid Al-Awufi Al-Harbi

#73 Muhammad Atiq Uwaid Al-Awufi Al-Harbi

#26 Khalid Salim Uwaid Al-Lahibi Al-Harbi

#29 Raed Abdullah Salem Al-Thahiri Al-Harbi

#43 Abdullah Abdul Rahman Muhammad Al-Harbi (leader)

#60 Fayez Ghuneim Humeid Al-Hijri Al-Harbi

Source: http://aalhameed1.net/vb/showthread.php?t=1565

Then you have Al-Harbi clan members in Gitmo:

Salim Salman Awadallah Al-Sai’di Al-Harbi

Majid Abdullah Hussein Al-Harbi

Muhammad Abdullah Saqr Al-Alawi Al-Harbi

Ghanem Abdul Rahman Ghanem Al-Harbi

Muhammad Atiq Uwaid Al-Awfi Al-Harbi

Source: http://www.muslm.net/vb/showthread.php?169019-أسماء-(90)-سعودياً-لا-زالوا-محتجزين-في-جوانتانامو

 

Americans are unaccustomed to thinking of clans as an important variable in human behavior, so Daniel Greenfield of Front Page Magazine provides some helpful background:

 

Americans often disregard basic structural differences between the east and the west. And that is a dangerous mistake.

The differences between the Muslim world and the Western world aren’t just religious. There are basic structural differences at the social level. They don’t think the way that we do, because they don’t live the way that we do. We think in terms of the country as defining us. They think in terms of the tribe as defining them. We sanction countries, but their countries are often a sham. It’s the clans that count. (snip)

It’s not just Saudi Arabia. A closer look at the antics of the Al-Awlaki clan in Yemen (though the Saudis have a long history of using Yemen as their backyard) would have told us to watch out for Anwar Al-Awlaki. But that’s not the way we think. It is the way they think.

 

So what is going on? Why is the j-word (Jihad) unthinkable in media reporting? Why was Alharbi quietly deported, and why the urgent meeting of the president and the Saudi FM not on the president’s pubic schedule?

 

It certainly appears that we are not getting the straight story.

Hat tip: Lucianne.com

Correction: The Saudi national is being deported, but has not yet been deported. The blog has been updated.

Guantanamo Hunger Strike: Guards Fire Four Non-Lethal Shots, Force Detainees Into Single Cells

WASHINGTON — Military guards at Guantanamo’s communal camp fired four non-lethal rounds at detainees early Saturday morning as the facility commander forced them into single cells in an apparent effort to stop a prolonged hunger strike.

Currently, 43 detainees are on a hunger strike at the prison; 13 of those are being force fed.

Guards forced detainees from communal areas to individual cells at 5:10 a.m. EDT on Saturday, said a Department of Defense news release. The action was taken “in response to efforts by detainees to limit the guard force’s ability to observe the detainees by covering surveillance cameras, windows, and glass partitions.”

Four non-lethal rounds were fired after some of the detainees used “improvised weapons,” to resist being moved, according to the military. No guards or detainees were seriously injured.

The military said that more than 40 detainees are participating in the hunger strike, which began in February, but detainees have told their lawyers the strike is much more widespread and involves the vast majority of the 166 detainees remaining at Guantanamo.

Illegal Immigrant Apprehended at Border: ‘Obama’s Gonna Let Me Go’

It seems even illegal immigrants seeking to cross over the U.S.-Mexico border are following the current immigration debate. Linda Vickers, who owns a ranch in Brooks County, Texas, told WOAI that she witnessed one man being arrested on her ranch and that he told the border agent Obama would let him go.

“The Border Patrol agent was loading one man up, and he told the officer in Spanish, ‘Obama’s gonna let me go’,” Vickers said.
Meanwhile, Border Patrol agents report that some immigrants will even ask, “Where do I go for my amnesty?” while they are surrendering.
“When you have amnesty waving in the wind, you’re going to get an increase,” Vickers says. “And when you get an increase, especially with this heat, you’re going to get an increase in deaths.”
She told WOAI that the current uptick in illegal immigration began last summer, implying that it directly comports with President Obama’s plans to forgo deportation of young people who came to the U.S. as children.
“Washington is directly responsible for these deaths,” she said. WOAI adds:
Negotiators in Washington yesterday agreed to limit any ‘path to citizenship’ or any benefits under immigration reform to people who arrived in the U.S. before 2012, but Vickers says that won’t do any good.
She says immigrant smugglers, who charge between $2000 and $7000 per person to smuggle them into the U.S., routinely lie to would be immigrants, and the current lie is ‘if you can only get into the U.S., you’ll get amnesty.’
Brooks County reportedly has the highest number of illegal immigrant deaths each year allegedly because smugglers release their passengers far before reaching the Border Patrol checkpoint in Falfurrias, leaving them to their own devices in the blistering heat.
“If that individual, illegal immigrant, can’t keep up, they are left behind,” she said. “And you are going to die out in this heat if you can’t find water.”

Communists Stand in Defiance of Bill of Rights

(fromthetrenchesworldreport.com) The communist insurgents within the United States continue their push to disarm we American nationals, even to the point of presenting poll numbers which have been proven to be false via their own previous admissions.  Captain Mark Kelly, the husband of ex-Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, was making the rounds over the weekend, spouting his sedition while trying to present himself as some kind of American hero.

Let’s look at this logically and ask the question. Does the government grant the people their rights?  Was the Bill of Rights written by the government to outline the privileges they were to bestow upon us, said privileges of course to be revoked, altered, or regulated at the government’s whim?

This is the position the government would like to establish.  It is however absolutely a fiction.  This government did not grant us our rights, as all power within this nation resides in the people.  We granted the government limited power, which they have distorted.  Our rights are inalienable, they cannot be removed as we are born with them and they stay with us until our deaths.

The 2nd Article to the Bill of Rights states in part: “The right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”  This is an absolute statement and there is no way it can be misconstrued.

Infringe is defined as: “Act so as to limit or undermine; encroach on”, therefore any government action that alters, in the smallest degree, any American nationals right to arm, as he or she sees fit, is by definition an infringement and is not law, but rather an act of sedition.

The infringements that have been levied upon our Bill of Rights are too numerous to count.  These infringements have in fact brought us to the precipice of slavery.  The only thing standing in the way of a complete takeover of the people by the government is our possession of our firearms which have not yet been made a part of the infringements.

This is not just about our 2nd Article right.  This is about our freedom and liberty, et.al.  A person who is governed by another person is not free.  This is why our Republic emphasizes self governess of, by, and for the individual.

Mark Kelly spouted the lie that 92% of the American people support universalbackground checks, which can only be accomplished through universal registration.  Again, this is a lie, but even if it were not, it would not matter.  If 99.999% supported it, no one of us can alter the rights of another.

Our employees in the government are forbidden by law to advocate in any way to alter our Bill of Rights. The 1934 Gun Control Act was and is an infringement, and tell me how bold would these actors within this police state be in attacking our homes, if we still had our machine guns and hand grenades?  The 1968 Gun Control Act was and is an infringement, as the 2nd Article to the Bill of Rights does not say “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed except for those who are felons. “

These communists are parasites of the lowest degree and have sleazed their way into our lives in taking our kindness for weakness, said kindness fostered in reality via stupidity as the most feared threat to our safety is an armed government wielding tyranny over an unarmed population.

These present infringements have been put forth for no other reason than to segment another portion of our population to be without their inalienable rights.  And with the new mental health aspect, hell you do not even have to be accused of harming anyone.  Now, instead of being dispossessed of our rights via conviction, which again is unconstitutional, we are to be disarmed for what could happen: an ‘if’ or a ‘maybe’.

We must stand firm in our defiance of universal background check registration and let these communists know that not only are they going to cease and desist in their attempt at further infringement, but we demand that all past infringements be removed as a precursor to their trials for sedition.

God bless the Republic, death to the international corporate mafia, we shall prevail.

THE RED MARRIAGE EQUALITY SIGN ON YOUR FACEBOOK PROFILE IS COMPLETELY USELESS

 

(Vice.com) It’s a big week in the fight for “marriage equality,” which is what most gay activists want us to call gay marriage. Today the Supreme Court heard arguments for and against Proposition 8, the California ballot initiative that struck down the state’s law to allow Ellen DeGeneres and Portia De Rossi the right to marry each other, just as Britney Spears got hitched to some guy in a drunken haze one night so many years ago. Tomorrow the court will hear arguments about the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, the 1996 federal law signed by Bill Clinton that defines marriage as being between a man and a woman. Right now, gay activism needs all the help it can get. But do you know what’s not helping? Changing your Facebook profile picture to a silly red-and-pink equal sign.

In more sad news for gay Americans waiting to have all the rights that go along with marriage and not just the ridiculously ornate parties and rituals, it looks like the court won’t issue a sweeping ruling to allow gay marriage in all 50 states. That means gay men and lesbians who call this country home will continue to be second-class citizens. Sorry to break it to everyone, but changing your little avatar isn’t doing anything to change that.

Yes, the show of support is heartwarming. It’s nice to see so many people who want their gay friends to be spoiled brides just like all their straight friends, but you’re not doing anything. This is just another form of passive activism that isn’t advancing the cause. Do you know what would be helpful? Actually picking up a sign, heading down to the Supreme Court, and joining the throngs of protesters. Do you know what would be useful? Instead of just downloading an image and clicking a few buttons, going to the website of a gay rights organization (or any gay organization for that matter) and giving them some money so they can fight for gay civil rights on your behalf. Do you know what would really matter? If you had done this back when Prop 8 was being voted on and had actively lobbied everyone you know in California to vote the right way so this thing didn’t have to go to the Supreme Court in the first place.

Basically, it’s the equivalent of wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day (which is only useful in identifying which drunks to avoid on the sidewalk). And this is not the right time or place for the show of support. There are only nine people, the Supreme Court Justices, who matter today or tomorrow, and their lifetime appointments mean that they’re above being prejudiced by the masses. They’re probably not even allowed on Facebook. Why don’t you hold your burst of activity for something that really matters, when the public actually has some say in what happens?

Now you’re just sitting there at your desk thinking that something you did on social media is freeing the oppressed. It might, in some small way, but if you really want to make progress, you have to work hard. If visibility is what you’re aiming for, why not write a letter (hell, even an email) to your senator and let him or her know that you want marriage rights for everyone. Why don’t you call up your conservative grandmother or that girl you went to high school with who only posts Bible quotes on her timeline or anyone who would deny gay people their rights and tell them, personally, what you think about that. You know, do some actual work—something hard and annoying and perhaps intensely uncomfortable.

The worst thing is that all the red and pink is making everyone on my Facebook feed completely indistinguishable from the rest. I know some might think this is a good thing—that all those equal signs create an indivisible mass of support behind this issue. But what it’s really doing is turning gays into a completely innocuous monolith, which is something the gay civil rights movement has been trying to do since the fight for gay marriage began. It is trying to make us into a nameless, faceless Borg-thing that is simple and clean and lovely enough to be deigned worthy of its rights.

No one is going to give you anything for nothing, and all the Facebook statuses in the world won’t change that. We have to go out and take it. We have to be individuals with names and voices and faces and tell the people out there in the world, outside our circles of friends, how important it is to treat gay people like humans and not silly little hairdressers who can give you a killer makeover on reality TV.

Naturally the gays are starting to get creative with the formula—I’ve seen Paula Deen riding atop two sticks of pink butter and gay couples putting the red equal sign over their wedding picture. There is even one with Divine from Pink Flamingos pointing a gun out of the screen with the pink and red in the background. While it’s an affecting image (and wonderfully more militant than the normal, vanilla gay rights-activism symbols), I can’t help but think how much John Waters would hate this whole thing: everyone trying to be the same, trying to be just like our straight brothers and sisters. The queer has been demolished, our edges completely sanded away in a plea for acceptance we haven’t even been granted.


Frank Kameny, photo via

This also reminds me of Frank Kameny, the late, great gay activist who initiated the first protests at the White House back in the 60s. He insisted that everyone who marched be dressed in their nicest suits so that they all looked the same, like respectable members of the community and not the degenerates everyone thought they were. Kameny and his radical activists were arrested for their beliefs. Simply showing their faces at the protest made them vulnerable to violence, being fired from their jobs, or, God forbid, arrested for sodomy. What they were doing was highly dangerous. What all the lemmings with the Facebook activism avatar are doing is easier than wearing a Livestrong bracelet or all those stupid NOH8 portraits with tape over the subjects’ mouths. At least you had to pay for the bracelet! At least there was some money going to help someone.

But no, all we can be bothered to do now is change our profile for a few days as if, like everyone in the theater clapping to revive Tinker Bell, it’s going to do some good. It’s not. The only way to create change is by being like Kameny and putting something on the line. Let’s all protest so hard we get arrested and then post our mug shots on our walls. That’s the kind of disturbance that will get us some real results.

Parallels of the Fall of the Roman Empire and that of America Today

rome US

Today, the United States has many parallels as an empire to that of the collapse of the ancient Roman Empire. There were many causes of the fall of Rome however, but the main problems which led to it are exactly the same as those we face currently, here in America as a nation. The fall of the Roman Empire took a few centuries for the total dissolution of that government to take place. However, in America the same problems that brought down the Roman Empire are expedited to the point that we are looking at decades, rather than centuries before the collapse of the US government. The following are examples of what brought Rome down as an empire, and what is going to destroy the American government in a very short time. Continue reading

Study Shows Black Men Receive 20% Longer Prison Terms Than White Men For Committing The Same Crime

(Refreshing News) Prison sentences of black men were nearly 20% longer than those of white men for similar crimes in recent years, an analysis by the U.S. Sentencing Commission found.

That racial gap has widened since the Supreme Court restored judicial discretion in sentencing in 2005, according to the Sentencing Commission’s findings, which were submitted to Congress last month and released publicly this week.

In its report, the commission recommended that federal judges give sentencing guidelines more weight, and that appeals courts more closely scrutinize sentences that fall beyond them.

The commission, which is part of the judicial branch, was careful to avoid the implication of racism among federal judges, acknowledging that they “make sentencing decisions based on many legitimate considerations that are not or cannot be measured.”

Still, the findings drew criticism from advocacy groups and researchers, who said the commission’s focus on the very end of the criminal-justice process ignored possible bias at earlier stages, such as when a person is arrested and charged, or enters into a plea deal with prosecutors.

“They’ve only got data on this final slice of the process, but they are still missing crucial parts of the criminal-justice process,” said Sonja Starr, a law professor at the University of Michigan, who has analyzed sentencing and arrest data and found no marked increase in racial disparity since 2005.

Douglas A. Berman, a law professor at the Ohio State University who studies sentencing, said, “It’s not surprising that the commission that’s in charge of both monitoring and amending the guidelines has a general affinity for the guidelines.”

The Sentencing Commission didn’t return requests for comment.

The Supreme Court, in the 2005 case U.S. v. Booker, struck down a 1984 law that required federal district judges to impose a sentence within the range of the federal sentencing guidelines, which are set by the commission.

The law was meant to alleviate the disparity in federal sentences, but critics say placing restrictions on judges can exacerbate the problem by rendering them powerless to deviate from guidelines and laws that are inherently biased. An often-cited example is a federal law that created steeper penalties for crack-cocaine offenses, which are committed by blacks more frequently than whites, than for powder-cocaine offenses.

Congress reduced the disparity in 2010.

In the two years after the Booker ruling, sentences of blacks were on average 15.2% longer than the sentences of similarly situated whites, according to the Sentencing Commission report. Between December 2007 and September 2011, the most recent period covered in the report, sentences of black males were 19.5% longer than those for whites. The analysis also found that black males were 25% less likely than whites in the same period to receive a sentence below the guidelines’ range.

The Sentencing Commission released a similar report in 2010. Researchers criticized its analysis for including sentences of probation, which they argued amplified the demographic differences.

In the new study, the Sentencing Commission conducted a separate analysis that excluded sentences of probation. It yielded the same pattern, but the racial disparity was less pronounced. Sentences of black males were 14.5% longer than whites, rather than nearly 20%.

Jeff Ulmer, a sociology professor at Pennsylvania State University, described the commission’s latest report as an improvement but said it was “a long way from proving that [judicial discretion] has caused greater black-white federal sentencing disparity.”

Obama’s Guantanamo Is Never Going To Close, So Everyone Might As Well Get Comfortable

(Huffington Post) In late January, shortly after President Barack Obama began his second term, Navy Cmdr. Walter Ruiz stood inside an old airplane hangar on the southernmost tip of the island and reflected on a central but unfulfilled promise of Obama’s 2008 campaign.

“We’re still here,” Ruiz said, as reporters milled around the aging hangar, which has been repurposed as a work space for the journalists and human rights observers who have been flying in and out of Guantanamo since the first suspected terrorists were brought here 11 years ago. Instead of planes, the hangar is now home to several trailer-size sheds with slanted roofs. More offices line the hangar’s perimeter, and a giant map of the base is painted on the floor. Screeching bats fly in and out of the hangar at night.

“We’re still in military commissions. We’re still arguing about the basic protections the system affords us. We’re still talking about indefinite detention,” Ruiz continued. “We’re still talking about not closing the facility.”

After years of legal wrangling, the trials of Khalid Sheikh Muhammad and four other men allegedly responsible for the 9/11 attacks have barely gotten off the ground. Ruiz, an attorney for alleged 9/11 organizer and financier Mustafa Ahmed Hawsawi, estimates he has traveled to Guantanamo 50 to 100 times for client meetings and pre-trial hearings on legal minutiae since he joined the military’s defense counsel office in September 2008.

“I’m here trying this case, people were here trying this case in 2008, arguing many of the same motions we’re arguing now,” Ruiz said. “And I think folks that have been around here for a while would tell you not much has changed at all.”

During his first campaign for the White House, Obama pledged to end an ugly chapter in American history and prove to the world that the United States could safeguard the country from terrorism without sacrificing its commitment to freedom and liberty.

“In the dark halls of Abu Ghraib and the detention cells of Guantanamo, we have compromised our most precious values,” Obama declared in a speech on Aug. 1, 2007. In one of his first acts upon taking office in January 2009, the president, flanked by admirals and generals, directed the military to close the prison camp here within a year.

Today, however, the detention center at Guantanamo appears less likely than ever to close. There are 166 people currently imprisoned, down from a high of 684 in 2003. But those who remain are likely to do so indefinitely. Effectively banned from the continental U.S. by Congress, disowned by their home countries and unwelcome pretty much everywhere else, they have no place to go.

In addition to the seven Guantanamo detainees currently facing charges — including the five charged in relation to the 9/11 attacks — 24 may face charges in the future. Three current detainees have already been convicted in military tribunals: one was sentenced to life in prison, one is scheduled to be released pending testimony in another case and one has had his sentencing delayed for four years.

Of the rest, however, the U.S. has designated 86 detainees for release but can’t actually set them free. Thirty are from Yemen, and the U.S. won’t send them back there while it remains a hotbed of terrorism. No country is willing to accept the others. And it’s a political nonstarter to release them into the U.S.

In 2010, Obama’s Guantanamo Task Force determined that another 46 were “too dangerous to transfer but not feasible for prosecution.” And so they remain stuck here, in limbo.

Obama has periodically reiterated his intention to close the detention center, most recently during an appearance on “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart in October. But the public pressure on him to do so has largely died down, as tales of detainee abuse at the hands of CIA interrogators fade into the past and the media turns its attention to new fronts in the war on terrorism, such as the administration’s drone program.

The truth is that nobody is really in a hurry to close Guantanamo. Defense attorneys, whose ultimate goal is to keep their clients alive, certainly aren’t in a rush, and have adopted a strategy of throwing up procedural objections that often slow the court’s already glacial pace. Prosecutors, anxious to avoid any possible legal challenges that could come up on appeal, are moving deliberately to make sure they’re dotting every “i” and crossing every “t.” Last month, the Obama administration shuttered the State Department office tasked with planning Guantanamo’s closure.

As a result, the vague idea of indefinite detention is looking more specifically like life in prison, at least for those detainees who are not sentenced to death by the military commissions. And with the youngest detainee still in his 20s, Guantanamo could conceivably remain open for decades to come.

‘HAVE A GOOD TIME’

It’s no surprise, then, that as Obama’s second term begins, Guantanamo seems to be putting down roots. Indeed, parts of the naval base have taken on the appearance of a new beachside housing development. Hundreds of homes are currently under construction in neighborhoods with names like Iguana Terrace and Marina Point, to house the growing population of military personnel, civilian contractors and their families, which currently stands at approximately 5,000.

The base features a Starbucks, a Subway, a McDonald’s, a KFC/Taco Bell, a supermarket, a golf course, a restaurant serving Jamaican jerk chicken and an Irish pub. A gift shop sells stuffed iguanas and T-shirts emblazoned with Guantanamo Bay slogans like “Close, But No Cigar.”

Fidel Castro bobbleheads are one of the most popular items for sale at the base’s radio station, Radio GTMO, which broadcasts popular tunes like PSY’s “Gangnam Style”. Cuban music bleeds over from stations on the other side of the island.

Improvements have also been made to the areas of the base that house the detainees. The Bush administration quickly replaced the temporary Camp X-Ray with more permanent facilities in 2002, after photos emerged of detainees in orange jumpsuits sitting in chain-link holding pens, causing an outcry from human rights groups and criticism from around the world. In 2011, the Obama administration added a new soccer field for some of the cooperative detainees, along with covered walkways that allow them to move between cellblocks unescorted.

The joke around Gitmo is that the detainees enjoy nicer facilities than the guards, who live in temporary metal trailers scattered all over the base. But the guards, too, may soon get an upgrade. The commander of the base, Capt. John Nettleton, recently told Reuters that he wants to build a new cafeteria for the camp’s personnel, along with a permanent barracks.

Some of the most significant changes have taken place at Camp Justice, the section of the base that houses the court facilities and the tent city for visiting lawyers, human rights observers, journalists and court officials. The Bush administration had proposed a major $125 million expansion, including a new courthouse and a hotel to replace the tent city. Congress balked at the project, however, and then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates quickly condemned it. The $12 million substitute, technically a temporary facility, was completed in 2008.

The windowless, barn-like structure looks like something that might hold a high-school basketball court, and is surrounded by layers of barbed-wire fences. Inside, however, it is state of the art, featuring a soundproof spectator gallery, digital document displays for lawyers and audio speakers under the table that broadcast Arabic translations of the proceedings for defendants who refuse to wear headphones. Whereas the old courthouse held a single, cramped courtroom, the new facility has space to try up to five defendants at once.

Visiting defense attorneys now stay in new townhouse condos, but journalists and observers remain relegated to Camp Justice’s tent city. In the airplane hangar, there is an “internet cafe” where human rights observers have set up an office. “We now have a printer this time, which we’ve been asking for for a while,” said Laura Pitter, a counterterrorism adviser with Human Rights Watch. “We have a working phone in there now. We didn’t have a working phone last time.”

In addition to his official portrait, visible in a few locations around the base, there are other subtle reminders that Obama is now in charge. The tents at Camp Justice are outfitted with energy-efficient light bulbs. The cover of “The Wire” — the newsletter of Joint Task Force Guantanamo, the entity which runs GTMO’s prisons — features a photo of Obama’s ceremonial swearing in at his second inauguration. A military spokesman who travels with reporters to Guantanamo is married to another man.

There have been victories for members of the media. New divider walls give journalists a bit more privacy in their heavily air-conditioned six-person tents. Reporters are now allowed to roam around parts of the base without an escort and no longer have a curfew — privileges that journalists embedded with the military in Iraq and Afghanistan have enjoyed for years but were absent at Guantanamo until last month. In January, visiting journalists were given a tour of one of the holding cells located next to the courtroom facility for the first time in years.

“Have a good time,” a young guard told the reporters about to tour the cell, after scanning them for metal or electronic devices.

Unlike the Bush administration, the Obama administration has been relatively hands off when it comes to media restrictions at Guantanamo, letting officials on the ground set the rules.

Still, it was under Obama that four reporters, including Miami Herald reporter Carol Rosenberg, widely considered the dean of the Guantanamo press corps, were banned from Guantanamo for life in May 2010 for disclosing the name of a witness whose identity is under a protective order, despite the fact that his name was already public. The reporters fought the ban, and the Pentagon overturned it that July.

The new courthouse, in many ways, is the end result of a long debate about how to try the detainees. The Bush administration — which housed the suspected terrorists at Guantanamo in order to avoid the due process required under the U.S. criminal justice system, as well as the Geneva conventions’ prohibitions on torture — adamantly opposed the idea of trying them in U.S. courts. The Supreme Court has ruled, however, that foreign terrorism suspects do have the right to challenge their detention in U.S. courts.

Obama shut down the military tribunals as soon as he took office and began exploring ways to transfer the suspected terrorists to American soil — possibly to a prison in Illinois — and try them in federal courts. Throughout the long, hot summer of 2009, however, as the Tea Party movement blossomed, Republicans charged that closing Guantanamo would put Americans in danger, potentially even leading to terrorist prison breaks. Senate Democrats, lead by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), also opposed transfering the detainees and cut off $80 million Obama had requested to do so, claiming the administration had done too little to outline its plans.

Andy Worthington, a journalist and activist who has been writing about the camp for seven years, said that Congress, which has repeatedly prevented Obama from using federal money to transfer any detainees out of Guantanamo, shares some of the blame for the camp’s continued existence. Reid, who recently claimed it was “nobody’s fault” that Guantanamo had not been closed, is “part of the absolute failure,” Worthington said.

Reid did not respond to a request for comment.

At Guantanamo, some members of the military are quick to point out that the Pentagon didn’t seek out the duty of trying terrorists in the tribunal system, but that it was rather a burden imposed on the military by Congress. “They should really call them congressional commissions instead of military commissions,” one officer joked.

But ultimately, Worthington said, Obama will have his name attached to the camp, just as Bush’s was.

“He will go down in history fairly clearly as the man who failed to close this abomination,” Worthington said. “They will judge that President Obama failed to close it pretty much because he ran up against political difficulties.”

“I think that Obama did not want to invest the political capital in it to take the steps necessary to make it happen,” Pitter said.

THE ‘RE-BRANDER’

Unable to close Guantanamo, Obama restarted the military commissions in March 2011. He did succeed, however, in reforming them to a certain extent, increasing transparency and bringing their policies and handling of evidence closer in line with U.S. courts. But the legality of the commissions is still being debated, and the detainees may appeal any verdicts in federal court, setting up a prolonged battle that will likely wind its way back to the Supreme Court.

For now, Brig. Gen. Mark S. Martins is the man with the difficult task of selling the world on the legitimacy of the proceedings. Martins took the job of chief prosecutor in October 2011, and he is a staunch defender of trying the detainees in military commissions as opposed to federal courts.

“There are narrow but important differences, and this often gets lost when I talk about federal courts, because someone will say, ‘Hey, he should try to just mimic federal courts, why do you need [military commissions]?'” Martins said, sitting in a bare-bones office in the old court building at the top of the hill overlooking the new courthouse. “This just fuels the argument about how, why are they necessary? The differences are important.”

Miranda rights don’t apply in military commissions — statements just need to be determined to be voluntary in order to be included as evidence. There are also looser rules on hearsay statements. Martins said the distinctions between U.S. courts and the military commissions could be “decisive in certain cases.”

The reformed military commissions are designed to address some of the concerns of both the U.S. government and human rights advocates. Any statements obtained as a result of torture or cruel or degrading treatment are prohibited. Detainees have greater access to classified information that might be relevant to building their defense cases. Journalists have increased standing before the court.

“Anyone who was familiar with the process before and looks at it now, I think, is looking fairly at it, would say there’s a significant proportion more of this proceeding that we can look at, understand, analyze,” Martins said.

Demonstrating that transparency has proven difficult at times, however. Last month, in the first day of hearings in the 9/11 case, an anonymous censor cut off the closed-circuit TV feed of the proceedings that members of the media were watching. Normally, the judge and the court security officer could censor information they feel should remain classified. But neither had moved to censor the information in this instance, leaving journalists and defense lawyers to infer that the CIA was secretly pulling the strings behind the scenes and undermining the commission’s established rules.

The judge ordered the outside censor button removed, but the controversy ate up most of the week’s proceedings, even bleeding into a separate hearing involving a defendant charged in connection with the attack on the USS Cole in October 2000, as defense attorneys questioned whether they could ethically continue if they believed their communications were being monitored. Two weeks later, when the hearings reconvened, lawyers were still debating issues involving the monitoring of communications that the incident raised.

Similarly, Martins has sought to dismiss charges against a number of detainees that he feels are not sustainable under international law, only to be overruled by the more senior Pentagon officials who oversee the military commissions.

Martins told HuffPost that, to him, the dispute over the charges is about “principled disagreements” between government officials carrying out their duties “honorably and faithfully under the law.” Critics, however, say it shows that the reforms to the commissions system are just cosmetic changes to a fundamentally flawed tribunal process.

“Some people call him the ‘re-brander.’ He was going to come in here, he was going to lend his name, his rank, his stature, and legitimize this process,” Ruiz said of Martins. “Now you have that person talking to another official and telling him, ‘I think this is a bad idea. I think we need to remove these charges because it will remove the legal uncertainty moving forward.’ And you have this non-entity — which is not a party, not a prosecutor, not a defense counsel, he’s not a judge — who says, ‘No, I’m not going to do it.'”

“That alone is remarkable,” said Ruiz.

“What happens when he’s not here?” asked Human Rights Watch’s Pitter, who similarly praised Martins for bringing the military commission procedures closer in line with those of federal courts. “What happens when there’s a prosecutor who is going to use all the rules at his disposal for a commission like this?”

Martins, who is 52 and has deferred promotion and retirement to continue in his role as chief prosecutor at Guantanamo, said he’s in it for the long haul. “We’re making progress,” he insisted.

“I’m here as long as it takes,” Martins said. “This is my last job in the military. I’ve gotten word that although my retirement date would have been November of 2014, it can actually be years, well after that. I’m committed to this.”

SchwartzReport: One Third of Americans (USA) Qualify as Idiots

I am having a hard time accepting this, it depresses me and makes me uncomfortable but data is data, and I am afraid I am going to have to accept that about a third of the country are too stupid to handle the 21st century. Here is some more data: Fifty per cent of the people in the U.S. have an I.Q. of 100 or less, and about 15 per cent have an I.Q. lower than 85. That didn’t matter! much in the 13th century, but it matters a lot in the 21st.

One-third of Americans Believe God Decides who Wins Sporting Events
DAVID FERGUSON – The Raw Story

A recent study by the Center for Public Religion has found that nearly 3 out of every 10 Americans believes that God decides the outcome of sporting events by favoring players who are virtuous and who God perceives as good.

According to the study, ‘Americans are less likely to believe that God plays a role in the outcome of sporting events than they are to believe God rewards religious athletes. While only about 3-in-10 (27%) Americans, believe that God plays a role in determining which team wins a sporting event, a majority (53%) believe that God rewards athletes who have faith with good health and success, compared to 42% who disagree.”

‘We can’t just gloss over this,” said Dennis Traynor of Acronym TV. ‘A majority of U.S. citizens in 2013 think that the all-knowing creator of the universe is sitting in the heavens looking down upon the extreme poverty and misery that encompass the world that he created in six days and sees that half of his beautiful creatures live on less than $2.50 a day and 80 percent of humanity living on less than $10 a day and not only gives a shit what happens on Super Bowl Sunday, but will be rewarding one team over the other based on the purity and faithfulness of the football players’ religion on either team.”

 

Source: http://www.phibetaiota.net/2013/02/scwhartzreport-one-third-of-americans-usa-qualify-as-idiots/

Alan Hart : “Anti-Semitism” What it IS and is NOT

 

QUOTE An anti-Semite used to be a person who disliked Jews. Now it is a person who Jews dislike UNQUOTE

 

by Alan Hart

 

Those are the words of my dear Jewish friend, Nazi (Auschwitz) holocaust survivor Dr. Hajo Myer. They are taken from page 179 of his magnificent book An Ethical Tradition Betrayed – The End of Judaism (published in 2007).

Hajo was making a point in passing which had been provoked in his mind by an incident that happened in the Netherlands where he lives. Gretta Duisenberg, the wife of the former European Central Bank President Wim Duisenberg, hoisted a Palestinian flag at her home as a protest against Israel’s actions in the occupied territories. Her Jewish neighbours saw to it that their accusation that she was anti-Semitic went viral, and a Jewish lawyer not only sought to press a charge against her, he approached the Jewish World Congress in New York with the suggestion that Wim Duisenberg should be declared persona non grata in the United States. That affair, Hajo wrote, “reflects a caustic, contemporary definition of the term anti-Semite.” Then came his own redefinition as quoted above.

In the light of the false charges of anti-Semitism that were levelled against British Liberal Democratic MP David Ward for telling the truth, and then against Gerald Scarfe for his anti-Netanyahu cartoon in the Sunday Timeswhich reflected (yes, in a grotesque way) the truth, I would expand Hajo’s definition as follows. An anti-Semite today is a truth-telling person Jews who support the Zionist state of Israel RIGHT OR WRONG not only dislike but want to silence.

That last statement of mine should not be taken to imply that I am a denier of the existence of anti-Semitism. It is on the rise due mainly to the Zionist (not Jewish) state’s brutal oppression of the Palestinians and on-going colonization of their West Bank land and water in open defiance of, and contempt for, international law and UN Security Council resolutions.

Also true is that a number of web sites which reflect mainly American and European views are alive and crawling with the most vile expressions of anti-Semitism. That said, I think it’s more than possible that some of the anti-Semitic excrement in comments on web sites is the work of Zionist assets for the purpose of discrediting by association those of us who seek to tell the truth. (The web site of Veterans Today is an example of what I mean. It is one of quite a few sites that publish my articles, but many of the comments under them do not engage with what I have written. They spew out hatred of Jews and deny the obscenity of the Nazi holocaust. As I wrote in Volume One of my book Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews, I think holocaust denial is as obscene and wicked as the great crime itself).

The main point I want to convey in this article is that it really, really, really is time for peoples of all faiths and none everywhere to understand that it is perfectly possible to be passionately anti-Zionist (anti Zionism’s colonial enterprise), and fiercely condemnatory of the policies of Zionism’s in-Israel leaders, without being in any way, shape or form anti-Semitic. The assertion of those Jews (a minority of the whole?) who support Israel right or wrong that criticism of Israel’s leaders and their policies is a manifestation of hatred for all Jews everywhere is c-r-a-z-y. It can only come from traumatized minds which have been brainwashed by Zionist propaganda.

In my view real understanding requires knowledge of the following.

There are two definitions of anti-Semitism in its Jewish context. One was born in real history and represents a truth. The other is part and parcel of Zionist mythology and was invented for the purpose of blackmailing non-Jewish Europeans and North Americans into refraining from criticizing Israel or, to be more precise, staying silent when its leaders demonstrate their absolute contempt for international law and resort to state terrorism.

Anti-Semitism properly and honestly defined in its Jewish context is prejudice against and loathing, even hatred, of Jews, all Jews everywhere, just because they are Jews. (I say “anti-Semitism in its Jewish context” because there is another context. Arabs are also Semitic peoples. A real and true anti-Semite is therefore one who is prejudiced against and lathes, even hates, both Jews and Arabs).

Anti-Semitism as defined by Zionism, the colonial, ethnic cleansing enterprise of some Jews, has come to mean almost all criticism of Israel’s policies and actions. Put another way, anti-Semitism as defined by supporters of Israel right or wrong is anything written or said by anybody who challenges and contradicts Zionism’s version of events. In effect Jewish supporters of Israel right or wrong say, “If you disagree with us, you’re anti-Semitic.”

As a blackmail card to silence criticism of Israel and prevent informed and honest debate about who must do what and why for justice and peace in the Middle East, Zionism’s false charge of anti-Semitism has worked wonderfully well to date. Why? In the long (and still present) shadow of the obscenity of the Nazi holocaust, a European crime for which, effectively, the Arabs were punished, there are few things Westerners in public life, politicians and media people especially, fear more than being accused of anti-Semitism. The charge – even when false as it most often is – can destroy careers.

Unable to refute the substance of documented and objective messages of challenge and criticism, Zionism’s policy always was, and is, to shoot the messengers, usually with smears for bullets.

For complete understanding of what anti-Semitism is and is not, it’s necessary to know what Zionism is and is not.

Zionism claims to be the nationalist movement of “the Jews”, all Jews everywhere. But this claim, like almost all of its claims, does not bear examination.

As I document in detail in my book, the truth is that from Zionism’s foundation and first dishonest mission statement in 1897 until the Nazi holocaust, its colonial enterprise was endorsed and supported by only a tiny minority of the world’s Jews and was opposed by many eminent Jewish leaders.

Also true is that from Israel’s unilateral declaration of independence in 1948 until the  countdown to the 1967 war,many Jews of the world had no great affinity with Israel. They were in their chosen places as integrated citizens of many nations and Israeli Jews were in their chosen place, gained, mainly, by Zionist terrorism and ethnic cleansing. (During his time as prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s founding father, expressed dismay that not enough European and North American Jews wanted to move to Israel and become citizens of it).

For very many Jews of the world the 1967 war was a dramatic turning point in their relationship with Israel because they believed – were conditioned by Zionism and the mainstream Western media to believe – that poor little Israel was in danger of annihilation. Thus Israel’s survival (not to mention its conquest of more Arab land) against impossible odds was a source of great pride for most Jews of the world.

Though most Jews didn’t and still don’t want to know it, the truth was different. The Arabs did not attack first and were not intending to attack. The 1967 war was one of Israeli aggression. For Israel’s military and political hawks the grabbing of the West Bank including Arab East Jerusalem was the unfinished business of 1948. Taking the Syrian Golan Heights was a bonus.

Today much (meaning not quite all) of what supporters of Israel right or wrong claim to be anti-Semitism is actually anti-Israelism, which in my view is best described as anti-Zionism. And contrary to the assertions of Zionism’s spin doctors, anti-Zionism is not by definition anti-Semitism.

Short or long, any discussion of anti-Semitism should include the fact that Zionism needs it. The first to acknowledge this was none other than Theodore Herzl, Zionism’s founding father. In one of his diaries, not published until 1962, Herzl wrote (and probably said to some of his close associates) the following:

Anti-Semitism is a propelling force which, like the wave of the future, will bring Jews into the promised land. Anti-Semitism has grown and continues to grow – and so do I.”

He was right. Without the anti-Semitism unleashed by Adolf Hitler, Zionism’s colonial enterprise would almost certainly have been doomed to failure for lack of enough Jewish support.

Today Zionism needs anti-Semitism, or what it can present as anti-Semitism, to go on justifying its policies and actions.

Any discussion of anti-Semitism should also take note of the words of Yehoshafat Harkabi, Israel’s longest serving Director of Military Intelligence. In his book Israel’s Fateful Hour, he wrote:

I believe it was a damaging error on Menachem Begin’s part to insinuate that criticism of Israel is a manifestation of anti-Semitism. There is a recklessness in the grandiose assertion that ‘the whole world is against us.’ If indeed the whole world is against Israel, its future is very bleak. Only those intoxicated with their own greatness can believe that they can succeed in overcoming the entire world.”

In the same book Harkabi gave this warning:

“Israel is the criterion according to which all Jews will tend to be judged. Israel as a Jewish state is an example of the Jewish character, which finds free and concentrated expression within it. Anti-Semitism has deep and historical roots. Nevertheless, any flaw in Israeli conduct, which initially is cited as anti-Israelism, is likely to be transformed into empirical proof of the validity of anti-Semitism. It would be a tragic irony if the Jewish state, which was intended to solve the problem of anti-Semitism, was to become a factor in the rise of anti-Semitism. Israelis must be aware that the price of their misconduct is paid not only by them but also Jews throughout the world.”

From the mid 1980’s when those words were written, Israel’s “misconduct” has been the prime cause in the rise of what Zionism presents as anti-Semitism but which is actually anti-Israelism/anti Zionism.

Today the biggest danger to the Jews of the world is, as Harkabi warned, that anti-Israelism/anti-Zionism will be transformed into anti-Semitism, with the consequence at some point or another great turning against Jews.

My own view is that such a catastrophe will most likely happen unless the citizens of the mainly Gentile Western world among whom most Jews live are assisted to understand why it is perfectly possible to be passionately anti-Zionist (opposed to Zionism’s still on-going colonial enterprise) without being in any way, shape or form anti-Semitic.

If the day of understanding comes, it will mark the beginning of the end of Zionism’s freedom and ability to impose its will on the governments of the world that matter most (as well as on the Palestinians) and to remain above and beyond international law.

Footnote

A few of those who put comments under my articles on various web sites, most notably that of Veterans Today, assert that I am an apologist for Zionism. If they really believe that, they are certifiably m-a-d. But perhaps there is another explanation. Perhaps they are acting for Zionism and it’s their way of seeking to destroy my credibility with those who know that I truly believe Zionism is the cancer at the heart of international affairs…?

Mayan Apocalypse Is Unlike Other Doomsdays

Illustration showing Earth amageddon

Illustration showing Earth amageddon
CREDIT: sdecoret | Shutterstock

(LiveScience) Doomsday predictions seem as regular as the tides. UFO cults and evangelical preachers alike have claimed to know the true date of the end of the world. But the Mayan apocalypse is unlike most any doomsday to come before.

That’s because the Mayan apocalypse is an entirely grassroots doomsday, religion experts say. Most apocalyptic groups center around an apocalyptic leader, who passes along predictions, often claiming divine inspiration. The belief that the world will end on Dec. 21, 2012, on the other hand, has popped up almost entirely online, giving rise to a plethora of dueling predictions.

“This was almost an evolutionary process, in that certain ideas seem to stick for some reason, and many didn’t, but what you ended up with is the current 2012 phenomenon,” said Stephen Kent, a sociologist at the University of Alberta who studies new religious movements.

Nevertheless, apocalypse experts say, the current doomsday predictions have much in common with previous versions in that they assume the world to be in hopeless decline and beyond saving. [Full Coverage: The Mayan Not-Apocalypse]

A brief history of the end of the world

Apocalyptic viewpoints are thousands of years old. In Western civilization, they get their start with the ancient Persians, said Allen Kerkeslager, a religious studies professor at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. The Persian religion, called Zoroastrianism, included beliefs in an epic struggle between good and evil that would culminate in the end of the world, Kerkeslager told LiveScience.

In 539 B.C., the Persians conquered the ancient Jews, whom they would rule for the next 200 years. Prior to coming under Persian rules, Jewish thinkers had given little attention to the apocalypse. But as the cultures collided, apocalyptic thinking began to percolate into their writings, including the Dead Sea Scrolls. These end-of-the-world stories would later get integrated into early Christianity.

“These end-of-the-world predictions, a lot of it Christianity gets directly from Judaism, and Judaism gets it really almost directly from Zoroastrianism,” Kerkeslager said.

Failed apocalypses occurred with regularity in the first millennium; unsurprisingly, nice round dates like A.D. 500 and A.D. 1000 attracted particular attention. At other times, doomsday predictors looked to the skies. For example, in 1524, astrologers predicted a planetary alignment would bring the end of the world. The failure of this prophecy resulted in a revised date to 1528 and then to 1624. [Oops! 11 Failed Doomsday Predictions]

Modern Doomsdays

In the modern era, many doomsday prophets continue to preach versions of the Christian doomsday, with its judgment and rapture. One prominent example is radio preacher Harold Camping, who captured nationwide attention in 2011 after buying up billboard space to warn of Judgment Day on May 21 of that year. The end of the world was expected to follow in October. (Camping is currently out of the business of predicting the end.)

Others have combined the Western cultural fascination of doomsday with new religious movements. In 1954, late Chicago housewife Dorothy Martin and a group of her followers predicted a global flood on Dec. 21 of that year. The cult believed that a UFO would come and rescue them, as true believers, on the night of the flood.

The case became famous thanks to sociologists embedded with the cult, who reported the group’s reaction as the flood and UFO failed to materialize in the book “When Prophecy Fails” (Harper-Torchbooks, 1956). The group rationalized the failure by explaining that they themselves had turned back God’s plans for doomsday with their faith.

The Mayan apocalypse

The Mayan apocalypse myths are similar to prophecies like Martins’ in that they take a non-Biblical view of the end of the world. Mayan apocalypse believers get their inspiration from the Mayan Long Count Calendar, which consists of 144,000-day-long cycles called b’ak’tuns. (There are also longer units of time, such as piktuns, which are made of 20 b’ak’tuns.) Dec. 21, 2012 marks the end of the 13th b’ak’tun, which would have been seen as a completed full cycle of creation by the ancient Maya. However, there were no apocalyptic predictions associated with this day.

The driving belief behind the Mayan apocalypse is likely the same as any other doomsday, said Lorenzo DiTommaso, a professor of religion at Concordia University in Montreal.

Believers are motivated by “a general dissatisfaction with the world and a sense that its problems cannot be overcome by human intellect and engineering,” DiTommaso told LiveScience.

However, unlike other doomsday predictions made by charismatic leaders, people come to the Mayan apocalypse for all sorts of different reasons, DiTommaso said.

“It’s in some ways a Rorschach test, because you impose as much on it as it imposes on you,” he said. “You’ve got a problem with the environment? Maybe it’s 2012, and the planet is trying to tell you something.”

­The man behind the homosexual propaganda law sues Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga performs at the Olimpiisky Stadium in Moscow. (RIA Novosti/Anna Salynskaya)

(RT) – A Deputy in the St. Petersburg legislative assembly has filed a claim with the prosecutor’s office against pop diva Lady Gaga, accusing her of promoting a gay lifestyle to minors during her Russian show.

Vitaly Milonov who was the author of the controversial law banning “homosexual propaganda” aimed at minors went to the prosecutors after Gaga’s St. Petersburg performance on December 9.

Milonov told journalists he is accusing the singer of “calling on minors to support LGBT organizations, the illegal use of the Russian national flag and libel towards Russia.”

The American singer, and a longtime gay-rights activist spoke out to thousands of fans during her shows both in Moscow and St. Petersburg. The singer was aware about the law imposed in Russia’s “capital of the north”. Tickets to her show had an age restriction of 12+.

During her show in St.Petersburg Gaga mentioned the “homosexual propaganda” law saying that she’s not afraid to go to jail, as she is sure her fans will bail her out.

The singer also spoke of her gratitude to the Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev for supporting gay rights in his statement earlier this week.

Milonov was also enraged by Madonna’s show in St.Petersburg earlier this year. The singer also spoke in support of gays despite the law.