Archive for the ‘Politics/Foreign correspondents’ Category
In the NY Times Opinion section, Ed Husain writes:
Most Sunni Muslims around the world, approximately 90 percent of the Muslim population, are not Salafis. Salafism is seen as too rigid, too literalist, too detached from mainstream Islam. While Shiite and other denominations account for 10 percent of the total, Salafi adherents and other fundamentalists represent 3 percent of the world’s Muslims.
Unlike a majority of Sunnis, Salafis are evangelicals who wish to convert Muslims and others to their “purer” form of Islam — unpolluted, as they see it, by modernity. In this effort, they have been lavishly supported by the Saudi government, which has appointed emissaries to its embassies in Muslim countries who proselytize for Salafism. The kingdom also grants compliant imams V.I.P. access for the annual hajj, and bankrolls ultraconservative Islamic organizations like the Muslim World League and World Assembly of Muslim Youth.
After 9/11, under American pressure, much of this global financial support dried up, but the bastion of Salafism remains strong in the kingdom, enforcing the hard-line application of outdated Shariah punishments long abandoned by a majority of Muslims. Just since Aug. 4, 19 people have been beheaded in Saudi Arabia, nearly half for nonviolent crimes.
We are rightly outraged at the beheading of James Foley by Islamist militants, and by ISIS’ other atrocities, but we overlook the public executions by beheading permitted by Saudi Arabia. By licensing such barbarity, the kingdom normalizes and indirectly encourages such punishments elsewhere. When the country that does so is the birthplace of Islam, that message resonates.
A young Kurdish fighter asked Peter Risdon to put his words into better English. This is what he said:
There’s something else I want you to understand. You have given us many things. You are giving us weapons now, and air cover, and we are very grateful. But you gave us the arms embargo that meant we faced tanks with rifles. We have built the most tolerant society in Iraq. Women have been free. We have trades unions. We had Arab neighbours, living equally with us until this happened. We have been an example of what is possible. And you have favoured Iraqi governments, and Turkish governments, who have slaughtered us and denied us our rights. You have refused to recognise Kurdistan. And now we have been fighting your war for you. It is our war, but it is your war too.
Because you have given us something else. IS fighters here include Arabs, but they include men with British accents who discuss on Twitter how many Kurdish women they are each allowed as sex slaves. They include Australians who post pictures on social media of their sons holding up severed heads. They include men with American and Canadian accents, men speaking French and German, men from Belgium and Holland and Sweden and Norway. You have given us some of our enemies. How has this happened?
How have you let your universities and mosques become incubators for these people? There are things I want you to understand about us, but I want to understand this about you.
And I want to understand how you can support our fight, how you can talk about brave Peshmarga, and not fight too. Because this is also your fight. You gave us these people. Now fight them with us.
Almost 12 years after the 9/11 Intelligence Report was published, 28 pages concerning links between Saudi Arabia and the 9/11 terrorists are still classified. The Bush Administration was instrumental in the effort to hide those pages.
Obama had promised the 9/11 families that he would work to declassify those pages, but most of the effort to bring this to light has come from a few hardworking congressmen.
According to former Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fla.), who has seen the entire document, the classified pages expose “a larger effort to cover up Saudi activity in 9/11.”
Some 6,000 [American] plaintiffs … against mainly Saudi interests, claiming that they were essentially co-conspirators to 9/11 and that litigation has been blocked by the Saudis’ use of sovereign immunity as a defense,” Graham said. “But recently the federal appellate court that covers the state of New York overturned that defense and the Supreme Court has refused to hear the Saudis’ case and now there will be an aggressive effort through the courts to get information about Saudi involvement in 9/11.”
Graham said the third issue is what most people refer to as the “Sarasota case,” the Florida city where three of the hijackers did flight training.
“There is strong suspicion that they had close relationships with a prominent Saudi family living in Sarasota, the family which approximately two weeks before 9/11 — under what has been described by law enforcement as ‘urgent conditions’ — left their home and returned to Saudi Arabia,” Graham said.
Graham said that raised the question of, “Were they tipped off to what was about to happen?” Now, he says, investigators may finally get an answer, because 80,000 pages of information the FBI had previously withheld about the Sarasota case have been turned over to the courts, thanks to a Freedom of Information Act request.
When these kinds of stories are released, it’s usually a sign that our government is using negative press to pressure the Saudis. What are they concerned about? Well, Saudi support of al Qaeda is old news now, but Saudi support of ISIS is a current concern…
“We saw at least three major product releases coming out with different organizations with al-Qaida and associated organizations fairly quickly after the Snowden disclosures,” said Recorded Future’s CEO and co-founder, Christopher Ahlberg. “But we wanted to go deeper and see how big those changes were.”…
… for years, al-Qaida has used an encryption program written by its own coders called Mujahideen Secrets. It was a Windows-based program that groups like al-Qaida’s arm in Yemen and al-Shabab in Somalia used to scramble their communications. American-born radical imam Anwar al-Awlaki used it, too. Since Mujahideen Secret’s introduction in 2007, there had been some minor updates to the program, but no big upgrades.
Ahlberg thought the fact that the group changed the program months after Snowden’s revelations provided good circumstantial evidence that the former contractor had had an impact — but he wanted to see how much.
As it turns out, Recorded Future and Reversing Labs discovered that al-Qaida didn’t just tinker at the edges of its 7-year-old encryption software; it overhauled it. The new programs no longer use much of what’s known as “homebrew,” or homemade algorithms. Instead, al-Qaida has started incorporating more sophisticated open-source code to help disguise its communications.
To understand the damage Snowdon did to the NSA’s ability to hunt terrorists, it helps to look at the larger picture. Snowdon was not employed by the NSA. He was working for Booz Allen, the world’s most profitable spy organization.
It’s safe to say that most Americans, if they’d heard of Booz Allen at all, had no idea how huge a role it plays in the U.S. intelligence infrastructure. They do now. On June 9, a 29-year-old Booz Allen computer technician, Edward Snowden, revealed himself to be the source of news stories showing the extent of phone and Internet eavesdropping by the National Security Agency. Snowden leaked classified documents he loaded onto a thumb drive while working for Booz Allen at an NSA listening post in Hawaii..
Since 9/11, the business of protecting our ‘security’ has grown into a hugely profitable business. According to How Booz Allen Hamilton Swallowed Washington” in Bloomberg Business Week, “From its origins as a management consulting firm, Booz Allen has quietly grown into a governmentwide contracting behemoth, fed by ballooning post-Sept. 11 intelligence budgets and Washington’s increasing reliance on outsourcing.”
Booz Allen is publicly traded and majority-owned by the private equity firm Carlyle Group (CG). One of Carlyle’s Senior Counselor’s is former US Secretary of State James Baker.
The Carlyle Group and Baker have an interesting connection to Al Qaida and 9/11. According to Wikipedia:
On September 11, 2001, Baker watched television coverage of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon from the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Washington DC, where Baker and representatives of Osama bin Laden‘s family were among those attending the annual conference for the Carlyle Group. Baker is Senior Counselor for the Carlyle Group, and the bin Ladens are among its major investors
According to the New York Times, in October 2001 the Binladen family liquidated their ties with the Carlyle group.
After the Sept. 11 attacks, the investment was criticized amid speculation that the family might profit from increased military spending from America’s war on terrorism.
”This wasn’t done because anyone thought they did anything wrong,” the Carlyle executive said. ”We didn’t do it with relish or great glee. We felt and they felt that it was something that was causing more attention than it deserved, so we both decided it made sense, given the circumstances, to liquidate the position.”
So, to be clear, a few weeks after thousands of Americans were murdered by Saudi-financed terrorists, and after a Saudi intelligence survey concluded that 95 percent of educated Saudis between the ages of 25 and 41 supported bin Laden’s cause, the Carlyle group was primarily concerned about the Binladen family’s image and investments.
In the interests of ‘security’ American taxpayers are giving billions of dollars to agencies that have consistently put Saudi interests ahead of our own. Snowdon was no hero, but it’s clear that we need to know more about what groups like the NSA, Booz Allen and Carlyle are doing, not less.
It can hardly be lost on any sane journalist that tempers in combat zones can be short, and that Hamas has used the kidnapping of foreign journalists like Alan Johnson of the BBC to advance its own agenda. The fact that Hamas has closed the border and will not let journalists in or out of Gaza can’t make journalists who being used as de facto human shields by a terrorist organization feel any more eager to offend their hosts.
What Hamas has done, therefore, is to turn Shifa Hospital into a Hollywood sound-stage filled with real, live war victims who are used to score propaganda points, while the terrorists inside the hospital itself are erased from photographs and news accounts through a combination of pressure and threats, in order to produce the stories that Hamas wants. So if reporters aren’t entirely to blame for participating in this sick charade, then who is?
Today the LA Times reported:
“The killings of three people on the eve of Passover outside two Jewish facilities in a Kansas City suburb are being treated as hate crimes, law enforcement officials said Monday…
Frazier Glenn Cross, 73, is being held on a preliminary charge of first-degree murder after Sunday’s attacks in Overland Park, Kan. A doctor and his 14-year-old grandson were killed in the parking lot at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City and a woman was killed a short time later in a parking lot at Village Shalom, a nearby community for seniors, police said.
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — The man accused of killing three people Sunday in attacks at a Jewish community center and Jewish retirement community near Kansas City is a well-known white supremacist and former Ku Klux Klan leader who was once the subject of a nationwide manhunt.
Frazier Glenn Cross, of Aurora, Mo., was booked into Johnson County jail on a preliminary charge of first-degree murder after the attacks in Overland Park.
At a news conference, Overland Park police Chief John Douglass declined to publicly identify the man suspected in the attacks. But CBS News confirmed Sunday that the suspect in custody is Frazier Glenn Cross, 73, of Aurora, Mo., also known as Frazier Glenn Miller.
Frazier Glenn Cross also goes by the name Fraiser Glenn Miller. Other sources refer to him as Glenn Miller.
Frazier Glenn Cross aka Frazier Glenn Miller was also known as the “Grand Dragon”. Jim Hoft of Gateway pundit writes:
He is the former leader of the defunct North Carolina-based White Patriot Party (formerly known as the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan). Convicted of criminal charges related to weapons and violation of an injunction against paramilitary activity, he is a perennial candidate for public office as both a Democrat and Republican.
Glenn Miller tried to run for Congress in 2006 but all the parties he tried to file with refused to accept his check (In Missouri, the receipt of the filing fee check is required to file).
His former associates are now calling him a ‘self-detonating lone wolf’, but, like most self detonating lone wolves Grand-Dragon-aka-Frazier-Glenn-Cross-aka Fraiser-Glenn-Miller-aka-Rounder watched Russia Today (RT) News.
Like his associates at Vanguard News Network, he was a fervent Ron Paul supporter.
In April 2010, when he was running for US Senate in his home state of Missouri with the slogan “It’s the Jews, Stupid,” Miller had an interview with The David Pakman Show. In this interview, he displayed what Pakman called “a desperation for attention.”
Miller praised Ron Paul, Hitler and Pat Buchanan. He didn’t praise the Tea Party, the Republicans or the Democrats.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center:
This isn’t the first time a VNN user has been arrested for violence. On January 17, 2011, less than 12 hours after posting on VNN, Kevin William Harpham placed an improvised explosive device concealed in a backpack along a Martin Luther King parade route in Spokane Washington. The lead sinkers in the radio-detonated IED were coated with Warfarin rat poison, evidently intended to increase bleeding. Had the device functioned, dozens of men, women and children would have been killed or injured. Harpham also distributed The Aryan Alternative….
…Our research shows that racist killers are hiding among us in plain sight. A forthcoming two-year study by the SPLC will show that nearly 100 people in the last five years have been murdered by active users on another prominent racist website, Stormfront.org.
Apparently there are a lot of self-detonating lone wolves.