The BBC documentary "Our War: Ambushed" features candid helmet camera footage from soldiers of the British 1st Battalion Royal Anglian documenting their 2007 tour in Now Zad and Sangin districts in Helmand province, Afghanistan. The video includes a thorough diagram and corresponding footage of a close small arms engagement that resulted in the deaths of one British soldier and multiple Taliban insurgents.
(Sh.M.Network)-A media release from the Zambian Ministry of Foreign Affairs obtained by ZANIS says the Somali Embassy inLusakadoes not have an Ambassador following the demise of Omar Muhamud Umal in August, 2010.
The Statement says the Somali Government is yet to replace the late Umal while Mr. Shirwa Abdullahi Ibrahim is First Counsellor In-Charge of Political Affairs at the Embassy.
The Statement further says the matter at hand is an internal matter pertaining to the Embassy and the Somali community in Zambia.
Zambia was reacting to the incidence where two people were fighting at the Somali embassy each claiming to be the duly accredited envoy
It states that the Government of the Republic of Zambia stands ready to facilitate the resolution of disputes involving any member of the diplomatic Corps.
The statement further refutes allegations that Somalia nationals have access to Government Departments in Zambiaa move that is contrary to the PF government's policy on corruption.
"The Ministry will highly appreciate if any member of the diplomatic community has information on this so that it can be brought to the attention of the Ministry in order to ensure that culprits are brought to book," the statement reads in part.
Zambia was reacting to the incidence where two people were fighting at the Somali embassy each claiming to be the duly accredited envoy to Zambia.
[An Nahar] Algeria's former single party tightened its grip on power in an election that bucked the regional trend, according to results Friday that drew accusations of fraud from the defeated Islamists.
President Abdelaziz Bouteflika ... 10th president of Algeria. He was elected in 1999 and is currently on his third term, which is probably why Algerians are ready to dump him... 's National Liberation Front (FLN) won 220 out of 462 seats up for grabs in Thursday's election, the first since the Arab Spring, improving on its share in the outgoing national assembly.
An alliance of moderate Islamist parties and the four other Islamist groups could only manage a combined 66 seats, a major setback after predicting victory during the campaign.
The National Rally for Democracy (RND) of Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia, a nationalist party close to the military and loyal to Bouteflika, was second with 68 seats, compared to 62 in the outgoing house.
Algeria's governing coalition so far included the FLN, the RND and the largest of the legal Islamist parties, the Movement of Society for Peace.
Friday's provisional results, which have yet to be confirmed by the constitutional council, mean the FLN and the RND could form a majority without the Islamists.
The main Islamist alliance, Green Algeria, garnered a paltry 48 seats and charged widespread fraud.
"There has been large scale manipulation of the real results announced in the regions, an irrational exaggeration of these results to favor the administration parties," it said in a statement. "This will lead to a travesty of the election, contradicting the spirit of the political reforms, and will kill off what little hope and trust the people still had."
[An Nahar] The double agent who infiltrated al-Qaeda and helped foil a plot to blow up a U.S.-bound airliner held a British passport in addition to being a Saudi national, CNN reported Thursday.
The man was sent by Saudi counterterrorism agents into Yemen as a mole after it was learned that al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula was developing an updated model of the underwear bomb that failed to explode in a Christmas Day 2009 attempt.
CNN, citing counterterrorism sources, reported that the man grew up in Europe and at some point fell in with beturbanned goon sympathizers who tried to recruit him for terror attacks.
It said that the Saudi man's British passport enhanced his value to the terror group, because he could travel without a visa to the United States.
But when he learned that a concrete terror plot was in the works, the man contacted Saudi counterterrorism officials from Yemen.
The Saudis then informed the Americans of the planned operation and let them know that they had succeeded in infiltrating the group, according to CNN.
The spy spent weeks with the al-Qaeda affiliate, garnering sensitive information that was passed on to the Americans.
That intelligence allowed the CIA to launch a drone strike on Sunday that killed Fahd al-Quso, a senior al-Qaeda operative in Yemen wanted for the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole.
A source working closely with U.S. intelligence agencies and the U.S. military also told CNN that the al-Qaeda chapter in Yemen now has "a whole outfit designated to target the U.S. homeland."
The new details about the Saudi mole and the failed al-Qaeda bomb plot come after U.S. spy chief James Clapper earlier this week ordered an inquiry into leaks to media about the top secret operation.
The internal review is being conducted across 16 intelligence agencies, as U.S. officials expressed fear that the disclosures could jeopardize future sensitive espionage work.
The new details about the Saudi mole and the failed al-Qaeda bomb plot come after U.S. spy chief James Clapper earlier this week ordered an inquiry into leaks to media about the top secret operation.
The internal review is being conducted across 16 intelligence agencies, as U.S. officials expressed fear that the disclosures could jeopardize future sensitive espionage work.
"I ordered the drone attack...It was my designation that allowed al-Quso's targeting.....a Saudi national working at my direction..."
yeah....no idea where the leak came from. None at all. *football spiked!*
Posted by: Frank G ||
He was recommended by a close relative who was trusted by leaders of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the network's Yemeni wing, according to US intelligence.
His British passport made him attractive as a recruit for a suicide mission as he would be able to board a flight to America under the visa-waiver programme.
But AQAP strategists were persuaded that he was a true believer willing to blow himself up on a plane to the US by what they believed to be his reliable family roots.
The mole, who has been moved with his family to a country outside the Middle East under Western intelligence protection, was reportedly born in the region, but grew up Europe and had British citizenship.
"He apparently came from what AQAP regarded as a good family, meaning that they believed he was a radical Islamist in his DNA, and was brought in to the group by a close male relative," said Dan Goure, a Pentagon consultant and vice-president of the Lexington Institute, a national security think-tank.
Venezuelan intelligence agents have questioned a crossword compiler on suspicion of inciting the murder of Mr Chavez's brother, Adan.
Neptali Segovia was accused of hiding a coded assassination message in the Ultimas Noticias newspaper. Answers to some of the clues in his crosswords included the words "kill", "gunfire" and "Adan", it is alleged.
Mr Segovia denied the accusations, saying he had volunteered to be questioned to clarify the issue.
The accusation against him was made earlier this week by TV pundit Miguel Angel Perez Pirela, who presents a programme on state channel VTV.
And thus is a Hugo buddy and supporter...
He said a team of psychologists and mathematicians had concluded that the Spanish-language crossword contained a coded assassination plot against Adan.
"These sorts of messages were used a lot during World War II," he said, comparing it to secret codes used by the French Resistance.
I say we start checking the New York Times puzzles for secret messages...
I do love my crossword puzzles. I've been a proud "Washington Times" subscriber since 1983; even through the bumpy times. The WT puzzle is great...Monday's is always too easy and they get more difficult as each week moves on toward Friday. The Friday puzzle is always a "bear", but I ace 'em. Conversely, the daily WaPo puzzles (Style Section), are an insult to any conservative's intelligence. That's OK. From what I've seen, Libs don't ever even attempt to do these puzzles. They're challenging; so, they must be racist. Wouldn't you agree?
CARACAS, VENEZUELA -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez returned home Friday after 11 days of cancer treatment in Cuba, saying his latest round of radiation therapy was successful.
Successful at what? There's two broad categories of radiation therapy: curative and palliative. Which did Hugo receive?
"I should say that we have successfully completed the medical treatment," the socialist leader said as dozens of uniformed soldiers holding assault rifles stood in formation along a red carpet on the tarmac at Simon Bolivar International Airport. "Of course, I must rigorously follow the medical advice in these coming days in order to continue recuperating," he said.
"Aside from some discomforts that are normal in this type of treatment, absolutely nothing occurred that forced it to be stopped, suspended or make changes to the initial plan," added Chavez, disclaiming rumors that complications arose during his treatment.
The communist thug socialist leader looked energetic and seemed to be in good spirits, breaking out in song before finishing his nationally televised address.
The president's treatment has forced him to slow his daily routine and prevented him from actively campaigning as he has in the past. Opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles, meanwhile, has been traveling across this South American country for weeks to drum up support ahead of an Oct. 7 presidential election.
Chavez vowed to invigorate his campaign.
"As the hours and days pass, I'm sure that with God's favor, medical science and this soldier's body that envelops me, I will get back to where I must be, in the front line of the battle, alongside the Venezuelan people, promoting the socialist revolution."
Upon his return, Chavez accused his political adversaries of leading an international campaign aimed at raising doubts regarding his commitment to democracy. He also claimed that opposition groups are planning to stir up violent political upheaval ahead of the upcoming vote.
He's projecting. Again...
Capriles told journalists earlier Friday that he opposes any type of violence.
"I'm against any type of violence, no matter where it comes from," said Capriles, speaking during a campaign event in the president's home state of Barinas.
[Bangla Daily Star] Peru's interior and defence ministers resigned yesterday in the face of a public outcry over a failed security operation against Shining Path rebels.
Interior Minister Daniel Lozada and Defence Minister Alberto Otarola had been facing censure in congress.
Both had been criticised after at least nine soldiers and coppers were killed in festivities with the rebels.
There was particular outrage after the father of one dead officer was left to recover his body from the jungle.
"Recent events have led me to take this decision so that our government and the people can unite behind our security forces, to give them the support they need to defeat narco-terrorism" Mr Otarola said.
The festivities happened last month in the Apurimac-Ene valley in southern Peru, a stronghold of the Maoist Shining Path group.
GERMANY is beginning to regret its decision to allow a far-right political party to display anti-Moslem cartoons near mosques as part of an electioneering campaign.
Spikes in violence at recent gatherings -- including a major riot on Saturday that left two coppers seriously injured with stab wounds -- have triggered fears of more bloodshed.
Courts in Germany took the view that cartoon images of the Prophet Mohammed and Allah -- both outlawed under Islam -- were acceptable in a country where freedom of expression is enshrined in the constitution. But with resistance growing to the tactics of the radical Pro NRW party, Germany is looking to defuse tensions.
More than 100 people were tossed in the calaboose Keep yer hands where we can see 'em, if yez please! at the protest in Bonn on Saturday where the coppers were stabbed in the legs; a further 27 officers were maimed. One man has been charged with trying to incite the deaths of three coppers among the crowd of 600 Salafist Moslem demonstrators outside the King Fahd Academy in Bonn.
The far-right Pro NRW party has said it intends to send activists to 25 mosques in the run-up to the state election in North Rhine-Westphalia on 13 May, staging protests in Cologne, Bonn, Düsseldorf, Aachen, Wuppertal and Solingen.
Last week, a state court lifted a prior ban on the group using Mohammed caricatures in its election campaign, despite criticism that the images were purely being used for provocation. Also last week, 81 people were tossed in the calaboose Keep yer hands where we can see 'em, if yez please! in Solingen after violence broke out during a protest of Salafist Moslems against Pro NRW. The group had set up a stand showing cartoons of Mohammed outside a mosque.
German interior minister Hans-Peter Friedrich of the Christian Socialist Union (CSU), said he had been in touch with state officials in the past week, hoping to find a way to defuse the situation. He put the blame for the violence firmly on the shoulders of the Moslems.
"Salafism's fanatical members represent a special danger to German security," he said this week. "The Salafists ...Salafists are ostentatiously devout Moslems who figure the ostentation of their piety gives them the right to tell others how to do it and to kill those who don't listen to them... deliver the ideological basis for many who then become violent."
Critics say the violence would never had happened if Germany had treated the cartoons they brandish the way it treats Nazi symbols -- with a blanket ban.
North Rhine-Westphalia interior minister Ralf Jäger said he recognised the hatreds stirred up by the Pro NRW supporters, calling their cartoon campaign "targeted provocation".
Pro NRW, which has 250 members, has said it is also planning to award a cash prize for the "best" anti-Islamic caricature. Party campaign manager Lars Seidensticker says he did not understand the outrage, and says his party would bear no responsibility for any violence.
"If the situation is so tense that you can't do a campaign like this against Islamist influences any more, then the politicians are responsible for doing away with Germany," he said, alluding to a 2010 book by banker Thilo Sarrazin called Germany Does Away with Itself, which criticised Islamic immigrants in Germany.
He added: "Mosques are potential centres of a new civil war that we have to prevent. That's why we have to pull out the Islamist evil by its roots."
Rather than accept the teachings of their imam in public and quietly disagree, as is traditional, several young Mohammedans complained. Others switched mosques. Last Ramadan, there was talk of a petition against 57-year-old Imam Inshanally. The reaction, experts say, mirrors a trend across the country where young Mohammedans increasingly are speaking out against perceived blots in their community.
"People are allowed to have unusual beliefs," Gilani said. "But when he speaks for Houston Mohammedans, saying the government and non-Mohammedans are doing things they're clearly not, we would hate for people to think that's what the normal Houston Mohammedan thinks."
Forty percent of suspected foiled domestic terror plots since 9/11 were brought to the attention of authorities by Mohammedans, according to a February study by The Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security in North Carolina.
Growing up in the shadow of 9/11, with the hate crimes and stereotypes that followed, young Mohammedans in particular are intensely aware of how their faith is regarded by outsiders and feel a need to self-police their own community, experts say.
"They went from being this hidden minority group to being a group where their every movement was scrutinized," said Lori Peek, a sociologist at Colorado State University and author of "Behind the Backlash: Mohammedan Americans after 9/11." In her study of young Mohammedans, Peek found many recoiled at first, keeping a low profile. Some even rejected their faith.
But then increasingly, they galvanized, she said, seeking to reclaim Islam's image in America, correct misconceptions about their faith and root out bad apples in their community. Forty percent of suspected foiled domestic terror plots since 9/11 were brought to the attention of authorities by Mohammedans, according to a February study by The Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security in North Carolina.
Peek said young Mohammedans are saying, "If people are going to be policing our actions, we have to turn inwards and police our own community. It's the only way we can ever fight back against these stereotypes.'"
Inshanally's problem are the following: (1) he isn't anti-American enough and (2) he's allegedly entrapping would-be jihadis. Young Muslims are looking for someone a little more conventionally moderate, i.e. someone who gets funding and recruits candidates for terrorist attacks.
Policing the actions which lead to "sterotypes" can also accomplishes other, more clandestine outcomes such as "grey men."
I conducted a very cursary look at the website of the "Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security." Not surprisingly, in it I detected what appear to be the typical social leanings and approaches dogma of the left. While one professor's publications and curriculum vitae do not constitute an accurate sampling, the link below may be instructional. Found therein: >[.B.W. Jentleson and Steven Weber. The End of Arrogance: America in the Global Competition of Ideas. Harvard University Press, 2010.]
The Guyana native, who has been in Houston since 1999, has previously faced backlash at mosques in New York and Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Siddiqi said Inshanally is unfairly targeted because of his aggressive preaching style, insisting, "He's the most qualified person for the job."
Policing their own or defending their own? He still has his job after 13 years...
[Dawn] The US Congress on Thursday proposed stopping preferential trade with Pakistain and reducing aid to just 10 per cent of available funds unless Islamabad reopened NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A collection of multinational and multilingual and multicultural armed forces, all of differing capabilities, working toward a common goal by pulling in different directions... supply routes.
Oh dear. That isn't a good sign.
The politicians also approved a proposal to stop all reimbursements to the country if Pakistain continued to ignore US demands.
Definitely not a good sign. Someone's bank account could become very lonely. Of course, it would also have to get through the Democrat-controlled Senate and somehow avoid the Obama veto pen...
The restrictions, included in two bills passed separately by House panels, are the harshest since Pakistain joined the US-led war against terror 11 years ago.
The restrictions were endorsed by an overwhelming majority as both Republicans and Democrats castigated Pakistain for closing the supply routes and for allegedly patronising various terrorist groups.
"The bill places appropriate conditions on aid to Pakistain," said Congressman Adam Smith, a ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee. "It is imperative that Pakistain support our counter-terrorism efforts and work to prevent the interdiction of improvised bombs to Afghanistan."
On Wednesday, a House appropriations panel for foreign aid denied $800 million to Pakistain from a special fund for training and equipping Pakistain's military in counter-insurgency tactics.
During a debate inside the aid panel, Congressman Jesse Jackson accused Pakistain of "harbouring a runaway" and likened the US-Pakistain relationship to a "bad marriage".
This bill has been referred to the full committee but no date has yet been announced for the full committee session.
Last week, government officials in Islamabad had told opposition members and politicians opposing the reopening of routes that the United States could slap strict sanctions on Pakistain if the supply lines remained closed.
Although the bill adopted by the aid panel specifies an amount -- $800 million -- the bill passed by the powerful Armed Services Committee on Thursday could have more serious repercussions for Pakistain. It contains language that can be interpreted to stop all military assistance to Pakistain if relations between the two countries continue to deteriorate.
The bill urges Pakistain to tackle all terrorist groups operating from its territory and deal with the menace of improvised bombs if it wants to continue receiving US economic and military assistance.
One section of the bill urges "prohibiting preferential procurement of goods or services from Pakistain" until it reopens the ground lines of communication for coalition operations in Afghanistan.
Pakistain closed the supply lines after the Nov 26 US raid on a border post that killed 24 Pak soldiers.
Additionally, this section would prohibit all reimbursements to Pakistain until the US secretary of defence provides a report to Congress that outlines: "the model for reimbursement, including how claims are proposed and adjudicated; new conditions or caveats that the government of Pakistain places on the use of its supply routes; and the new cost associated with transit through supply routes in Pakistain."
The secretary of defence will also have to certify that Pakistain is committed to: supporting counter-terrorism operations against Al Qaeda, its associated movements, the Haqqani network, and other domestic and foreign terrorist organizations.
Another certification will state that Pakistain is "preventing the proliferation of nuclear-related material and expertise; and issuing visas in a timely manner for United States visitors engaged in counter-terrorism efforts and assistance programmes in Pakistain."
Section 1217 extends the Pakistain Counter-insurgency Fund through fiscal year 2013 but contains amendments that require the secretaries of defence and state to submit an update on the strategy to utilise the fund, and the metrics used to determine progress with respect to the fund. This section would also limit the authority of the secretary of defence to obligate or expend funds made available to the Pakistain Counter-insurgency Fund during fiscal year 2013 to not more than 10 per cent of the amount available until such time as the update is submitted to the appropriate congressional committees.
On Wednesday afternoon, another panel denied $800 million that was requested for a special fund for training and equipping Pakistain's military in counter-insurgency tactics.
The overwhelming support to the proposed restrictions on Pakistain indicates that the bill will pass the full House because it enjoys bipartisan support.
The bill authorises $554 billion for national defence and $88.5 billion for overseas contingencies operations. It is nearly $4 billion more than President B.O.'s budget request.
Separately, the US House Appropriations Subcommittee for State and Foreign Operations has called for a complete ban on economic or security assistance to Pakistain until the secretary of state certifies that Pakistain is cooperating and taking action against terrorist networks. The House subcommittee has proposed that no assistance under Economic Support Fund, International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement, Foreign Military Financing Programme and the Pakistain Counter-insurgency Capability Fund be released until the secretary of state certifies to the Appropriations Committee. The bill also requires the Pak military and intelligence agencies to stop "intervening extra-judicially into political and judicial processes in the country".
Its apparen causing Islamabad to move quickly to meet + finally decide on reopening the land routes or not.
Iff Pakland does decide to reopen, IMO this may cause Iran to intensify its efforts to dominate the Arabian side of the Persian Gulf, + Iraq + Kuwait, in order to "politely" forcefully make the Gulf all but absolutely untenable as a staging area for pro-Invasion major US-NATO/Allied fleet + air + amphib units.
THE PRO-DIPLOMACY BAMMER MAY NOT WANT WAR IN THE GULF THIS SUMMER OR EARLY FALL, BUT HE MAY YET GET IT ANYWAY TO SAVE THE KSA + SMALLER GCC STATES FROM COLLAPSE, + FREE FLOW OF GULF TRADE.
it would also have to get through the Democrat-controlled Senate and somehow avoid the Obama veto pen...
True, but after all that crowing about how he personally shot Osama, who was lounging by the Motel Six pool in Abbotabad, it might be hard to sell the American people on why we should send money to these back-stabbers. Especially when the economy at home is in the dumpster.
[Dawn] The bombing of the mausoleum of nationalist leader and renowned poet Ajmal Khattak was widely condemned across Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa ... formerly NWFP, still Terrorism Central... on Thursday.
In Beautiful Downtown Peshawar, the activists of Awami National Party held a demonstration at Sher Shah Suri Road to protest bombing of the mausoleum of their late leader.
Led by Provincial Minister for Information and Culture Mian Iftikhar Hussain, the protesters termed it a cowardly act. ANP provincial general secretary Arbab Tahir, district president Arbab Najeebullah, Tajuddin Khan and Haroon Bilour also participated in the protest demonstration.
Wearing red caps and black armbands, the protesters rolled their eyes, jumped up and down, and hollered poorly rhymed slogans real loud against terrorists. They said that hard boyz involved in the heinous crime would be placed in long-term storage Yez got nuttin' on me, coppers! Nuttin'! soon.
They said that bully boyz were attacking shrines of Pakhtun heroes that could not be tolerated.
The under-construction mausoleum of Ajmal Khattak, Pashto poet and two-time central president of ANP, was bombed on Wednesday night and 12 persons were maimed in the incident.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Hussain said that Ajmal Khattak was a revolutionary poet, who raised voice for humanity and against violence though his poetry. He not only served Pashto language but also rendered sacrifices for the party and peace, he added.
"The hard boyz can't frighten us," the minister said. He added that hard boyz were enemies of the entire Pakhtun nation.
He also condemned killing of Maulana Naseeb Khan, a religious scholar of Darul Uloom Haqqania, who was assassinated few days ago.
However, Caliphornia hasn't yet slid into the ocean, no matter how hard it's tried... he alleged that the slain holy man was mediating among terrorist groups for their reconciliation.
The minister said that differences were created among religious political parties over the murder of Maulana Naseeb. They were holding each responsible for his killing, he added.
He said that the liquidation of the holy man would be thoroughly probed and people involved in his killing would be awarded punishment.
[Dawn] Jamaat-e-Islami ...The Islamic Society, founded in 1941 in Lahore by Maulana Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi, aka The Great Apostosizer. The Jamaat opposed the independence of Bangladesh but has operated an independent branch there since 1975. It maintains close ties with international Mohammedan groups such as the Moslem Brotherhood. the Taliban, and al-Qaeda. The Jamaat's objectives are the establishment of a pure Islamic state, governed by Sharia law. It is distinguished by its xenophobia, and its opposition to Westernization, capitalism, socialism, secularism, and liberalist social mores... amir Syed Munawar Hassan ... The funny-looking Amir of the Pak Jamaat-e-Islami. He joined the National Students Federation (NSF), a lefty student body, and was elected its President in 1959. He came into contact with the Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba (IJT) Pakistan and studied the writings of Mawlana Syed Abul Ala Maududi, The Great Apostasizer. As a result, he joined IJT in 1960 and soon he was elected as President of its University of Karachi Unit and member of the Central Executive Council. He was Assistant Secretary General of Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistain in 1992-93, and became Secretary General in 1993. After years of holding Qazi's camel he was named Amir when the old man stepped down in 2009... has said that the government has done nothing to reduce electricity shortfall during its last four-year rule and his party would soon launch a countrywide protest against loadshedding.
He was talking to media persons after offering condolences in a meeting with the family of a local JI leader here on Thursday. He said that the country had been facing problems in every sector of life due to bad governance of the rulers. Mr Hassan said that his party wanted the institutions to be strengthened so that the country could be put on path of progress.
Answering a question, he said that it seemed that the rulers had decided to restore NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. It's headquartered in Belgium. That sez it all.... supply via Torkham. "We have made it clear that the NATO supply would not be allowed at any cost because the US has been indulging in violation of Pakistain's illusory sovereignty," he said.
The JI amir reiterated that after his conviction Primer Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani ... Pakistain's erstwhile current prime minister, whose occasional feats of mental gymnastics can be awe-inspiring ... should step down, as he was morally bound to do so. Any delay in this regard is unacceptable, he added. He said that the PPP-led government had not only failed to implement the apex court verdict, but they also violated the principles and norms of governance. He said that the JI had been working for the supremacy of judiciary.
[Dawn] Lawmakers from both US parties are urging Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton ... sometimes described as For a good time at 3 a.m. call Hillary and at other times as Mrs. Bill, never as Another John C. Calhoun ... to designate the Haqqani network a foreign terrorist organization.
Somebody really hasn't been paying attention.
A letter obtained by The News Agency that Dare Not be Named argues the Pakistain-based beturbanned goon group "continues to launch sensational and indiscriminate attacks against US interests in Afghanistan."
It says the Haqqani network "poses a continuing threat to innocent men, women and kiddies in the region."
The politicians are Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Rep. C.A. "Dutch" Ruppersberger, both Democrats, and Sen. Saxby Chambliss and Rep. Mike Rogers, both Republicans.
The State Department says Clinton is reviewing whether the amorphous group meets the criteria for a terrorist organization. In the meantime, many of its leaders have been individually designated as terrorists.
Yes, that would be a fast moving railroad locomotive followed closely by numerous flatcars, a dozen boxcars, and at the end is a caboose. We'll stop just short of referring to it as a train however. I'm sure you'll understand.
[Dawn] Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani ... Pakistain's erstwhile current prime minister, whose occasional feats of mental gymnastics can be awe-inspiring ... on Friday urged the British investors to focus on Pakistain and not to be overly concerned about the "exaggerated perception" about security situation in Pakistain.
But there is plenty of reason to be concerned about the unexaggerated perception, which is just about as bad.
Addressing at a businessmen reception, Prime Minister Gilani said he was cognizant of the concerns about security situation in the region and said the perception was contrary to the situation on ground.
"Despite the negative security perceptions of Pakistain in the media, the trade and investment environment has remained positive," he said.
Gilani said those who have done business in Pakistain continue to return due to the opportunities offered by the market.
He said the British companies are conducting substantive profitable business and giving attractive dividends to their share holders and the companies create employment and develop our economy.
The government of Iraq's Kurdish region fired back on Saturday over allegations by Iranian diplomats and officials that Kurdistan was playing host to Israeli intelligence.
Kurdish authorities described the claims, made in previous weeks, as "untrue", after Iran's consul in regional capital Arbil said Israeli spies were using Kurdistan as a base to work against neighboring Iran.
Intelligence shows Iran, Hezbollah planning attacks on senior officers and official military delegations traveling overseas.
The IDF has significantly boosted security for senior officers and official military delegations traveling overseas in recent months, amid intelligence that Iran and Hezbollah are plotting attacks against such targets, a senior IDF officer revealed on Thursday.
News of the increase in security comes following a recent wave of attempted bombing attacks that Iran and Hezbollah are believed to have tried to carry out in Thailand, Georgia, India and Azerbaijan. All of the plots were foiled except a bombing in New Delhi that injured the wife of a Defense Ministry official stationed in the Israeli Embassy.
"Israel is nothing more than a mosquito which cannot see the broad horizon of the Iranian nation," Ahmadinejad said, addressing a large gathering of the Iranian people in Khorassan Razavi province, Northeastern Iran, on Saturday.
He reiterated that the Zionists accompanied by their western masters have long attempted to impede Iran's progress through ballyhoo and by leveling different accusations against the Iranian nation, but to no avail.
"Our enemies know that if Iran can maintain the same speed in development of the country, it will become a developed country and they will no more be able to challenge us," Ahmadinejad said.
Israel and its close ally the United States have recently intensified their war rhetoric against Iran. The two arch foes of the Islamic Republic accuse Iran of seeking a nuclear weapon, while they have never presented any corroborative document to substantiate their allegations. Both Washington and Tel Aviv possess advanced weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear warheads.
The leader of Lebanon's Hezbollah said his militant group was capable of striking any target in neighbouring Israel, saying "the days when we fled and they did not are over".
"Today we are not only able to hit Tel Aviv as a city but, God willing, we are able to hit specific targets in Tel Aviv and anywhere in occupied Palestine," Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said in a televised address.
"For every building destroyed in Dahiya, a building will be destroyed in Tel Aviv," he said, referring to Hezbollah's stronghold in a suburb of southern Beirut.
Nasrallah's comments were some of his harshest words against Israel in several months, and came amid rising tensions between Israel and Hezbollah's main backer, Iran.
Israel argues Iran's nuclear enrichment project is being used to make an atomic bomb and has warned it could launch a strike to stop Tehran. Iran says its nuclear programme is for civilian purposes.
Hezbollah has long been seen as a proxy for Iran and Syria and many analysts believe that in the event of an Israeli attack on Iran, Hezbollah could return fire.
"The days when we were forced from our homes and they were not forced from theirs are over," Nasrallah said, to cheers from a crowd of supporters watching his speech.
"The days when we were afraid and they were not are over," he said. "And we say to them: The time has come when we will remain and you will be the ones who disappear."
[An Nahar] Syria's authorities have refused to submit a report on torture in the country to a United Nations ...an idea whose time has gone... committee scheduled to discuss the situation there next week, its secretary said on Friday.
Golly. What a shock that is, to be sure.
The Committee Against Torture monitors the implementation of the U.N.'s anti-torture convention by state parties and is currently meeting in Geneva.
"There is no assurance that a delegation (from Syria) will come but we have been informed that no report would be submitted," committee secretary Joao Nataf told Agence La Belle France Presse in an email.
He added that the meeting would take place on Wednesday as scheduled.
The Committee Against Torture is holding its 48th session from May 7 to June 1 when it will focus on a number of countries including Canada, Cuba and Syria.
All states party to the convention are required to submit regular reports to the panel of 10 independent experts which then makes recommendations.
In November last year chairman Claudio Grossman wrote to the Syrian authorities highlighting the committee's concern over reports of the spread of torture in the country where a bloody crackdown on protesters was unleashed in March 2011.
Grossman asked Damascus ...The place where Pencilneck hangs his brass hat... to provide a special report stating the measures being taken to ensure its obligations under the Convention Against Torture were being fulfilled.
As West remains on sidelines in Syria, Moscow continues to arm Assad regime, underwrite its survival.
Yet in the last year, Oktyabrsk has played a key role in the international structure that enables the survival of the Assad dictatorship in Syria. It is the main point from which ships bearing the Russian arms that underwrite the Assad regime's survival set off undisturbed on their journey to the Syrian coast.
Chartered by the state-owned Russian arms corporation Rosoboronexport, the ships make their way from Oktyabrsk to the Black Sea. They cross the Bosphorous Straits to Limassol in Cyprus and continue to the Russian deep sea port in Tartous, Syria. These shipments form a vital node in Moscow's tireless effort to prevent revolution in Syria.
They have received insufficient international attention.
If Syria constitutes, as some believe, the central linchpin to understanding events in the Middle East, then the signs are not positive. The Western preference for disengagement from the Mideast mess is not being mirrored by non-Western powers. Rather, as the determined and efficient arms line to Assad shows, Moscow's Syria policy combines clear goals with a brutal effectiveness in their pursuit.
Why is Russia so determined to preserve Assad's rule? The first reason is economic. As Russia returned to international prominence over the last decade, arms exports to Syria increased exponentially. Between 2007 and 2011, imports from Russia accounted for 78 percent of all Syrian arms imports, according to a recent report by the Stockholm Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
The second-largest supplier of arms to Assad in the 2007 to 2011 period was Belarus, which accounted for 17% of Syrian imports. The isolated Lukashenka regime in Minsk does not pursue an independent policy in terms of arms supplying. Rather, it sells Russian arms systems in coordination with -- and probably under the direction of -- its Russian patrons.
So put the figures together and you have 95% of Syrian arms imports arriving from Russia or its satellites. It doesn't end there. The remaining 5% of arms imports, says SIPRI, come from Iran. But the Iranians, too, are largely providing Syria with Russian arms systems.
Moscow's economic interests in Syria are not limited to the sphere of arms exports. Russian companies are heavily engaged in infrastructure projects and oil and gas exploration.
Total investment in Syria amounted to $19.4 billion in 2009.
The second reason Russia is invested in Assad's reign is strategic. The naval base at Tartous gives the Russian Navy the capability to operate in the Mediterranean and thus to reach the Red Sea via the Suez Canal, and the Atlantic through the Strait of Gibraltar, in reduced time.
The Russians also have an interest in maintaining a troublesome client in the Levant in order to act as a potential tool of disruption and political pressure against the West in its own backyard. Moscow sees itself as threatened by NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A cautionary tale of cost-benefit analysis.... expansion eastwards.
It is useful to have a well-placed client whose capacity for trouble-making might act as a deterrent to Western schemes.
This element, which dovetails perfectly with the Assad regime's well-known practice of creating problems and then offering its services to help solve them (at a price), dates back to the period of the Cold War.
More nebulously, Russia fears the spread of Islamism to the North Caucasus and Central Asia, and perhaps also the spread of the belief that dictators are fallible further west of Russia itself.
Finally, Russian support for Assad produces a self-evident reason for doubling down on itself: namely, the fact that the opposition to Assad is well aware who is keeping him afloat, and is keeping accounts. As a Free Syrian Army officer in Antakya told this news hound, a post-Assad Syria would "neither depend on, nor have relations with, nor take weapons from Russia."
How important are the Russian weapons to the dictator's survival? They constitute a single but vital component in the determined international coalition gathered behind Bashir al-Assad. The Iranian Quds Force and Hezbollah are there on the ground, providing assistance and engaging where relevant in direct combat. Russia and China are blocking any moves for real action against the regime by way of the UN.
Were the Russian lifeline to be removed, perhaps Iran, China or North Korea might try to make up the difference. But as of now, it is Russia which is pumping the iron lifeblood into the veins of the regime.
Against this, the Free Syrian Army is still running its meager arms smuggling operations across the mountains from Turkey and Leb, backed by myriad and confused channels of Sunni Islamist, Qatari and Saudi money. The demonstrators are still going out to be killed in Deraa, Homs, Idlib and Hama.
The West, meanwhile, is still backing the stillborn Annan peace plan.
The lost blue-bereted UN observers are floating around those parts of Syria they are permitted to enter.
The B.O. regime may well still be seeking to convince Russia of the need to make Assad step aside. Washington correctly assesses that only Moscow might have the power to achieve this. The problem is that Russia shows no interest in assisting the US.
Instead, it is backing its client to the end. In so doing, Moscow is demonstrating that it well understands the harsh and Hobbesian nature of patron-client relations in the Middle East. If the dictator survives, Moscow and Tehran's triumph will be well-noted by regional elites.
As will the West's hapless flailing.
Day by day, the killings and the chaos in Syria are continuing. Day by day, the guns and ammunition are being loaded aboard at the quiet port of Oktyabrsk in southern Ukraine. And day by day, Russia is building political and strategic capital in the traditional way -- through strong will, clear direction, and the backing of clients -- in the face of a Western policy in utter disarray.
The United States' top spy chief, retired Lieutenant General James Clapper, is asking for an internal investigation of the CIA. The uncovering of a clandestine CIA operation involving the installation of double agents inside the ranks of al-Qaeda by the mainstream media has left Lt. Gen. Clapper demanding answers about a possible mole within the ranks of America's supposedly top-secret spy agency.
Why now? People in the CIA have leaked all sorts of things to the newsies for years, especially when they wanted to embarrass the previous president.
Perhaps a more pertinent question is "Who benefited?".
The CIA has not formally acknowledged the existence of an investigation but a spokesperson for the agency says it is only expected given the latest news involving a double-agent in Yemen. The CIA has worked undercover with a spy that infiltrated al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, only for the media to report on the clandestine operation before it was disclosed that the US was instrumental in orchestrating the mission.
If the reportedly new investigation involving a CIA mole can be confirmed, it will mark at least the seventh criminal case launched by the Obama administration involving the leaking of classified documents -- something the president insisted on ending while running for office by offering protection for whistleblowers.
Hmmm. A mole, leaking all kinds of classified info the media and our enemies (yeah, yeah, I know it's redundant)? Has anyone tried checking into the activities of this guy in DC, black, 6 feet or so tall, thin build, who goes by aliases including "Barry Soetero" and "The One?"
Posted by: Ricky bin Ricardo (Abu Babaloo0 ||
...I think the real point here is this: previous administrations simply didn't have the cojones to crack down - hard - on the idiots at the Agency who decide that their personal attitudes outweigh national security. For better or worse, the Obama Administration has no such compunctions, and is no mood to tolerate that particular nonsense.
Posted by: Mike Kozlowski ||
Start at the NY Times & Whitehouse and then work backwards to the leaks.
There should be a very short list of who knew what details and when.
Detailed leaks of operational information about the foiled underwear bomb plot are causing growing anger in the US intelligence community, with former agents blaming the Obama administration for undermining national security and compromising the British services, MI6 and MI5. Mike Scheur, the former head of the CIA's Bin Laden unit, said the leaking about the nuts and bolts of British involvement was despicable and would make a repeat of the operation difficult.
He noted that the leak came on the heels of a series of disclosures over the last 10 days, beginning with a report that the CIA wanted to expand its drone attacks in Yemen, Barack Obama making a surprise trip to Afghanistan around the time of the Bin Laden anniversary and "then this inexplicable leak".
Robert Grenier, former head of the CIA counter-terrorism centre, said: "As for British Intelligence, I suppose, but do not know, that they must be very unhappy. They are often exasperated, quite reasonably, with their American friends, who are far more leak-prone than they. The Americans are doing a very good job of undermining trust, and the problem starts at the top."
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.