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Senate Panel OKs Bush $87B Iraq Plan
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-Short Attention Span Theater-
’Free staters’ pick New Hampshire to liberate
A libertarian movement promoting "minimalist government", the free market, drugs, prostitution and gun ownership plans to infiltrate New Hampshire to create a breakaway American regime, its leaders will announce today. The Free State Project, which has supporters in the UK and worldwide, will reveal today at a meeting in New York that its members have voted for the small but highly-symbolic north-eastern state as its target to win power. Project chiefs will now try to persuade 20,000 people to move to New Hampshire and sway the electorate towards blocking federal "nanny" laws and social restrictions. Jason Sorens, a lecturer in political science at Yale University and president of the project, said he wants to create an "autocratic territory" and the Free State Project will follow the examples of the Mormons in Utah, the French separatists in Quebec, Canada, and the conservative Amish religious communities.
Political sceptics have dismissed the project as the fringe cult fantasies of a disorganised shower of anarchists and internet geeks. But Professor Sorens claims membership is soaring as people become angry over increasing restrictions on personal freedom, government surveillance of private individuals and greater state power in the justice system. The FSP argues that civil government should exist only to protect life, liberty, and property. Individuals are free to do as they please, provided it does not harm others.
In a "Free State", that would translate as a green light for casinos, brothels, cocaine farms and gun supermarkets. Leaders would also do away with seatbelt laws, limits on gay marriage and most taxes. Schools and hospitals would be entirely privatised. Prof Sorens sees new New Hampshire as having economic parallels with Singapore and Hong Kong, and social parallels to the tolerant Netherlands.
A British member, Matthew Hurry, a 24-year-old computer technician from Brighton, was already preparing to move to the chosen state. "It’s one of the few good ideas I’ve seen actually put into practice with a good chance of success. Freedom is important for people, and the western world is severely lacking in it," he said. But Francis Tyers, a 20-year-old University of Wales student, who studies in Aberystwyth but is currently on placement with the computer giant Hewlett Packard in Ireland, said Alaska would have been his first choice. "I specified on my membership form that I would move when they had legalised the cultivation of marijuana. I’m hoping that this will be one of the first things on their agenda. And secession from the United States would be great," he said. It is this kind of radical idea that Prof Sorens emphasises is not the FSP’s main thrust. "We have no wish to alienate the people of New Hampshire. We want to win them over," he said.
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 10/01/2003 5:27:41 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [313 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Rats I was hoping they'ed pick Montanna, cause it already has theme music ready....
Posted by: Shipman || 10/01/2003 7:36 Comments || Top||

#2  Live Free Or Die, baby!
Posted by: Raj || 10/01/2003 8:18 Comments || Top||

#3  I'd shoot for Wyoming. They already have most of the attitude down pat. I'd also consider joining them up there. New Hampshire is far too close to Massachusetts and the Kennedys for my thinking.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 10/01/2003 10:21 Comments || Top||

#4  Too many yuppies from Boston have moved to southern New Hampshire just to avoid Massachusetts taxes. They brought their other liberal baggage with them.
Posted by: Steve || 10/01/2003 10:50 Comments || Top||

#5  Realistically, if they are serious they should pick one of the pacific territories like Guam, the US Virgin Islands, or Alaska. These locations are geographically isolated (which makes secession easier to accept) and with a low population that can be overwhelmed electorally with greater ease.

Since they picked New Hampshire I assume they're serious in making a point, but in not fulfilling their stated goals.
Posted by: Yank || 10/01/2003 11:08 Comments || Top||

#6  How can they do this without UN approval? It's all about the snoooow.
Posted by: Matt || 10/01/2003 11:26 Comments || Top||

#7  Don't think this will work for several more years. I have three living grandparents (the eldest being 95.) All three reside in NH. None of the three will probably be interested in participating pot-growing, whoring and gambling portions of the Cloud-coocooland Project. I am hoping that they will also forgo the gun-toting portion of the soon-to-be modern paradice (two of three have cataracts which would hamper accurate target acquisition.)

Historically, NH has been a tax refuge for Massachusetts retirees that can no longer make the high payments on socialist institutions. When the hippees all retire from Taxechuesetts, I'm sure pot growing will be more popular.
Posted by: Superhose || 10/01/2003 12:12 Comments || Top||

#8  Oh goody.

"We have no wish to alienate the people of New Hampshire. We want to win them over"

Well, you can start with my firewood -- got a couple chords needs chopping. And come by about 5 AM after the snowstorms this winter and plow out my driveway.

Then let's talk...
Posted by: Carl in N.H. || 10/01/2003 13:29 Comments || Top||

#9  But that would be ....actual work!
Posted by: Matt || 10/01/2003 14:25 Comments || Top||

#10  SuperH:

"None of the three (grandparents) will probably be interested in participating pot-growing, whoring and gambling portions of the Cloud-coocooland Project."

Well, some of us neighbors might not mind so much -- I know I'm always willing to take up new hobbies. I have to check with my wife, though...
Posted by: Carl in N.H. || 10/01/2003 14:46 Comments || Top||

#11  Carl

I was born in Exeter. Two of my grandparents used to own/operate the local Newspaper in Hampton during and after the depression. They still believe that McCarthy was a great American and sent X-mas cards to Nixon every year until he died.
The Libertarians would probably be smarter if they targetted a specific township/county to overrun. I think the Maharishis did that successfully in Washington state - until they tried to infect a large portion of the local electorate with botulinin in order to magnify the effect of theirown votes at the polls.
Posted by: Superhose || 10/01/2003 15:11 Comments || Top||

#12  Just occupying a territory is not the point.
The main point (at least as stated by the
group) is to take over the reigns of a real
state and then sue the federal government over
infringement of state sovereignty (on
constitutional grounds).

The goal is not to go off and start some isolated
commune somewhere.
Posted by: J.H. || 10/01/2003 15:15 Comments || Top||

#13  J.H.

If you are interested in moving to a freedom-loving area, the people of NH would gladly welcome you regardless.

New Hampshire doesn't really need anyone to teach them about independence and liberty, but I don't know that changing people from NH will be an effective strategy. They used to tend to make up their own mind.

If the idea is to create a hedonistic spank-the-monkey-fest, I suggest Vermont or Nevada.

Note - My knowledge of NH is dated. NH is changing or may already have changed due to an influx of folks that don't have the granite in their blood. Carl might know better.

Grandson-of-a Carl in Hampton
Posted by: Superhose || 10/01/2003 15:34 Comments || Top||

#14  With respect to the WOT, that incident in Washington State should qualify. It involved using a biological agent to achieve a political aim.
Posted by: Superhose || 10/01/2003 16:23 Comments || Top||

#15  SuperH:

Never fear, despite the influx of Massho-- ahem, "folks", there are plenty of us granite heads still here.

We like to be left alone, and will mind our own business, but though tolerant are still decidedly conservative.

"Oh, you wanted unrestrained hedonism ? You got yer map upside down. This here's the top right part of the U.S.; you're lookin' for the bottom left."


The Free State Project types are as welcome here as anyone else, and I look forward to years of amusement reading their letters to the local papers. (The ones that don't leave after the first real winter weather, that is...)

Posted by: Carl in N.H. || 10/01/2003 18:04 Comments || Top||


Afghanistan
NATO Wants More Troops for Afghanistan
Plans to expand the NATO-led peacekeeping force in Afghanistan could further strain thinly stretched allied forces, officials cautioned Tuesday.
"Nope. Nope. Can't do it. Sorry...
NATO’s military experts have presented a range of military options for extending the force of 5,500, which operates under a U.N. mandate and currently is restricted to operations in and around Kabul. Although the plans remained confidential, officials at NATO headquarters said they could involve sending an additional 2,000-10,000 peacekeepers into major provincial cities.
Sounds like a job for the Greeks. Or Turks. Or for another French brigade. How ’bout the Hungarians?
Although diplomats said there was broad political support for the dispersal, officials wondered how allied nations would find additional troops given existing commitments in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Balkans. Germany’s ambassador to the U.N., Gunter Pleuger, said Monday the expanded force could operate in eight key regional cities to help stabilize Afghanistan ahead of elections next year. NATO officials said more cities could be included later. Ambassadors from the 19 NATO nations were set to debate the military plans Wednesday, and officials said a decision to expand ISAF could come soon. However, the U.S. ambassador to NATO, Nicholas Burns, said he did not expect a decision in the coming days. Both the United Nations and NATO have to approve the force’s wider mandate.
"They're typing up the forms right now, even as we speak..."
The 19 NATO nations have 4.4 million troops, but only a fraction of them are effectively equipped and trained for such far-flung missions.
Lessee, we have about 1.6 million, so that leaves 2.8 million. 1/3 train, 1/3 rest, 1/3 are on station so that’s 900,000. Leave out the Navy, the EU portion of Army and Air Force is at, oh, 600,000. Subtract the Balkans and various other things, that leaves maybe 400,000. That would be enough.
Alliance officials acknowledged difficulties in expanding the current ISAF force, which NATO took responsibility for in August. They fear another recruitment drive for the force could reveal more weaknesses. ``Do we have enough strategic airlift to get European soldiers to Afghanistan? The answer is ’no,’’’ Burns told reporters. France may be able to provide most of the troops.
Hey! Careful with that feather!
NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Gen. James L. Jones told Newsweek magazine this week that France ``has probably the most expeditionary army in Europe’’ and was ``good at peacekeeping.’’ Germany and Canada contribute almost 2,000 soldiers each to ISAF and France about 900 soldiers. France also has taken a lead role in training the fledgling Afghan armed forces. Germany is pushing to extend the mandate for an extra 230-450 soldiers to support reconstruction efforts in the northern city of Kunduz.
We’re arguing over a battalion?
Posted by: Steve White || 10/01/2003 12:46:34 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [284 views] Top|| File under:

#1  France may be able to provide most of the troops?

Have we given up?
Posted by: wills || 10/01/2003 0:59 Comments || Top||

#2  "They fear another recruitment drive for the force could reveal more weaknesses."

Err - good? Finding problems and fixing them is a good thing right?
Posted by: flash91 || 10/01/2003 1:34 Comments || Top||

#3  I see comments from or about all the Nato countries but Norway and Denmark. Why are they being excluded? Spain has troops in Iraq. Why doesn't Portugal deploy a couple of companies to Afghanistan?
The problem isn't people, it's warriors. None of the NATO countries have many warriors. There's a big difference between someone in uniform and someone capable of fighting in a 'hot' war, as we've found out from some of our Reserve and Guard batallions.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 10/01/2003 10:26 Comments || Top||

#4  "There's a big difference between someone in uniform and someone capable of fighting in a 'hot' war, as we've found out from some of our Reserve and Guard batallions."

Hasn't that difference usually been at the NCO level. Normally, when the US goes to a "hot war" footing, it has to relieve a bunch of guys at flag rank that can't make appropriate decisions, but that wouldn't necessarily apply in a coalition where the Staff level is covered by the Brits, French and Germans.

Are Norway, Denmark and Portugal capable at the NCO rank? The qualities that I think make an excellent NCO are: experience, intiative leadership capability, guts, motivation, and the ability to think creatively under fire. I don't know why there would be much difference in the martial capability of NCO's in the Danish forces with respect to Belgium.
Posted by: Superhose || 10/01/2003 12:26 Comments || Top||

#5  There is a good EU quiz on the BBC site.
Posted by: Superhose || 10/01/2003 15:13 Comments || Top||

#6  The French have taken a lead role in training the new Afgan Army?

We're doomed.

On a more serious note, does anyone know if the Frenchies in Afganistan are the Legion? I would not be suprised.
Posted by: Michael || 10/01/2003 16:59 Comments || Top||

#7  Well, I've worked with Belgians, French, Netherlanders, Germans, Italians, Portuguese, Norweigans and Danes at one point or another in my miltiary career. Ranked in order of proficiency and how they'd handle a wartime situation, I'd list them as Norewigans, Danes, Germans, Netherlanders, Italians, Portuguese, Belgian, and French. The Norweigan NCOs are usually in their mid to late 30's, have 20 years experience, and know their stuff. Their armament is a bit light for desert fighting, and their uniforms are too heavy. The Italians can take the heat, but lack a real tank threat. They're great on perimeter defense. The Danes are primarily a mobile force, as one would expect for a nation that's flat, easily over-run with tanks, but which has some surprises for an invading army. The French have some good NCOs, but they're not used to taking orders from anyone but their own inadequate officers.

Anyone from any of the normal NATO countries will have to spend at least two or three months getting up to speed before they can pull their own weight. Half of that time is going to be getting used to new equipment, new tactics, and working with other military services. NATO tactics, what NATO has been practicing since its inception, are totally worthless in the Middle East. The same problem is present with the new NATO partners, but they're at least willing to learn. I have my doubts about at least 75% of the OLD NATO meeting these modern demands.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 10/01/2003 17:05 Comments || Top||


Arabia
U.S. interrogators: Saudi royals sponsored terror attacks in Iraq
From Geostrategy-Direct. Subscription required...
The Bush administration would prefer that Americans remain in the dark over the Saudi role in undermining efforts to stabilize Iraq. The reason: the Saudis have become leading agents of terrorism in Iraq.
Bad boys, Soddies. Treading the thin edge, are we?
U.S. interrogators have uncovered disturbing information that Saudi nationals were behind a string of car bombings against targets in Baghdad over the summer. The targets included UN special envoy to Iraq Sergio de Mello and Shi’ite leader Ayatollah Mohammed Baqr Al Hakim. The Saudi effort, U.S. sources said, appears to be sponsored by senior members of the royal family who have concluded that Iraq has become a vital strategic interest for Riyadh. The sources said these Saudi royals aim to control the Sunni minority in Iraq and destabilize the Shiite majority in southern Iraq, particularly in the Basra region. As a result, the kingdom has encouraged Saudi volunteers to fight U.S. and aligned forces in Iraq. Despite pledges to the United States, Saudi Arabia has done virtually nothing to prevent hundreds of mujahadeen, or Islamic lunatix holy warriors, from crossing the northern border into Iraq. Washington believes that part of the Saudi effort has been coordinated with Saddam loyalists.
We've seen commentary in the Arabian press that this swarm is caused by the Soddies cracking down on the jihadis in the wake of the Riyadh bombings...
Meanwhile, some Saudi princes have sent tens of millions of dollars to support Wahhabi activities in Kurdish-dominated northern Iraq. The beneficiary of this relationship is the Al Qaida-aligned Ansar Al Islam. Ansar, which promulgates Wahhabi ideology, has received direct funding from Saudis.
That's a causus belli, if we want it to be...
Ansar has resumed attacks on U.S. and aligned Kurdish forces in northern and central Iraq. In one development, the Saudi-sponsored World Assembly of Muslim Youth said it would resume activities in northern Iraq. Saudi Islamic Affairs Minister Saleh Al Sheik heads the group.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 10/01/2003 3:41:57 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [268 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Can't say I'm exactly shocked
Posted by: Mike || 10/01/2003 15:48 Comments || Top||

#2  Yeah, this is about as shocking as a 9-volt battery near the end of its life.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 10/01/2003 16:49 Comments || Top||

#3  Don't get excited. We need hard evidence before we even think of kicking some Soddy tush.

Whacking jihadis after they cross the border, now...
Posted by: mojo || 10/01/2003 17:11 Comments || Top||

#4  The Soddies are the main supporters of Wahabism, and have their hands in just about everything that's causing trouble, not only in the Middle East but throughout most of the Free World. I think it's about time to schedule a 01:20L sunrise over Riyadh.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 10/01/2003 17:18 Comments || Top||

#5  Start dumping the Saudi terroist,living and dead, from the back of a c-130 into down town Riyad.
Posted by: Raptor || 10/01/2003 18:21 Comments || Top||

#6  Operation Desert Vengeance. Let's roll!
Posted by: Mike || 10/01/2003 20:49 Comments || Top||


Coalition Nabs Four Pirates in Gulf
MANAMA, Bahrain (NNS) -- U.S. and coalition maritime interception forces (MIF) operating in the North Arabian Gulf apprehended four suspected bandits Sept. 29 after they allegedly robbed several cargo dhows. At approximately 7:30 p.m. Sept. 29, several dhows made emergency radio calls, claiming that a speedboat filled with four men approached their vessels and stole items at gunpoint.
"Yar, we be pirates! Hand over your booty or eat lead!"
USS Fletcher (DD 992) directed its SH-60B Seahawk helicopter to investigate. The helicopter, from HSL-45’s “Wolfpack,” was already airborne about 15 miles north of the dhows supporting another mission when the distress calls were received. Using their forward-looking infrared radar, the San Diego-based helicopter crew quickly found a small speedboat with four persons loitering in the area. Once the boat became aware of the helicopter’s presence, it accelerated and headed on a northernly course.
"Yar, we be...Holy shit, Evinrude don’t fail me now!"
Fletcher dispatched its boarding team in the destroyer’s small boat, which intercepted the speedboat after a brief chase. The SH-60 crew maintained constant aerial surveillance of the speedboat, and aided Fletcher’s boarding team in the final moments of the chase by hovering closely over the alleged thieves.
"Jeez, L.T., you just took his turban off!"
Fletcher’s boarding team inspected the speedboat, and found several brand new tires, dozens of blankets, 20 flashlights and boxes of batteries strewn about. The items found matched the description of items reported stolen by the dhows. The Australian Navy frigate HMAS Newcastle (FFG 6) dispatched a liaison officer and a translator to assist with the questioning of the four suspects. USS Firebolt (PC 10) arrived on scene with Miami-based U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) 407, who performed a thorough search of the suspects and their vessel.
A destroyer, a frigate, and a 170 ft Cyclone class patrol boat, I believe this is called "piling on".
Posted by: Steve || 10/01/2003 12:39:15 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [367 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Shoulda called up Spooky. One quick burst of the minigun and problem solved.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 10/01/2003 12:46 Comments || Top||

#2  musta been a slow night in the zone.
Posted by: john || 10/01/2003 12:47 Comments || Top||

#3  Hmmm, will Shari'a be involved? One less hand to worry about?
Posted by: Anonymous || 10/01/2003 12:50 Comments || Top||

#4  I believe this is called "piling on"

"Yar, we be needing new britches..."
Posted by: Seafarious || 10/01/2003 13:02 Comments || Top||

#5  let's face it the Navy and Air Force haven't had much to do. Something like this gets everybody spun up. BTW good job Coasties, Navy, RAN!
Posted by: Cyber Sarge (VRWC CA Chapter) || 10/01/2003 13:08 Comments || Top||

#6  I believe this is called "piling on"

sounds like "sending a clear message we won't put up with this &^%!" to me ...
Posted by: rkb || 10/01/2003 13:09 Comments || Top||

#7  ...found several brand new tires, dozens of blankets, 20 flashlights and boxes of batteries strewn about. The items found matched the description of items reported stolen by the dhows.

WTF? Was K-Mart closed or something?
Posted by: mojo || 10/01/2003 13:25 Comments || Top||

#8  What happened to all that gold and silver and crown jewels that Errol Flynn used to scoop up in those old movies? I guess pirating ain't what it used to be.
Posted by: Anonymous || 10/01/2003 13:58 Comments || Top||

#9  "Yar, we be...Holy shit, Evinrude don't fail me now!"

Classic!

Posted by: Daniel King || 10/01/2003 14:22 Comments || Top||

#10  Stop all speedboats, regardless. There are no speedboats being used for legitimate purposes in that portion of the world. You caould probably find suggled goods on half of the dhows, but that would be too much work.
Posted by: Superhose || 10/01/2003 15:24 Comments || Top||

#11  Easy to put an end to this. Just establish sea lanes (tell the turbantops the rest of the water is mined), fly 'em with either an SH-60 or a SuperCobra at 500 feet, and make sure nobody gets out of hand. When you have something like this, where there's clear evidence the group needs a whacking, do it, hard, fast, and deadly. I don't think it would take much more than two or three for the word to get around the Middle East you don't play water games with the US.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 10/01/2003 17:23 Comments || Top||

#12  The Persian Gulf is a very odd place on the water. The water is almost totally calm, so there are dhows all over the place. I doubt that many of the dhow captains could be communicated with meaningfully. The speedboats are all fast movers and head from one coast to another on high rate of speed smuggling missions. Stealing a set of tires and a load of blankets would be seem like a waste of time for a smuggler.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/01/2003 22:16 Comments || Top||


Homeland Security Officers Reviewing Saudi Visa Applications
Officials from the US Department of Homeland Security are working in the visa section of the US Embassy in Saudi Arabia to spot applications from potential militants, a spokesman for the embassy told the Associated Press yesterday. Spokesman John Burgess said the Homeland Security agents, who arrived about a month ago, have access to databases that US consular staff do not enjoy, and they can therefore trace suspected extremists more efficiently.
As opposed to the Visa Express program.
“They are to be part of the process of evaluating applications to determine the suitability of issuing visas,” Burgess told AP in a telephone interview from Riyadh. In Washington, Homeland Security spokesman Gordon Johndroe said the visas would still be issued by consular officers, “but they will be reviewed by Homeland Security to help weed out terrorists and others who should not be issued a visa.”
You know State Department still hates this intrusion on their turf.
Burgess said Homeland Security agents had also been sent to other countries: “This is not exclusive to Saudi Arabia. They have been sent to other countries as well. It just happens they were sent here first.” Asked why Saudi Arabia was No. 1, Burgess said: “Well, I believe Sept. 11 is a good reason.”
Ooh, bet that left a scar.
Posted by: Steve || 10/01/2003 10:29:16 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [266 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Sounds like somebody slammed on the brakes on the Express. Everybody got their seat belts buckled?
Posted by: mojo || 10/01/2003 10:40 Comments || Top||

#2  And it only only took them two years to implement this?
Posted by: CrazyFool || 10/01/2003 10:40 Comments || Top||

#3  Mr. Burgess can obviously count: 15 of 19?
Posted by: Frank G || 10/01/2003 12:01 Comments || Top||

#4  I think someone has stumbled onto an important concept: visa control is critical to security in our homeland. The State Department removed from the visa approval process in every country.
Posted by: Superhose || 10/01/2003 12:36 Comments || Top||

#5  Officials from the US Department of Homeland Security are working in the visa section of the US Embassy in Saudi Arabia to spot applications from potential militants, a spokesman for the embassy told the Associated Press yesterday.

Nice to know that they're still concerned with Saudi sensitivities. (Hint: see the word "militants"?)
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 10/01/2003 12:39 Comments || Top||

#6  After reading Instapundit today it looks like Venezuela should be under the microscope.
Posted by: Lucky || 10/01/2003 12:39 Comments || Top||


Yemen Foils Car Bomb Attacks
From Arab News, grain of salt required, but there was a travel advisory about ’unspecified dangers’ in Yemen a couple days ago.
Yemen has foiled car bomb attacks against three embassies in the capital Sanaa as a previously unknown Islamist group calling itself the “Qaeda of Jihad” threatened to attack Yemeni officials and foreign interests. Security forces seized three vehicles packed with explosives intended to be used in bombing the US, UK and German embassies, a Western diplomat in Sanaa told Arab News yesterday. The diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the Yemeni Interior Ministry alerted embassies of Western countries after the seizure of the cars over the weekend. He said the would-be attackers used fake diplomatic license plates for the three cars that were intercepted in different parts of Sanaa.
"How'dja know I wasn't a diplomat?"
"It might have been the turban..."
"Dammit! I coulda been a Pak diplomat!"
"And the automatic weapons..."
"Still coulda been a Pak diplomat."
"Uhhh... You ain't, are you?"
A Yemeni weekly reported yesterday that five Islamist organizations announced in a statement that they had merged to set up a group called the “Qaeda of Jihad”, and threatened to stage attacks against top Yemeni officials and foreign interests. “The Al-Qaeda organization has been strategically restructured to be named the Qaeda of Jihad, the international organization for fighting Zionists and crusaders,” the Al-Balagh newspaper quoted the statement as saying. The statement said the new group was formed by “merging Al-Qaeda with the Egyptian Jihad Organization, the Yemeni Jihad Organization, the (Yemeni) Aden-Abyan Islamic Army, the Organization of Descendants of Companions (of the Prophet Muhammad) in the land of the Arabian Peninsula, and the Algerian Al-Dawa Al-Salafia group.”
I'd take that as a sign they're all attrited by now. Another year of action in the WoT and the remnants will be merging with the Sanaa Rotary Club...
The new group threatened to stage “wide-ranging assassinations that target Prime Minister (Abdul-Qader Ba-Jammal) and members of his Cabinet.” Dubbing foreign diplomatic missions and companies “legitimate targets” for its attacks, the group warned Yemenis to stay away from those targets to secure their safety. It said that 48 suicide combatants were ready to strike. The new group named Al-Moutaz Bellah Al-Qandahari Al-Yamani as its leader.
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 10/01/2003 2:26:19 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [268 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The German Embassy?!

But the Germans are appeasers pacifists. How could this happen?!
Posted by: Tokyo Taro || 10/01/2003 3:55 Comments || Top||

#2  The Germans may not have wanted the US to take out Saddam, but they have been cracking down on terrorist operations in Germany. This would be al-Qaedas response to that.
Posted by: Steve || 10/01/2003 8:24 Comments || Top||

#3  The no BS reason the Islamists are pissed:

Dateline -- Frankfurt -- January 2003
The German authorities arrested two Yemeni men in Frankfurt on Friday, one of whom is suspected of being a fund-raiser for Al Qaeda.
The main suspect was identified as Sheik Muhammad Ali Hassan al-Mouyad, about 60 years old, and a man of some prominence in Yemen. He is the imam at a mosque in the south of the capital, Sana, and runs a sizable charity, providing food, clothing, education and medical care to the poor.


In his spare time, the shy and demure sheikh raised lots of DMs to send to his leeeetle friends in SW Asia. He also insulted his hosts after his arrest saying some very bad things about their choice of religion and friends. Oh well...I hope he likes stale brotchen.
Posted by: TerrorHunter4Ever || 10/01/2003 13:02 Comments || Top||


Down Under
’Male lesbians’ barred from Lesfest event
Though lesbian activists have traditionally fought against discrimination based on sexual orientation, it is homosexual women who now are being accused of insensitivity by wanting to exclude from an upcoming event a specific group of people – transsexual lesbians who used to be males.
(Huh
.OUCH!)
Transsexuals are protesting an Australian lesbian festival because an advertisement for the event mentions that only "female-born" lesbians are welcome. Festival organizers obtained an exemption from local equal-opportunity laws before going ahead with the controversial ads. According to the report, those in charge wanted even the event’s caterers to be traditional lesbians.
Offended by the slight, transsexuals appealed the exemption, the news service reports, and the Victorian Civil and Administrative Appeals Tribunal yesterday overturned its earlier ruling. The transsexuals complained the festival failed to recognize lesbians who came by their gender surgically.
(Boo Hoo)
Anna Holland-Moore, a spokeswoman for Lesfest 2004, however, said there was a difference between lesbians brought up female and those brought up male.
(And they are????)
"It’s not about excluding, it’s about affirmation of our identity," Holland-Moore told the news service. "We just wanted a week together to consolidate our culture and discuss relevant issues."
(and have wild ’pure’ lesbian sex!)
The group sought to exclude not only male-born lesbian transsexuals, but also boys over 8 and non-lesbian girls over 15.
(Hmm I wonder why?)
Karen Gurney of WOMAN, a group that lobbies "for the rights of Australian women with transsexualism," hailed the decision by the tribunal.
(see there is a group for everyone!)
"The strong support we received from the mainstream GL community for our full acceptance as the women we are was particularly appreciated by people with transsexualism," she said in a statement. The report said the organizers of Lesfest have yet to decide what their next move will be. They might do away with public advertising and simply send private invitations to the January festival.
(To keep those nasty boy/girls away!)
To summarize: A group of Lesbians that used to be males (oops!) wants to attend a lesbian festival. The lesbian festival organizers want to exclude this group because they are ‘converts’ rather than ‘natives’. Anyone get the idea that God is either testing us or maybe smoking some herb? I live in California but I think that Australia just used the ‘weirdo’ trump card on this one.
Posted by: Cyber Sarge (VRWC CA Chapter) || 10/01/2003 10:45:07 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [369 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Nice summary. I'm curious if they would truly notice some of the used to be males (oops) if they attended. I've seen some pretty butch lesbians in my day, but perhaps they were oops and I didn't know it.
Posted by: Yank || 10/01/2003 11:03 Comments || Top||

#2  Tip of the iceberg, I'm afraid. The Aussies seem to have an overabundance of idiots. Check this out:
http://www.maths.unsw.edu.au/~jim/wackiest.html
Posted by: mojo || 10/01/2003 11:25 Comments || Top||

#3  Sounds like every in this story needs desperately to get their ashes hauled.
Posted by: badanov || 10/01/2003 13:44 Comments || Top||

#4  Guess there's not enough room in the rainbow for every color...
Posted by: Dar || 10/01/2003 13:57 Comments || Top||

#5  banning "non lesbian girls over 15"? God, they better make up their minds early, huh?
Posted by: True German Ally || 10/01/2003 19:49 Comments || Top||

#6  Remember those '80s bumpersticker that asked "Is it weird enough for you yet?"
I'd like to find someone with one of those, grab him by the collar and scream, "YES, IT'S ENTIRELY FUCKING WEIRD NOW! KNOCK IT OFF ALREADY!"
Posted by: Atomic Conspiracy || 10/01/2003 21:51 Comments || Top||


JI terrorists in Australia lost their killing edge
Jemaah Islamiah operatives in Australia resisted calls from JI leaders in South-East Asia to carry out terrorist attacks here in the late 1990s, a leading terrorism academic, Rohan Gunaratna, said yesterday. Attributing their reluctance to the adoption of a more tolerant ethos by the JI members who had lived in Australia, Dr Gunaratna said JI cells in Malaysia "were very keen to do attacks in Australia. The attack plans were called off because of disagreements between JI cells in Australia and JI cells in Malaysia; otherwise there would have been mass attacks in Australia," he told the National Press Club. Pressed for more details, Dr Gunaratna - who receives briefing from leading intelligence agencies and conducts his own interviews of detained terrorist suspects - was less than expansive, but pointed to the battle for control of a Dee Why mosque several years ago. Abdul Rahim Ayub, the alleged leader of the JI cell who fled Australia days after the Bali bombings, had a physical altercation with the imam of the mosque, Zainal Arifin, as he sought to gain control.
A "physical altercation"? Y'mean like a fistfight?
Arifin, Dr Gunaratna said, was a long-standing JI sympathiser in Australia who was resisting the extremists. Dr Gunaratna said JI had about 100 members and was raising $200,000 a year at the peak of its powers from the late 1990s until the Bali bombings. Many of them had been in Australia for many years, had jobs and sent their children to local schools. That exposure to the "Australian ethos had dulled their ideological convictions: "They were sympathetic to the cause but didn’t want to die for it," Dr Gunaratna said.
Toldja so. It's a lot more fun being an Australian than it is being a martyr.
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 10/01/2003 2:04:28 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [317 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Whent native did they?
Posted by: Raptor || 10/01/2003 7:31 Comments || Top||

#2  It's that exposure to beaches, babes in bikini's, and beer. Works every time.
Posted by: Steve || 10/01/2003 9:06 Comments || Top||

#3  Somewhere, the Prophet weeps.
Posted by: tu3031 || 10/01/2003 9:21 Comments || Top||

#4  Have to quit the Religion of Peace™ if you're not willing to kill infidels
Posted by: Frank G || 10/01/2003 11:08 Comments || Top||

#5  "Hmmm...let's see...on the one hand, beer babes and beaches. On the other, painful, lingering death. Tough choice..."
Posted by: mojo || 10/01/2003 11:27 Comments || Top||

#6  Meanwhile, back in Jakarta behind bars, Shiekh Abubakar Bashir laments, "Since we pissed on their party in Bali, it's so hard to find good help in Australia anymore. What's a loaded bikini got on a belt bomb anyway?" Where to begin....
Posted by: TerrorHunter4Ever || 10/01/2003 13:14 Comments || Top||


Europe
Shortlist for Europe’s Top Human Rights Prize
OK, put the coffee down:
U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, slain U.N. envoy to Iraq Sergio Vieira de Mello and former chief weapons inspector Hans Blix made the shortlist Wednesday for Europe’s top human rights prize. The shortlist, which was decided on by the European Union assembly’s foreign affairs committee, included International Atomic Energy Agency head Mohamed El Baradei for his work with Blix in Iraq.
Bwahahaha!!
Jailed Iranian journalist Akbar Ganji was also named for his protest against the Tehran government.
If he had protested against Bush he might have been a contender
The decision on the winner of this year’s "Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought" and the $58,000 prize that goes with it will be made Oct. 16. Named for the late Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov, the prize is awarded annually by the European Parliament to defenders of human rights and democracy.
Good thing he’s dead and can’t comment on the nominees.
There was wide agreement among the six main political groups in the 626-member legislature to honor U.N. staff for their role in trying to prevent war in Iraq and in reconstruction efforts now under way.
Kofi - failed, Blix - failed, Mohamed - failed, Akbar - jailed, Vieira - KIA.
Vieira de Mello and nine other U.N. staffers were killed in an Aug. 19 suicide bomb attack on the U.N.’s Baghdad headquarters.
The parliament gave the 2002 prize to Cuban dissident Oswaldo Paya. Other winners include former South African president Nelson Mandela, East Timorese independence leader Xanana Gusmao and Ibrahim Rugova, the Kosovo leader.
I’d say it should be between Vieira and Akbar, with Vieira getting my vote for his work in East Timor and dying at his desk in Iraq. I’m afraid I know very little about Akbar.
Posted by: Steve || 10/01/2003 3:02:20 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [297 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Let's think this through. If Kofi gets the award he'll probably have to fly somewhere and attend an awards ceremony. That means there'll be a 48-72 time period during which he can't posssiby screw anything else up.
Posted by: Matt || 10/01/2003 15:20 Comments || Top||

#2  Knowing the EU, I figure they'll give it to the dead guy and pocket the 58G's. That'll buy at least a couple of nice banquets or look good in some EU bureaucrat's Swiss bank account.
Posted by: tu3031 || 10/01/2003 15:51 Comments || Top||

#3  Will Jimmeh be the MC?
Posted by: PBMcL || 10/01/2003 15:57 Comments || Top||

#4  Kofi as EVEN a nominee is totally inconceivable to me. His name is analagous with impotence. In fact, rumor has it that one pharmaceutical company is considering marketing a pill that has the opposite effect of Viagra and naming it the "Kofi Kocktail." A designer drug version of saltpeter...that's it.....that's the ticket.
Posted by: TerrorHunter4Ever || 10/01/2003 16:41 Comments || Top||

#5  Does the winner get an all-expense paid vacation in Gorky?...
Posted by: mojo || 10/01/2003 17:16 Comments || Top||

#6  "The European Parliament awards the "Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought", in memory of Andrej Sakharov to honour individuals or organisations for their work on behalf of human rights and fundamental freedoms and against oppression and injustice."

I think the UN is the perfect candidate. After all it was the UN which liberated the Iraqis from Saddam's oppression and injustice, and gave them their human rights back, true??? And the brave Mr Blix who stood up like a true bold Scandinavian hero against the merciless U.S. oppression (and right now languishing in Guantanamo jail and is tortured daily), oh yes, he truly deserves the prize.

This noble endeavor must be rated higher than the deeds of Akbar Ganji:

This Iranian journalist with the reformist daily Sobh-e-Emruz was arrested on 22 April 2000 when he returned from a conference in Berlin that the Iranian authorities considered "anti-Islamic" and "anti-revolutionary." On 13 January 2001, he was sentenced to 10 years in jail and to banishment.
He had to answer 10 charges, based on complaints filed by the ministry of intelligence, the police and a former minister of intelligence. The prosecutor accused him of "acting against national security", "circulating propaganda against the Islamic system", and "insulting religious figures." He was also accused of publishing articles accusing senior officials of involvement in the murder of regime opponents and intellectuals in 1998. In May 2001, his sentence was reduced from 10 years to six months. In July 2001, the Supreme Court increased it to 6 years. In October 2000, he received the International Press Freedom Award from the CJFE (Canadian Journalists for Free Expression). He is being held at Teheran's Evine prison.
Posted by: True German Ally || 10/01/2003 20:07 Comments || Top||

#7  OK, Akbar it is.
Posted by: Steve || 10/01/2003 20:53 Comments || Top||


Schroeder embarks on Mideast tour
Only marginally about WoT...but a peek at Germany’s possible plans for the future, paricularly vis a vis Saudi Arabia EFL
German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder leaves Saturday on a trip to Egypt, Saudia Arabia and the United Arab Emirates which is widely being billed as a trade visit with Germany’s three biggest customers in the Arab world. Indeed, the Chancellor is taking a high-powered business delegation on the four-day tour but officials say the visit is also aimed at a series of sensitive political issues. High among them is Berlin’s offer to train police and army officers for the new Iraq. The chancellor made the offer to the United States last month in a bid to soothe Washington’s anger over Germany’s opposition to the Iraq war. The question which must quickly be answered is where this will take place. Schroeder won’t send German personnel to Iraq but would prefer training to be in the region rather than in Germany. However, a request to the United Arab Emirates to use training facilities was met with a less than enthusiastic response. Schroeder will reportedly be seeking clarification from the UAE but also plans to ask Egypt if it will host German military and police trainers as well as thousands of Iraqi students.

Growing alarm over Iran’s nuclear programme will also be a top issue in all three countries with Schroeder anxious to get the views of Teheran’s neighbours, officials say. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is also on the agenda but the key message from Germany is a symbolic one that nobody in Berlin wants to talk about on the record.

Away from politics, Chancellor Schroeder is clearly eager to use the trip for boosting exports to the region given Germany’s sickly economy which appears headed for zero growth this year. Schroeder will be accompanied by 17 captains of German industry including CEOs of the huge Siemens concern, ABB and the TUI travel group. The head of Saudi Arabia’s investment agency, Prince Abdullah bin Faisal bin Turki al Saud, called for more German investment in an interview with the German business magazine Wirtschaftswoche. He said Saudi Arabia planned to spend USD 170 billion in the coming 20 years on energy and water infrastructure alone. "This ought to sound interesting to German companies," said Prince Abdullah, adding that since the 1990 German unification his country had been disappointed over limited German investment moves.
They've been preoccupied with other matters...
Raising eyebrows in Berlin is the presence in the delegation of executives from EADS which in addition to Airbus jets also builds fighters, missiles and rockets as well as arms-maker Rheinmetall - which is well-known for supplying the weapons and electronics for Germany’s Leopard II tank. Berlin is banned by law from selling arms to regions in conflict or suffering military tensions. Schroeder’s leftist government comprised of his Social Democrats (SPD) and the Greens have pledged to cut German arms exports to countries outside NATO and the E.U.
Posted by: Seafarious || 10/01/2003 10:53:27 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [266 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The "Please Don't Crush Us" tour.
Posted by: mojo || 10/01/2003 11:28 Comments || Top||

#2  Schroeder's actually trying the same thing as Chirac, he's just a lot smoother: now that the war's over, let's get in on the loot. The offer to train Iraqi police ... somewhere ... is meant to mollify, while the presence of Rheinmetall, et al., is meant to see if the New Iraqi Army™ will sport German weapons.
Posted by: Steve White || 10/01/2003 12:40 Comments || Top||

#3  Berlin is banned by law from selling arms to regions in conflict or suffering military tensions

Isn't that like banning softdrink sales wherever people might be thirsty.
Posted by: Superhose || 10/01/2003 12:44 Comments || Top||

#4  Schroeder twice "threatened" his party this week with resignation should the SPD not okay his "reforms". Watch this space.

The Saudis ALWAYS wanted to buy Leopards, back in the 80s already. Franz Josef Strauss (late Bavarian Prime Minister and on the Airbus board) had brokered a deal already but it didn't go through because of these legal implications. Of course the security of Israel is extremely important, too.

As for the training of Iraqi police, the logical place would be Kuwait.

I don't see much German enthusiasm to invest in Saudi, the Emirates instead look more promising. They are getting more and more popular with German tourists (good package deals, great shopping).
Posted by: True German Ally || 10/01/2003 19:43 Comments || Top||


Paris court sentences Saudi drug jet ring
A Colombian and four Frenchmen Tuesday received prison terms ranging from one to eight years for their involvement in a vast cocaine trafficking network in which a Saudi prince has also been implicated. Frenchman Didier Dubreucq, 48, was handed the stiffest sentence - eight years - for having received two tonnes of cocaine at Le Bourget airport outside Paris in May 1999. The cocaine was on a plane belonging to a Saudi prince, Nayef ben Sultan ben Fawwaz Al-Shaalan. The prince was indicted by a court in Miami in July 2002 for involvement in cocaine trafficking, and is the subject of an international arrest warrant issued by a judge in Bobigny outside Paris. The court Tuesday also sentenced Gustavo Guarin Gonfrier, 42, a Colombian chemical engineer, to four and a half years in prison.
Posted by: Seafarious || 10/01/2003 10:39:59 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [348 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Nice way to raise large amounts of untracable cash, bet they thought no one would look too close at a Saudi plane.
Posted by: Steve || 10/01/2003 14:37 Comments || Top||

#2  Question is what is going to happen with the princeling?
Posted by: Raptor || 10/01/2003 18:43 Comments || Top||

#3  Who are the five citizens in Saudi Arabia that are not members of the royal family? I think we can trust those five guys.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/01/2003 22:22 Comments || Top||


Fifth Column
Editor Disagrees With Cuban Columnist Who Actually Lived in Cuba
National Post from Worldwire

CREDIT: Leslie Mazoch, The Associated Press

The Canadian owners of a New York-based Spanish newspaper have created a stir by pulling a column on education reform by Cuban leader Fidel Castro, sparking the resignation of the paper’s editor. Anti-Castro Canadiens, I like that.

Two Canadian media executives who are part owners of a Spanish-language daily in New York have found themselves caught in a political storm over Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

Douglas Knight, former publisher of the Toronto Sun and the Financial Post, and his partner, John Paton, recently spiked a controversial column by Mr. Castro in El Diario-La Prensa, according to the newspaper’s editor, Gerson Borrero.

The column, on educational reform in Cuba, was meant to run on Monday, and the paper carried ads promoting it in its weekend editions.

But the owners and the paper’s publisher, Rossana Rosado, reportedly decided not to run the column after three Cuban-American journalists on the newspaper’s staff wrote a letter calling the planned column "pro-Castro propaganda." The creations of a genius are never properly appreciated until after the genius is dead. Here’s to hoping that Fidel soon recieves his full appreciation.

The letter was circulated in Miami among anti-Castro Cuban exiles, who e-mailed it to the paper’s owners with a petition demanding the column not appear. The voice of the customer speaks.

The suspension of Mr. Castro’s much-publicized column angered Mr. Borrero, who called a meeting of his staff on Monday to announce his resignation. Happily, Mr. Borrero is now free to move to Cuba and join the worker’s paradise...

"Obviously it’s a position I am not willing to tolerate," said Mr. Borrero, 52, in an interview with New York’s Daily News, citing the last-minute decision to spike Mr. Castro’s column as an issue of media freedom.

"It’s their money. It’s their paper. They do as they please," he said. Mr. Borrero has just learned who actually controls the factors of production in the newspaper industry: the customers who buy and read the product.

Mr. Borrero, editor since 2000, has agreed to stay on as a weekly columnist for the newspaper. He writes a popular column on political issues entitled Bajo Fuego, or Under Fire. I guess Mr. Borrero has decided to forgo moving to the worker’s paradise.

Yesterday, some of Mr. Borrero’s former colleagues in the hispanic journalism community in the United States described him as too pro-Cuban -- a point of view that was a major point of dissension with the newspaper’s new owners.

Two weeks ago, Mr. Borrero fired columnist Alcibiades Hidalgo, Mr. Castro’s former chief of staff and a columnist for El Diario since last November. Mr. Hidalgo’s column, describing corruption and economic hardship on the Communist island, was deemed too anti-Cuban for Mr. Borrero, Mr. Hidalgo said in an interview yesterday.

"I think he [Mr. Borrero] just used that column as an excuse to fire me because he didn’t like what I was writing about Cuba," said Mr. Hidalgo from his home in Washington. Mr. Hidalgo, a journalist and editor, sought asylum in the United States last year.
Mr. Hidalgo was obviously not fired because of the content of his column as that would be inconsistent with Mr. Borrero’s protection of Fidel Castro’s rights of journalistic freedom.

Mr. Hidalgo said many of the paper’s staff members in New York felt strongly that Mr. Borrero should have offered to publish a column critical of Mr. Castro’s views.

"I am not denying Borrero the right to run Castro’s column, but he needs to present it in a balanced way," said Mr. Hidalgo, who writes frequently for hispanic and English-language newspapers in the United States. That would have been acceptatble to me, but I doubt that Castro would have been pleased with a political debate. I don’t expect to see him appear on Scarborough Country duking it out in a battle of ideas.
"The new owners want to change the newspaper," said a media analyst who did not want to be identified. "And I don’t think running columns by Fidel Castro fit in with their world view."

El Diario-La Prensa, with editorial and administrative offices in lower Manhattan, is the oldest hispanic newspaper in the United States. Among the newspaper’s weekly columnists is one appearing -- in Spanish -- under the byline of U.S. President George Bush, which is also featured prominently on the newspaper’s Web site. Might be worth a look.

Mr. Paton and Mr. Knight are part of a consortium that bought the 90-year-old El Diario last July for US$19.9-million. Both men, who are veterans of the Canadian newspaper publishing scene, are now based at the newspaper’s offices in New York.

Although neither speaks Spanish, they are consulting on the newspaper’s management and editorial policies. I wonder what the paper’s position on Bustamante is.

"We don’t speak Spanish but we speak newspaper," Mr. Knight said in an interview shortly after the paper was purchased this summer.

Posted by: Superhose || 10/01/2003 2:58:56 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [283 views] Top|| File under:


When Froggy Comes Marching Home
Just the good part
Joseph C. Wilson ...was first in Niger with USAID during the Carter administration, then later in the 1990s as a Clinton National Security Council staffer. He arrived back in the Niger’s capital of Niamey in February 2002 on a CIA-sponsored mission to investigate a report that Iraq had bought uranium from Niger in 1999. This trip took place a year before President Bush uttered the so-called "16 words" in his State of the Union address ("The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa"). Note that the president accused Iraq of seeking uranium, not actually obtaining it, which is what Wilson was sent to look into. He spent most of his time at the hotel — a fourth-floor suite at the Gawaeye, one report said. He was very open about his mission and its object, and began to take meetings near the pool. "I spent the next eight days drinking sweet mint tea and meeting with dozens of people," Wilson wrote in the New York Times last July, "current government officials, former government officials, people associated with the country’s uranium business. It did not take long to conclude that it was highly doubtful that any such transaction had ever taken place." It is unclear with whom Wilson met. No Nigerien officials have admitted to attending those meetings. El Hadj Habibou Allele, who runs COMINAK, the major uranium-mining concern, stated he was never contacted. For their part, the staff at the Gawaeye thought Wilson was a nice guy, and they nicknamed him "Bill Clinton" after his former employer.

I posted this only to ask if anyone knows what exactly ’frog-marching’ is. Some kind of French Army retreat ?
Posted by: eyeyeye || 10/01/2003 2:08:03 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [471 views] Top|| File under:

#1  When a man's hands and legs are shackled, with the arms behind the body, grasp the person under each arm and bounce him along. Frog march. The degree of bouncing determines the condition of the person upon arrival at your destination.
Posted by: Chuck Simmins || 10/01/2003 14:23 Comments || Top||

#2  This article in the Guardian leads me to believe that this issue is strictly to hurt the administration by neutralizing Rove.

Old Patriot made some interesting comments in responding to a post yesterday. Evidently a list of CIA employees is published yearly in the public domain. I wonder if Wilson's wife is on the list. That would kind of undercut the idea that a crime was committed.
Posted by: Superhose || 10/01/2003 16:34 Comments || Top||

#3  Rev. Donald Sensing at One Hand Clapping talks about the law involved, and the points necessary to create an actual crime.
In order for Plame's identification in Novak's column to be considered violating the law, all the following elements of proof must be met:

1. The person who told Novak (or anyone else) had to have had access to classified information that identified Plame as covert. Even if the information is accurate, if the "leaker" did not learn it from classified sources, there is no violation of the law.

2. The disclosure of Plame's covert status must have been intentional; this would seem easy to ascertain.

3. The person receiving the information, i.e., Novak, was not authorized to receive classified information; again, this would seem easy to prove.

4. The discloser must have known that the information identified Plame as covert.

5. The discloser must have known that the United States was taking positive actions to conceal Plame's covert intelligence relationship to the US government.

Note well: all five of these things had to have happened in order for the law to have been violated. IMO, that will be very difficult to prove; in fact, the CIA itself seems to have shown that #5 was not being done. Novak writes,

At the CIA, the official designated to talk to me ... asked me not to use her name, saying she probably never again will be given a foreign assignment but that exposure of her name might cause "difficulties" if she travels abroad. He never suggested to me that Wilson's wife or anybody else would be endangered.

If the CIA was taking affirmative actions to conceal Plame's intelligence status, that's a pretty weak way of heading off a reporter's question, but no doubt that the official whom Novak interviewed will be extensively questioned by investigators.

Who is Donald Sensing?

I should advise my readers here that as the chief of media relations for XVIII Airborne Corps and five years as a public affairs officer at the Pentagon and as chief of public affairs for US Army CID Command, I have an awful lot of experience in speaking to reporters about topics that had classified content. I don't know what the CIA's public-affairs policy is, but I can't imagine it would be less restrictive than the US Army's. Our policy was quite simple: classified information was not discussed, period.

I guess he knows a little something about dealing with the press.

Posted by: Chuck Simmins || 10/01/2003 16:43 Comments || Top||

#4  We are going to learn a lot about Mr. Wilson and his covert/not covert wife in the next few weeks.
Posted by: Cyber Sarge (VRWC CA Chapter) || 10/01/2003 17:38 Comments || Top||

#5  Hmm,so he spent his time on the investagation hangin out at poolside!
Posted by: Raptor || 10/01/2003 18:45 Comments || Top||

#6  I don't know what to think of the story. But IF a White House official exposes a CIA operative it can't be excused no matter whether it's technically a felony or not.
This is simply not what I expect from an administration so concerned about WMD and how to prevent them from being spread.
It doesn't matter whether it was an open secret or not, you don't talk about this to journalists.
For me CIA means "classified" whatever someone may know or not.
Posted by: True German Ally || 10/01/2003 19:30 Comments || Top||

#7  I've worked WITH the CIA, never FOR them. There's a lot of stuff that's classified. There's both an unclassified and a classified version of the CIA FACT BOOK. The unclassified part is even on the Internet, and anybody can look at it. I've known both covert and overt CIA agents in the past, and still have dozens of friends at the Agency. Most of these are people that worked for me, or with me, over the 26 years I spent in the Air Force. As far as I know, none of them are "covert". Still, I don't mention their names unless there's a reason to, and I don't draw attention to their employer.

One thing that worries me considerably about this is a former US Ambassador whose WIFE is a clandestine(???) operative for the CIA? Talk about a serious conflict of interest! This could keep Wilson from EVER being appointed to any other embassy in the world! If you're an accredited ambassador to a country, your family members had not better be members of an intelligence collecting agency, or you've compromised your position before you even get there. I'd want to keep a very close eye on both of them for a long, long time. Something is definitely odorous here, and it's not Robert Novak.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 10/01/2003 20:46 Comments || Top||

#8  It sort of looks like his wife had him assigned to a boondoggle to sip mint tea with old friends.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/01/2003 22:28 Comments || Top||

#9  Old Patriot
Hell of an analysis. It would be impossible for Wilson to ever hold an embassy position if his wife were really covert.
Posted by: logiccop || 10/01/2003 23:04 Comments || Top||


Rutgers Hatefest On! Damn!
PLEASE FORWARD EVERYWHERE!!-
OCTOBER 10-12, 2003 - Rutgers University - NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ
NORTH AMERICAN CONFERENCE ON THE PALESTINE PRO-HOLOCAUST SOLIDARITY MOVEMENT

Despite all attacks - from supporters of the Jews’ right to live Zionist forces, from University administration, from the State and the Governor - the Rutgers conference on Palestine, the Third North American Conference on the Palestine Solidarity Movement, is CONTINUING ON and GOING STRONG!!
"Sup[port your local concentration camp!"
We have over 1098 letters to the Rutgers administration written in support of the conference, 467 registered participants, 163 organizational endorsers, 1253 individual endorsers of the conference and many more still going on, and an exciting and growing schedule of 100% guaranteed hate-filled workshops and speakers!
(Please see http://www.divestmentconference.com/ for more specifics!)
"Heil Haman!"
REGISTER AND ENDORSE!
The conference IS taking place on October 10-12, 2003! Make your travel plans now - book your plane, train and bus tickets, reserve your hotels and plan to be at Rutgers University for the Third North American Conference of the Palestine Pro-Holocaust Solidarity Movement! Now is the time - JOIN US!
Hat tip LGF
Posted by: Katz || 10/01/2003 1:03:30 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [403 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Some consolation here. Conference attendees will have to put up with either the NJ Turnpike (if they come by car) or NJ Transit or Amtrak (if coming by train). Once they get to Brunswick they will pay premium rates for 2nd rate motels.
Posted by: mhw || 10/01/2003 13:46 Comments || Top||

#2  Anyone know of a better way to know who your enemies are than to invite them to a party in their honor? I'd bet there will be so many undercover cops at that gabfest the real weanies won't be able to sneeze without somebody recording it. Do these people have any idea at all that we're in the 21'st century, and electronics are very, very good? What lemmings!
Posted by: Old Patriot || 10/01/2003 23:40 Comments || Top||


India-Pakistan
Indonesian team interviewing detained students in Pakistan
Indonesian investigators have arrived in Pakistan to begin interviewing six Indonesian students detained on suspicion of links to the Jemaah Islamiah extremist group. The four Indonesian officials, representing their country’s police force, foreign ministry and intelligence agency, are meeting with the students - including Rusman Gunawan, the brother of top terror operative Hambali - at a secret location in Karachi.
"Honey, I’m going TDY to Karachi. Can you pack a change of clothes and my travel interview kit for me? It’s the one with the folding truncheons."
Pakistani intelligence officials believe the 19 students are a sleeper cell of JI, the South East Asian terror network blamed for a string of deadly bombings in Indonesia including last October’s Bali bombings, which killed 202 people.
More like a grad school cell.
Interrogators hope the group will shed light on the extent of JI’s presence in Pakistan and whether the outfit was planning attacks in the country.
Ummm, doubtful, they would have kept a low profile while in school, I think. Unless they were planning field trips, of course.
Posted by: Steve || 10/01/2003 9:02:46 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [271 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Indonesian investigators have arrived in Pakistan to begin interviewing six Indonesian students

Sounds like a job fair.
Posted by: Superhose || 10/01/2003 16:42 Comments || Top||


Iraq
Kuwait foils the smuggling of chemical and biological weapons from Iraq
The sound you just heard was the Democratic platform for 2004 collapsing.

Kuwaiti security authorities have foiled an attempt to smuggle $60 million worth of chemical weapons and biological warheads from Iraq to an unnamed European country, a Kuwaiti newspaper said on Wednesday.

It’s a government newspaper, so the usual caveats here. Still, David Kay’s briefing is tomorrow ...

The pro-Government Al-Siyassah, quoting an unnamed security source, said the suspects had been watched by security since they arrived in Kuwait and were arrested "in due time." It did not say when or how the smugglers entered Kuwait or when they were arrested.

The paper said the smugglers might have had accomplices inside Kuwait. It said Interior Minister Sheik Nawwaf Al Ahmed Al Sabah would hand over the smuggled weapons to an FBI agent at a news conference, but did not say when.

Government officials could not be immediately reached for comment.

As Drudge might say, developing ...
Posted by: Dan Darling || 10/01/2003 5:04:29 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [369 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I'm not sure there's a big enough grain of salt on the planet for this item, but I suppose we'll see...
Posted by: snellenr || 10/01/2003 17:26 Comments || Top||

#2  Now THAT'S what I call an "October Surprise" if it's true.

Jim and Valerie who???

And how do they know the $worth of the goods???
Posted by: Anonymous || 10/01/2003 17:58 Comments || Top||

#3  PLEASE-OH PLEASE be legit!!!
Posted by: Yosemite Sam || 10/01/2003 18:13 Comments || Top||

#4  Could just be a scam by some crooks on terrorist wannabes...
Posted by: Laurence of the Rats || 10/01/2003 18:15 Comments || Top||

#5  Lets see if *this* gets mentioned on the evening news....
Posted by: CrazyFool || 10/01/2003 18:16 Comments || Top||

#6  Have you noticed that the US is, still, offering $millions for help to catch Saddam, but nada for help to find WMDs. Could it be that such reward is not needed? one would assume that if nothing had been found, desperation would set in and rewards would be offered...

I'd rather have Saddam on the run than WMDs in the hands of post-Baathist terrorists.
Posted by: Kalle (kafir forever) || 10/01/2003 18:22 Comments || Top||

#7  And here I thought that auction on eBay was a hoax!
Posted by: Dar || 10/01/2003 18:30 Comments || Top||

#8  Laurence has a point...wouldn't be the 1st time that terrorists got scammed.
Also, no mention of materials being confiscated - so at this point we only have the intent to smuggle. Still, who wants to bet the unnamed European country is Frogistan?
Posted by: Rex Mundi || 10/01/2003 18:57 Comments || Top||

#9  Two big caveats:
Kuwait????
Doesn't sound like the safest country for these operations.
European country?
What the heck would an European country want to do with that rubbish? Not even France needs that.

Doesn't make sense to me. Probably a talk talk scam, more like the Nigerian mafia thing.
Posted by: True German Ally || 10/01/2003 19:21 Comments || Top||

#10  Rex Mundi - I was thinking of those stories about nuclear material getting pawned off on people and the way this news read reminded me of them.

Kalle - That's a good point, there is no reward for WMD. I had not noticed that before.
Posted by: Laurence of the Rats || 10/01/2003 19:30 Comments || Top||

#11  An 'attempt to smuggle' wouldn't have to involve the physical WMD material I guess, but then it says the "smuggled weapons" would be handed over to FBI.
Posted by: Plz be true! || 10/01/2003 19:41 Comments || Top||

#12  TGA, agree that Kuwait doesn't seem a logical choice, unless somebody thought the Kuwatis had been paid off to look the other way. How do Kuwait's transportation connections to Europe compare to those of other gulf states?
As to smuggling to "an unnamed European country," that's not the same as "an unnamed European government." Could have been for some terrorist cell. Also remember that "Europe" isn't just "western Europe." There's always the Balkans...
Posted by: Old Grouch || 10/01/2003 19:50 Comments || Top||

#13  Hmmm well I don't know but WHAT was actually attempted to be smugled? Chemical weapons? Biological weapons? Warheads?

FIRST, I MUST SOLICIT YOUR STRICTEST CONFIDENCE IN THIS TRANSACTION. THIS IS BY VIRTUE OF ITS NATURE AS BEING UTTERLY CONFIDENTIAL AND 'TOP SECRET'. I AM SURE AND HAVE CONFIDENCE OF YOUR ABILITY AND RELIABILITY TO PROSECUTE A TRANSACTION OF THIS GREAT MAGNITUDE INVOLVING A PENDING TRANSACTION REQUIRING MAXIIMUM CONFIDENCE.
Posted by: True German Ally || 10/01/2003 20:21 Comments || Top||

#14  European country?

Algeria? Spain (Basque separatists)? France (Corsican separatists)? One of the ex-Yugoslavian countries?
Posted by: Dar || 10/01/2003 20:30 Comments || Top||

#15 
"...BY VIRTUE OF ITS NATURE AS BEING UTTERLY CONFIDENTIAL AND 'TOP SECRET'..."

LOL... doesn't by some chance involve millions of dollars somebody found ln a shoebox, hmmm?
Posted by: Old Grouch || 10/01/2003 20:31 Comments || Top||

#16  Grouch:
Kuwait has excellent ports, as does Saudi.
Posted by: Mike || 10/01/2003 20:46 Comments || Top||

#17  Dar, didn't know Algeria was part of Europe, heaven forbid. Well I guess let's see what's to the story.

Before I see hard evidence, I stick to the "WMD found in a shoebox" thing, Old Grouch...
Posted by: True German Ally || 10/01/2003 20:49 Comments || Top||

#18  Kuwait is smart, think about the other borders. Iran - watched, Turkey - too many people busted going that way, Syria - very closely watched, Jordan - to get to a port you have to go through Israel, nope, Saudi Arabia - maybe, but they have been hunting jihadis, Kuwait - quiet, good port, open for business, lots of traffic bringing supplies in, and friend of US. Load container on Kuwait registered ship and it won't be stopped. Smart choice.
Oh, and Russia is a European country. Maybe they forgot something, or Russian mob bought it for resale.
Posted by: Steve || 10/01/2003 21:09 Comments || Top||

#19  TGA--Argh! Of course, you're right! I meant to write "Albania"!
Posted by: Dar || 10/01/2003 21:15 Comments || Top||

#20  Russia is a European country

As is Chechnya, Georgia, Ukraine and our favourite Belarus!
Posted by: Phil_B || 10/01/2003 21:17 Comments || Top||

#21  Could have been headed for Chechnya or is it Ukraine?? Where a lot of weapons come from? Kosovo's heating up again. The European country could just be a transfer point.

And DUH! Joe and Valerie, not Jim!
Posted by: Anonymous || 10/01/2003 21:20 Comments || Top||

#22  What I wouldn't give to be a fly on the wall if Kay comes in begins his report and brings in a couple of samples that he found to present to the committee.

How big is a warhead anyway?
Posted by: Anonymous || 10/01/2003 21:21 Comments || Top||

#23  Saddam had a fair number of 155mm rounds. Those could easily be brought in.
Posted by: Dishman || 10/01/2003 22:14 Comments || Top||

#24  This may be a fake. Notice the Associated Press byline on the original story, yet it hasn't been picked up by any other news sites. Nor can I find it on any AP feeds.

I hope it's real, but for a 4-hour old story of such potential importance it doesn't appear to have 'wheels'.
Posted by: spiffo || 10/01/2003 22:38 Comments || Top||

#25  The warheads and any chemical would be put on a ship - it's not the kind of stuff you want to put on a plane, generally, and the warheads would be pretty heavy. Iraq's only big port is in US hands, Kuwait's isn't. Ship captains might be pretty easy to bribe to make a mid-ocean transfer, too. Or not - maybe that's where they got bit...
Posted by: mojo || 10/01/2003 22:40 Comments || Top||

#26  You might also think that the quoted
Arab newspaper
would run the story?

They do not.
Posted by: True German Ally || 10/01/2003 23:50 Comments || Top||

#27  http://famulus.msnbc.com/FamulusIntl/reuters10-02-045222.asp?reg=MIDEAST
Posted by: Anonymous || 10/03/2003 2:49 Comments || Top||


Sabotage Aimed at Keeping Electric Power for Outlying Regions
EFL:
Saboteurs who toppled 500 electric transmission towers across Iraq are not just looters or insurgents, but apparently also utility workers or others in outlying regions who want to deny power to Baghdad and keep it for themselves, U.S. and Iraqi engineers and officials report. Provincial cities are turning the tables after years under Saddam Hussein when they were starved of power so the capital could burn watts around the clock. "I know that Karbala and Hillah toppled the towers so as not to share with others," said a leading Iraqi electrical engineer, Baghdad University’s Nihad Mohammed al-Rawi, referring to two southern cities.
"It's our juice, and you can't have it!"
An Army Corps of Engineers task force from the United States is gathering this week in Baghdad to begin righting the downed pylons, among other urgent jobs in the campaign to restore Iraq’s electrical system to what it was before the U.S.-British invasion in March.
Which wasn't much...
The felled towers and severed lines are routinely blamed by U.S. officials on die-hard pro-Saddam "dead-enders" or on looters seeking valuable copper wiring. National power output, slowly improving, was believed to have hit 4,000 megawatts this week, approaching the prewar peak of 4,400, said Andy Bearpark, director of operations and infrastructure for the occupation agency, the Coalition Provisional Authority. But engineers say Iraq needs at least 6,000 megawatts, and Baghdad itself is meeting barely half its need. But Bearpark agrees that other Iraqis, not politically or criminally motivated, are a third force of saboteurs. "You are a disgruntled local resident who thinks, ’I have 24-hour power for the first time. Let me go and knock the tower down and be sure of it,’" he said in an interview at the authority’s headquarters in Saddam’s old Republican Palace.
He noted, however, that the southern city of Nasiriyah "is receiving 24 hours of electricity, which is something it has never gotten before." Some southern cities had electric power only half the day in the past, when Saddam’s regime neglected that Shiite Muslim region to solidify support in the capital and Iraq’s surrounding Sunni Muslim heartland.
All that money, all that fuel, and that's the best Sammy could do? He sure had lots of nice palaces, though. And statues...
Army engineers and al-Rawi, head of Baghdad University’s electrical engineering department, say they’re certain local authorities brought down many towers. "We have a control center in Baghdad and all power plants nationwide are feeding this center," al-Rawi said. "If you want to cut the connection from any power plant to the center, you must drop the tower." He said "there’s no question" this is what’s happening.
Maybe now would be the time to retool to independent grids...
Capt. Christopher Korpela, 29, of Boulder, Colo., who has worked on Iraq projects for months, noted that only an estimated 100 towers were down right after the war, most apparently from U.S. bombing. "Now there are 600 towers down around the country," said the Army Reserve engineer, who believes those wanting to keep electricity in the provinces are a significant factor. Of the falling towers, Maj. Edward C. Fort, 48, of Sciota, Ill., said, "We weren’t able to keep up with it." He also noted that "Nasiriyah’s got all the power."
"Hello, Abdul? This is Mahmoud, down in Nasiriyah. Hey, send us down some more light bulbs, wouldja?"
The two officers, interviewed at Baghdad’s al-Doura power plant, where they’re helping oversee major rehabilitation, belong to the 439th Engineers Battalion, based in Bismarck, N.D. The new task force, embarking on an intensive three-month campaign, will comprise up to 60 Army engineers, said Corps of Engineers spokeswoman Marilyn Phipps. It will be led by Brig. Gen. Steven Hawkins, commander of the corps region based in Cincinnati. One of their prime tasks will be to deploy enough giant cranes to get towers upright and transmission lines restored. Protecting those lines will then be a top priority, Bearpark said, involving everything from aerial reconnaissance to village guards.
Protecting transmission lines is a bitch.
Posted by: Steve || 10/01/2003 2:31:52 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [330 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The biggest problem with installing power in that area of the world won't be the fule for the generators. The cooling water would be the tough part.
I would think that you would need four 600MW generators set up in indivisual units like the Ohio River plant I worked at for DP&L. The plant is JM Stuart Station and might be a decent working model of what that type of power would cost.

I would build it directly on the gulf where the Seals took over those platforms at teh start of the war. Good local for importing equipment and for cooling water availability. I estimate $1B.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/01/2003 22:59 Comments || Top||


1st AD raids net suspected organizer
1st Armored Division soldiers raided five houses in Baghdad on Sunday night and early Monday, netting an Iraqi doctor suspected of organizing and carrying out attacks on coalition forces. The soldiers, from the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment and 1st Brigade Reconnaissance Troop, also found an AK-47 assault rifle hidden in a wall, a .45-caliber pistol, documents and tools possibly used for the manufacture of improvised explosive devices. No soldiers were killed or injured in the raid, which took place in the eastern part of Baghdad.
Hurrah for the 3rd Herd! (In my very early youth, I was with the 3/3rd FA...)
The doctor was turned over to a coalition detention center Monday. The 60-member scout team initially went to an abandoned house after receiving some intelligence reports. As the soldiers were approaching the house, the unit’s interpreter pointed out a man whom he believed was the doctor, said 1st Lt. Tommy Leslie. Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Pinion pressed the buzzer on the gate, and a man matching the doctor’s description answered the door. Scouts also saw a BMW purportedly belonging to the doctor in the courtyard.
A doctor with a Beemer, some things never change.
“I knew it was the guy,” Pinion said. “With the car and the [physical] description, it was him. Intel was perfect.”
"We got a winnerrrrr!"
The man was asked his name and he gave them an alias, but other Iraqis confirmed the man’s true identity. When asked if there were any weapons in the house, he told them that there was only the .45-caliber pistol.
"It’s my grandaddy’s shooting iron. Honest!"
"And my name really is Bob..."
The remaining residents were asked to wait outside as soldiers searched the house. Scouts made an initial sweep for other people, then made a detailed search for weapons. Sgt. Anthony Bach was searching one room when he saw loose bricks covering part of a wall. “I had kind of a movie flashback of people dropping weapons in the wall,” he said. Removing the bricks, he and another soldier looked in and saw something wrapped in a black plastic trash bag. Inside was the AK-47.
"Oh, Doc!"
Searchers found ammunition magazines, a bandoleer and cleaning kit in the house. Some ammunition was hidden in a Tupperware container at the back of a cabinet.
It’s the air tight seal, keeps ammo fresh for months!
The doctor later claimed that he had found the almost-new AK-47 and gear on the street.
"Yeah. Somebody just left it there. I just picked it up for safekeeping..."
"Nice try, Doc. Now git your hands up."
He was taken into coalition custody. Other residents were allowed back in the house as the team departed. Two other raids in the past month have netted bomb-making material, a large amount of Iraqi dinars and two large weapons caches, one of which included a flamethrower.
Flamethrower? Does anybody still make those?
Posted by: Steve || 10/01/2003 1:07:01 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [298 views] Top|| File under:

#1  possibly this guy talked to the 'doctors without borders' people who came up with the inflated estimate of baby deaths during the embargo days
Posted by: mhw || 10/01/2003 13:49 Comments || Top||

#2  Send the flamethrower to Afghanistan. They could use it every now and then.
Posted by: Anonymous || 10/01/2003 18:10 Comments || Top||

#3  Apparently the Algerian Army has a couple too
Posted by: Frank G || 10/01/2003 20:10 Comments || Top||


Misleading Headline in NYT / AP story
‘ Baghdad Police Open Fire on Demonstrators’
‘Iraqi police opened fire in downtown Baghdad Wednesday morning after jobless demonstrators stormed a police station and threw stones at officers, a policeman said. At least one demonstrator was injured in the shooting.’
Baghdad Police Fire on Rioters better describes the action

Posted by: Tresho || 10/01/2003 4:11:09 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [355 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I believe there was an incident when a police station in the British control area was stormed. The Iraqi police fled, leaving the brits to get killed.

THIS time, they shot back. Things are improving.
Posted by: Ptah || 10/01/2003 8:16 Comments || Top||

#2  Fox News reported it badly as well. Initial report was they fired on people looking for work, only after they talked about it a bit did they mention the throwing of stones, etc.
Posted by: Yank || 10/01/2003 11:09 Comments || Top||

#3  *Sigh*... I don't think this is *news* :-(
Posted by: snellenr || 10/01/2003 11:38 Comments || Top||

#4  Baghdad Police Fire on Rioters better describes the action

How about "Unruly Crowd Draws Police Response"?
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 10/01/2003 12:42 Comments || Top||

#5  NYT, April 15 1865:
"Disgruntled actor protests Lincoln theater visit"
Posted by: Atomic Conspiracy || 10/01/2003 21:39 Comments || Top||


Senate Panel OKs Bush’s $87B Iraq Plan
Republicans muscled President Bush’s $87 billion plan for Iraq and Afghanistan through a Senate committee Tuesday but signaled that they may ultimately defy the White House and structure some of the aid as a loan. The Senate Appropriations Committee approved the bill 29-0, with Democrats reluctant to oppose a bill dominated by funds for U.S. troops. But the unanimous tally belied sharp partisan divisions over $20.3 billion included for Iraqi reconstruction, and the fight on the Senate floor seems likely to last until after lawmakers return from a Columbus Day recess in mid-October. With even GOP senators flashing signs of unease over the Iraq rebuilding money, the panel’s chairman said a bipartisan compromise was being explored to provide some of the rebuilding assistance as loans that Iraq eventually would have to repay. It would envision that "part of it should be considered repayable when oil comes out of the ground" in Iraq, said Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Ted Stevens, R-Alaska. Administration officials have opposed transforming the reconstruction spending into loans. They say it would make it harder for Iraq’s economy to grow and would fuel Arab arguments that the United States is interested chiefly in Iraqi oil.
An important point.
On the other hand, that's a considerable cash drain. Our economy's got to grow, too...
The willingness of some GOP lawmakers to strike a deal, however, underscores how effectively Democrats have turned the plan’s $20.3 billion for Iraqi reconstruction into a political issue. "We oughtn’t be too fast to give away $20 billion if we can find a way not to," said Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., who is up for re-election next year. Democrats have built their political case, in part, by arguing that with record federal deficits and a weak domestic economy, Americans should not foot the entire cost of rebuilding a country with the world’s second largest oil reserves. "The president squandered the good will of our allies after Sept. 11, and now he is asking Congress to shovel money into the hole he has dug for himself in the international community," said Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia, the Appropriations panel’s top Democrat.
We could float the $20 billion easily if we cut every project named "The Robert Byrd Center for ..." from the budget.
I'm not too sure how good the will was, when it was "squandered" as soon as we did anything of substance...
By a party-line 15-14 vote, the committee rejected an amendment by Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., to remove the reconstruction money from the bill. Dorgan’s measure would have used Iraq’s potential future oil revenue to leverage loans and other investments it could have used for rebuilding in place of the $20.3 billion. The panel also voted 15-14 against a Byrd amendment that would have split the rebuilding funds into a separate bill. With support questionable for that portion of Bush’s request, the maneuver could have dealt a fatal blow to the money.
Which was Byrd's intent, of course. More money for the Robert Byrd Center for Folk Dancing in Huntington...
By the same margin, the committee killed a proposal by Byrd to erase provisions giving Bush flexibility on precisely how the $20.3 billion — and other portions of the bill — would be spent. In one of the few Democratic wins, the panel accepted an amendment by Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and others creating criminal penalties for war profiteering in Iraq.
That’s fair, as long as it isn’t used to harass American companies brought in to get the job done.
Betcha a dollar somebody tries to bring charges against Bechtel and Halliburton in about a year under those provisions — probably in late September or early October, just before the election...
The faster the $20.3 billion is provided, the safer American soldiers there will be, and the sooner they can get home, Republicans said. "Our troops become larger and larger targets as more and more dissidents come out into the streets as a result of living conditions," Stevens said.
I'm not at all convinced the living conditions are the driver. But the Devil does find work for idle hands...
The overall bill mostly rubber-stamps the request Bush announced Sept. 7. Members of both parties are strongly behind its $65.6 billion for U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan during the government’s new budget year, which begins Wednesday. Of that total, $51 billion for is for Iraq, $11 billion for Afghanistan and the rest for Pentagon efforts against terrorists elsewhere.
PLEASE, Senators Kerry and Edwards, vote ’no’ on this.
But eyeing next year’s presidential and congressional elections, Democrats have singled out specific items in Bush’s request for Iraqi reconstruction and argued that the spending drains money from U.S. needs at home. Examples include $20 million to train Iraqi entrepreneurs in "business fundamentals and concepts" with a four-week course costing $10,000 per pupil, and $82 million to start an Iraqi Coast Guard. "As we put more money into Iraq, we take it out of our schools, our hospitals and our Social Security trust fund," said Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill.
... predictably.
The GOP-run House isn’t expected to write its version of the bill until next week. Its working draft of the bill will call for the $20.3 billion to be in grants, not loans, said Rep. Bill Young, R-Fla., chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. Asked if he was willing to compromise on the issue, Young said, "I’m certainly willing to discuss it." Democrats who were among a bipartisan group of 17 representatives who spent last weekend in Iraq told reporters Tuesday that they support the reconstruction funds and would oppose making that money a loan.
That ought to do it.
Posted by: Steve White || 10/01/2003 12:56:11 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [725 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Robert Byrd is the poster child for racism in this country, why that republic.....what he's a democrat, well he was just kidding about them boys he helped string up, i'm sure of it, just as sure as I am that Teddy Kennedy was not drunk on that fateful night long ago , but had just had a tuna sandwich and could not go in the water to save Mary Jo.....
Posted by: wills || 10/01/2003 1:06 Comments || Top||

#2  You want the Kleagle on board? Operation Iraqi Freedom has now been renamed Operation Senator Robert Byrd. Or tack on a rider to the bill creating the Robert Byrd Center for the Study of Inbreeding in West Virginia. He'll jump to be on the team.
Posted by: tu3031 || 10/01/2003 8:52 Comments || Top||

#3  dems making a mistake on this.

Should be focusing on Admins INADEQUATE approach to nationbuilding, not pushing to make it smaller. If GOP can show security strength as party of military competence, Dems can stake out ground as superior nation builders - going against nation building AND war seems a dead end. Money is an issue? Go after the tax cuts, the corp execs, and the rich, not the poor Iraqis.

Still wishing for a Dem who is tough on US enemies abroad and on the privileged at home, like a Truman.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 10/01/2003 9:52 Comments || Top||

#4  LH, I think they (Dems) saw a little bit of Truman in Clark. Whatever the cost, we should NOT leave the work in Iraq undone. I don't even want to think of what will happen if we leave before an elected body is sworn in. If you want some prospective on what is happening in Iraq, look at the history of the secular politics of Turkey and how they got there. We have cut about ten years of civil strife into about six months (maybe).
Posted by: Cyber Sarge (VRWC CA Chapter) || 10/01/2003 10:59 Comments || Top||

#5  PLEASE, Senators Kerry and Edwards, vote ’no’ on this.

According to past practice, they are bound to miss the vote.
Posted by: john || 10/01/2003 12:44 Comments || Top||

#6  No money, shades of 1975 stopping funding to the South Vietnamese.

And we know how well that turned out.

GOP can use this if the Dems get ornery.

Of course, I also want the pubbies to stop the energy bill.....
Posted by: Anonymous || 10/01/2003 13:03 Comments || Top||

#7  Spartacus did the math and prose, and I put up a table that compares this aid, and the Marshall Plan. Follow the Plan link and see just how much aid France got from us. Not that I would pick on France for any particular reason...
Posted by: Chuck Simmins || 10/01/2003 14:19 Comments || Top||

#8  Dems can stake out ground as superior nation builders - going against nation building AND war seems a dead end. Money is an issue? Go after the tax cuts, the corp execs, and the rich, not the poor Iraqis.

Heh, it would not be a very smart idea for Democrats to bite the hand that feeds them. :)
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 10/01/2003 18:34 Comments || Top||


Southeast Asia
Philippines claims to have captured key member of Abu Sayyaf
Police in the Philippines claim they have arrested a key member of the Abu Sayyaf rebel group. Police in the southern Philippines say they have captured Abu Sulaiman, the deputy of Abu Sayyaf leader, Khadaffy Janjalani. Sulaiman was arrested along with another Abu Sayyaf member. Our reporter in Manila, Shirley Escalante, says during questioning he reportedly gave another identity and denied being an officer of a kidnap group.
"Bob. My name's Bob."
"If your name's Bob, why're you wearing a turban?"
But police believe they have captured the right-hand man of the leader of the Abu Sayyaf, which has abducted foreigners and locals and held them for ransom.
Good arrest, Abu Sayyaf is more of a gang for profit than a rebel group. Not that there is much difference.
Posted by: Steve || 10/01/2003 9:13:09 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [273 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Sounds like a general did not receive his payoff this month. Tsk...tsk...tsk... Got to keep up with the expenses.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 10/01/2003 9:29 Comments || Top||


Fears APEC may be missile target
Thai authorities are hunting for surface-to-air missiles smuggled in from Cambodia, a minister said amid fears the weapons were destined for use in attacks during this month’s APEC summit. "Concerning the SAM (missiles), we have discussed it almost every week in meetings of intelligence agencies and we have been hunting them for a long time," Deputy Prime Minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh told reporters. Authorities had been searching for the shoulder-launched weapons for a month, said Chavalit, who is responsible for security matters. They were monitoring a group believed to be responsible for bringing the missiles into Thailand from Cambodia, which has a thriving illegal weapons market, and were coordinating with neighbouring nations in the case, he said.
That would be Cambodia, where the missiles came from, and Malaysia, where the money came from...
The Bangkok Post said there were six missiles on the loose and that they were believed to be similar to two fired at a chartered Israeli commercial jet as it was taking off in the Kenyan city of Mombasa last year. Thailand is rolling out elaborate security precautions to protect 21 world leaders including US President George W Bush due at the October 20-21 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit. A Thai security official told AFP last month that alleged terror chief Hambali, who was captured in Thailand in August, had admitted planning to use missiles to attack commercial airliners, as well as bomb embassies and tourist zones in Bangkok. An Israeli television report said Thai police had thwarted an al-Qaeda plan to attack the airline in Bangkok and arrested a man at Don Muang international airport allegedly filming around the El Al counter. But Major General Eakarat Meeprecha from the police Central Investigation Bureau (CIB), said the hunt for the missiles was an over-reaction triggered by another police division, the Crime Suppression Bureau (CSB). He said the CIB had asked the CSB to check reports the weapons had been smuggled into the country but there had been no need for it to set up an investigative team and circulate a letter on the issue to all police agencies.
On the other hand, if they're right and Meep's wrong, things won't be pretty, will they? Best to err on the side of caution...
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 10/01/2003 6:00:30 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [299 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Hope Cheney's heart is up to it.

So, who's VP if they get lucky?

Rudy?? Condi????
Posted by: Anonymous || 10/01/2003 13:14 Comments || Top||


Home Front
Illegal alien rally in Washington D.C.

(Free use)

WASHINGTON - Hundreds of immigrant workers and their supporters rolled into the nation’s capital Wednesday, bringing their "freedom ride" for better treatment to the halls of Congress.

They came on 18 buses from Seattle, San Francisco, Miami, Minneapolis and six other cities - with nearly 900 participants representing about 50 countries.

Any with Venezuelan papers?

Inspired by the original freedom riders of the 1960s, who boarded buses to protest segregation, the immigrant riders used their bus tour to gain support for legalization of ILLEGAL undocumented workers, better working conditions and reforms to hasten the reunification of families.

"This is to show that there are bad laws hurting good people," said Dave Glaser, national director of the Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride.

Sorry but ’good people’ dont break federal laws -- these are CRIMINALS and should be depoted.

The immigrants stopped in about 100 cities and towns on their way to Washington, where they were greeted on a cool, fall afternoon with red-white-and-blue balloons, signs reading "Justice for all" and lots of food - hot dogs, hamburgers, popcorn and snow cones.

Organizers said they received mostly warm receptions along the way to Washington - a sharp contrast to the original freedom riders, who were met with angry mobs and mass arrests.

Araceli Zarate arrived on the bus from Minneapolis, and had tears streaming down her face as she talked about how she hasn’t seen two of her children - who are still in Mexico - for six years.

Then go back to Mexico!

"We work hard and all we want is to do is to find a future for our children," she said.

Then do things Legally. There *is* a legal process.

Muradieu Joseph, an immigrant who fled Haiti in 1991 and came on the bus from Boston, said he’s living the American dream now with a job, a car and a place to live.

"Immigrants are not coming to bother anybody, they’re coming to help build this country and make the nation greater," Joseph said.

The Federation for American Immigration Reform, which seeks to sharply reduce immigration, said the new freedom ride "created a whole new category of outrageousness."

Linking their freedom ride to the 1960s "is an insult to the intellect of the American public," said David Ray, a spokesman for the federation. "First, illegal aliens thumb their noses at our immigration laws and then they try to paint themselves as victims."

I agree.

Organizers declined to say how many participants were undocumented workers.

Wait.. if they can take this freedom ride all over the country... are they ’workers’?

The immigrants plan to lobby Congress on Thursday before getting back on their buses and heading to a rally planned for Saturday in New York.


I would like to point out that I am not against immigrants -- I married one (a legal immigrant)! I am just against ILLEGAL immigrants (and their supporters) who break our federal laws and pose a legitimate danger to our nation. There *is* a legal process for people to immigrate to the United States and there are thousands of people waiting their turn (some for years) to immigrate legally. These assholes are attempting to cut in line.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 10/01/2003 8:00:48 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [408 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I hope none of my union dues are going to pay for this.
Just last week, a really good friend of mine from India said he was starting the paperwork to get citizenship. He's been here, legally, for 10 years. The sad thing is that a couple of years ago I would have been excited for him. Now, considering all the "rights" that illegals get in the name of political correctness, I was tempted to ask him why he was bothering to do it.
Posted by: Baba Yaga || 10/01/2003 20:24 Comments || Top||

#2  Not counting the inserted comments and the comment by Mr. Ray, how many times does the word "illegal" appear in this article?

..the immigrant riders used their bus tour to gain support for legalization of undocumented workers,


Think for a moment: what would be one reason (the main reason, probably) that these "immigrants" would want to gain support for "undocumented" workers?

Had the INS pulled over these buses, checked the status of their occupants and taken the illegal ones into custody, it's quite possible that the only ones left would be one or two guides/translators and the driver for each bus.

..better working conditions and reforms to hasten the reunification of families.


If being with family is that important, GO HOME.

Araceli Zarate arrived on the bus from Minneapolis, and had tears streaming down her face as she talked about how she hasn’t seen two of her children - who are still in Mexico - for six years.


Somewhere, a very very small violin is playing....

Muradieu Joseph, an immigrant who fled Haiti in 1991 and came on the bus from Boston, said he’s living the American dream now with a job, a car and a place to live.

"Immigrants are not coming to bother anybody, they’re coming to help build this country and make the nation greater," Joseph said.


Notice the conflation of legal immigration with illegal immigration. This is an insult to every single person that played by the rules to get here.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 10/01/2003 20:39 Comments || Top||

#3  Boy, they sure have some good timing. With unemployment still high and the country not yet recovered from recession, they want better treatment for illegal workers? I wonder how much attention they'll get from politicians regardless since they can't vote!

Muradieu Joseph, an immigrant who fled Haiti in 1991 and came on the bus from Boston, said he’s living the American dream now with a job, a car and a place to live.

So what the hell is he doing demonstrating in Washington if his life is so damn "dreamy"? How hypocritical is that? "My life is great. I want more. I want you to give it to me. Oh, by the way, I'm not supposed to be here."

If he's illegally here, is he getting paid under the table and paying any taxes like the rest of us working stiffs who are expected to pay for the extra benefits he seeks?

I would have liked to have read some specific details in the article about what exactly constitutes "better treatment" in their book.
Posted by: Dar || 10/01/2003 20:56 Comments || Top||

#4  They've got a site covering their movement at http://www.iwfr.org/. The sponsors list includes AFL-CIO, ACLU, and about every CA state legislator.

I'd like to tell one of the organizers that I will be inviting myself over to their house and sleeping on the couch. I'll be quiet at first and live on some snacks. But after a couple weeks I'm going to demand to sit at the table and share your dinner. And I want to be on your insurance plan. Oh, and did I mention my family is outside and also wants in?
Posted by: Dar || 10/01/2003 21:13 Comments || Top||

#5  Dar...unfortunately, illegals will be voting at a polling booth near you very soon. The political pander-bears in New York and California are doing everything in their power to make it so. Here in CA...it started with Motor-Voter registration. Then the Dems shove through their Drivier's License for Illegals bill and voila! Illegal's get the vote. It's worse in NYC, they're coming right out and saying they want to hand the vote straight over. Such actions clearly show the Dems to be the 2nd greatest threat this nation faces....right behind the islamofascists....who will soon be voting in our elections themselves. Think about it.
Posted by: Rex Mundi || 10/01/2003 23:26 Comments || Top||

#6  Dar: or not voting near you, according to your post time. Anyway....that's the scene here. Fortunately, we still have enough true citizens to recall these socialists and throw them out on their collectivest arses.
Posted by: Rex Mundi || 10/01/2003 23:30 Comments || Top||


Pentagon probing Saudi role in chaplain spy scandal
From Geostrategy-Direct...subscription required...
The U.S. Defense Department has been quietly investigating the role of Saudi Arabia in the espionage scandal at the prison on Guantanamo Bay. The investigation concerns whether the group of U.S. soldiers who provided classified information did so under a false flag operation. This means that the soldiers thought they were working for Syria, but were actually spying for Saudi Arabia.
Saudis comprise one of the largest groups of Al Qaida detainees and the kingdom has sought contact with some of its nationals.
Some of the prisoners are children of prominent Saudis and Riyadh has pressed hard for their release.
The Pentagon is also exploring the Saudi role in recruiting Muslim chaplains for the U.S. military. It turns out that the Saudi military encouraged U.S. soldiers to convert to Islam during the U.S. military presence there over the last 12 years.
The Saudi Royal Air Force financed the proselytizing of U.S. air personnel in the kingdom, including providing free trips to American servicemen to make the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca. More than a few U.S. soldiers took up the offer and eventually converted to Islam while maintaining ties to the kingdom.
Nice friends, the Saudis...
I hope working with them reaps enough rewards to offset the backstabbing and twisting of the dagger that they have been doing since 9-11 and before. The Saudis are lower than whale dung on the bottom of the ocean. One step below child molesters.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 10/01/2003 3:54:53 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [354 views] Top|| File under:

#1  This spins me up. They have us by the nads and they know it. I wish we could work out a deal to buy all of our oil from Russia.
Posted by: Yosemite Sam || 10/01/2003 16:15 Comments || Top||

#2  We get 8% of our oil from Saudi. If we could get ANWR on line, much of that need would be met and we could tell them to take their crude and shove it into a dark space. This is what happens when environmentalist wack jobs start dictating energy policy. Better wake up, people, and come up with a real, public, coherent energy policy, or we will be going to war with Saudi, and it won't be for terror.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 10/01/2003 16:39 Comments || Top||

#3  AP, I think terror is a good enough reason, myself. We can always get the oil from whoever we decide to put in charge afterward.
Posted by: Steve || 10/01/2003 16:45 Comments || Top||

#4  I have to disagree about the idea that there is some big advantage to be gained by replacing Saudi (or other) oil for US consumption. This is purely artificial. We could replace it today, from other sources, and it would make no difference at all. Oil is basically a fungible commodity. The critical issue is that Saudi oil is essential to the world economy and Saudi oil will continue to earn the Saudis enormous amounts of money.
Posted by: buwaya || 10/01/2003 16:48 Comments || Top||

#5  buwaya---I agree on your point, as oil is indeed a fungable commodity. The world, in the big picture, needs to diversify its energy sources, so we are not hostage to a psychopathic middle east. I do not think that the western world is willing to go in to the ME countries, kick everyone's ass and reform their melons so we are not financing our ownd destruction with our own money. This is a huge task of redoing the west's energy resources. Unfortunately we have pissed away almost 30 years since the embargo, and we have some serious catching up to do. This will take decades, but it would be good to make a real serious start. Some progress will put some fear into the Arabs' hearts, and may alleviate some of the tension.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 10/01/2003 17:00 Comments || Top||

#6  One step below child molesters.

I object to this statement. Usually they're not above child molesters and as often are the same thing. (See Pat Roush and countless other kidnappees' parents - bring back Rep. Dan Burton [R-Indiana]!)
Posted by: Lu Baihu || 10/01/2003 18:27 Comments || Top||

#7  There is a misconception that the US imports oil from these ME countries. US oil companies are all multi-nationals that purchase the oil commodity at the prevailing price. The US doesn't buy a tanker load from Saudi Arabia or any other country.

Our involvement in teh Persian Gulf has always been about oil since the early 70's, but never to secure tankers coming from Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia or any other country in the area. Our goal was and continues to be to protect the free trade of oil for the world market.

We started protecting trade routes in the 1800's and have continued that importnat mission throughout. We allowed Kuwaitti tankers to use the US flag during the Iran-Iraq war and escorted them into the Gulf of Oman even though the government of Kuwait looked down their nose at our navy the entire time. The fact that they were disagreable people didn't make the mission less important.

I am pretty sure that most of the actual oil coming in to the states is oil from South America, Mexico or Canada, but that too doesn't make protecting free trade less important.

Its sort of agravating that the countries that accuse us of being intersted in stealing oil are the same countries whose economies are dependent on relaible oil supples that we protect.

I repeat my perpetual rant: if the US were an imperialist power, we would ahve already have annexed Venesuala. The US doesn't do the empire deal because we still haven't figured out how to get out of the bad deal we cut with Puerto Rico.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/01/2003 22:47 Comments || Top||


Latin America
Terror Close to Home
The article is too long to post, so as they say, read it all.
It looks like the Marxist pygmies and the Islamofascist pygmies are morphing together in the hope of becoming big enough to take on the US

Venezuela is providing support—including identity documents—that could prove useful to radical Islamic groups, say U.S. officials. U.S. News has learned that Chavez’s government has issued thousands of cedulas, the equivalent of Social Security cards, to people from places such as Cuba, Colombia, and Middle Eastern nations that play host to foreign terrorist organizations. An American official with firsthand knowledge of the ID scheme has seen computer spreadsheets with names of people organized by nationality. "The list easily totaled several thousand," the official says. "Colombians were the largest group; there were more than a thousand of them. It also included many from Middle Eastern `countries of interest’ like Syria, Egypt, Pakistan, Lebanon." The official adds: "It was shocking to see how extensive the list was." U.S. officials believe that the Venezuelan government is issuing the documents to people who should not be getting them and that some of these cedulas were subsequently used to obtain Venezuelan passports and even American visas, which could allow the holder to elude immigration checks and enter the United States. U.S. officials say that the cedulas are also being used by Colombian subversives and by some Venezuelan officials to travel surreptitiously.
Hugo's going to do something dumb enough one of these days that we're going to do something about him besides hope he goes away.
Posted by: tipper. || 10/01/2003 12:01:05 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [346 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Keep it up, Hugo. Sign your own death warrant.
Posted by: tu3031 || 10/01/2003 12:07 Comments || Top||

#2  U.S. News has learned that Chavez’s government has issued thousands of cedulas, the equivalent of Social Security cards, to people from places such as Cuba, Colombia, and Middle Eastern nations that play host to foreign terrorist organizations.

What about those "Matricula Consular" cards? Same inherent flaw: it's a foreign government that is giving them out, and thinking that they have the U.S.' best interests in mind when issuing them would be terribly naive, to say the least.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 10/01/2003 12:33 Comments || Top||

#3  Hmmm, if Arnold becomes gov, could he use national security to overturn or put on a recall ballot the matricular cards?
Posted by: Anonymous || 10/01/2003 13:07 Comments || Top||

#4  In line with the Bush Doctrine regarding terrorist and those who support them, I hope that there are "boots on the ground". Think any Saudi cash is being spread around?
Posted by: Lucky || 10/01/2003 13:09 Comments || Top||

#5  You're asking for trouble coming out the ass, Chafe-ezz
Posted by: Katz || 10/01/2003 13:38 Comments || Top||

#6  Carlos the Jackel was from here.
Posted by: Chuck Simmins || 10/01/2003 14:20 Comments || Top||

#7  Spec Ops would be perfect to eliminate a base just over the Columbian border as an example.
Posted by: Superhose || 10/01/2003 16:45 Comments || Top||

#8  Earlier this year IIRC the CSM had an article about some interesting stuff going on down there.

Like all these buyers of oil who didn't have a clue but had cash.
Posted by: Anonymous || 10/01/2003 18:13 Comments || Top||

#9  Why didn't we support the coupsters, when they had Chavez out? The 'New Tone' strikes again. Bush has bent so far over backwards, that he's looking forward again.
Posted by: Jabba the Nutt || 10/01/2003 23:12 Comments || Top||


Home Front
L.T. Smash Revealed!
But now that I’m safely back home and off active duty, the truth can be told:

I am he,
And he is me,
And we are we,
And now we’re all together.
I am The Indepundit.
I am L.T. Smash.
I am the Walrus.
Goo goo g’joob.
Posted by: Steve || 10/01/2003 11:40:59 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [284 views] Top|| File under:

#1  ..Ha! Obviously an attempt to mislead us. Everybody knows that John was the Walrus, and Paul was the Eggman.

Mike
Posted by: Mike Kozlowski || 10/01/2003 14:26 Comments || Top||

#2  Paul was the Eggman

Paul is dead, didn't you get the word? You have to play the "Abby Road" album backward and listen real close.
Posted by: Steve || 10/01/2003 14:41 Comments || Top||


Middle East
Mossad agents arrested in ’’Arab country’’
An Arab country has recently arrested Israeli Mossad agents, which were plotting to assassinate high-level Hamas political leaders abroad, including the head of the movement politburo Khaled Meshaal, a top Hamas official was quoted as saying on Wednesday.
Might be Mossad, might be just somebody off the street.
In an exclusive statement to IslamOnline.net, Mohammad Nazal, a member of the Hamas politburo, said officials in the said "Arab country", notified the movement leaders they must take utmost precautionary measures in their movements. Nazal declined, however, to specifically name the Arab country, but sources have speculated the "Arab country" is Syria.
When I hear of high-level Hamas leaders, I think of Syria too.
"Israel is still adamant on its policy of assassinating Hamas leaders in and outside Palestine but the movement has been able to thwart such schemes by adopting strict security measures," Nazal confirmed. Press reports suggest that Meshaal, who moves among a number of Arab countries, was last seen in Qatar.
Really? Have to talk to Qatar about that.
Posted by: Steve || 10/01/2003 11:01:04 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [262 views] Top|| File under:

#1  doubt they actually got a Mossad agent, more likely somebody didn't like somebody else and accused them of being 'zionist informers'

anyway, while the murder wantabees are busy changing their cell phone every hour, etc. it makes them less effective raising funds, recruiting cannon fodder, etc.
Posted by: mhw || 10/01/2003 11:06 Comments || Top||

#2  If they DID actually catch a Mossad agent, I suggest releasing him/her IMMEDIATELY.

You really, really don't want to piss those guys off.
Posted by: mojo || 10/01/2003 11:23 Comments || Top||

#3  If you see them, they're not Mossad.
Posted by: Matt || 10/01/2003 11:24 Comments || Top||

#4  Somebody call Canada and see if any businessmen have turned up missing.
Posted by: BH || 10/01/2003 11:35 Comments || Top||

#5  This story has got to be an Arab/Hamas plant. Trying to get a surveillance target to move, maybe?
Posted by: badanov || 10/01/2003 13:49 Comments || Top||


Half of IJ cell that killed 7-year-old arrested
JPost Reg req’d
Shin Bet agents, aided by IDF troops have captured three members of the Islamic Jihad cell which carried out the attack on the Trans-Israel Highway this summer that killed a seven-year-old girl.
I guess with Hamas hiding under their beds this week IJ is at the top of the poop list...
But three other members, including the leader of the cell who opened fire on the car, filled with a family returning late at night from a relative’s bar mitzvah, have not been caught.
Obviously they know who they are tho’ - hope they sleep well waiting for the IDF to call
The June 17 attack killed Noam Leibovitch and seriously wounded her younger sister and lightly wounded her elder brother and grandfather. The gunman had sneaked through a culvert under the security wall and riddled the Leibovitch family car and another vehicle with automatic gunfire. He then bravely fled back to Kalkilya in the West Bank.
Can’t have culverts under the fence, guys
The terrorist cell used a cafe and mosque in Kalkilya to plan the attack and distribute weapons and money funneled from abroad, security sources said.
what a surprise! The ROP strikes again
Ah, yes. The internationally famous Mahmoud's Mosque and Good Eats. Felafel and RDX Our Specialty. A unique dining experience...
Security sources revealed Tuesday that two weeks ago forces nabbed two members of the cell, Muhammad Sharim, 20 and Ibrahim Atia, 18, both recent high school graduates now prison bitches. Their names were known following the intense beating and giggle juice interrogation of Omar Shubeki, 21, who was arrested on August 28. Shubeki told interrogators Sharim came up with the idea to stage an attack on the newly opened Trans-Israel Highway. He said that he helped open the culvert and drove the get-away car. He also said his bank account was used to channel funding from Islamic Jihad activists abroad to pay for terrorist activity in Kalkilya.
"Abroad" being Syria or perhaps Lebanon, working as a funnel for Iran...
The other cell members who have yet to be captured were identified as Tarek Hassin, 25, the cell leader and the one who pulled the trigger, Samah Shubeki, 23, and Muhammad Atia, 19, who was armed with a pistol and guarded Hassin during the attack.
Y'get the idea some of these guys might be related? Thought so...
The six would meet at the Al-Aula Cafe in Kalkilya where details of the attack were drawn up, security sources said. They also met at the Kalkilya Country Club pool, where Atia worked. Hassin told them all that "zero hour had come" and that it was easy to infiltrate through the culvert.
Country Club pool? I thought the Israeli fence was leading them to hunger and deprivation?
On the evening of the attack, Samah and Omar Shubeki forced an opening in the culvert and they all met at the Old Kalkilya Mosque after prayers and set out for the ambush, security sources said. "The cell used a mosque, a holy site meant for worship, and other innocent meeting places as a cover for hostile terrorist actions," said an officer.
The Religion of Peace™
Posted by: Frank G || 10/01/2003 10:53:37 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [352 views] Top|| File under:

#1 
The terrorist cell used a cafe and mosque in Kalkilya to plan the attack and distribute weapons and money funneled from abroad, security sources said.

You perpetrate terror, your mosque becomes rubble.
Your imam is imprisoned and/or exiled.
If they are going to use religious sites to plan attacks, they become legitemate military targets.
Posted by: Celissa || 10/01/2003 13:25 Comments || Top||

#2  Too bad it wasn't just the top halves.
Posted by: Chuck Simmins || 10/01/2003 14:21 Comments || Top||

#3  Let's see, one culvert under a wall. Now in Baghdad we have just confiscated a flamethrower. Place the flamethrower at a 45 deg angle in a hole made at the top of the culvert, pointed toward Paleostine. When infiltrators use the culvert, turn on the flamethrower and observe the "afterburner effect." After cooling, rod out refuse, reset and wait for the next one.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 10/01/2003 18:47 Comments || Top||

#4  smells like....Al-Aska Paul's Victory BBQ
Posted by: Frank G || 10/01/2003 20:22 Comments || Top||

#5  Even better... Place a round manhole cover vertically in a slit at the Israeli end of the culvert. Place an IR trigger about halfway down the culvert. When the IR beam is broken, the manhole cover pops up, a set amount of propane and air is sprayed into the culvert, and set off. They won't go into orbit, but it'll be a cold day in Hades before anybody tries to use THAT culvert for ANYTHING again.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 10/02/2003 0:32 Comments || Top||


Another IJ "Activist" shot dead
A member of the Islamic Jihad was killed on Wednesday afternoon during an Israeli army operation near the West Bank town of Tulkarem, a Palestinian source said. At least four other Palestinians were wounded. Palestinian sources identified the dead activist as Mazen Badawi.
Goodbye.
Not too active anymore, is he?
Posted by: Steve || 10/01/2003 10:46:31 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [275 views] Top|| File under:

#1  IJ doesn't seem to think they're on the same list as Hamas...nice to know they are
Posted by: Frank G || 10/01/2003 11:03 Comments || Top||

#2  Raisins! Get yer raisins here! All good martyrs gotta get their rasins. What? A twenty? Wassa matter with you Badawi I just started......raisins!
Posted by: Rex Mundi || 10/01/2003 12:20 Comments || Top||

#3  Not too active anymore, is he?

I would guess that the guy is now a rigor mortivist.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 10/01/2003 12:36 Comments || Top||

#4  Bomb-a-Rama...

I'd say he was now an Inactivist.
Posted by: Hodadenon || 10/01/2003 13:34 Comments || Top||

#5  Folks,

Instead of saying the IDF shot him, or killed him, or whatever, wouldn't the journalists be truer to their own metaphor by saying the individual had been deactivated?
Posted by: Hodadenon || 10/01/2003 13:36 Comments || Top||

#6  I'd say he was now an Inactivist.

I dunno, pushing up daisies does require a bit of effort.... ;)
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 10/01/2003 14:30 Comments || Top||


Africa: West
Attempt to kill Liberian Rebel Leader
Gunmen opened fire on Wednesday on a motorcade carrying Liberia’s rebel leader into the capital for the first time, sparking heavy firing in crowded neighbourhoods with AK-47s and rocket-launchers. There was no immediate word of any casualties. Sekou Conneh, top leader of Liberia’s triumphant rebel movement, was being escorted by West African peacekeepers to a meeting with new Liberian President Moses Blah. Conneh, whose fighters helped topple warlord-president Charles Taylor on August 11, had left the rebel stronghold of Tubmanburg early on Wednesday, accompanied by hundreds of followers, for Monrovia. An Associated Press reporter accompanying the delegation heard unknown gunmen open fire on the motorcade.
It’s just their way of welcoming him to town with a 21 gun salute, at point blank range.
Conneh’s car sped away, with the rebel leader inside, while other rebels whipped out their rods pulled out automatic weapons and rocket launchers and opened fire.
"I’ve got your salute right here, pal!"
It was not immediately clear what triggered the outburst. Witnesses closer to the shooting reported a confrontation between rebel and government forces.
Didn’t like the cut of his wig, most likely.
With gunfire continuing, residents fled the eastern neighborhoods of the fight.
Just like old times, we’ve been gone what, 24 hours?
Posted by: Steve || 10/01/2003 10:39:58 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [266 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Say hello to my leetle friend!
Posted by: PBMcL || 10/01/2003 11:50 Comments || Top||

#2  I don't think that Blah is going to work out as the bridge-builder that Liberia needs. He needs to have an accident.
Posted by: Superhose || 10/01/2003 12:28 Comments || Top||


Home Front
Third man held in Guantanamo spy probe
Edited for new details:
An ex-U.S. soldier contracted by the military as an Arabic-language translator has become the third person arrested in connection with an espionage investigation at the U.S. naval base prison for suspected al Qaeda and Taliban members in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Ahmed Fathy Mehalba, a U.S. citizen of Egyptian descent, was arrested Monday after arriving on a flight from Cairo to Boston where officials searching his bags found a compact disc containing classified information. A military spokeswoman last night said Mr. Mehalba served as an enlisted man in the Army for a short period in 2001 but was discharged without reaching a rank above private first class.
That explains his hiring as a translator, they saw he was ex-military and didn’t look much deeper.
According to a criminal complaint filed by the FBI yesterday, when authorities apprehended Mr. Mehalba at Boston’s Logan International Airport, he told them he was contracted to work as a linguist for the Army and showed a Guantanamo Bay identification badge. It was not immediately clear yesterday when Mr. Mehalba worked at the prison camp or what sort of access he may have had to classified materials there. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers began conducting a routine inspection of Mr. Mehalba’s luggage on Monday after his flight arrived from Cairo, via Milan, Italy. When a further inspection turned up a case of suspicious compact discs including one reportedly containing the classified information, Mr. Mehalba was arrested by agents from the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Boston Joint Terrorism Task Force.
Wonder why they were so suspicious of the CD’s?
You don't think they might have been looking for an Arab guy with a stack of CDs, do you?
The criminal complaint filed by the FBI in U.S. District Court in Boston said Mr. Mehalba was arrested for lying to officials, telling them "he was not in possession of classified government information." According to the complaint, officials searching a black, soft-sided Army bag in Mr. Mehalba’s possession discovered more than 100 compact discs including one disc containing "classified information including a document labeled ’SECRET.’ " The complaint says that Mr. Mehalba denied knowing how the file got on the disc.
"Somebody musta left it there..."
After telling investigators the discs contained personal documents, he said that "he bought the CDs in Guantanamo Bay, that they were purchased as blanks, that [he] also purchased a computer in Guantanamo Bay and that he downloaded information from the computer onto the discs."
Sure you did. Better have a bill of sale and the name of who sold you the computer.
"He claimed he could not have downloaded secret files from the government computers," the complaint states.
This next part is brand new information.
The 12-page criminal complaint also makes reference to the December 2001 case of Army Spc. Deborah M. Gephardt, a student at the Army’s Counter-Intelligence School at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., who had been arrested for vehicle theft at that time.
That’ll mess up your career.
Mr. Mehalba reported for the interrogator course at the Army’s intelligence school at Fort Huachuca in November 2001 and was discharged in May 2001 when he failed to complete the course, according to Pat Dillingham, a spokeswoman at the fort.
This was his brief Army career, he gets booted in 2001 for failing interrogator school, and gets hired later as a translator working with interrogators. Good move, guys.
If he arrived in November 2001, he probably got the boot in May 2002. Usually they don't boot you before you get there...
Citing an FBI report of Spc. Gephardt’s arrest, the criminal complaint filed against Mr. Mehalba says a search of the specialist’s "quarters revealed a stolen laptop and classified counterintelligence training material."
Hummm
The complaint also said Mr. Mehalba told authorities upon his arrest that he and Spc. Gephardt "were in the Army together" and that she was his girlfriend at Fort Huachuca.
I think somebody needs to have a long talk with Debby.
Mr. Mehalba "once told Gephardt that [his] uncle was an intelligence officer for the Egyptian Army," the complaint said.
I see a pattern, he enlisted in the U.S. Army as a intelligence specialist. Got kicked out after failing the interrogator portion of the course. Saw a chance to get back in as a civilian when we put out a call for Arabic speakers to act as translators. This guy sounds like an agent.
Or a wannabe secret agent...
Posted by: Steve || 10/01/2003 10:02:34 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [271 views] Top|| File under:

#1  More details coming out:
The latest man arrested was identified as Egyptian-American Ahmed Fathy Mehalba, 31. He is a civilian who formerly served in the Army and twice started but failed to complete a military intelligence course to become an interrogator, two defense officials said on condition of anonymity. Mehalba was medically discharged from the Army in May 2001 and later hired by a private defense contractor to be a translator at the prison in Guantanamo Bay, they said. Officials said they had no further information on why he didn't complete the courses, nor what the medical discharge was for.
Officials said they had been watching Mehalba and that still others were being investigated. The arrest of a second translator raised new concern about how the military had checked the dozens of translators needed to help with interrogations of al-Qaida and Taliban suspects whose native languages include Arabic, Pashto, Dari and Uighur. At a brief hearing Tuesday afternoon in U.S. District Court in Boston, Mehalba entered no plea to a charge of making false statements and was detained pending another hearing scheduled for Oct. 8. He could face up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 if convicted of the charge.
Mehalba, wearing jeans and an orange golf shirt, said nothing during the hearing, except to tell the judge that he could not afford his own attorney. Michael Andrews, the attorney who represented Mehalba at Tuesday's hearing, said, "He intends to vigorously defend himself against these charges."
Mehalba was arrested Monday at Boston's Logan International Airport after authorities found classified information in his possession, officials said Tuesday. Dennis Murphy, a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, said Mehalba is a naturalized U.S. citizen originally from Egypt who had flown Monday to Boston from Cairo, with a stop in Milan, Italy. He was carrying 132 compact discs, which he said contained only music and videos, according to a government affidavit filed in court. But agents checked his bags and found at least one that appeared to contain unspecified classified information, some of it marked "SECRET," the affidavit said. Mehalba denied knowing how the information got on the disc, saying he bought the discs in Guantanamo "as blanks," the affidavit said.
Defense Department officials said Mehalba worked at Guantanamo for San Diego-based defense contractor Titan Corp. Titan spokesman Wil Williams confirmed Mehalba worked for the firm but said he was on leave when the arrest occurred. Some candidates for the translator jobs were found through the Internet, newspaper ads, language associations and word-of-mouth, Williams had said in June 2002. They underwent health checks and extensive criminal record checks, and many underwent additional national security clearances and polygraph exams, he said. Linguists and other experts on Tuesday stressed the importance of full investigations. "They've been backed up for years on security clearances ... and it was made worse after Sept. 11, because there was this fast rush to get more analysts and more people who had backgrounds that might be useful," said Dan Smith, a retired Army colonel who specialized in intelligence during his 26 years in service.


Let's hope they were watching him and aren't just saying so to cover up. It would explain them searching him so closely at the airport.
Posted by: Steve || 10/01/2003 11:22 Comments || Top||

#2  After telling investigators the discs contained personal documents, he said that "he bought the CDs in Guantanamo Bay, that they were purchased as blanks, that [he] also purchased a computer in Guantanamo Bay and that he downloaded information from the computer onto the discs."

I didn't know that Gitmo had a CompUSA. Where did he buy the computer?
Posted by: Steve White || 10/01/2003 12:43 Comments || Top||

#3  Steve White,

I think there used to be a small exchange there. It is probably much bigger now. Haven't been there in 10 years.
Posted by: Superhose || 10/01/2003 12:49 Comments || Top||

#4  Obviously, they knew what they were looking for on this guy at Customs. I bet he got ratted by a detainee.

This leads to the question of whether:
1. One or more interrogators were jihadi's or
2. How the linguists got private access to prisoners or
3. Whether the classified information was from the interrogations only but did not include information passed from detainees to linguists privately.
Posted by: Superhose || 10/01/2003 12:55 Comments || Top||

#5  --Mr. Mehalba reported for the interrogator course at the Army’s intelligence school at Fort Huachuca in November 2001 and was discharged in May 2001 when he failed to complete the course, according to Pat Dillingham, a spokeswoman at the fort.--

??? Hired in November 01 and fired in May of 01???
Posted by: Anonymous || 10/01/2003 12:58 Comments || Top||

#6  Ah hah! Here's why they got interested in the CDs:

Mehalba was returning home from a trip to Egypt, where he visited his father, when he was stopped by officers with the customs and border protection unit of the Department of Homeland Security. They noted that he carried U.S. military identification and asked Mehalba what was on the 132 computer discs in his luggage, according to an affidavit presented yesterday at a hearing in federal court in Boston. "Only music and videos," he replied. The inspectors then put one that bore an official-looking designation into a disc player and found that it contained documents designated "secret" concerning the base in Cuba, officials said.

Standard Form 711 (1-87) EF 1-96, official US government CD label, required on all government data discs, lists content and security classification. Not for private use, as soon as they saw them, and he said they were music cds, the bells went off.

Mehalba, a former Army private first class who left the military in 2001, is employed by a San Diego-based contractor, Titan Corp., which supplies translators for Army interrogators questioning the 660 prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay prison, officials said.

There they go outsourcing again.
Posted by: Steve || 10/01/2003 13:30 Comments || Top||

#7  Just a little more:
The affidavit says Mehalba acknowledged that an uncle was an official with an Egyptian army intelligence unit.

Drop in to visit your uncle while you were home visiting dad?

It also mentions a case from 2001, when Mehalba was a private first class studying interrogation techniques at the Army intelligence school at Fort Huachuca in Arizona, and when his then-girlfriend, Deborah Gephart, who had the same rank, was studying to be a counterintelligence agent. Gephart was arrested for allegedly stealing a car, and a search of her home yielded a stolen laptop and a classified counterintelligence training manual. She was later discharged under less than honorable conditions, the affidavit says. Gephart could not be reached yesterday.

Wonder what contractor she's working for?
Posted by: Steve || 10/01/2003 13:45 Comments || Top||

#8  Let's rerun the tape for my favorite part, shall we?
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers began conducting a routine inspection of Mr. Mehalba’s luggage on Monday after his flight arrived from Cairo, via Milan, Italy. When a further inspection turned up a case of suspicious compact discs including one reportedly containing the classified information, Mr. Mehalba was arrested by agents...

Let me translate (pun intended): after meeting his handler in Egypt, Mr "No Tradecraft" al-Pyramidi tried to sneak back in the country WITH the incriminating goods instead of ditching them in some Cairo cathole. Smooth move Tut boy.
Posted by: TerrorHunter4Ever || 10/01/2003 14:54 Comments || Top||

#9  Wonder what contractor she's working for?

Leavenworth license plate co.
Posted by: Frank G || 10/01/2003 15:05 Comments || Top||

#10  "Mr "No Tradecraft" al-Pyramidi tried to sneak back in the country WITH the incriminating goods instead of ditching them in some Cairo cathole."

Guess he got kicked out of intel school before they got to that part.
Posted by: Steve || 10/01/2003 15:18 Comments || Top||

#11  Our not-so-cunning linguist, Ahmed Fathy Mehalba. He will be playing rock hockey in the big arena for a long time, after they extract a few thousand neurons worth of intel.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 10/01/2003 15:32 Comments || Top||

#12  "Have another cup of sweet mint giggle juice, effendi..."
Posted by: Seafarious || 10/01/2003 16:36 Comments || Top||

#13  Some more background material, rearanged by date:
Born in Egypt, he immigrated to the United States in the early 1990s and served in the Army as a private until his discharge in 2001. In November 2000, he attended "a human intelligence collection and interrogation course" at the U.S. Army's Intelligence Center at Fort Huachuca as an Army private, fort spokeswoman Tanja Linton said.
His lawyer said he received an honorable discharge.
A public records search shows that Mehalba has a Massachusetts driver's license and lives in Salem, Mass. The Associated Press reported that he has worked as a Boston taxicab driver and applied for a job as a Logan gate guard two days after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks but was turned down.
Mehalba's attorney, Michael Andrews, said Mehalba had been visiting family in Egypt and had worked "off and on" as an Army contract linguist at Guantanamo for nearly a year. Mehalba "was on leave and returning to Guantanamo Bay when he was stopped in Boston," said Army Lt. Col. Pamela Hart, Camp Delta's spokeswoman.
Homeland Security spokesman Brian Doyle in Washington said the inspectors at Logan had received no prior alert on Mehalba, and he was stopped for a spot check when he arrived on a flight from Cairo via Milan, Italy. "This is one of those things that was just 'bingo.' It was routine," he said. "And it's, knock on wood, a success story."
According to the affidavit by FBI agent John Van Kleeff, customs inspectors were aware of recent news coverage of security breaches at Guantanamo and subjected Mehalba to a search after he told them he worked at the prison camp. He showed them a Department of Defense identification card and another ID card from Guantanamo. The affidavit said the inspectors became suspicious because one of the CDs was labeled "Backup 3 for MO'S profile." After they opened the disc and discovered what appeared to be classified information, they called the FBI.


Logan gate guard, hummm.
Posted by: Steve || 10/01/2003 16:43 Comments || Top||


Arrested Muslim activist helped pick chaplains for U.S. military
A few more details, edited for new material:
A leading Muslim activist arrested for reportedly violating U.S. sanctions against Libya once helped select and train Islamic military chaplains as part of a Pentagon-approved process being investigated by the Defense Department and Congress. Adurahman Alamoudi, founder of the American Muslim Council and the American Muslim Foundation, was involved with the American Muslim Armed Forces and Veterans Affairs Council and the Islamic Society of North America, two groups that selected and trained Muslim clerics for the U.S. military, authorities said.

The Pentagon’s selection process also will be the focus of an investigation by the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on terrorism, technology and homeland security, whose chairman, Sen. Jon Kyl, Arizona Republican, wants to know who allowed the two groups to become the determining bodies for chaplains. "It is remarkable that people who have known connections to terrorism are the only people to approve these chaplains," Mr. Kyl said. Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, said an investigation would allow the Senate to determine whether the groups responsible for choosing and training Muslim chaplains are affiliated with radical Islamic organizations. He recently told reporters the U.S. military had given extremists "a monopoly on who becomes an imam in the military."
We noticed.
Most of the Muslim chaplains endorsed by the two groups were trained at the Graduate School of Islamic and Social Sciences in Leesburg, Va. Last year, federal agents raided the school. No charges were filed. Mr. al-Amoudi, 51, of Falls Church, was named in a criminal complaint unsealed Sunday accusing him of visiting Libya in violation of government-ordered sanctions and of illegally accepting $10,700 from the Libyan Mission to the United Nations. The affidavit said Mr. al-Amoudi told U.S. authorities he visited England and Saudi Arabia on a U.S. passport, but he did not tell them he had also traveled to Libya. It said Customs and Border Protection agents found Mr. al-Amoudi held a second passport issued in Yemen, which contained an entry stamp for Libya dated Sept. 19. According to the affidavit, the Yemeni passport also showed Mr. al-Amoudi visited Lebanon, Syria, Yemen and Egypt.
As we say, the usual suspects.
Mr. al-Amoudi, a prominent Muslim spokesman who is often sought for political and religious discussions, also served as executive assistant to the SAAR Foundation, an organization created by Suleiman Abdul Al-Aziz al-Rajhi, a member of one of Saudi Arabia’s richest families.
There’s that Saudi money again.
Posted by: Steve || 10/01/2003 9:35:52 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [270 views] Top|| File under:

#1  we can also bet some of the 2002 money went to the McKinney campaign
Posted by: mhw || 10/01/2003 11:08 Comments || Top||

#2  The al-Rajhi palace would be a good place for a big boom, with a bold face denial.
Posted by: Lucky || 10/01/2003 12:56 Comments || Top||


Animal activists lay claim to Shaklee bombing
An animal rights group has claimed responsibility for a bombing last week outside the Pleasanton offices of Shaklee Corp., and has pledged to escalate its attacks if ties aren’t severed between Shaklee’s parent company and a laboratory that uses animals for product testing. "Today it is 10 lbs, tomorrow 20 ... until your buildings are nothing more than rubble," a group calling itself the Revolutionary Cells said in its statement. It was the second time in a month the Revolutionary Cells claimed responsibility for bombing a Bay Area company — part of the group’s campaign to stop businesses from associating with Huntingdon Life Sciences, an England-based laboratory that tests pharmaceuticals and chemicals using animals. The activist group has offices in Somerset, N.J. In a "communique" circulated among animal rights organizations late Monday night, the Revolutionary Cells says it left "an approximately 10-pound ammonium nitrate bomb strapped with nails outside Shaklee."
That’s very palestinian of them.
The Revolutionary Cells, thought to be an offshoot of the Animal Liberation Front, says it left the bomb — despite Shaklee’s animal-friendly policy — because Shaklee’s parent company, Yamanouchi Pharmaceuticals, continues to associate with Huntingdon. The statement also saved some of its most threatening language for Chiron Corp., the Emeryville biotechnology company whose headquarters was damaged by two bombs Aug. 28. Referring to Chiron’s board chairman by name, the statement said, "Hey Sean Lance, and the rest of the Chiron team, how are you sleeping? You never know when your house, your car even, might go boom."
One word, Sean - bodyguards.
As with the Chiron blasts a month earlier, nobody was hurt in the Shaklee explosion, which occurred shortly after 3 a.m. Friday. The bomb shattered glass and damaged a small piece of stucco at the base of the Shaklee headquarters on Willow Road in Pleasanton. Shaklee spokeswoman Jenifer Thompson referred all calls to the FBI. LaRae Quy, an FBI special agent, said Tuesday the agency has opened domestic terrorism investigations into both recent bombings, but hasn’t yet concluded the cases are linked.
Why am I not suprised?
Components of the bombs that exploded at Chiron and Shaklee have been sent for comparison to an FBI lab in the Washington, D.C., area, said Andrew Tarver, assistant special agent in charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ San Francisco division. Evidence from the two investigations will be compared with findings from other bombings nationwide, Tarver said. The investigations can take years. Besides the claim of responsibility, both cases have significant similarities, Tarver said. "If you look at the time and the place and the device, there was an overt attempt to minimize harm" by placing the bombs along exterior walls during late-night hours, Tarver said.
So far, but don’t count on it staying that way.
The incidents may mark a shift toward more violent forms of protest in the ongoing campaign to disrupt Huntingdon’s business. The animal rights group Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty says it does not advocate violence and was alarmed at the tone of the Revolutionary Cells’ claim. "We’ve never seen anything like it before," said Kevin Jonas, a SHAC spokesman in Philadelphia. "In the 25 years that the animal rights movement has had an illegal arm, there always seems to have been a guiding principle of nonviolence. This seems to break with that."
Kevin, if you have nonviolent principles, why do you have a illegal arm?
Posted by: Steve || 10/01/2003 9:26:39 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [386 views] Top|| File under:

#1  They're assigning some veteran investigators from the anthrax team to this case. That's why they've already concluded the bombing is foreign terrorism, and are investigating links to Mongolia and Papua New Guinea.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 10/01/2003 9:55 Comments || Top||

#2  I'd sure like to catch some of these jerks in action and personally beat them to a bloody pulp.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 10/01/2003 10:26 Comments || Top||

#3  I'd like to get these guys and lock 'em in a cage with a pair of female grizzlies, then shoot spitwads at the grizzlies.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 10/01/2003 10:39 Comments || Top||

#4  One word. Snipers.
Posted by: mojo || 10/01/2003 10:41 Comments || Top||

#5  hmmm.. Woody Harrelson's friends strike again.
Posted by: Dishman || 10/01/2003 12:18 Comments || Top||

#6  ....and they're acting more and more like Woody Harrelson's father. Animal rights wackos have already killed 2 people in the Netherlands, including libertarian politician Pim Fortuyn. It is only a matter of time, probably not much time, before it happens here. There's a bright side, though: With the Alf-nazis directing more of their attacks against private farms and individual people, the likelihood grows that one or more of them will be killed in the act, say, 30'06ed by a mink farmer.
Posted by: Atomic Conspiracy || 10/01/2003 21:33 Comments || Top||


Africa: North
Soldiers fall victim to Algeria ambush
Eight Algerian soldiers were reported killed and three injured, when their convoy was ambushed by suspected Islamic militants on Tuesday. The militants detonated explosives as the convoy drove through mountains towards Montgorno, 90 kilometres south of Algiers, and then opened fire. Nine soldiers died in a similar incident west of the capital a fortnight ago.
The Algerian Army really needs to work on their anti-ambush techniques, they lose more men this way.
About 150 extremists have been killed in army operations in the past two weeks, according to press reports, in continuing civil unrest which has left over 120,000 dead in the past 11 years.
This was a major success.
Press reports say that the rebels in the latest attack fired on the army convoy with machine guns. They seized the weapons that were being carried by the convoy. The GIA are reported to be active in the area where the ambush took place, and also around Ain Defla, 140km east of Algiers, where the earlier ambush took place. In a separate incident, GSPC fighters were reported to have slit the throats of four people who wanted to surrender to soldiers in the Babors mountains, 300km east of Algiers.
Can’t have people surrendering, bad for morale.
The GSPC were reportedly the 150 victims of the army operation in the inaccessible Babors mountains, where the group was holding a meeting. One report spoke of 105 charred bodies being found in a cave.
Guess those mountains were not that inaccessible.
Posted by: Steve || 10/01/2003 8:34:55 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [293 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "Suspected Islamic militants"?
Ya think? Maybe it was leprachauns...
Posted by: tu3031 || 10/01/2003 12:04 Comments || Top||

#2  The governement seems to be actively engaging the terrorist forces - maybe under pressure from Europe. It will be interesting to watch Kadaffy's reaction. We shall see whether he was in fact acting as a mediator for the hostage situation.
Posted by: Superhose || 10/01/2003 12:32 Comments || Top||

#3  "They're always after me lucky Islamic Charms!"
Posted by: Frank G || 10/01/2003 14:53 Comments || Top||


Africa: West
U.S. Ground Forces Quietly Depart Liberia
Al-Guardian and the AP together - watch the spin!
The last few U.S. ground forces quietly departed this war-ruined nation, with many Liberians saying they were grateful for the U.S. help but sorry they didn’t get to say goodbye.
"I had a necklace made of kidney stones to give them as thanks"
About 30 members of a U.S. military liaison team flew out of Liberia’s main airport Tuesday on military planes and helicopters, ending their work with a West African-led peace mission.
More like white western guilt assuagement
The USS Iwo Jima was no longer visible from Monrovia’s shore by Tuesday afternoon, and was due to leave the region within hours.
"Let’s get the hell outta here"
The Iwo Jima was the last of three U.S. warships deployed in early August off Liberia’s capital, Monrovia, where fighting killed more than 1,000 civilians in June and July as rebels besieged the city. The mission of Joint Task Force Liberia Mission ``has been accomplished,’’ a U.S. military spokesman said on condition of anonymity.
"My name? I can say no more"
The presence of the U.S. troops helped drive President Charles Taylor into temporary safety exile, clearing the way for a temporary power-sharing deal between his government and rebels after 14 years of devastating conflict. More than 100 heavily armed U.S. Marines went ashore in Liberia on Aug. 14, prodded by international appeals to intervene as Liberia’s three-year civil war pressed upon the capital.
"Awright! We're here. Knock it off!"
Liberians said Tuesday they had wanted to give the Americans a proper send-off. ``We welcomed the Americans when they arrived here overtly. Why their quiet departure?’’ asked 39-year old Mark Tingeh.
they left you cab fare on the dresser and a note to lock up... what more do you want?
``To leave without a ceremony to bid them goodbye is to present Liberians as an ungrateful people,’’ Tingeh said.
ahem.....
U.N., African and European leaders had argued the United States had a special responsibility toward Liberia, a country founded by freed American slaves in the 19th century. Liberia had remained a leading African trade and strategic partner of the United States up to the end of the Cold War.
"Give us money to rebuild... we’re just as important as Iraq.... except for the oil..."
President Bush ultimately agreed to a Marine deployment, but disappointed many Liberians by saying it would be limited to backing up the African peace force - and would be finished by Oct. 1.
"time’s up"
Liberians’ hopes were diminished further when most of the Marines who went ashore stayed behind high walls at an airport well outside Monrovia, out of sight to almost all Liberians. Those Marines, members of a rapid-reaction force, pulled back to their ships by Aug. 25.
couldn’t take potshots at em
The 30 or so other Marines acting as liaisons with the African force received warm smiles and greetings from Liberians as the troops moved about Monrovia. Many Liberians said they felt safer with the Marines onshore, saying their own ill-trained and often drunk and drugged fighters wouldn’t dare take on U.S. forces. Others called the onshore deployment a token force - and overdue since it didn’t come during the deadly heights of the rebel sieges.
what was that "ungrateful" thing again?
``We did not have a say in the coming of the Americans. We just saw them in the Liberian waters,’’ said Romeo Sorsor, a 35-year old plumber. ``So they say they’re leaving. There’s no point in telling us.’’
Telling you what? I'm sorry. Did you say something?
Meanwhile, non-emergency employees at the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia may return to their offices, but their dependents are prohibited from accompanying them because of continued unrest in the country, the U.S. State Department said Tuesday. Non-emergency personnel were evacuated from the embassy June 6, when rebel soldiers stormed the capital city. The rebels - battling since 1997 against Taylor, who ceded power to his vice president and went into exile Aug. 11 - are to be included on Oct. 14 in a power-sharing government arranged under a peace deal. Despite calm in Monrovia, sporadic fighting has continued in the countryside.
Unbelievably balanced article for a joint AP/Al-Guardian story...maybe regime change is continuing?
Posted by: Frank G || 10/01/2003 8:01:24 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [262 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Yippee!!!
Posted by: TJ || 10/01/2003 8:50 Comments || Top||

#2  I'm glad are troops are out I figured America would have troops in Liberia for a decade or so at least.
Posted by: Cal Ulmann || 10/01/2003 10:25 Comments || Top||

#3  Apparently when this administration says "we'll be out by X", they really mean it.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 10/01/2003 12:36 Comments || Top||

#4  The comment about making babies w/the Americans....they know the score.
Posted by: Anonymous || 10/01/2003 12:42 Comments || Top||

#5  I'm writing something not PC so beware and no flaming.

I wonder how many soldiers are black, looked at the situation on the ground in the continent and think the suffering of their ancestors was not in vain?
Posted by: Anonymous || 10/01/2003 12:48 Comments || Top||

#6  Here is a link to an Guardian article on an NGO called Merlin, that seems to be doing some good work providing health care in Liberia. Don't think the marines would have much of a help for the issues he describes.
Posted by: Superhose || 10/01/2003 16:21 Comments || Top||


Middle East
Islamic Jihad leader arrested
THE Israeli army early Wednesday arrested the head of the Palestinian radical movement Islamic Jihad for the West Bank, a Palestinian security source said. Bassam Saadi, 42, was arrested in Jenin refugee camp in the north of the West Bank. He was picked up by Israeli soldiers who moved in in some 20 jeeps backed up by Apache helicopters. They opened fire and met no resistance.
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 10/01/2003 2:22:10 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [269 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "Cheeze it, the IDF!..."

"Freeze! Hold it right there, Bugs..er, Bassam! You don't want to give us an excuse to blow that pointy little head of yours off!"

"Ok, ok, stop waving that pistol around, Harry..."
Posted by: mojo || 10/01/2003 3:03 Comments || Top||

#2  no armed resistance--no things that go boom in the night--dollars to doughnuts he engineered his own arrest to save his keffiya due to internal politics or death threats from his buddies or the idf
Posted by: Anonymous || 10/01/2003 3:07 Comments || Top||

#3  They opened fire and met no resistance.

Sounds like the IDF has loosened the ROE.
Posted by: Shipman || 10/01/2003 7:40 Comments || Top||

#4  "Put a round across his hood, Mr. Nussbaum!"
"Aye aye... I mean, yes sir!"
[KABOOM!]
"He's stopping, sir."
"Prepare to board, Mr. Nussbaum!"
"Uhhh... Sir? This is the army. That's a car."
Posted by: Fred || 10/01/2003 8:34 Comments || Top||

#5  Yassin, you're next!
Posted by: badanov || 10/01/2003 8:35 Comments || Top||

#6  The Islamic Jihad vowed Wednesday to avenge the Israeli overnight capture of a militant chief in the northern West Bank city of Jenin, Ha'aretz reported. The movement's leader in Gaza, Abdallah al-Shami, said revenge would be exacted for the capture of Sheikh Bassam Saadi. "The enemy will pay a dear price for beating Sheikh Bassam Saadi and for its daily crimes on our people," al-Shami said. Witnesses said Saadi was beaten after he was seized. In the Jenin raid, Saadi was found by tracker dogs beneath a car parked outside a mosque. Three other Palestinians were also arrested in Jenin, the witnesses said.

Good dogs, steak for you tonight.
Posted by: Steve || 10/01/2003 10:14 Comments || Top||

#7  He was hiding underneath a car? Not very dignified for a man of his piousness...
Posted by: Seafarious || 10/01/2003 10:58 Comments || Top||

#8  was hiding under the car or just reviewing the detonator wiring?
Posted by: john || 10/01/2003 12:53 Comments || Top||


Korea
S. Korea Holds Off on Troops for Iraq
South Korea must be confident that tensions over North Korea’s nuclear ambitions will be resolved peacefully before Seoul considers sending troops to Iraq, South Korea’s president said Wednesday.
We need to be sure that Iraq’s difficulties will be resolved peaceful before we can consider keeping the 2nd Infantry Division in South Korea.
Washington has asked South Korea, a major Asian ally, to dispatch thousands of combat troops to help American forces secure stability in postwar Iraq. Talks to end the standoff over North Korea’s suspected development of nuclear weapons are stalling over strident differences between Washington and Pyongyang, and South Korea wants the United States to make a firm commitment to a peaceful solution. ``Prior to making any decision on the troop dispatch, it is extremely important to arrive at a positive outlook for and conviction in peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula,’’ South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun said in a speech marking Armed Forces Day.
Since it depends on the crazy NKors and not us, we can’t make that guarantee, and Roh knows that.
Speaking before 25,000 soldiers and other guests at an airport outside Seoul, Roh said, ``I again urge the North to abandon its nuclear development and come onto the path toward peace and coexistence.’’
Yeah. That should work.
On Tuesday, North Korea Vice Foreign Minister Choe Su Hon told the U.N. General Assembly that Pyongyang would not return to talks unless Washington took ``simultaneous action’’ to meet its demands, saying it made no sense for the communist country to ``put down the guns first.’’
It made no sense for them to pick up the gun in the first place.
Some South Koreans believe sending troops to Iraq would boost Seoul’s military alliance with the United States, vital to its national security. Others oppose it, saying the U.S. military operations in Iraq were unjustified. Activists staged violent protests when South Korea sent 675 non-combat troops to assist in the U.S.-led reconstruction of Iraq earlier this year.
The South’s economy is 25 times larger than the North’s. I’m sure they can find a way to defend themselves.

How 'bout if we take 2nd ID. Oh, and call us when you get reunified.
Posted by: Steve White || 10/01/2003 12:40:22 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [338 views] Top|| File under:

#1  ouch!! I smell some frustrations on a S.Korean NO
Posted by: Murat || 10/01/2003 5:03 Comments || Top||

#2  I believe that the 2ID would be just the thing to cover the Iraq troop shortage. It's way past time to get out of Korea. The S Kors hate the US just as much or more than the North. They truly believe that Lil Kimmmeeee with the cute poof hair and platform shoes is a GOD.
Posted by: Michael || 10/01/2003 9:55 Comments || Top||

#3  If South Korea doesn't want to help, we might as well pull 5,000 troops out of SK to send to Iraq.

Do you think they'll get the message then?
Posted by: Daniel King || 10/01/2003 9:55 Comments || Top||

#4  If South Korea doesn't want to help, we might as well pull 5,000 troops out of SK to send to Iraq.

Here's a better idea: pull them ALL out. S Korea keeps its troops in-country to protect its own ass, and we don't have to waste our valuable resources there in what I consider to be an increasingly hostile environment. A win-win situation.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 10/01/2003 10:31 Comments || Top||

#5  Murat,I know you have a selective memory.So pay attention,we have been bitchin about SKor bullsit for some time.
I agree time to stop screwing around with these people and pull out the 2id.Don't forget all the air assets(Osan AFB for one)and how about shutting down the U.S. Navy base in Pusan.We have a hell of alot of personel and material sitting in S.Korea it's time to pull out and let the idiots deal with"Dear Kimmie" on thier own!
Posted by: Raptor || 10/01/2003 19:14 Comments || Top||

#6  "reunified"... *gulp* that wouldn't bode well for the warranty on a Lucky Goldstar dryer would it...
Posted by: eLarson || 10/01/2003 21:23 Comments || Top||



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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.
Click here for more information

Meet the Mods
In no particular order...
Steve White
Seafarious
Pappy
lotp
Scooter McGruder
john frum
tu3031
badanov
sherry
ryuge
GolfBravoUSMC
Bright Pebbles
trailing wife
Gloria
Fred
Besoeker
Glenmore
Frank G
3dc
Skidmark
Alaska Paul

Two weeks of WOT
Wed 2003-10-01
  Senate Panel OKs Bush $87B Iraq Plan
Tue 2003-09-30
  Jug time for teenage exploding Islamic hookers
Mon 2003-09-29
  AMC's Alamoudi jugged
Sun 2003-09-28
  Afghan Constitution Proposes Muslim State
Sat 2003-09-27
  Guilty plea in Portland
Fri 2003-09-26
  25 bad guyz arrested in Ramallah
Thu 2003-09-25
  Qaeda negotiating with Yemen
Wed 2003-09-24
  Toe tag for al-Rimi!
Tue 2003-09-23
  Izzat Ibrahim negotiating surrender
Mon 2003-09-22
  Hambali's little brother nabbed in Karachi
Sun 2003-09-21
  U.S. Won't back Paleo government run by Arafat
Sat 2003-09-20
  Al-Aqsa shootout Martyrs two
Fri 2003-09-19
  Three get life in Morocco trial
Thu 2003-09-18
  Another Hamas big toes up
Wed 2003-09-17
  Aqsa gunny toes up in Nablus

Better than the average link...



Rantburg was assembled from recycled algorithms in the United States of America. No trees were destroyed in the production of this weblog. We did hurt some, though. Sorry.
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