Thursday, 30 July 2009
Council loses mosque battle
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From The Birmingham Mail
A CONTROVERSIAL £18 million mosque is set to be built in the centre of a Black Country town after the High Court threw out a council challenge.

Dudley Muslim Association has won outline permission for the building in Hall Street, Dudley, following a five-year battle.
The scheme has attracted widespread criticism, with 20,000 locals signing a petition opposing the proposal.
Dudley Council took its battle against the mosque to the High Court, costing taxpayers around £16,000, because it said the land had been designated for employment use and that the scheme did not fit this profile.
It could also still throw a spanner in the works because it is unhappy a land swap agreement made with the Association in 2001 has not been honoured.
The deal stipulated the mosque had to be “substantially built” by the end of last year or the council could buy back the land at an agreed price.
Dudley Council leader, Coun Anne Millward, is to hold talks with council chief executive John Polychronakis to see if the scheme can still be stopped on those grounds.
Mushtaq Hussain, secretary of Dudley Muslim Association (said that) The Association would now draw up more detailed plans and apply for full planning permission.
Deputy council leader Coun Les Jones (Con, Pedmore and Stourbridge East) said the authority had no choice but to abide with the scheme “in terms of the planning decision”.
Coun Jones said he was unsure whether the Association could come up with the necessary funds to build the mosque.
As no one but the Mosque Association wants the thing built there should still be ways to scupper the project.

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Posted on 07/30/2009 9:33 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Thursday, 30 July 2009
Nevermind, They Worked For Us
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Washington Times:

Associate Attorney General Thomas J. Perrelli, the No. 3 official in the Obama Justice Department, was consulted and ultimately approved a decision in May to reverse course and drop a civil complaint accusing three members of the New Black Panther Party of intimidating voters in Philadelphia during November's election, according to interviews.

The department's career lawyers in the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division who pursued the complaint for five months had recommended that Justice seek sanctions against the party and three of its members after the government had already won a default judgment in federal court against the men.

Front-line lawyers were in the final stages of completing that work when they were unexpectedly told by their superiors in late April to seek a delay after a meeting between political appointees and career supervisors, according to federal records and interviews.

The delay was ordered by then-acting Assistant Attorney General Loretta King after she discussed with Mr. Perrelli concerns about the case during one of their regular review meetings, according to the interviews.

Ms. King, a career senior executive service official, had been named by President Obama in January to temporarily fill the vacant political position of assistant attorney general for civil rights while a permanent choice could be made.

She and other career supervisors ultimately recommended dropping the case against two of the men and the party and seeking a restraining order against the one man who wielded a nightstick at the Philadelphia polling place. Mr. Perrelli approved that plan, officials said.

Questions about how high inside the department the decision to drop the case went have persisted in Congress and in the media for weeks...

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Posted on 07/30/2009 9:22 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Thursday, 30 July 2009
More from the Washington Times Interview with Larry Franklin: Anti-Semitism
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When we posted yesterday on the Washington Times interview with former Defense Analyst, Larry Franklin, revealed as an FBI double agent in the AIPAC case  see here, we  observed.

We believe that the FBI cabal was lead by former Associate Director David Szady who had let it be known that the national law enforcement agency was intent on finding an Israeli mole inside the US government, based erroneously, as it turned out in the disastrous AIPAC case.  Federal Prosecutors relied heavily on the thin reed of a 90 year Sedition law, questionable evidentiary standards in filed court motions and sought a ‘closed court’ proceeding, which ultimately was quashed by the Richmond Federal Appellate court dismissal rulings.  Messrs. Weissman and Rosen were simply doing what Washington journalists, including Gertz, have done which is revealing ex parte conversations with official sources, who don’t want to go on record; i.e., ‘leaking’. However, the Federal judiciary saw through this blatant attempt by  the FBI and federal prosecutors effectively stopped  the failed AIPAC case in its tracks, relieving former AIPAC seniors officials Weissman and Rosen from standing trial, and reduced  Franklin’s prior sentence under a plea bargain.

Today’s edition of the Washington Times has more from the Bill Gertz interview with Franklin, accusation about Anti-Semitism, “EXCLUSIVE: Pro-Israel lobby probe linked to anti-Semitism.”

 As you will see remarks of Franklin, FBI special agents and unidentified counterterrorism officials confirm our views.

Franklin on Anti-Semitism animus behind the AIPAC case

Franklin said in that interview that he became disturbed by several apparently anti-Semitic remarks by his FBI handlers. His cooperation with the agency, which involved taping his conversations with officials of AIPAC and the Israeli Embassy, was first reported by the Times on Wednesday.

"One agent said to me, 'How can an Irish Catholic from the Bronx get mixed up with all these ...,' and I finished the sentence for him: 'Jews?' And I proceeded to tell him that Christ and all the Apostles and even his mom were Jewish," Franklin said in the interview.

"So it was that sort of thing. And just sarcastic turns of the phrase from time to time. You know, I felt dirty sometimes," he said.

FBI Assistant Director John Miller declined to address the charges of anti-Semitism.

"We have no way to respond to thirdhand characterizations of partial statements allegedly made by unnamed FBI employees several years ago," Mr. Miller said. "If Mr. Franklin would like to make a formal complaint about the conduct of any FBI employee, there is a process to do."

During the AIPAC probe, Franklin said, FBI agents whom he declined to identify by name "asked me about every Jew I knew in [the office of the secretary of defense]. There was an element of that."

Several Jews held prominent positions in the department at the time, including Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith.

 

US Counterintelligence and FBI Special Agents comments about Israeli Intelligence and AIPAC

Former U.S. counterintelligence officials have said the FBI has aggressively pursued Israeli intelligence-gathering in the United States since the arrest of Jonathan Jay Pollard, a Navy intelligence analyst caught during the 1980s passing classified documents to Israel.

The officials said the FBI thinks Pollard, who is serving a life prison term, was part of a larger Israeli spy ring operating inside the U.S. government and that it was led by a "Mr. X." No such spymaster has ever been uncovered.

Former FBI counterintelligence agent and supervisor I.C. Smith said anti-Semitism in pursuing Israeli spying was "not my experience" during a lengthy career in the FBI.

"There was a great deal of frustration within the FBI in dealing with the Israelis," Mr. Smith said. "In my time in the Intelligence Division [later the National Security Division], the Israelis displayed a very real arrogance and with their constant contacts on Capitol Hill, they showed a confidence that they could do just about anything they wanted to do, and they could."

He said the Pollard case, in which Israel ran a clandestine agent in the U.S. intelligence community, was "simply shameful" and not in keeping with Israel's role as a staunch U.S. ally.

In another case, Mr. Smith said, a Jewish presidential appointee was found during an FBI background check to have "very real problems" related to Israeli interests, but the White House ignored the FBI and went ahead with the appointment.

But, he said, "This frustration the FBI had with the Israelis did not cross over into anti-Semitism, at least in my experience."

Mr. Smith also said he was troubled by the FBI using Franklin as an informant and then prosecuting him.

"When I was in the FBI, it was ingrained that one would go to great lengths to protect sources, not prosecute them," he said.

A former U.S. counterintelligence official familiar with the AIPAC case said the case was handled "extremely carefully" from the beginning.

"The case was handled by numerous agents and supervisors over a period of time, so the allegations of anti-Semitism are either wildly out of line, or a large portion of the bureau is anti-Semitic, which would come as a great surprise to a very large number of Jewish agents and analysts," said the former official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to discuss the case.

The official said the case was an investigation of "systemic leaking," more than a major Israeli spying case, and that it was influenced by the political clout of AIPAC in Washington.

These comments from FBI special agents and US counterintelligence officials are meant to throw cold water on Franklin’s accusation of Anti-Semitism.  They dangerously veer in the direction of professional paranoia about Israeli intelligence activities in the US with allegations about a possible “mole’. They point to the Pollard Affair as evidence of such a cabal.  They also impute ‘clout’ to AIPAC, a dangerous  aspect of the powerful Jewish lobby arguments of Mearsheimer Walt, that the ADL and others view amounts  to anti-Jewish screed.  I hearken back to an early post I did on the AIPAC case pointing to a comment relayed to me by Janet Levy Ross about David Szady, the FBI former counterintelligence associate director. Szady told her at the 2005 Intelligence summit, that “he was out to get AIPAC.” 

Clearly, despite the FBI and US Counterintelligence officials’ obfuscatory comments on Franklin’s accusations, it would appear that an element of anti-Semitism was indeed behind the tragic AIPAC case. In the wake of the defeat of the government’s case this should give rise to a Department of Justice Inspector General  investigation on the conduct by the FBI and federal prosecutors in fomenting what might be deemed as the US version of the 19th and early 20th century Dreyfus Affair in France.  The careers and reputations of Franklin and the former senior AIPAC officials, Weissman and Rosen have been sullied and ruined as a result of government misconduct.

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Posted on 07/30/2009 6:46 AM by Jerry Gordon
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Thursday, 30 July 2009
A News Oddity Which Needs Interpretation By An Expert But I?ll Do My Best
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I was browsing, as one does, at www.azatutyun.am, which is actually http://www.armenialiberty.org, when I came across this article:

Officials in Iran have offered to deliver nuclear fuel to Armenia’s Metsamor nuclear power station, an Armenian regional governor who visited the Islamic Republic recently confirmed on Tuesday.
 
Ashot Ghahramanian, governor of the southern Armavir region, traveled to Iran’s Western Azerbaijan province and met with its governor, Rahim Qorbani, late last week to discuss ways of boosting ties between the two territories.
 
“In light of mastering the nuclear enrichment technology… the Islamic Republic of Iran is now ready to provide nuclear fuel for the neighboring countries’ power plants,” “The Tehran Times” daily quoted Qorbani as saying at the meeting.
 
Ghahramanian confirmed the information, saying that the offer was made after he mentioned the fact that Metsamor is located in Armavir and that the Armenian government plans to replace its aging reactor by a new and more powerful facility by 2017. “I replied that this issue is not within my area of responsibility,” he told RFE/RL. “It is dealt with by the government and the Energy Ministry and can not be a subject of our discussion.”
 
The Armenian Energy Ministry insisted that it has never discussed the possibility of nuclear fuel supplies from Iranian officials. “Armenia has received no official offers of nuclear fuel supplies from Iran, and no such discussions are taking place at the moment,” said Shakeh Arakelian, a ministry spokeswoman.
 
The Metsamor plant has received enriched uranium from Russia ever since it was built in the late 1970s. The situation might change after the planned development of Armenia’s uranium reserves by a Russian-Armenian joint venture set up a year ago. Sergei Kirienko, head of Russia’s Federal Agency on Atomic Energy, had said earlier that Armenia could become one of the few countries of the world with a full uranium production cycle from extraction of the metal to its transformation into nuclear fuel.
 
Iran’s nuclear program has been under international scrutiny over the past decade, with the United States and other Western powers accusing Tehran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons. The Iranian leadership insists that it wants to use atomic energy for only peaceful purposes.
 
I’ve no idea what this article might mean in terms of Iran’s nuclear abilities but it’s fairly obvious that Iran is attempting to use what nuclear capability it has so far achieved to sow the seeds of strife and dissension and to attempt to divide Armenia from Russia, and the rest of the free world, by offering an alternative supply of fuel for the critically important, to Armenia, Metsamor nuclear power plant.
 
Armenia is rich in Uranium ore and Russia and Armenia currently enjoy a reasonably harmonious diplomatic relationship and co-operate in several mutually beneficent ways, including the field of nuclear technology. Armenia has, also, fairly good diplomatic relations with many other non-Islamic countries and is, as most of you will already be aware, the oldest Christian country on Earth. Armenia is a country which, and has a people who, have in the past suffered brutally at the hands of Islam (see here and also here) and its ravening hordes of deluded psychopaths.
 
It seems to me, but those more expert in the analysis of these things than I am may disagree, that this report is just one more sign of what we may expect from an Islamic nuclear power such as Iran seeks to become, or maybe is already! Such a power will meddle with our barely stable world – as Iran is attempting to do here – and will seek to disturb and disrupt existing relationships for its own ends. Its ends, in this case, are obvious. Iran is seeking to offer nuclear fuel to an historic enemy of Islam and hopes thereby to gain the upper hand whilst also, and at the same time, it seeks to secure a ready supply of Uranium ore by tying a small Christian country rich in what Iran needs to its, Iran’s, apron strings. It is a corollary that there must be, that there is also, a hidden agenda behind this move, this unofficial offer transmitted through a Regional Governor.
 
I’ll leave it your own imaginations to work out just what that hidden agenda must be – after all, you must all know enough about the rabid dog of Islamic supremacism by now. You certainly don’t need me to point out the obvious!
 
You can find Armenia using this map.
 
You can find Armavir, the ancient capital of Armenia (dating from about four thousand years ago but the site has been occupied for at least seven thousand years) in this article, which also has a map.
 
Meanwhile, over at http://www.americanchronicle.com there is this article which seems to be as confused as I am about all this:
 
The readiness demonstrated by Iran to supply the nuclear power plant which is under construction in Armenia's Armavir city with nuclear fuel once again raises the question concerning the Islamic Republic's nuclear potential. On Sunday the governor of the Iranian West Azerbaijan province Rahim Gurbani said that Iran is ready to export nuclear fuel to neighboring countries and other countries, "Tehran Times" reported.
 
Perhaps, such a statement is purely propaganda. During a visit to Kazakhstan in early July, the Israeli President Shimon Peres asked his Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev not to sell nuclear fuel to Iran. Nazarbayev assured the guests that his country, which has 15 percent of the world's uranium fuel, has not sold and will not sell it to Iran.
 
During the Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's visit to the Latin American countries last week, the talks also focused on the issue of Iran's nuclear fuel supply.
 
In response, Iran in every possible way tries to prove that the country has enough nuclear capability and is not dependent on other nations.
 
Earlier in 2008, the British Foreign Ministry instructed its diplomats in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Brazil to seek a guarantee of officials above the states, that they will not provide Iran with nuclear fuel. According to the last year's reports of "London Times", Iran's nuclear reserves are on the verge of exhaustion. The Press Secretary of the Iranian Foreign Ministry issued a rebuttal of these statements.
 
There are two uranium mines in Iran. Experts believe the reserves in the Sagand mines in the Yazd and Gachin citird at in the Abbas port [no idea, translate for yourself!] are not enough to ensure even the smallest nuclear power station within ten years. The uranium reserves in the Sagand mine are at 350 meters of depth, and its production is a too complicated procedure. These mines can produce a maximum of 1,400 tons of uranium. In addition, Uranium fuel produced in Iran costs much higher than its value on world markets.
 
Iran buys 110 tons of fuel from Russia per year for the Bushehr plant which does not yet function. Official Moscow guaranteed a ten-year provision of the plant with fuel. The IAEA's 2008 report states that 70 percent of "Yellow Cake", imported to Iran from South Africa in 1970, was used to produce UF6 (uranium dioxide).
 
Besides Bushehr, six nuclear power plants will be put into exploitation by 2020, official Tehran said. A total of 200 tons of "Yellow Cake" per year is necessary to supply the Bushehr plant whose capacity is 1,000 MW with fuel. If Iran launches the Ardakan uranium mines, it can produce only 71 tons of the enriched uranium (3.5 percent). In this regard, the possibility of Iran's providing neighboring countries with nuclear fuel causes doubts.
 
So, it looks like Iran is deliberately trying to subvert Armenia in order to ensure the supplies of yellow cake that it is going to need in order to meet its 2020 target and that its own mines are ‘on the verge of exhaustion’. Something tells me that that is, if the Armenians remember their history, not going to work!
 
You can find Ardakan using this map.
 
You can find Bushehr province, on the Persian Gulf, using this map.
 
You can find Yazd using this map.
 
You can find Gachin (Baghin) using this map.
 
If you’ve read this far then you can find the Metsamor Nuclear Plant in Armenia using this map.
 
If you’re still with me then you can find a lot to worry about, and laugh over, at this site.
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Posted on 07/30/2009 6:11 AM by John M. Joyce
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Thursday, 30 July 2009
What will Obama do with Sharia civil war in oil-rich Nigeria?
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In 1999 with the return to civil government control in Nigeria, the predominately Muslim north of the country was granted the right to impose Islamic Sharia law in 12 states.  Now with the eruption of a virtual Jihad over this issue in this important, but troubled oil-rich country in the Gulf of Guinea, the government has undertaken brutal reprisals against the Sharia sect that fomented the call for Jihad including invading Mosques and killing rebellious leaders and adherents.

For the Obama  Administration, Nigerian repression of Sharia advocates may present a problem in light of the President’s Cairo speech and outreach to the Muslim ummah, as well as his recent visit to sub Sahara Africa and speech in Ghana.   World News noted in a recent report on Obama’s  African trip that he avoided  visiting Nigeria because of a “ problematic 2007 election” in that country. One immediate issue is what  the US African Command ( AFRICOM ) would lend counterterrorism support to the Nigerian government, and other African countries in contending with home grown Jihad. This is not a regional matter, as West African oil fields are a major source of foreign oil imports for the US economy.

This AP report , “Nigerian troops attack Islamist mosque, kill 100,” discloses what the Nigerian Army did in one action to put down what could become a possible civil war over the untoward consequences of Nigera’s adoption of Sharia for the northern Muslim states.  

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria – Troops shelled the compound of an Islamist sect blamed for days of violence in northern Nigeria then attacked its mosque, killing at least 100 militants in a fierce battle.

Sect leader Mohammed Yusuf escaped along with about 300 followers but his deputy was killed in Wednesday night's bombardment, according to Army commander Maj. Gen. Saleh Maina.

The army was conducting a house-to-house manhunt Thursday on the outskirts of Maiduguri for Yusuf and his followers.

An AP reporter watched soldiers shoot their way into the mosque in Maiduguri on Wednesday and then rake those holed up inside with gunfire. The reporter later counted about 50 bodies inside the building and another 50 in the courtyard outside. The militants were armed with homemade hunting rifles, bows and arrows and scimitars.

Another five corpses were just inside a large house near the mosque. Maina pointed to the body of a plump, bearded man and said it the Boko Haram sect's vice chairman, Bukar Shekau.

"The mission has been accomplished," said Maina, the army commander.

Militants seeking to impose Islamic Sharia law throughout this multi-religious country attacked police stations, churches, prisons and government buildings in a wave of violence that began Sunday in Borno state and quickly spread to three other states in mainly Muslim northern Nigeria.

It is not known how many scores of people have been killed, wounded and arrested. Relief official Apollus Jediel said about 1,000 people had abandoned their homes Wednesday due to the violence, joining 3,000 displaced earlier this week in the four states.

The epicenter of the violence has been the Boko Haram's headquarters in Maiduguri, capital of Borno state, which was bombarded Wednesday. Maina said his troops would fire mortar shells later Thursday to destroy what is left of the sprawling compound, which stretches over 2.5 miles (4 kilometers).

Borno Gov. Ali Modu Sheriff told journalists he had a report that Yusuf had been seen Wednesday night in a village about 28 miles (45 kilometers) northeast of Maiduguri, and that he had asked for troops to be deployed there.

In other violence, Nigeria's Vanguard newspaper reported that militants attacked security forces in Yobe state on Wednesday, and quoted police as saying that 43 sect members were killed in a shootout near the state's second city, Potiskum.

Police in Bauchi state have reported 42 people killed, including two soldiers and a police officer, 67 hospitalized with serious injuries and 157 men arrested.

President Umaru Yar'Adua, who has been criticized for leaving the country Tuesday night for a state visit to Brazil, insisted before he left that the situation was under control. The military itself keep referring to "mopping up" exercises even as a full-scale battle was taking place.

Nigeria's 140 million people are nearly evenly divided between Christians, who predominate in the south, and primarily northern-based Muslims. Shariah was implemented in 12 northern states after Nigeria returned to civilian rule in 1999 following years of oppressive military regimes. More than 10,000 Nigerians have died in sectarian violence since then.

The militants oppose western education and seek a harsh interpretation of Islamic Shariah law in northern Nigeria.

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Posted on 07/30/2009 5:25 AM by Jerry Gordon
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Thursday, 30 July 2009
Lust in the library
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In films libraries are places of repressed lust, where battleaxes shush recalcitrant chatterers and plain young women remove spectacles to cries of "Oh my god, you're beautiful!"  Why doesn't this work for men? Is it because the specs hide the bags under their eyes, or the wrinkles that they imagine are attractive on them but not on women? But I digress - there is plenty of lust in libraries, some of it thwarted. Sathnam Sanghera in The Times:

All libraries are, of course, petri dishes of simmering lust, but the [British Library] is extreme: its walls contain more erotic pressure than an oil rig, a North Sea fishing trawler and several series of Mad Men combined. And it turns out that I’m not alone in thinking so. In 2005, Olivia Stewart-Liberty reported in The Spectator that “the whole building sighs with hothouse groans, which swell and fade to muffle other sounds”; in 2006 a gay website exposed the British Library as a cottaging ground and the regular BL readers who I’ve discussed it with concur.

Not that we can agree as to why. Explanations put forward include: the intrinsic erotic appeal of women in pencil skirts, stockings and Sarah Palin spectacles telling you off; the intrinsic filthiness of all librarians (after all, Casanova was one); the enforced silence and bookish atmosphere, which conspire to make you want to do something loud and physical in response; the safety (the theory goes that people feel free to flirt without feeling obliged to take things farther); the presence of books, which after all, are intrinsically sexy and have been connected to seduction for hundreds of years; the unexpected corners.

Though, personally, my preferred explanation is the silence. Let’s face it, human beings are animals, there is potential for sexual tension everywhere, even in parts of West Bromwich, but normally people’s attractiveness is counteracted by the noises that they make — the grunts, groans and conversation that might reveal they are married, stupid, have an unattractive accent, an obnoxious personality or, very simply, do not fancy you in return. But when everyone is sitting around in silence, you can project what you like on to them and everyone remains a sexual possibility. And the thing that convinced me of this theory is an anecdote a regular reader recently told me about the time she spent working in the Humanities 2 reading room.

A couple of weeks into it she noticed that the same man was sitting near her. It’s not something that would normally have registered, she says, but (a) this man bore a passing resemblance to Daniel Craig, and (b) she had been single for two years and, before she knew it, for the first time in her life, she had become infatuated. An infatuation she assumed was reciprocated because whenever she sat somewhere other than her normal seat, this bloke would seem to move and sit near her.

This went on for months and eventually, one Wednesday morning, when he was sitting right next to her, the inevitable happened: he passed her a folded note. And, for a moment, time seemed to come to a standstill. As she opened it, her heart was beating so loudly she thought that Tristram Hunt himself would storm over and tell her to be quiet. Blushing, feeling that her life would never be the same again, she read the words that had been scrawled in pencil.

They said: “Excuse me, but could you stop sniffing so loudly, please?” She’s been working in another part of the library since, facing a blank wall. And if I go back to “work” in the British Library, I’ll probably do the same.

If the silence gets too much, tourists are invited to try out the famous echo.

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Posted on 07/30/2009 5:01 AM by Mary Jackson
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Thursday, 30 July 2009
Fun fun fun - at the library?
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If libraries, in the name of "relevance", become like Starbucks, then where is the Fun Fun Fun in disobeying your father's instructions and sneaking off to the hamburger stand, now? 

I'm fond of the Beach Boys, although their songs bear little relation to my life in cold, rainy London. I heard once that they went a bit weird in later life, and that the songs are supposed to be ironic. Who cares?

Update and lifetime mondegreen alert: until three minutes ago, I thought that the words were "Fun fun fun till your daddy takes your ticket away." The ticket was the decoy, and by confiscating it, the tyrannical pater put paid to any prenuptial probings. But no, the words are "Fun fun fun till your daddy takes the T-bird away."

How different from my own teenage years, when the best we could hope for was a euphemistic coffee. Still, I had fun fun fun till my daddy took my teabag away.

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Posted on 07/30/2009 4:36 AM by Mary Jackson
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Thursday, 30 July 2009
No news is good news
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There's no real news at the moment. That's why the story on the front page of today's Times is a statement of the obvious:

Did anyone think it had? In other "news", the Met Office has revised its forecast of a "barbecue summer", and Britain is to be cold and damp, hence the gurning Les Dawson look-alike in what my mother calls a "rain pixie".

When there's no news, non-news makes the headlines, but there is also space to learn about the non-famous, who are much more interesting than the famous. From The Telegraph, where there is also very little news:

Louise Brown joined her local library in 1946. Since then she has borrowed 25,000 books. "I've always loved books," she said modestly when staff at Stranraer public library drew attention to her record. What's more, she has never returned one late.

Public libraries, a royal road to learning for all, are a quiet triumph of British civilisation. Lesser nations find that borrowers don't bring books back. When Mrs Brown joined, libraries were libraries. Philanthropists knew their value. Andrew Carnegie, who declared that to die rich would be to die disgraced, built 660 public libraries in Britain. John Passmore Edwards notched up only 24, but gave books to dozens more. In too many libraries now, for all their internet access and chatty surroundings, books are the missing element. When borrowed, they do more than decorate a room.

And libraries have provided a space for teenagers to do their homework when the home is too noisy or cramped, and a refuge for intelligent children whose comprehensive school is a hotbed of crack-dealling and multiculturalist indoctrination.

No news is good news; conversely, much that is good - books, for instance - is not news.

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Posted on 07/30/2009 3:55 AM by Mary Jackson
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Thursday, 30 July 2009
Nigerian jihad escalates
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An update to this story that Esmerelda posted yesterday.  First, from Persecution.org:

Islamic Extremists Kill Pastor, Raze Churches in Nigeria

International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that Islamic extremists killed a pastor and razed five churches in the city of Maiduguri, Nigeria, on July 27.  The extremists also attacked two churches in the Nigerian city of Potiskum.

Yakubu Sabo, a husband and father of seven, was hacked to death with a machete by members of a violent Islamic militant group known as Boko Haram (which means "education is prohibited").  Sabo pastored a Church of Christ congregation in Maiduguri.

And according to  Dawn.com in Pakistan, the death toll in Nigeria has topped 300:

Nigeria clashes rage as death toll tops 300

MAIDUGURI (Nigeria): Troops struggled to crush an Islamist group in northern Nigeria on Wednesday as the death toll from four days of clashes surged past 300 and thousands of people were forced to flee their homes.

Police sources said fighting was concentrated in Maiduguri city, the base of the self-styled ‘Nigerian Taliban’. President Umaru Yar’Adua has ordered the armed forces to crush the militants ‘once and for all’.

But fresh clashes were also reported elsewhere, including Yobe state where police said 43 people were killed on Wednesday.

[...]

Another police source said that fighting centred around five neighbourhoods and was at its most intense in Bayan Quarters where the group’s leader Mohammed Yusuf was based.

Yusuf’s home was shelled by forces on Tuesday evening but he appeared to have escaped. ‘The house and a mosque have been pulverised and reduced to rubble,’ the source said.

He said the offensive to crush the militants was likely to take longer than previously thought. ‘To be honest with you I don’t think the campaign will be finished within the next day or two,’ he said.

[...]

A tally of the police figures from violence shows that at least 304 people are known to have died.

A brief phone conversation with one of the Taliban leaders, Aminu Tashen-Ilimi, was punctuated by the sounds of heavy shelling in the background.

‘Don’t you know we are being bombarded, how can I speak to you in this situation?’ he said.

Muslims are the eternal innocent victims, in their own twisted minds.

Nigeria will find that the campaign will not be finished in the next day or two, or the next week or two, or the next year or two.  Military attacks can temporarily diminish the threat of jihad attacks, but the long-term solution to jihad will never be military in nature.  Instead, what is required is a recognition of the motivation for jihad, the teachings contained in the holy, holy Qur'an.   Once that crucial initial step is taken, the corollary steps will fall into place.  But the Nigerian government has not taken that initial step, nor has any government in Europe, or North America, or anywhere else in the world.  The results of that failure are as horrific as they are predictable.

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Posted on 07/30/2009 1:09 AM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
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Thursday, 30 July 2009
Manchester United targeted by Jakarta hotel bombers
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From The Times
The Manchester United football team was the target of a bomb attack on the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Jakarta two weeks ago, according to a message posted on the internet purporting to be from Indonesia's most wanted terrorist suspect Noordin Mohammed Top.
The message, in which Malaysian born Noordin claims responsibility for the twin hotel bombings that killed seven people, confirms that the Ritz was targeted by a suicide bomber because it was about to host "the Crusaders" Manchester United who were due to play an exhibition match in Jakarta.
It says the attack was a warning to Indonesians "against the arrival of the soccer club Manchester United" at the hotel.
"These players are Christians, so Muslims should not honour and respect these enemies of Allah," it said. I wish more of them actually were true Christians.
It also refers to the "American chamber of commerce" as a target, apparently confirming that a breakfast meeting of Western businessmen at the Marriott, hosted by US lobbyist James Castle, was specifically targeted. The breakfast meeting suffered heavy fatalities on July 17, with three Australians and a New Zealander killed in the explosions.
"They have major interests in sucking Indonesia's treasure and financing the US army to fight against Muslims and Islam," the message said.
Manchester United abandoned its planned game against an Indonesian all-star side after the bombings. The posting described the team as "salibis", or Christian crusaders, who were unworthy of the support of Muslims.

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Posted on 07/30/2009 1:33 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Thursday, 30 July 2009
Asian man who called policemen 'white redneck hooligans' is guilty of racism
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From The Telegraph
Hassan Butt, 29,  
who called police officers "white redneck hooligans" has been found guilty of making racist remarks.

Butt, who once admitted having claimed he was a terrorist to make money from the media, was convicted of committing a racially aggravated public order offence by District Judge Diana Baker at Manchester Magistrates Court.
He made the remarks after police arrested his brother, dentist Omer Butt, in a row over parking. Pc Christian Allanson overheard Butt say loudly into his mobile phone: "'I'm just here with these white redneck hooligans'."
He told the court Butt also said: "'Where's my brother, you're not the Gestapo'."
Pc Allanson said: " . .  due to the fact we were white police officers. I believe it was a very offensive comment."
Butt also taunted officers by asking if they were BNP members . . . He also asked officers who arrested and searched him: "Do you like feeling Pakis up?"
Judge Baker told him: "You demonstrated towards the officers hostility based on their membership of a racial group. . . I take seriously any form of racist abuse and feel the courts must strive to protect people."
The little specimen was fined and ordered to pay costs.

 

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Posted on 07/30/2009 1:15 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Thursday, 30 July 2009
Somali jihadi from Sweden killed in Somalia
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Al Shabab is not only recruiting in Minneapolis, but in Sweden.  From SR International Radio in Sweden:

Another young Swedish-Somali man has been killed in the conflict in Somalia. According to the Swedish Security Service, he died in the beginning of July after being recruited in Sweden by the militia Al Shabab.

It’s well known in the Somali community that the group, which may have ties to terrorist network Al Qaida, has been recruiting youth in Sweden. Al Shabab has been especially active in the Stockholm suburb of Rinkeby, where a large number of Sweden’s Somali population lives.

Kadafi Hussein, youth leader at a Rinkeby community center, told SR International that he saw four young men recruit Somalis in a public square. “They talked about jihad and what was happening in Somalia. That it was right to go there, and that they’d help you out with a plane ticket if you needed it.”

According to Malena Rembe of the Swedish Security Service, the Swedish-Somali man who died in Somalia had lived in Sweden since he was very young. This type of radicalization may pose a danger for Sweden, she says.

“We fear that that they’ll develop a network, and get experience and training in Somalia that they can then use in Sweden [to plan terrorist attacks] when they come back.”

This man had lived almost his whole life in Sweden;  he may not have had any memories of his former life in Somalia.  And yet his loyalty was still to Islam, and to the mujahideen fighting to impose sharia in Somalia.  If he had survived and returned to Sweden, to whom would he have owed his allegiance?  To Sweden, or to Islam?

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Posted on 07/30/2009 12:44 AM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
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Wednesday, 29 July 2009
David Cameron on Twitter
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Conservative leader David Cameron's moment of vainglory comes in 16 seconds, or so a little bird tells me. I wouldn't know, as I made a bleeping noise at the offending moment:

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Posted on 07/29/2009 4:19 PM by Mary Jackson
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Wednesday, 29 July 2009
Is There a ?Right? to Health Care?
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If there is a right to health care, someone has the duty to provide it. Inevitably, that “someone” is the government. Concrete benefits in pursuance of abstract rights, however, can be provided by the government only by constant coercion.

People sometimes argue in favor of a universal human right to health care by saying that health care is different from all other human goods or products. It is supposedly an important precondition of life itself. This is wrong: There are several other, much more important preconditions of human existence, such as food, shelter and clothing.

Everyone agrees that hunger is a bad thing (as is overeating), but few suppose there is a right to a healthy, balanced diet, or that if there was, the federal government would be the best at providing and distributing it to each and every American.

Where does the right to health care come from? Did it exist in, say, 250 B.C., or in A.D. 1750? If it did, how was it that our ancestors, who were no less intelligent than we, failed completely to notice it?

If, on the other hand, the right to health care did not exist in those benighted days, how did it come into existence, and how did we come to recognize it once it did?

When the supposed right to health care is widely recognized, as in the United Kingdom, it tends to reduce moral imagination. Whenever I deny the existence of a right to health care to a Briton who asserts it, he replies, “So you think it is all right for people to be left to die in the street?”

When I then ask my interlocutor whether he can think of any reason why people should not be left to die in the street, other than that they have a right to health care, he is generally reduced to silence. He cannot think of one.

Moreover, the right to grant is also the right to deny. And in times of economic stringency, when the first call on public expenditure is the payment of the salaries and pensions of health-care staff, we can rely with absolute confidence on the capacity of government sophists to find good reasons for doing bad things.

The question of health care is not one of rights but of how best in practice to organize it. America is certainly not a perfect model in this regard. But neither is Britain, where a universal right to health care has been recognized longest in the Western world.

Not coincidentally, the U.K. is by far the most unpleasant country in which to be ill in the Western world. Even Greeks living in Britain return home for medical treatment if they are physically able to do so.

Continue reading here.

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Posted on 07/29/2009 2:49 PM by Theodore Dalrymple
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Wednesday, 29 July 2009
Former Defense Analyst Larry Franklin discloses FBI double cross
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Today's Washington Times has a fascinating expose, 

"EXCLUSIVE: Defense analyst in spy case was FBI double agent"

of how far the anti-Israel cabal in the FBI went when they double crossed Defense Analyst Larry Franklin.  Bill Gertz, Washington Times Intelligence beat columnist,was granted an exclusive interview with Franklin.  You may recall that  Federal Judge T.S. Ellis, III in the Eastern Virginia District Court in May dramatically reduced his sentence against the objections by Federal prosecutors who withdrew the malformed case against AIPAC senior staffers, Keith Weissman and Steve Rosen after a Richmond Federal Appeals Court dismissed the government's evidentiary motions.  We have posted on this murky and unsettling episode for nearly four years,originally  here, and more recently, here.

Here are revelations from the Exclusive Washington Times interview with Larry Franklin:

On being doubled by the FBI

Larry Franklin, the former Pentagon analyst convicted of revealing classified information, says he worked undercover as an FBI double agent to gather information on the pro-Israel lobby in the United States before the bureau turned on him and pressured him to plead guilty to spying for Israel.

Talking to a U.S. newspaper for the first time since his arrest five years ago, Franklin told The Washington Times that he wore a portable recording device for the FBI to capture conversations between Keith Weissman, a lobbyist for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), and Israeli Embassy official Naor Gilon and that he cooperated on other matters during a 10-week period in 2004.

He said he never sought to spy for Israel and felt betrayed when the same FBI agents whom he had assisted suddenly told him to get an attorney and threatened to send him to prison for disclosing classified information to AIPAC officials and the Israeli Embassy.

"I cooperated without a lawyer because I thought we were on the same side," Franklin said in a wide-ranging interview with The Times last week at the office of his attorney, Plato Cacheris. "And I was dumbfounded. I had no money, I told them, for a lawyer. They assigned me a lawyer who was paid by the government who wanted me to sign something that was anathema to me, an abomination."

FBI Assistant Director John Miller declined to comment on the case or Franklin's cooperation.

The Iran Iraq War connection and painting AIPAC Officials as the 'bad guys'

Franklin said the FBI first pressed him about working undercover in an investigation into alleged Israeli spying in the United States in May 2004, after he had become a subject of investigation into whether he provided sensitive information to reporters at CBS News on Iraqi exile leader Ahmed Chalabi's relations with Iran.

He said his FBI handlers convinced him that AIPAC analysts Steven Rosen and Mr. Weissman were "bad people" and that the agency needed his help in making a criminal case against the pro-Israel lobby officials. The two AIPAC officials were eventually indicted, but this spring -- after years of legal wrangling -- the government reversed course and dropped all charges against them.

Franklin Views on Iran involvement in Iraq War and alleged "betrayal' by AIPAC's Weissman and Rosen

Senior Pentagon officials, he said, mistakenly thought the United States could "persuade Iran to be part of the solution and not part of the problem" in Iraq. However, Franklin was convinced that Iranian officials would not cooperate and that Tehran remembered U.S. support to Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war from 1980 to 1988.

"So I wanted to delay and shock the National Security Council staff into convincing [National Security Adviser] Condoleezza Rice and others that, hey, maybe we ought to think this out a little more because there was so little time," Franklin said.

His plan was to use Mr. Rosen and Mr. Weissman to relay his concerns to the National Security Council (NSC) staff. Instead, the AIPAC officials, without telling Franklin, took his information, some of which was classified, to Mr. Gilon at the Israeli Embassy and to a Washington Post reporter.

I felt betrayed by Rosen and Weissman because I had risked everything for what I had thought were the interests of our republic," he said. "And, yeah, second of all, I felt very disappointed in the FBI."

AIPAC Lawyer Rebuts Franklin

Abbe Lowell, the lawyer who successfully represented Mr. Rosen and Mr. Weissman, disputed Franklin's account about his interests in talking to the AIPAC officials.

Franklin, Mr. Lowell said, sought AIPAC's help, through Mr. Rosen and Mr. Weissman, beyond the effort to reach the NSC as part of an "ideological war with the Department of State."

"His request of them was to try to get AIPAC to weigh in on his side of the group at [the Department of] Defense," Mr. Lowell said. "It was not singularly focused on the NSC."

Mr. Lowell said Mr. Rosen and Mr. Weissman had no immediate comment on the case. Spokesmen for AIPAC and the Israeli Embassy also declined to comment.

How Franklin got tripped up- "taking home Pentagon documents"

"I didn't do anything morally wrong," Franklin said. "I was totally motivated by love of this republic and knowingly risked my job, my clearance and the welfare of my family because I thought it was important to do."

Franklin also illegally kept 83 classified documents at his house in West Virginia but said he did so "because I needed to keep up my expertise that both the secretary and deputy secretary [of defense] -- that is [Donald] Rumsfeld and [Paul] Wolfowitz -- depended upon.

"I never showed a document, never gave a document to anyone ever," he told The Times. "The only other illegality I performed was I talked -- blurted out on May 20, 2004, over a phone call from CBS, from "60 Minutes." They were doing a show on Chalabi, and I said: 'Don't ask me for any good news about Chalabi 'cause he had just met with a nefarious Iranian who was guilty of killing Americans.' "

Mr. Cacheris, Franklin's attorney, said that the FBI sought the guilty plea from Franklin because the Bureau hoped to use his testimony in its case against AIPAC and that it did not make any promises to him in exchange for the cooperation.

"Unfortunately, Larry wasn't astute enough to find out during the time of his cooperation what was going to happen," Mr. Cacheris said.

Franklin said he agreed to the plea deal because he hoped it would keep him out of jail so he could take care of his seriously ill wife. He thanked Mr. Cacheris for coming to his rescue in the case.

Ken Timmerman in his book, "Shadow Warriors" had divulged the strong arm  methods the FBI used to euchre Franklin into serving as a double agent.   We believe that the FBI cabal was lead by former Associate Director David Szady who had let it be known that the national law enforcement agency was intent on finding an Israeli mole inside the US government, based erroneously, as it turned out in the disastrous AIPAC case.  Federal Prosecutors relied heavily on the thin reed of a 90 year Sedition law,  questionable evidentiary standards in filed court motions and sought a 'closed court' proceeding, which ultimately was quashed by the Richmond Federal Appellate court dismissal rulings.  Messrs. Weissman and Rosen were simply doing what Washington journalists, including Gertz, have done which is revealing ex parte conversations with official sources, who don't want to go on record; i.e., 'leaking'. However, the Federal judiciary saw through this blatant attempt by  the FBI and federal prosecutors effectively stopped  the failed AIPAC case in its tracks, relieving former AIPAC seniors officials Weissman and Rosen from standing trial, and reduced  Franklin's prior sentence under a plea bargain.

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Posted on 07/29/2009 5:12 AM by Jerry Gordon
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Wednesday, 29 July 2009
Is Shoaib Choudhury?s Ordeal Drawing to a Close?
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The trial of Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury continued this week in Dhaka, Bangladesh.  It was his second court appearance in two weeks after being called no more than once a month for the last four years.  (Prior to that, he spent 17 months of imprisonment and torture for his anti-Islamist and pro-Israel articles.)  The next day, he received a call from an attorney who told him that the prosecutor in his case said the government would convict Shoaib even though it did not have the evidence for it.  While it would be wrong to minimize the danger facing Shoaib or to assume that the Bangladeshis would not convict Shoaib without evidence; the prosecutor’s boast is more significant for the subtle messages he conveyed.

The most important one is that the government has finally admitted that it does not have any evidence to support the admittedly false charges of sedition, treason, and blasphemy. This represents a highly significant change in the position held by the government for the past five and a half years; a position that several Bangladeshi officials have been trying to convince their governments has cost the Bangladeshi people dearly.

Shoaib’s last two court appearances appear to support that conclusion.  After months of nothing but continuances and only one government witness (who has been AWOL since being asked for evidence to support his allegations), the prosecution called seven different witnesses in two weeks, who testified only to Shoaib’s alleged attempt to travel to Israel.  On July 15, a computer technician added that the government seized Shoaib’s computers but did not say what was on them; and a police official also opined that Shoaib hurt the “religious sentiments of Muslims by praising Christians and Jews.” This week’s  witnesses added that Shoaib communicated over the internet to people in Israel (something many Bangladeshis do), and a police officer testified that when arrested, Shoaib was carrying “banned books,” sparking the following exchange between the witness and Shoaib’s attorney.

“Did you read these books and are you sure that these are banned?”

“No I did not read them or see any ban order.”

“How do you know that these were banned books?”

“I was told by someone.”

That is about as anemic a case as one could imagine, and it is clear that the prosecution is banking on a political decision; but that decision would cost the Bangladeshi’s.  First, and perhaps most important, it would put the lie to apologists who have been claiming that the current Bangladeshi government is more democratic and less patronizing of Islamists than previous ones.  To that extent, it would bargain away a major negotiating ploy that the Bangladeshis are planning on using with the United States and other western countries for aid and trade benefits.

Beyond that, the prosecution through it witnesses alleges that praising Christians and Jews is a major crime in Bangladesh.  How well will that sit with Christian-majority countries like the United States if the court agrees with it; or that using the internet, “banned books,” or “criticizing madrassas” is, as another witness testified?  With legal scholars like Canada’s Irwin Cotler involved in Shoaib’s defense, Bangladesh can expect that a conviction contrary to law will initiate sanctions by international legal bodies, as well.

The government is not presenting any new even compelling evidence.  If this is all it can regurgitate after five and a half years, there cannot be much of a case, at least on the basis of Bangladeshi law. Even the judge seemed to agree, asking the defense to explain exactly what Shoaib is accused of doing, after one day of unconvincing testimony. When his Bangladesh Minority Lawyers Association advocate said that he exposeding the rise of radical Islam and its use of madrassas, Judge Bashir Ullah said Shoaib should be rewarded and not condemned.

Shoaib said the Public Prosecutor was smiling at that point.  Whether he was smiling because he knows a guilty verdict will be handed down regardless, or because he sees an end to Shoaib’s ordeal crowned with a not guilty verdict, is a matter of speculation.  One way or another, according to Shoaib, the government has decided to finish the trial, perhaps as early as August. They could have done so months, even years ago but did not. Perhaps the economic hard times have led them to re-cast their strategy as regards trade. Perhaps they have read recent articles urging the United Nations to bar Bangladesh from peacekeeping missions. Bangladesh provides more UN peacekeepers than any other country except Pakistan, and doing so has become critical for the Bangladeshi economy. It was also one of the underlying reasons for the 2007 coup there. Or maybe it is they, not us, who ultimately tired of it all.  (Some Bangladeshi officials cling to the mistaken belief that the West has no stomach for a long fight.)

If Shoaib is right, the court will set a date for defense rebuttal once the government concludes its case.  After that, the judge will retire to determine verdicts and set a date for reading the judgment.  An acquittal will vindicate Bangladesh as a nation of laws.  A conviction contrary to Bangladeshi law will reinforce the arguments of those who say that Bangladesh values radical Islam over justice, political expediency even over its own constitution.  Waiting to see which values hold would be an interesting exercise were it not for the fact that a man’s life and the principles of justice hang in the balance.  One thing is clear, however, months of delay are coming to an end as is the trial of Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury—the Muslim journalist who refuses to back down to Islamist radicals, openly supports Israel, and does so while refusing to leave the Muslim world.  The world will be watching to determine what comes next.

 

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Posted on 07/29/2009 3:47 AM by Richard Benkin
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Wednesday, 29 July 2009
Two British hostages in Iraq 'likely to be dead'
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From The Telegraph
Two British hostages held in Iraq, Alan McMenemy and Alec Maclachlan, are likely to be dead, according to Foreign Office advice to family members.
Relatives of the men were told last week that the hostage takers had claimed that the men had been shot. The bodies of two other security guards, part of a team of five kidnapped in Baghdad in 2007, were handed over last month.
No remains have been returned in the latest development and there is no proof of death. The Foreign Office said all its efforts are now focused on securing the return of Peter Moore, a computer consultant who was taken along with his security team.
The families of Mr McMenemy, from Glasgow, and Mr Maclachlan, from south Wales, were said to have reacted calmly to the news but have asked the government to press for the return of the bodies.
“We don’t want the hostage takers to take a long holiday in Tehran or where ever leaving uncertainty,” said one source close to negotiations.
The hostage takers had handed a video of Mr Moore to Iraqi authorities in March in which he said “we are all well.”
The news that four had died has shocked people involved in the crisis.
“Nothing that’s ever been said about this has ever been true, so who knows what is going to happen,” the source said. “Cynically they already knew they had dead bodies on their hands, two and probably more, when they were promising the men could come back alive.”
The official response to this outrage has been so pathetic that I fear the families, while never giving up hope, because you can’t, quietly realised that their men were dead a long time ago.

The Foreign Office has faced criticism for its low profile handling of Britain’s longest running hostage crisis in decades. Officials chose to put their trust in talks with mysterious intermediaries and struggled to secure meaningful engagement from Iraqi officials.
They were being run rings round by opportunists and Islamists. There is a rumour that a proposed Special Forces (SAS? SBS? Royal Marines? that I didn't hear specified) rescue mission was forbidden by the government; that rings true. Otherwise I cannot make up my mind whether the FO has been incompetent or indifferent.

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Posted on 07/29/2009 1:31 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Tuesday, 28 July 2009
Pseudsday Tuesday
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I once heard Ken Livingstone described as a "vainglorious twat". Any insult directed at London's erstwhile Mayor of Misrule is welcome, but this one was particularly pleasing. A long refined word is followed by a short coarse one; both are equally apposite and the whole phrase rhythmically exceeds the sum of its parts. Ken Livingstone is a vainglorious twat, and there's an end of it.

Going from the sublime to the ridiculous is one of life's pleasures - and it's usually free. Think of Great Anna, taking counsel and tea. Think of Mrs Slocombe going from posh to northern as she touched upon her pussy. But it only works if the writer - or speaker - has a feel for the ridiculous. If he thinks himself sublime, it jars. Ihab Hassan writes in the Georgia Review on the seemy side of modern life. There is a "surfeit of seeming":

I do not mean to make an essay out of the tribulations of writing an essay—that’s tacky; I mean only to explain my title as a bewildered approach to the multitudinous present, the way we have become. It’s a large topic, relevant to what V. S. Naipaul called “our universal civilization,” relevant also to all those errant souls—immigrants, refugees, displaced persons, expatriates like myself—wandering the earth. It’s a large topic, but I have tried to hew to a particular line: the tyranny of appearances, a surfeit of seeming in America. Yes, now things must seem, not be. 

Bees buzz and also sting. The line I have taken may not always please. But I suspect that even Candide knew in his heart of hearts that whatever is, is not always, well, cool.

Perhaps whatever is, is well, like, whatever. And is "cool" a cool word in a cruel world? 

Then there’s the leap of faith, Kierkegaardian or otherwise, that finds truth and trust—now fused—in a spiritual impulse that overwhelms doubt, defies the weight of the world.

Defies or deifies? Bees buzz, death stings, and my Kierkegaardian angel wings. On it goes in the same vain vein, then he bumps up against mind:

As to mind, its road has been long and anfractuous.  

I can't speak for his mind, but the words "bust" and "ass" spring unetymologically into mine.

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Posted on 07/28/2009 4:08 PM by Mary Jackson
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Tuesday, 28 July 2009
Behind Closed Doors: The Open Borders Lobby
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Numbers USA:

The setting? The Marriott convention hotel in the fashionable Dupont Circle district of Washington, D.C. Date? June 15, 2009. Participants? A coalition of big-business oriented, pro-Open Borders dedicated groups, corporations, and lobbyists. Organizer? Tamar Jacoby and her newly-formed ImmigrationWorksUSA lobbying group.

(...)

The welcome is by Deborah Marriott Harrison, who is granddaughter of the Marriott Hotels founder and V.P. Government Relations for the chain.

She announced that her dad is willing to speak on behalf of Comprehensive Immigration Reform. [CIR, big-business style, is defined later in this report.] She repeats the mantra that the "system is broken."

Tamar Jacoby, recognized as organizer of the conference and head of new business-backed "ImmigrationWorksUSA" group. Her remarks:

We are having the conference because we failed last time [to pass amnesty in 2007] and we must change. We did none of the things the opposition did. Opponents sent over a million faxes. We need to learn to leverage grass roots power. The basic goal is to promote the free flow of labor into the USA. This issue, immigration, is the top of the second tier of issues. Politicians are asking themselves if there will be public support.

Mentions Lou Dobbs and NumbersUSA shutting down the switchboard. We do not need to be even in faxes and phone calls because we have great lobbyists. But we need more faxes and phone calls than we have been getting.

Marshall Fitz, American Immigration Lawyers Association, made these remarks:

We have a chance this year. The election of Obama was a game changer. The Latino electoral power is a sleeping giant that is now awake. The 2008 election reflected 3 million more Latino voters than in 2004. Latinos went 67 to 31, Obama to McCain. Other minorities were strong for Obama.

Craig Regelbrugge, American Nursery and Landscape Association Government Affairs Director, gave these remarks:

The contacts to most offices are staggeringly in favor of anti-immigration. We want to build a communication apparatus to balance out the anti-immigrants. Our side will never have the passion level. NumbersUSA has had twenty years to organize.

Grover Norquist, Americans for Tax Reform: Immigration is the USA’s competitive advantage.

Competitve advantage against what? China? India? Do we have to keep the number of poor people up and wages down so we can compete in the global marketplace producing cheap stuff? If we don't keep those starvation-wage jobs plentiful, where will we be?

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Posted on 07/28/2009 1:45 PM by Rebecca Bynum
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Tuesday, 28 July 2009
Your average white bread Jihadis arrested by FBI in rural North Carolina
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We have been posting about home grown Jihadi terrorists. Many of them have been natural born American Somalis and others had natural roots in Wahhabist Salafist Islamic doctrine. Some  have been minority prison converts to Islam who became Jihadis and were captured abroad.  Now comes this shocker. The arrest of a terror cell headed by your average white bread American convert to Islam, David Boyd, who trained in Afghanistan and Pakistan and ran a day job as a drywall contractor and lived in Willow Springs, North Carolina, outside of Raleigh.  CBN reported on the arrest of the seven members of the rural Jihad cell, “Seven N.C. Men charged for planning ‘Jihad.’”

Note this from the CBN report:

"It's kind of scary to me to be honest with you," said Rob Roegner, a resident of Willow Spring, N.C. "I spoke to them. I never had any idea he was involved in something like that."
    
Residents of the Willow Spring, N.C., neighborhood watched in disbelief as FBI agents raided the home of 39-year-old Daniel Boyd.
    
Agents said Boyd was the ring leader who recruited his two sons and four other young American men in their 20s. Boyd had traveled to Pakistan and Afghanistan to receive military-style training in terrorist training camps to engage in violent jihad.

"The recruitment both then to radical jihadist movements as well as homegrown terrorists who want to attack us is here in the United States" former FBI agent Brad Garrett said. "And the real problem is how do you figure out who they are."

Erick Stakelbeck, Terrorism beat reporter for CBN had some disturbing thoughts about this and related developments triggered by these FBI arrests. As you will see one the motivating threads was animus against Israel and potential threats to Jewish targets here in America and abroad. Here are his comments on his CBN blog: Stakelbeck on Terror:

The terror arrests outside Raleigh, North Carolina are big for a few reasons. 1) This was a homegrown cell based in rural America. 2) It was led by a white convert to Islam named Daniel Patrick Boyd. 3) The cell had plotted against Israel, which means they could very well have targeted Jewish sites on U.S. soil as well. We still don't have all the details on that front. But a common thread in many recent terror arrests on U.S. soil is a desire among the suspects to hit Jewish targets, either here or abroad.

This NC cell was based in a rural area outside Raleigh. Rural America is the perfect place for jihadis to lay low and train. In fact, I have been following the "jihad in rural America" angle for some time: it is real and troubling. I've reported  from the backwoods compound of a radical group called Muslims of America; from sleepy Shelbyville, TN, where hundreds of Somali Muslims have flocked in recent years; from rural Virginia, again, where a terror cell trained for jihad by playing paintball; and from Tulsa, Oklahoma,  where a moderate Muslim man was threatened for speaking out against jihad. And let's not forget the attempt to establish a terror training camp in the backwoods of Bly, Oregon.

One group that has the talent and funding from largely liberal American Jewish contributors is the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama headed by lawyer Morris Dees. Go to the SPLC website and what do you find, stories about Skin heads in our military training as terrorists and combating the remnants of the Klan and neo-Nazi hate groups in America.  But nothing on home grown Jihadi terrorist threats against  their contributors in rural North Carolina or those Jamaat ul-Fuqra camps that the Christian Action Network have graphically documented.  While the SPLC has tracked alliances between neo-Nazi extremists and some Islamist groups here in the US, their leadership is still mired in the kumbaya era of the Civil Rights movement. Maybe those American Jewish contributors should launch a call-in campaign to get Dees and his talented crew of ex-FBI and law enforcement intelligence professionals to launch an anti-Jihadi surveillance program and launch legal actions to take the funding out of the Muslim Brotherhood groups supporting ‘stealth Jihad’ and possibly Jihadi terror cells like the one the FBI arrested leaders in Willow Springs, NC. Maybe!

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Posted on 07/28/2009 9:25 AM by Jerry Gordon
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