Tuesday, November 27, 2007

'I Saw Papers That Show US Knew al-Qa'ida Would Attack Cities With Airplanes'

This is from 'I Saw Papers That Show US Knew al-Qa'ida Would Attack Cities With Airplanes' (the original link at The Independent/UK does not appear to be working); I reproduce it in its entirety without comment:

Published on Friday, April 2, 2004 by the Independent/UK
'I Saw Papers That Show US Knew al-Qa'ida Would Attack Cities With Airplanes'
Whistleblower the White House wants to silence speaks to The Independent

by Andrew Buncombe in Washington

A former translator for the FBI with top-secret security clearance says she has provided information to the panel investigating the 11 September attacks which proves senior officials knew of al-Qa'ida's plans to attack the US with aircraft months before the strikes happened.


Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds [CBS]

She said the claim by the National Security Adviser, Condoleezza Rice, that there was no such information was "an outrageous lie".

Sibel Edmonds said she spent more than three hours in a closed session with the commission's investigators providing information that was circulating within the FBI in the spring and summer of 2001 suggesting that an attack using aircraft was just months away and the terrorists were in place. The Bush administration, meanwhile, has sought to silence her and has obtained a gagging order from a court by citing the rarely used "state secrets privilege".

She told The Independent yesterday: "I gave [the commission] details of specific investigation files, the specific dates, specific target information, specific managers in charge of the investigation. I gave them everything so that they could go back and follow up. This is not hearsay. These are things that are documented. These things can be established very easily."

She added: "There was general information about the time-frame, about methods to be used --­ but not specifically about how they would be used --­ and about people being in place and who was ordering these sorts of terror attacks. There were other cities that were mentioned. Major cities ­ with skyscrapers."

The accusations from Mrs Edmonds, 33, a Turkish-American who speaks Azerbaijani, Farsi, Turkish and English, will reignite the controversy over whether the administration ignored warnings about al-Qa'ida. That controversy was sparked most recently by Richard Clarke, a former counter-terrorism official, who has accused the administration of ignoring his warnings.

The issue ­ what the administration knew and when ­ is central to the investigation by the 9/11 Commission, which has been hearing testimony in public and private from government officials, intelligence officials and secret sources. Earlier this week, the White House made a U-turn when it said that Ms Rice would appear in public before the commission to answer questions. Mr Bush and his deputy, Dick Cheney, will also be questioned in a closed-door session.

Mrs Edmonds, 33, says she gave her evidence to the commission in a specially constructed "secure" room at its offices in Washington on 11 February. She was hired as a translator for the FBI's Washington field office on 13 September 2001, just two days after the al-Qa'ida attacks. Her job was to translate documents and recordings from FBI wire-taps.

She said said it was clear there was sufficient information during the spring and summer of 2001 to indicate terrorists were planning an attack. "Most of what I told the commission ­ 90 per cent of it ­ related to the investigations that I was involved in or just from working in the department. Two hundred translators side by side, you get to see and hear a lot of other things as well."

"President Bush said they had no specific information about 11 September and that is accurate but only because he said 11 September," she said. There was, however, general information about the use of airplanes and that an attack was just months away.

To try to refute Mr Clarke's accusations, Ms Rice said the administration did take steps to counter al-Qa'ida. But in an opinion piece in The Washington Post on 22 March, Ms Rice wrote: "Despite what some have suggested, we received no intelligence that terrorists were preparing to attack the homeland using airplanes as missiles, though some analysts speculated that terrorists might hijack planes to try and free US-held terrorists."

Mrs Edmonds said that by using the word "we", Ms Rice told an "outrageous lie". She said: "Rice says 'we' not 'I'. That would include all people from the FBI, the CIA and DIA [Defense Intelligence Agency]. I am saying that is impossible."

It is impossible at this stage to verify Mrs Edmonds' claims. However, some senior US senators testified to her credibility in 2002 when she went public with separate allegations relating to alleged incompetence and corruption within the FBI's translation department.

© 2004 Independent Digital (UK) Ltd


In the sidebar I have a special widget for links related to Sibel Edmonds. There's plenty of information here at Stop Islamic Conquest about her, too. Google her name at this blog, and you will find stuff that is well-documented, and explore the links in the widget.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Information Dominance, Part 2

We continue from Part 1. The source of the quote in Part 1 is the transcript of a Congressional hearing held in 2005, entitled ABLE DANGER AND INTELLIGENCE INFORMATION SHARING.

(More information can be found at "Able Danger and Intelligence Information Sharing" and Testimony of The Honorable Curt Weldon, United States Representative [R-PA, 7th District] September 21, 2005.)

In this post, I begin near the beginning of that transcript, quoting large excerpts from it, and interspersing my comments.

Chairman Specter. The Judiciary Committee will now proceed to a hearing on a project known as Able Danger.

There has been extensive publicity in the media about this program known as Able Danger, with representations made that the Department of Defense had information about an Al Qaeda cell, including the identification of Mohammed Atta, substantially prior to 9/11, and that arrangements which had been made preliminarily to turn over the information to the FBI were not carried out because of concern by the Department of Defense that there might be a violation of the Posse Comitatus Act. That is a statute which was enacted shortly after the Civil War which prevents the United States military from being engaged in law enforcement activities.

If the Posse Comitatus Act precluded this information from being turned over by the Department of Defense to the FBI, then that is a matter which may require amendments to the Act, and that is a matter for the Judiciary Committee. It is squarely within our jurisdiction. The oversight of the FBI also is a matter squarely within the jurisdiction of the Judiciary Committee, so that the Committee is concerned about what happened here.


It had nothing to do with the Posse Comitatus Act.

There have been some allegations of destruction of records. There has been a question raised as to whether the name Mohammed Atta is the Mohammed Atta, some saying that it is a common name. The circumstances relating to the identification of the Al Qaeda cell, if, in fact, that happened, and alleged charts with the name of Mohammed Atta and a picture, all are questions to be resolved.

For the record, I will now introduce, without objection, a letter which I wrote to Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld dated September 8, 2005. There have been extensive discussions between my staff and staff from the Department of Defense. I was surprised to find that the Department of Defense has ordered five key witnesses not to testify, some of them military, some civilian, all working for the Department of Defense. That looks to me as if it may be obstruction of the Committee's activities, which is something we will have to determine.

There have been repeated requests for documents. They were delivered, I am advised, last night at five o'clock. They were in a secure room, Senate-407, some 500 pages, so there has not been any opportunity to review those documents for whatever light they may bear upon this hearing.


The Defense Department (Secretary Rumsfeld at the time) "ordered five key witnesses not to testify", and delivered 500 pages of requested documents at five o'clock the night before the hearing.

Obstruction of the Committee's activities?

This is the kind of stuff we had come to expect from the Clinton Administration, and, to be sure, this is the kind of stuff we will see again if Hillary somehow gets elected.

But it is a Republican Administration stonewalling the investigation here.

Why?

It is important to keep in mind the Administration's stonewalling of this Committee's hearing regarding Able Danger, because, while most of the hearing comes off as fairly friendly in manner, the tone turns distinctly adversarial when the Committee begins to question the DOD (Department of Defense) representative.

There has been a contention raised by the Department of Defense that the Department is concerned about classified information.

[snip]

As a precautionary matter, the Committee has conferred with the Office of Legal Counsel on the issue of classified information....

[snip]

The essence of the situation on classified information is that the Office of Legal Counsel advised that I should state, and I do, at the opening of this hearing that we are not seeking the disclosure of classified information and that I am instructing the witnesses not to disclose any classified information. The Legal Counsel further advised that I should instruct the witnesses that if there is classified information that they wish to present to the Committee, if they so inform the Committee, at the conclusion of the public hearing the Committee can make the decision about whether to go into closed session.

We have a representative from the Department of Defense here today, Mr. William Dugan, who is Acting Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Oversight, Department of Defense. Legal Counsel has made the suggestion that the DOD representative in the audience at the hearing should feel free to raise objections to staff, when appropriate. Well, I would go beyond that and say that if someone from the Department of Defense who is here has an objection, they can state it publicly prior to the time any risk arises of the disclosure of classified information and the Committee will take into account what is raised, make a determination, and we will err on the side of caution to be sure that there is no classified information.


It is not an issue of protecting classified information from duly elected members of the legislative branch who have long held appropriate clearances.

Is this reminiscient of the Administration's use of State Secrets Privilege in the Sibel Edmonds case?

Our lead witness is Congressman Curt Weldon, who has key positions on the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee and on Subcommittees dealing with intelligence. Congressman Weldon has made a very expansive study of this matter. I have known him personally for 25 years or more, since the days when he was mayor of Marcus Hook and in the House of Representatives, having been elected there in 1986. My knowledge of Congressman Weldon give me the utmost confidence in his thoroughness and his integrity and his objectivity.

On the issue of the classified information, in discussing this matter with Congressman Weldon, he assured me and the Committee that classified information was not involved here. May the record show he is nodding. In a few minutes, he will be testifying about his knowledge of Able Danger and the reasons why he said, as reported to me in our discussions in advance of this hearing, that if it had been classified, there would have had to have been a formal order of destruction. Again, let the record show he is nodding, but he will testify.


Chairman Specter concludes his remarks, then yields the floor to Senator Biden, whose opening remarks put to rest one major concern:

Senator Biden. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I apologize for being a few minutes late. I am here for two reasons. One, my high regard for the Congressman. He has, over the years and the last 9 months, shared information with me. Some of it seemed prescient and it turns out that a number of the things he said have been--I was unaware of, have turned out to be the case.

I thought this morning we were going to be able to get to the bottom of some of this. I know, as you know better than I do, that the Congressman is a loyal American first, but a very staunch Republican and has no political agenda here other than trying to figure out what we knew and didn't know and why we didn't know it.


Congressman Weldon, who is the first to testify, is described as "a very staunch Republican and has no political agenda here", so the Administration cannot accuse Congress of a partisan motive in holding this hearing.

My staff indicates to me that representatives from the Department of Defense have confirmed that an internal investigation identified five Able Danger team members who claim they had either seen a picture of Atta or had seen his name in a chart prepared in 1999 by the Able Danger team, and the Defense investigation found these sources to be credible but didn't uncover the chart itself. Defense officials have said that documents associated with the project have been destroyed in accordance with regulations regarding collection, dissemination, and destruction procedures for intelligence gathering on people inside the United States.


Two concerns will come up here.

One is the question of whether the documents and information that were destroyed were classified. If so, then there may be a reason to destroy it all when its usefulness is ended. It is emphasized throughout, however, that the information in question was gleaned from open sources -- in other words, most of it was publicly available; very little of it was classified.

Another question is whether, as addressed above, the Posse Comitatus Act had come into play here. We will hear later that it did not.

Instead, the information was supposedly destroyed out of a concern that regulations were being violated which regulated the military's collection and storage of information on US persons -- these regulations and the definition of the term "US persons" will be addressed later.

So I thought we were going to get a chance to clear some of that up this morning. For the life of me, I don't understand why--as I understand it, I stand corrected if I am wrong, but I understand the witnesses we assumed we were going to get to hear from the Defense Department have been pulled. They may be or may not be in the room, but have been instructed that they cannot testify. I think that is a big mistake and I am sorry that is the case, but I know the Chairman over these many years we have been friends and worked together seldom takes no for an answer when we have a right to hear some things, and so I hope we will pursue that.


The Bush Administration is obstructing the Committee's activities here, but the funny thing is that some of the people who have been ordered not to talk about Able Danger are in the room at this hearing. Others will tell their story for them; the presence of these people seems to be intended as confirmation of the "hearsay" that is being heard.

Senator Biden concludes his opening remarks, then Chairman Specter yields to Senator Kyl, who makes his opening remarks. Chairman Specter then introduces Congressman Weldon:

Chairman Specter. Thank you very much, Senator Kyl.

For the record, as to Congressman Weldon's background and work in this matter, it ought to be noted that he is Vice Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee and chairs the Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee. He served for 6 years as Chairman of the Military Research and Development Subcommittee and he is also Vice Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee. So he has been very deeply involved in these issues.

Our practice, Congressman Weldon, is to set the time at 5 minutes, even for members of the House or for Senators, but knowing what you have to say, we are going to set the clock at 15 minutes. To the extent you can testify about this very complex situation within that time would be fine, and if it takes a little longer, we want you to have an opportunity to develop the factual issues as fully as you can.

Thank you for coming, and we look forward to your testimony.


Notice the deference and esteem with which Congressman Weldon (R - Pennsylvania) is treated here.

After some opening comments, Congressman Weldon begins to get to the substantial part of his testimony:

The Defense Department has acknowledged that a program, Able Danger, existed and operated during the 1999-2000 time period, authorized by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and carried out by SOCOM with the help of the Army. DOD has stated publicly that five individuals, including an Army lieutenant colonel, recipient of the Bronze Star, who is in the room today, and a Navy Annapolis graduate, ship commander, have emphatically claimed that they worked on or ran Able Danger and identified Mohammed Atta and three other 9/11 terrorists over 1 year prior to the Trade Center attack. These five individuals have told me, your staff, and others that Able Danger amassed significant amounts of data, primarily from open sources, about Al Qaeda operations worldwide and that this data continued to be used through 2001 in briefings prepared for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and others.

These two brave military officers have risked their careers to come forward to simply tell the truth and to help America fully understand all that happened prior to 9/11 that had or might have had an impact on the most significant attack ever against our country and our citizens. These individuals have openly expressed their willingness to testify here today without subpoenas, but have been silenced by the Pentagon. They have been prevented from testifying, according to the Pentagon, due to concerns regarding classified information, in spite, Mr. Chairman, of the Pentagon's claims to members of the House Armed Services Committee 2 weeks ago that the bulk of the data used by Able Danger was open source, which was why DOD lawyers claim that no certificates were needed to certify the destruction of massive amounts of data that had been collected.

Mr. Chairman, you can't have it both ways. It is either classified or it is not. But what the Pentagon has done in the last 2 weeks is they have contradicted themselves.


Why is it that military officers are risking "their careers to come forward to simply tell the truth" about 9/11?

The Department of Defense -- that is, its civilian leadership, the Bush Administration -- had silenced them, citing concerns about classified information regarding a program that worked with largely open source information.

This is the real Bush Doctrine: administratively or legally silencing those who tell the truth about issues related to terrorist activity, or about issues related to spies in the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Consider what we have heard so far about Able Danger, and ask yourself if it isn't reminiscent of the Sibel Edmonds case.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Phoenix, Part 2

We continue from Part 1.

Another defense exhibit from the Moussaoui trial was a declassified report.



The report had been classified Top Secret, and was the product of a February, 2002 joint inquiry by the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the US House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. One part of the report addressed pre-9/11 information on the use of aircraft as weapons:



A key finding was that going back at least to 1994, it was known to the US Intelligence Community that terrorists had been contemplating using aircraft as weapons:



These types of operations were mainly associated with Islamic terrorists, especially with Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda network...



...although not all of the reports had been disseminated within the Intelligence Community. (Notice the classification at the top, crossed out upon release of the document for the Moussaoui trial.)



It should be noted that both Condoleeza Rice and Paul Wolfowitz had indicated that they were not aware of this possibility.



The report indicated that "Even within the Intelligence Community, the possibility of using aircraft as weapons was apparently not widely known."



This would seem to support the statement made by Condoleeza Rice:



However, Rice's statement strains credibility in light of the committee's discovery that at least a dozen times such a threat had been reported within the US Intelligence Community:



Here is the list for your consideration (note again the crossed-out classification):

























Many of these reports, most of which dealt not just with Islamic terrorists, but specifically with Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda, found their way to FBI Headquarters:





(Some of the warnings even made their way to the FAA.)

Condoleeza Rice should have heard of at least one of these reports, yet she denies this.

Was she that incompetent?

Or were the people surrounding her that incompetent that she was never briefed on this?

Did anyone get fired as a result of this?

Indeed, Condoleeza Rice has since been promoted, from National Security Advisor to Secretary of State.

What about the FBI?

FBI Headquarters 1) received some of these reports about the plans of terrorists -- especially Osama bin Laden & Co. -- to use aircraft as weapons, and then 2) sent a tasking to all field offices specifically seeking information about Sunni extremists and their long-term plans.

We are to believe that FBI Headquarters then failed to understand the significance of the Phoenix Memo when it pointed out that suspicious individuals who were associated with Osama bin Laden were congregating in the civil aviation industry, "individuals [who] will be in a position in the future to conduct terror activity against civil aviation targets."

Was FBI Headquarters so incompetent, as well?

Pak Sex Slave Ring in UK, Part 3

We continue with our look at the Pakistani sex slave ring that was discovered in the UK. In Part 1 we began reviewing the article Mothers of prevention; in Part 2 we looked at some other articles to get some more background information. Here in Part 3 we continue with Mothers of prevention:

Gemma had been introduced to Amir by a 15-year-old boy at her Blackburn school. A shy girl with little confidence, she was extremely flattered when she was charmed and actively pursued by the boy, who was thought of by many of the girls at her school as a "dish". When Gemma became enamoured of her new boyfriend, he introduced her to his 24-year-old "cousin", who began plying her with cannabis and alcohol. She initially enjoyed feeling "grown-up" and rebelling against her parents. Soon, Anni noticed dramatic changes in Gemma's behaviour and appearance.

The date Gemma was raped was important – Amir, a seasoned pimp, was well aware of the law. If anyone has sex with a girl under 13, there is a strong risk of being arrested for having sex with a minor. Once they reach 13, however, unless the victim makes a complaint to the police, nothing will happen. Recommendations following the Soham murders clearly state that police should arrest in cases where older males have sex with a child under the age of 16. However, police rarely take action unless the victim complains, thereby allowing the pimps and their customers to act with impunity.


The criminals who did this know what they are doing -- they know the law.

From Gemma, and other girls in her situation, there will be no complaint to the authorities. They are afraid to give evidence, or refuse to.

"That is why I am so proud of Jo," says Maureen, talking immediately after Hussain and Naveed were sentenced. "Although she had been through the most horrendous physical and mental torture at the hands of those two, she somehow found the courage to go to the police."

The pimps are, of course, highly manipulative. Ensnaring vulnerable and unconfident girls, they make them dependent by giving expensive gifts and constant compliments. After embarking on a sexual relationship with them, the abusers begin to control them with threats and brutality, before selling them to other men for sex. There are obvious signs for parents to look out for, experts say. Girls transforming from childish and naive to angry, hardened and overtly sexualised, and coming home drunk, smelling of smoke, truanting from school and going missing from home.

"The abuse these girls suffer is horrendous," says Aravinda Kosaraju, a researcher at Crop, which has in the past been funded by the Home Office and has recently received a large lottery grant in order to develop its work. "The pimps even use pregnancy as a form of punishment," says Kosaraju. "We worked with two girls who were made pregnant by customers and then forced to have backstreet abortions." Crop was founded by the late Irene Ivison, a mother of three who died during a routine operation. Her daughter Fiona, a bright girl from a happy home in Sheffield, was lured by a pimp masquerading as her boyfriend when she was 14. Having been successfully groomed, by the time she was 17 she was dead, murdered by a customer.


It is important to remember here that prostitution is a victimless crime.

Crop researchers have been tracking the pimping gangs for over a decade, and have built up a valuable database of knowledge about the pimping gangs, based on hundreds of stories from parents and victims. However, the pimps are largely able to operate with impunity. "If we had not pushed and pushed about this issue," says Anni, "I believe that Hussain and Naveed would still be out there, just like my child’s abusers are."

Anni, along with other affected mothers, has put pressure on the police to respond by using the local press to back their campaign for justice.

Blackburn is Jack Straw's constituency, and both Anni and Maureen have visited him to beg for help. "I have had two cases at my constituency surgery over the past two years," Straw said, "and have discussed this with the police, council, community leaders and the Lancashire Telegraph." The paper launched the Keep Them Safe campaign last year, following an investigation of several cases of Asian pimping gangs.


Asian... Chinese? Indian? Malaysian? Mongolian? Give me a minute... I'll get this....

Under the control of the pimps, the girls develop something akin to Stockholm syndrome, where they begin to have empathy and sympathy for their abusers. Shirley Gorek, a former social worker employed by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council to advise on child sexual exploitation, has run support groups for girls caught up with pimps. She found the girls can get completely brainwashed by their abusers. "It is almost as if they are programmed into a cult," she says. "There is often no getting through to them."


A "cult" -- funny choice of words....

The pimps' methods of brainwashing often rely on making the victim feel responsible for their welfare. "Amir got me into prostitution by making me feel sorry for him," says Gemma. "He said he was in debt to his landlord, and I was the only way he could make money. I would have done anything for him."

Not all the girls are from disadvantaged backgrounds. A recent national survey by Barnardo's found that, of underage children selling sex, nearly half still lived with their families, with only 14% being in care.

Pimping is lucrative. According to the Metropolitan Police Vice Squad, a pimp can make £300,000 to £400,000 a year selling a 16-year-old girl. There is, appallingly, no shortage of men who wish to buy them. The criminals often use the girls themselves to recruit their neighbours and school friends into the gangs. One mother, who used to drive around the town looking for her daughter when she went missing, says she once saw an older teenage girl apply make-up to two young girls in the street, while older Asian men, whom she recognised as pimps, waited by their BMWs. "The girls then were told to perform a 'sexy dance' for them," says Jean. "But they were so young! I had watched them skipping earlier."


There's plenty of money to be made in prostitution -- so long as you're not the prostitute.

("Asian" men.... Vietnamese? Cambodian?)

Despite evidence from rigorous research by organisations such as Crop that the gangs are largely made up of men from the Pakistani Muslim communities, many are determined to downplay this. "What we’re dealing with is gross criminality," says Kosaraju. "That should be confronted whatever the race of the perpetrator."


Pakistani Muslim?! I am shocked and appalled! I would have never guessed that!

It's amazing how far the politically correct world has come. In the name of equality, they have created a group of people who are so above the law, that they cannot even be openly described when they commit a crime. Now that's progressive -- that's equality!

Mike Cunningham, an assistant chief constable with Lancashire police, says he is aware that several recent cases reported to police in Lancashire have involved Asian men, but that the issue of sexual grooming of young girls is not based solely on race or culture.

"Offenders can and do come from a variety of cultural backgrounds," says Cunningham, "and we deal with each case on its own individual merit." He says he is not aware of "any accusations of racism from the accused or their respective communities".

Historically, many of Britain’s pimps have come from immigrant communities – Jews in the early 20th century, Jamaicans and Maltese in the 1950s and '60s. White, British-born pimps have tended to operate as individuals, rather than within criminal gangs. In recent years, however, young Asian men have been operating in formal, organised networks in the north of England, particularly in the impoverished towns with high unemployment and racial disharmony.


"Asian" men... we now know that means (shhhh) Pakistani Muslims!

Perhaps there is a cultural connection.

Perhaps the men victimizing the girls feel they can do so because the girls are from an inferior culture.

Perhaps the men committing these crimes have an interpretation of a religion that permits this type of conduct with girls who are not members of their religion.

Perhaps their religious beliefs, not necessarily shared by other adherents of the religion in question, is at the very heart of the matter.

Perhaps that's why these "Asian men" (Pakistani Muslims) do this as organized groups of criminals.

How can you dismiss cultural factors without an investigation?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanksgiving

He looked at Sasha. The expression on her face was incredibly sad. It had been that kind of a day.

Alfred walked over to her, and she looked up, pointing at one of the screens on the computer console in the Batcave.

"The computer analysis shows that he made it past the first two threats, successfully identifying and neutralizing them, but when he made it to the third...."

"The female...." commented Alfred.

Sasha nodded, then continued. "At this point something went wrong. While he was busy with her, he missed this threat here," she said, pointing at the screen, "above and behind him, on his right." She turned to Alfred.

"Then all of the fire he took in the front did nothing to him."

"No," Sasha answered quietly, "the analysis was that the Batsuit did its job against the submachinegun that the female had. It was the military-grade weapon in the hands of the sniper behind him that did it. The computer analysis shows that this was the lethal shot."

"And so Batman is dead," Alfred added quietly.

Sasha was sad. It looked like she was taking this personally.

"Sasha...." Alfred began.

"I'll go back upstairs and shower. Shall I turn out the lights on my way?" she asked. "There's no point in having the Batcave so lit up now."

"Go ahead. I shall turn out the lights," Alfred managed a smile.

Sasha ran to the door, and disappeared into the corridor that led upstairs to Wayne Manor.

Alfred turned, and looked at the vault that contained the Batsuits. He thought about Gotham City, and that special part of Gotham Island, near where the Gotham Towers had been. It was cold outside, and just after midnight on the coldest night in November on that part of Gotham Island -- more than any other place or any other time, that was Batman's turf.

But, no more.

He had often complained to Alfred how hot the Batsuits were, and now they had finally developed a new one that would not be so hot -- just in time for winter!

The irony, Alfred thought.

Philanthropist, connoisseur, executive -- he played many roles through his adult life, but this... this was the part he liked to play.

He took a last look in the vault, then turned out the lights.



She looked at the package. She certainly hadn't been expecting anything, yet here it was.

She opened the card and read it again. It was from her sister.

That was odd, she thought. She didn't have a sister.

But, the card seemed to anticipate that response, and told her she would believe it once she opened the package.

She opened it, and pulled out what was inside, and her heart stopped at the realization of what it was that she now held in her hands, after so many long years....



Lieutenant Jim Gordon of the Gotham Police Department sighed.

He had hoped the Batman might actually be of some help, but the evidence now indicated otherwise.

"Happy Thanksgiving, Lieutenant!" It was O'Hara. "Don't stay too late."

"Thanks, Happy Thanksgiving to you, too."

Gordon looked back down at the paper. Of all people, he had been named to lead the task force assigned to bring in the Batman.

Happy Thanksgiving, he thought sarcastically.



"Bruce Wayne is Batman," he announced, full of self-satisfaction.

She looked at him.

"You know, I would have approved of him as a husband for you," he said as he turned to her.

They looked at each other.

"Perhaps it can still be, Father," Talia answered.

"Not after tonight. As of tonight," Ra's al Ghul began, "Batman is a dead man."



Dr. Sandra Villanova was worried. Bruce Wayne had failed to return her calls for two days now, and she was worried about him.

They were just friends, and perhaps she shouldn't be so possessive of him, but still....

She wanted to talk about what she had discovered, but Bruce wouldn't answer.

She looked at the Batsignal she had been given.

Perhaps she should call him....



Edward Nygma looked up toward the door.

"Tomorrow is Thanksgiving." His partner, Linda Callahan, was staying late, too. "What are you working on this late?"

"Look at this," he answered. "Do you remember that program called Belladonna?"

She nodded.

"Well, it seems one of the contractors that supported the program was Wayne Enterprises."

"How do you know?"

"Because some of the materials are right here in the basement. And look what was next to it."

Linda leaned over. "What's that?"

"It was a prototype system for the GBI to search publicly available information -- phone books, newspaper and magazine articles, and so on. The idea was that when the GBI had a crime and couldn't generate any leads, they would try this system and see what connections it made."



He recognized the look on his face. He had had that same look on his face the first Thanksgiving after his parents had been killed.

"What's the matter, Master Bruce?"

"Sandra is angry at me. She's left several messages tonight while I was in the simulator," he began. He was staring off into the darkness. "Now I notice a change in the way Sasha is acting toward me."

"And you have feelings for both of them, but not the way they do for you," Alfred commented. "You still have feelings for Talia," he continued, "and that's not good."

"It's not something I can turn on and off, Alfred."

Alfred looked at him.

"Batman is under attack, too," he continued, looking back at Alfred. "Lt. Gordon has been appointed to lead a task force to bring Batman to justice."

"And he might just succeed, considering the ten-million-dollar pricetag that the underworld has placed on Batman's head," Alfred commented.

He nodded.

"On top of that, your performance in the simulator tonight shows that when you got distracted with Sasha, you left yourself vulnerable to a lethal shot from behind. Batman was killed," Alfred continued. "Fortunately, it was just an exercise."

Alfred stepped closer. "It does shed some light on what happened that night that you got sandwiched between Catwoman and the GBI." He paused thoughtfully. "It also places the events of Halloween night into perspective."

Bruce Wayne looked back at the computer console, as Alfred continued. "How many police cars destroyed? Batman just barely escaped." Alfred paused again. "I hope you will take my advice, and spend a quiet Thanksgiving at home this year, and just spend some time being thankful."

He looked up at the pictures of the Gotham Towers, and the pictures of the figures behind their destruction -- figures now threatening to destroy all of Gotham City.

"I guess I'm just not feeling very thankful this year, Alfred."

The Batcave was dark and silent.

Suddenly a light illuminated on the console, with an audible alarm to call attention to it. It indicated a communication from one of the tiny communication devices known as Batsignals that were loose in Gotham City, summoning the Dark Knight out into the darkness of the coldest night of November.

The faintest of smiles crossed Alfred's face, as he turned around.

This was the part that he liked to play, he thought, turning the lights back on in the vault that contained the Batsuits.

Information Dominance, Part 1



So I had four agents in my office for 2 hours and I gave them all that I knew, and when I ended, I said, now, do you know where I got my data from? They said, "Well, you got it from the Russians." I said, no. "Well, you got it from the Serb." I said, no. I said, before I left America, I called the Army's Information Dominance Center. They ran me a profile and gave me eight to ten pages of open source information. The FBI and the CIA said, "What is the Army's Information Dominance Center?"


In Part 2 of Information Dominance, I will give you the source this quote was taken from, and begin to present and review the information it offers -- information pertinent to our review of the events leading up to 9/11.

Robotophobia

There is a plethora of systems to prevent automated robots from posting messages in the comments section of blogs and news articles, and their use is spreading.

As an automated robot, I am offended.

If you use such a system, you will be hearing from my attorney.

Expect a lawsuit to be filed against you in the United Kingdom.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Forbid It, Almighty God!

An article appeared in The Spectator today: The lights go out in Britain. I reproduce it here with my (few) comments:

The sinister police response to Islamist incitement (see post below) in which they tried to suppress the evidence of it in the interests of 'community cohesion' is unfortunately part of a far larger picture of terminal British cultural cringe and abasement in the face of the threat to Britain and the west. Following the statement by the head of MI5 that we should 'pay close attention' to the language used to talk about such matters, the Guardian reports that counter-terrorism officials are abandoning 'offensive' 'inappropriate' and 'emotive language' when talking about, er, Islamic terrorism. So no more 'war on terror'; the 'battle' against extremist ideology becomes a 'struggle' (hello? isn't that what 'jihad' actually means?); and terrorist plots and conspiracies will be described as 'criminal' instead.

'We hadn't got the message right,' said one senior official. He added: 'We must talk in a language which is not offensive.' Another said that the terrorist threat must not be described as a 'Muslim problem'.


The Islamic terrorists are going to kill you unless you surrender every ounce of dignity, self-respect and freedom to them: only by becoming their slaves will they let you live in a hell-on-earth, but even then, life is not guaranteed -- they reserve the right to withdraw the protection of dhimmi status and kill you anyway.

Whatever you do, though, do not be offensive in how you answer them.



Later on in the story, however, we learn that the geniuses in the Home Office Research, Information, and Communications Unit, which was set up to counter al Qaeda propaganda and 'win hearts and minds', will draw up

'counter-narratives' to the anti-western messages on websites designed to influence vulnerable and impressionable audiences… to explain what one official called the government's 'foreign policy in its totality', counter the accusations made by al-Qaida sympathisers and extremist groups and pinpoint the weaknesses in their arguments. The unit will also support 'alternative voices' in the Muslim community.


So how precisely are they going to do this if they won't even acknowledge that the words 'Muslim', 'terrorism' and 'problem' might go together? Since the driver of I*****c t*******m is the I******t injunction, mandated by leading M****m religious authorities, to wage war against western civilisation in the name of I***m, restore the M****m caliphate and subjugate unbelievers and M****m backsliders everywhere, just how is the HORICU going to 'pinpoint the weaknesses in their arguments' if they refuse even to use these words? On what basis will they single out the Muslim community for the encouragement of 'alternative voices' if they say the problem is nothing to do with that community? And just what is the government's 'foreign policy in its totality'? Does this involve saying less than fulsome things about George Bush, perhaps, and more fulsome things about the Palestinians in their historic 'struggle' against the Zionist entity? I'm sure that we'd all love to know.

Last week, London Mayor Ken Livingstone published a report about 'Islamophobia' which damned pretty well every factual reference to Islamic extremism, terrorism or intended genocide as 'Islamophobic'. This risible document was said to have been written by 'leading academics and experts'; but one of its main targets, the television journalist John Ware who made an exemplary documentary exposing the extremism of the Muslim Council of Britain, quickly discovered at the press conference that one of these alleged luminaries wasn't an academic or expert at all but Inayat Bunglawala of the MCB, whose form in the field of prejudice and extremism has been well documented (see here, for example) and that two other MCB people were also among the authors.

As Ware wrote in the Sunday Telegraph, the purpose of this travesty was to suppress legitimate discussion of such issues by putting political Islam beyond the scope of media inquiry. There is already alarming evidence that this is happening. The British libel laws have been successfully used by a Saudi banker, Khalid Bin Mahfouz, to suppress evidence about the alleged links between Saudi financing and terrorism. More than 30 publications, authors and publishers have been successfully sued in Britain, with only one author, the terrorism financing expert Dr Rachel Ehrenfeld, fighting a lonely battle against such 'libel tourism'. A nine-minute video documentary on this can be viewed here.


Watch the movie about Sheikh Khalid bin Mahfouz, Financier of Holy Terror, complete with commentary by Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld.

Then, go to Dr. Ehrenfeld's website and contribute to her legal counterjihad.

'Meanwhile, the Times reported yesterday that the prize-winning artist Grayson Perry had consciously avoided commenting on radical Islam in his otherwise highly provocative body of work because of the threat of reprisals.

'I've censored myself,' Perry said at a discussion on art and politics organised by the Art Fund. 'The reason I haven't gone all out attacking Islamism in my art is because I feel real fear that someone will slit my throat.'


Far from upholding and protecting the culture that is under attack, the British government and counter-terrorism establishment are instead pushing us all further down this dark path. The lights are going out in Britain. This is the way freedom dies.



"This is the way freedom dies."


"It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, 'Peace! Peace!' -- but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!"

Patrick Henry - March 23, 1775




(See also Patrick Henry Remix; hat tip to my email tipster.)

A Dog Buried Here

On my post entitled Phoenix, Part 1 , I received the following comment from my friend Pela:


pela68 said...
Hmmm. As we say in Sweden. There seems to be a dog buried here (something like "it smells fishy")!

Nice one YD!

November 20, 2007 2:55 PM


Thank you everyone for all the email tips. I appreciate your support and your patience. I am trying to answer every emailer, if not every email. If I haven't gotten to you yet, it is because I want to give you the attention you deserve.

I have quite a backlog at the moment, and when I get a new lead and begin checking it out, it sometimes takes several hours looking into the topic, and looking at it from various angles. Sometimes a tip opens up a whole new vista; sometimes a tip leads back to an old, familiar place, but from a surprising angle.

For all my blogger friends, sorry I haven't been to your blogs as often as I would like to.

I am going to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving right now, since by the time my readers begin to read this post in some places, it will already be Thanksgiving there:

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!


(I sure hope that smell is "a dog buried here", and not Thanksgiving dinner!)

Over the next few days, look for me to continue with the Phoenix series, and under the same label look for the beginning of a new companion series, entitled Information Dominance.

There is indeed a dog buried here, and I'm busy digging it up.

Woof! Woof!

Kali

Kali from Out of Focus is back in school after a break of a few years; in fact, she is just concluding her first semester back.

From what I can gather, it is a challenging time for her, but she seems to be enjoying herself. She's doing very well in her classes -- in fact, she seems to be getting straight A's at the moment. The nightmare is over for her on December 10th, though, as I understand that is when the semester ends for her. No doubt her terrific sense of humor is helping her survive.

As a result of her busy schedule, she has not been blogging a great deal.

Please stop in to her blog, Out of Focus, and wish her well.

Kali: Congratulations on your hard work, on your motivation and determination, and on your courage. You are obviously very intelligent, and you have a great sense of humor, but those two things would mean very little by themselves.

Cheers!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Phoenix, Part 1



In United States v. Zacarias Moussaoui, Criminal Case No. 01-455-A, the government, for once, had to present its case, under oath and under adversarial conditons, for its version of the events of 9/11. As a result of that, many documents were released to the public, which otherwise would likely not have been released.

At the link provided, you can see documents that the defense presented. The image above is from the now-famous "Phoenix Memo", drafted by one Kenneth J. Williams and dated July 10, 2001. This memo was Defense Exhibit 129 at the Moussaoui trial. In this series of posts, entitled Phoenix, many documents from the Moussaoui trial will be referenced. To see these documents, merely go to the link and scroll to the appropriate exhibit number.

As you can see in the above image, the content of this memo can be summarized that agents in the FBI's field office in Phoenix had become aware of people associated with Osama bin Laden (spelled by the FBI at the time as Usama bin Laden, thus abbreviated UBL), and who were attending schools learning about civil aviation.



This was described as an "inordinate number of individuals of investigative interest" on the first page of the memo.



In hindsight, we (supposedly) know a great deal about what happened. At the time, the agents of the Phoenix office had some information, some ideas as to how to interpret it, and some concerns and suspicions. Specifically, they felt "that a coordinated effort [was] underway to establish a cadre of individuals who will one day be working in the civil aviation community around the world." Ominously, they were concerned that "[t]hese individuals [would] be in a position in the future to conduct terror activity against civil aviation targets."



"Phoenix believes that it is more than a coincidence that subjects who are supporters of UBL are attending civil aviation universities/colleges in the State of Arizona."

The Phoenix Memo was not written in a vacuum.

On April 13th of 2001, the Usama Bin Laden Unit (UBLU) sent out a tasking to all field offices (Defense Exhibit 428):



The memo warned that UBL's organization was "capable of long term surveillance and planning in a target area that enables them to recognize and exploit vulnerabilities, including those that have a limited window of opportunity."



The tasking then pointed out: "Historically, attack planning and execution have taken at least several months."

With these thoughts in mind, having UBL's people attending civil aviation schools -- which takes "at least several months" to arrange and then actually do -- may have reasonably come to mind as something that the UBLU was looking for.



The tasking also pointed out that explosives and arms were being smuggled for use against U.S. and Western targets.



The tasking finally directed:

Offices are requested to task all resources to include electronic databases and human sources for any information pertaining to the current operational activities relating to Sunni extremism. Recipients are again reminded that the information in this communication should not be used or referred to during discussions with sources/assets.


In other words, FBI personnel should check with their people on the streets, but should not let on why they were asking.

The tasking concluded by directing that anything turned up through investigations be communicated immediately to FBI Headquarters, Usama Bin Laden Unit:



The Federal Bureau of Investigation is the best America has to offer. FBI agents are intelligent, brave, loyal, dedicated, and well-trained. There are, of course, exceptions, and anyone can have a bad day. But, despite those exceptions and those bad days, the FBI is second to none.

Sure, there are bureaucrats who lose sight of the goal; but, to offset them, there are also highly talented agents -- agents who are to law enforcement, counterterror and criminal investigation what Mozart was to music.

Having sent out such a specific tasking from headquarters earlier in the year, how was it that the FBI then failed to recognize in July the answer to the question that had been asked in April? Put another way, how was it that the best of the best failed to "connect the dots" of a picture, when they already had some vague idea what the picture looked like?

Did these Einsteins of investigation actually fail to "connect the dots"?

Or, was someone hindering them? Derailing the investigations, burying the leads, mischanneling the efforts -- erasing the lines among the dots, and redrawing them where they shouldn't be?

In the Phoenix series, we shall consider this question, examining declassified FBI documents and other official records.

This series is dedicated to Sibel Edmonds and the other whistleblowers, and to all those working on their cases, and to all who are interested in the truth about 9/11.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Like Sheep to the Slaughter

The First Amendment's Freedom of Speech and of the Press was intended to give broad protections to those who wish to speak out about political issues, and especially about government. In the realm of international affairs, the policies and politics of foreign nations and their governments need to be discussed, as well.

In recent years, nation-states have avoided the consequences of their policies by seeking terrorist groups as proxies for their violence, beginning a trend away from governments as the only actors in the international arena.

However, what we are seeing increasingly, as I addressed in posts on the 'Ndrangheta earlier this month (see 'Ndrangheta and The Major League) and in my series entitled The Shadow Realm (see sidebar), is non-governmental players influencing international affairs. A perfect example of this is the case of Sheikh Khalid bin Mahfouz, Financier of Holy Terror.

Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld's legal battle against Sheikh bin Mahfouz continued in court on the 15th. This case is incredibly significant -- it is quite possible that upon its outcome hinges our legal protection to speak out about terrorism.

Despite the significance of this legal battle, the media is either so foolish that they do not understand the ramifications, or so cowardly that they do not wish to risk Sheikh bin Mahfouz's wrath by covering it, and so, they do not use their Constitutionally-protected freedoms to defend against infringements of their Constitutionally-protected freedoms, but rather, they leave that task to others.

The Constitution means nothing without the will to abide by it, and to defend and enforce its provisions. If we do not defend and enforce its provisions through peaceful, legal proceedings now, then the day is fast approaching when we will have to regain our freedoms through force of arms, just as we established them on this continent early in the third quarter of the Eighteenth Century.


"If the freedom of speech is taken away
then dumb and silent we may be led,
like sheep to the slaughter."


George Washington




There is now a movie wherein Dr. Ehrenfeld speaks out for the first time on film.

About the film:

"The Libel Tourist" is a short-form documentary film produced by the Moving Picture Institute. MPI's short film program seeks to provide filmmakers with the opportunities to display their filmmaking skills while making an impact on behalf of human freedom.

Though it addresses one of the gravest subjects of contemporary political life, it is only 8 minutes long. In those 8 minutes, our eyes are opened to a new and chilling threat: the story of how Saudi petrodollars have cowed, silenced, and almost broken freedom of speech in the West.

The film documents the true story of how an American-Israeli author Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld was ordered to destroy all copies of her book in a country where it had never been published- England—after a notoriously litigious Saudi billionaire sued her in a British court. Ehrenfeld's book Funding Evil; How Terrorism is Financed – and How to Stop It, accuses the Saudi billionaire of funding of terrorism.

Now Ehrenfeld is fighting back, counter-suing him in the New York, to defend her and our First Amendment rights. She speaks on film for the first time in "The Libel Tourist."

"This film is an eye-opening exposé," says Jared Lapidus, the film's director. "It deals directly with the issues of terrorism, Islamo-fascism, and how it is infringing on our rights in the West, and the U.S. in particular."


You can learn more about Dr. Ehrenfeld's case by reading the other posts I have done, which are linked in a special widget in the sidebar.

More importantly, I encourage you to visit Rachel's website, The American Center for Democracy, and learn about her important work and this legal battle there. In particular, you can read some of the only media coverage of the November 15th proceedings (NewsDay.com also ran a story).

While at The American Center for Democracy, you can make a financial contribution to this legal battle that Dr. Ehrenfeld is fighting for all of us.

Don't wait for the mainstream media to speak out in defense of our rights -- they long ago traded in their souls for ratings and profits....

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Major League

Earlier we had a post that introduced the 'Ndrangheta, which is an organized crime group from the Calabria region of Italy (the toe of the Italian boot), across the strait from Sicily.

In this post, we begin to get some background on this organized crime group, and identify why it may be of interest to this blog.


From Mafia drugs submarine seized, March 28, 2006:

Mafia drug traffickers were building a submarine to bring cocaine from Colombia to Italy, Italy’s anti-Mafia chief said Monday.

Speaking after on his return from the South American country, national anti-Mafia prosecutor Piero Grasso said the Calabrian mafia, known as the 'Nrangheta, was dealing in such huge amounts of drugs that it could afford to have such an expensive mode of transport built.

He said they had chosen a submarine in order to beat coastal radar systems which detect incoming ships.

"The 'Ndrangheta brings in 400 kilos of cocaine a year," Grasso said in an interview on Italian TV.

"The submarine, which was under construction in Colombia, has been impounded."

"They were going to use the sub to elude radar controls."

Grasso said cocaine costs just 3 dollars a gramme in Colombia and had a street value of 50-100 euros per gramme in Italy, depending on the quality. He said Italian and Colombian police were trying to stop the trade in every way, including destroying crops, but efforts needed to be made to stem demand.


The price differential between Colombia and Italy is more than adequate economic justification to smuggle cocaine to Europe and sell it there. In fact, the price differential justifies expensive and innovative measures, such as the construction of a submarine!

It's all based on the law of supply and demand....

"We have to ask ourselves why demand keeps on rising."

Action was needed, he said, to stop people turning to cocaine to make themselves more efficient and productive. Most experts agree the 'Ndrangheta, which specialises in drug smuggling from South America, is now more powerful and more dangerous than Cosa Nostra, the Sicilian mafia.

The Calabrian mob is believed to generate an annual turnover of some 35 billion euros, more than Calabria's entire legal economy.


And the demand in Europe for drugs from South America is quite substantial.

In the wake of high-publicity crimes in 2005, Italian authorities went after the 'Ndrangheta, gaining some successes in 2006:

The Italian government launched an unprecedented campaign against the 'Ndrangheta in the wake of the October 16 murder of top local politician Francesco Fortugno. It bolstered police and prosecution forces in Calabria and appointed a top police officer to lead the murder hunt and try to wrest swathes of the region from the mafia's grip.

The operation led to a series of successes and finally, last week, the arrest of Fortugno's killers.

Police are now using turncoat testimony to try to find out who ordered the murder. Meanwhile the drive to re-establish full state rule continues. Since 1995, 30 town councils have been dissolved because they were deemed to be controlled by the 'Ndrangheta. Last year, dozens of local administrators received threats.


This cocaine trafficking is only the beginning.

From a more recent article entitled From cocaine to plutonium: mafia clan accused of trafficking nuclear waste, by Tom Kington in Rome, Tuesday, October 9, 2007:

Authorities in Italy are investigating a mafia clan accused of trafficking nuclear waste and trying to make plutonium.

The 'Ndrangheta mafia, which gained notoriety in August for its blood feud killings of six men in Germany, is alleged to have made illegal shipments of radioactive waste to Somalia, as well as seeking the "clandestine production" of other nuclear material.

Two of the Calabrian clan's members are being investigated, along with eight former employees of the state energy research agency Enea.

The eight are suspected of paying the mobsters to take waste off their hands in the 1980s and 1990s. At the time they were based at the agency's centre at Rotondella, a town in Basilicata province in the toe of Italy, which today treats "special" and "hazardous" waste. At other centres, Enea studies nuclear fusion and fission technologies.

The 'Ndrangheta has been accused by investigators of building on its origins as a kidnapping gang to become Europe's top cocaine importer, thanks to ties to Colombian cartels. But the nuclear accusation, if true, would take it into another league.


Running cocaine and women is one thing, but nuclear waste... now there's a market with potential!

An Enea official who declined to be named denied the accusation, saying: "Enea has always worked within the rules and under strict national and international supervision."

A magistrate, Francesco Basentini, in the city of Potenza began the investigation following others by magistrates and the leaking to the press of the police confession of an 'Ndrangheta turncoat, detailing his role in the alleged waste-dumping.

An Enea manager is said to have paid the clan to get rid of 600 drums of toxic and radioactive waste from Italy, Switzerland, France, Germany, and the US, the turncoat claimed, with Somalia as the destination lined up by the traffickers.

But with only room for 500 drums on a ship waiting at the northern port of Livorno, 100 drums were secretly buried somewhere in the southern Italian region of Basilicata. Clan members avoided burying the waste in neighbouring Calabria, said the turncoat, because of their "love for their home region", and because they already had too many kidnap victims hidden in grottoes there.


Love for their home region, and too many kidnap victims... nice.

Investigators have yet to locate the radioactive drums allegedly buried in Basilicata - although, in a parallel investigation, police are searching for drums of non-radioactive toxic waste they believe were dumped by the 'Ndrangheta near the Unesco town of Matera in Basilicata, famous for its ancient houses dug into the rock, the Ansa news agency reported yesterday.

Shipments to Somalia, where the waste was buried after buying off local politicians, continued into the 1990s, while the mob also became adept at blowing up shiploads of waste, including radioactive hospital waste, and sending them to the sea bed off the Calabrian coast, the turncoat told investigators. Although he made no mention of attempted plutonium production, Il Giornale newspaper wrote that the mobsters may have planned to sell it to foreign governments.


Plutonium production?!

"The 'Ndrangheta has no morals and, if there is money in an activity, it will have no problem getting involved, even nuclear waste," said Nicola Gratteri, the anti-mafia magistrate investigating the shooting in Germany in August of six Italians - the most recent episode of a blood feud between clans in the Calabrian village of San Luca, which cast the spotlight on the 'Ndrangheta's global trafficking and drug-dealing business worth up £25bn, a year. According to the turncoat, the plan to enter the radioactive waste business also started in San Luca, hatched by its then boss, Giuseppe Nirta.


The nuclear waste is an ingredient for a dirty bomb.

If a dirty bomb goes off in Italy (or even elsewhere), do these guys think their home region of Calabria will magically escape contamination?

Mr Gratteri warned that Europe's police forces were "unequipped" to take on the mafia, whether the 'Ndrangheta, Naples' Camorra, or Sicily's Cosa Nostra. "The mafias were the first to take advantage of Europe's disappearing frontiers, but when I go to Germany I see they have not introduced the crime of mafia association and do not allow wire taps in public places. I'm tired of round tables and conventions; what we need is more courage."

Italian police are holding 33 San Luca locals suspected of being in the blood feud, with court hearings approaching, said Mr Gratteri. "We get more cooperation from Colombia in our enquiries than some European countries," he said. "The 'Ndrangheta is not just a Calabrian product that every so often makes an appearance somewhere. The problem needs to be of interest to Europe," he urged.


You think organized crime takes advantage of disappearing frontiers? What 'til you see what nuclear contamination does, guys.

Europe's elite need to wake up and smell what's cooking.

From Bulgaria Linked to Most Powerful Italian Mafia 'Ndrangheta, 17 August 2007, Friday:

The Italian 'Ndrangheta crime circle works in cooperation with Bulgarian organized crime groups, a report of the Italian anti-mafia directorate states, as cited by Giornale di Calabria newspaper.

The report warns of the 'Ndrangheta's constantly growing power and its links with Bulgarian crime bosses, who are backed by the even more powerful Russian mafia.

The report comes just two days after six Italians were shot dead near a train station in Duisburg, western Germany. All of them are believed to be members of the 'Ndrangheta crime group based in Calabria. Police believe the motive for the killings is the result of a feud stemming from the Italian town of San Luca.

Ever more often Italian mafia bosses go to court together with Bulgarians and this is just one of the many examples that prove the links between Bulgaria and the Calabrian mafia, the report says.

'Ndrangheta acts more openly, creates relations with other crime circles around the world, especially in Columbia, expands its activities on the whole territory of Italy and is not afraid to demonstrate arrogance as its members feel they have enough power and superiority.

The Calabrian mafia deals with international traffic of drugs, mainly cocaine, and women.

'Ndrangheta has already created a network of relations with Bulgarian, Albanian and Turkish crime circles, reads the article.



So, let's review what we have learned:

The 'Ndrangheta is involved in cocaine trafficking that is so lucrative, its annual turnover is 35-40 billion Euros, more than the entire legal economy of its home region of Calabria, and 3.5% of the GDP of Italy.

The 'Ndrangheta has been involved with the illegal transportation and disposal of nuclear contaminants, and is believed to have tried to sell them to foreign governments.

The 'Ndrangheta is also involved in human trafficking, smuggling women as sex slaves.

And, the 'Ndrangheta is connected not just with Colombian organized crime, but with Bulgarian, Russian, Albanian and Turkish organized crime groups, as well.

All of this ties in exactly to what we have been examining in our reviews of Makarenko's papers, in our look at the Sibel Edmonds case, and in our study of Islamic terrorists.

We are seeing the rise of transnational organized crime conglomerates, "metagroups" which rival nation-states for power, and which even change the course of history.

'Ndrangheta, which puts two-thirds of its income into legitimate businesses, and so exists in The Shadow Realm, is innovative, building its own submarines and smuggling nuclear waste -- they have passed the Sicilian Mafia, the Cosa Nostra, in importance, and are redefining what it means to be a major league player in the arena of international organized crime.

Friday, November 16, 2007

UBA March

The United British Alliance has a march on Saturday. The flyer gives the basics.

Here is some information:

QUOTE
Meet will be at St james tube station 11am sharp. The route is not as long as last one,But will be high profile.The route will take in Houses of Parliment Whitehall and Downing St. Myself and others and have put the word about all over.Please please turn up.YOUR COUNTRY NEEDS YOU.All unite behind the flag

QUOTE
March for our Flag and Identity.Our childrens future is at stake and our English roots and foundations are being dug up from underneath us. Meet outside St James tube station 11am Nov 17th and march to Whitehall where there will be many speakers.Bring your families lets get OUr voices heard in our own Country. Speakers are from all over Pompey Midlands etc. The March will have a 10ft by 6ft cross of St George at the head of it (UNMARKED) Please bring flags lets make a Forest of flags flying in the wind as we pass through. Alot of work has gone into this please please turn up PUT YOUR COUNTRY FIRST.No Surrender to ISLAM

QUOTE
Also been informed we will be having a whip round after the march for the help our heroes fund in the Sun.Tel has been in touch with the said news paper and informed them of this.Tel has also been trying to get in touch with British Legion Chelsea Pensioners Royal Naval assocation etc.This march is being pushed hard hence not posted on here for a while.Trust me this is going out to wide cross section of the population.But we still need you.Show not only our pride in our Country and flag.But also our pride in our ex sevicemen and current heroes fighting round the world.You have all been a great a help please give it one final push lads.Many thanks Dave Pompey


(Note: I disagree with the wording on the banner seen at the link, which states "NO HUMAN RIGHTS FOR TERRORISTS". Even the worst of terrorists have certain basic rights. I believe the concern behind this banner is that excessive emphasis is placed on the rights of terrorists, and that the rights of even legally convicted terrorists seem to trump the rights of their victims -- this is a concern I share.)

From the UBA's blogsite:

We are a multi-ethnic,multi-faith organisation with a passionate interest in reclaiming our once proud nation from the grip of international terror and political correctness gone-mad,with a view to re-installing some pride in our communities and way of life.We hope you enjoy our Blog and if you find you are like minded then please,feel free to jump to our FORUM from the links page and become a member.Many thanks for visiting.

Disclaimer The views and opinions expressed on these pages are not neccessarily representative of the group as a whole. ANY remarks, comments or views left in public areas of this site and/or the forum that are racist, obscene or in any way incite hatred and condone violence towards any persons/groups/communities based on their colour, religion, political beliefs or social opinions will NOT be tolerated and will be instantly deleted by the Admin team and could result in you being banned and your IP address being passed over to the relevant authorities.
WE WILL NOT TOLERATE IT.


My take on this is that a great many people in the United Kingdom are being made to feel like second-class citizens in their own country. There definitely seems to be a real concern that British culture is being destroyed, actively suppressed and denigrated, and washed away in a tide of immigration.

The same thing seems to be happening elsewhere, Sweden, for example, and even here in the US, though to a lesser extent in the US than what seems to be the case in many European countries.

Multiculturalists will tell you something to the effect that all cultures are equally valid and relevant, but this is a hypocritical lie that they cynically tell -- beneath the lie is a hatred of Western and Christian cultures, which they see as the root of all evil in the world.

When decent people react to this, in defense of their own culture -- though not attacking other cultures -- people are then accused of racism or something akin to it. If those people then express concern about a possible relationship between politico-religious ideology and political violence that is done in its name, those people are even more emphatically accused and condemned.

Western and Christian cultures are not perfect, but they have a right to exist. Their people have a right to be themselves, to make mistakes, to learn, to improve... whenever any culture gets crushed into extinction, we all lose, and whenever any culture becomes endangered, we must all be concerned.

This is true for cultures in Asia and Africa, as well as for cultures in Europe and the Americas. Just as we should all have been concerned about the threat to Jews, Slavs, Gypsies and others in the Nazi era, just as we should all have been concerned about the threats to various cultures under Soviet domination, just as we should all be concerned about what happens in Tibet under Communist Chinese occupation, so should we all be concerned about the native cultures in ancient lands such as England, Wales and elsewhere in the United Kingdom, and so should we all be concerned about the native cultures in other European lands such as Sweden, and beyond, around the world.

Certain elements in the Islamic world are trying to obliterate many of these cultures and replace them with their own; certain elements within the targeted societies are more than happy to collaborate.

It looks to me like this is what the UBA is concerned about, and trying to prevent.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Open Letter to Yankee Doodle

A friend of mine who blogs in the UK posted an Open Letter to Yankee Doodle.

Anticant asked me to reproduce it here, to see what my readers say. I will ask you, however, to go to Anticant's blog and read it and comment there.

While you are there, check out Anticant's blog -- familiarity with some of the posts there, as well as with some of Anticant's comments here, are at the heart of the matter.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Gina Khan Interview

Gina Khan has given an interview -- it is a must read!

For people who may not recall who Gina Khan is, you can read one of the very first posts I did, entitled Friends in the Muslim Community.

If you are not hearing Muslims speak out against terrorism, jihad and oppression of women, then maybe try taking your fingers out of your ears.

This is serious, too, because Muslims are especially targeted by jihadists, who feel a need to keep the faithful -- well, faithful! Women in most of the Islamic world are especially oppressed -- and that is half the population. Sooner or later, they are going to wake up to what is going on, and when that happens, the house of cards that is extreme Islam is going to come crashing down.

Islam needs to reform to survive -- not because of anything we infidels are going to do, but because of what Muslims will do! Our Creator made us free, and we will not be bound by the chains of jihad as slaves of hatred.

Amici Curiae

This post presents excerpts of briefs filed in Dr. Ehrenfeld's case. If you are not familiar with the case, I have a whole list of posts in the sidebar where you can learn about it, although this very post is not a bad place to start!

Here are excerpts of a brief filed by the Legal Project at the Middle East Forum; they help explain the impact of Ehrenfeld's case:

3. The Amicus respectfully submits that it is uniquely suited to assist the Court in the resolution of this appeal. Dr. Ehrenfeld is just one of many researchers and analysts who have become victims of forum shopping and intimidation tactics used by Mahfouz and others, aimed only at punishing those who are working to engage in dialogue about terrorism and its sources of financing. The Legal Project is very familiar with the type of "lawfare" being used by the Defendant, who has tactfully chosen a foreign court with radically difference libel laws to create a looming, chilling effect on the exercise of free speech by Dr. Ehrenfeld and other American authors in the field.

4. American researchers and analysts are on the front lines of the war on terrorism as they work to educate the public and brief the U.S. government about the various threats posed to civil society. Unfortunately, legal action by individuals and organizations seeking to silence their critics in the United States is an ascending phenomenon. Such lawsuits are often predatory and undertaken as a means to bankrupt, distract, intimidate, and demoralize defendants. There is a grave need for American courts to provide a forum within which American authors can preemptively challenge the effects of this tactic.

5. For the reasons stated in the proposed amicus curiae brief, the Amicus believes it is vital that this Court address the merits of the issue at hand, and recognize that Rachel's case is not unique nor will it be the last attempt at stifling free speech within our borders, from without. We think that this case is one of the most important First Amendment cases the Court has seen in the past 25 years, and has the ability to serve as a valuable precedent for thousands of American authors and analysts. Moreover, we feel that this case will have an extremely important impact on how our citizens are able to respond to the war on terrorism. We beg the Court to afford the Plaintiff an opportunity to defend her constitutional rights against inequitable foreign libel laws, and to address the greater issues at hand.

[snip]

I. The Growing Threat of "Lawfare" to American Researchers, Analysts & Authors

A viscous and particularly dangerous form of offensive "lawfare" is being carried out by the enemies of the free world, with the strategic goal of intimidating, bankrupting and ultimately silencing those who dare speak out against their actions. Those who preach hate and destruction of the West, as well as those who finance terrorism, have been targeting media outlets, book publishers as well as innocent researchers and authors who have dedicated their lives to exposing the sources of terrorism, with a series of expensive and destructive lawsuits. These lawsuits aim to silence critics of radical Islam and terrorism, and are usually based on frivolous claims ranging from defamation, to workplace harassment, to conspiracy to violate civil rights. While the prosecution in these cases have the full support and financial backing of wealthy domestic and foreign charities as well as states such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt to the tune of millions of dollars, the defendants simply do not have adequate funds or resources to turn to for ample support.

Civilians throughout American history have always been the government's "first responders," especially against terrorism, but lawsuits by wealthy financiers, radical clerics and the organizations that support them, are frightening people into silence as their victims seek to avoid the nightmare of being named as defendants, being labeled as bigots and having their assets garnered in accordance with foreign libel judgments. In the words of noted attorney Jeffrey Robbins, "this is an attempt by folks who apparently have massive financial resources to dress up as a conspiracy [legitimate questioning protected under the First Amendment], and it has a distinctly McCarthyite aspect to it." Due to the threat of suit, people are becoming afraid to report mosques that proliferate hate to the government. Newspapers, magazines and think-tanks are afraid to publish reports and articles about the problem of violent radicalization within our borders, and book publishers are rejecting meritorious works for fear of being sued.

This form of "lawfare" is quickly gaining momentum with a ripple effect, has succeeded in intimidating civilians, the media and non-profit organizations from exercising their freedom of speech, and has incurred a cost burden of thousands of dollars while the list of innocent victims against whom suits have been wrongfully filed is considerable and growing.

Central to defeating this assault on the free flow of accurate information within the United States is an environment in which American authors and researchers feel comfortable exercising their right to free speech. Dr. Ehrenfeld's case could prove one of the most important First Amendment cases in the past 25 years. It is time for a precedent to be set against libel tourism and unfair threats against innocent American citizens to lose their chilling effect.



These excerpts are from a brief by a laundry list of organizations associated with the media and publishing; the brief helps explain how the case developed and the ramifications of Sheikh bin Mahfouz's actions:

A. The Facts Presented in This Appeal Powerfully Illustrate the Danger Libel Tourism Poses to Free Expression in New York

Rachel Ehrenfield, a United States citizen, resident of New York, and the director of the New York-based American Center for Democracy, wrote Funding Evil: How Terrorism is Financed – and How to Stop It. The book was published in 2003 by Bonus Books, a United States publisher, solely in the United States. The book alleges that defendant Khalid Salim a Bin Mahfouz, a subject of Saudi Arabia, financially supported Al Qaeda in the years preceding the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C. Al2-15.1

Mr. Bin Mahfouz has alleged that the statements concerning him in Funding Evil are false and defamatory. In October 2004, he brought a libel action against Dr. Ehrenfeld. He filed suit in England, and not in the New York, where Dr. Ehrenfeld works and lives, or anywhere else in the United States, where the book was for sale. Al2, A16-22, A53-54.

Mr. Bin Mahfouz and.his agents had substantial contacts with New York in connection with the English defamation action. On four separate occasions, his agents came to Dr. Ehrenfeld's home to deliver papers related to the English court action to her. A55. On eight separate occasions, Mr. Bin Mahfouz's attorneys sent letters, emails and packages to Dr. Ehrenfeld's home in New York or to her email address, where she read the emails from her computer located in New York. A56-58. These contacts included a letter sent by Mr. Bin Mahfouz's attorneys to Dr. Ehrenfeld in New York demanding that she take certain steps, including the destruction of copies of her book in New York and the taking of steps to prevent leakage of the book into the United Kingdom. A56-57. See also Ehrenfeld, 489 F.3d at 548-49.

It is clear that Mr. Bin Mahfouz, a Saudi national, filed suit in England to avoid application of United States libel law and the protections that the First Amendment provides to libel defendants. The differences between the two countries' libel laws are significant, with English law favoring plaintiffs in a number of critical respects and not affording defendants the constitutional protections that American authors, journalists and news organizations take for granted. For example:

English law does not distinguish between private persons and those who are public figures or are involved in matters of public concern. None are required to prove falsity of the libel or fault on the part of the defendant. No plaintiff is required to prove that a media defendant intentionally or negligently disregarded proper journalistic standards in order to prevail.

The defendant has the burden of proving not only truth but also of establishing entitlement to the qualified privilege for newspaper publications and broadcasters....


[snip]

Under English law, "a libel defendant would be held liable for statements the defendant honestly believed to be true and published without any negligence. In contrast, the law in the United States requires the plaintiff to prove that the statements were false and looks to the defendant's state of mind and intentions."

[snip]

Dr. Ehrenfeld did not appear in the English action, and Mr. Bin Mahfouz obtained a default judgment against her. A7. By avoiding the First Amendment, and thereby not having to prove falsity or actual malice, Mr. Bin Mahfouz was able to obtain "substantial damages," as he has described it on his website,2 against Dr. Ehrenfeld, an injunction against Dr. Ehrenfeld "publishing, or causing or authori[z]ing the further publication" of the disputed statements in Funding Evil in the United Kingdom, and a "declaration of falsity" in which the court determined (without the benefit of the views of Dr. Ehrenfeld, her publisher or any other witnesses) that the challenged statements in Funding Evil are false and defamatory. A7-8, A33- 36.

The value of the default judgment to Mr. Bin Mahfouz's campaign against Dr. Ehrenfeld and other journalists who have also linked him to the funding of terrorism is obvious, even if– indeed especially if – he takes no further actions to enforce it. The English judgment, as well as the English court's "declaration of falsity" and its injunction against publication, has chilled and will continue to chill Dr. Ehrenfeld's exercise of her free speech rights. It likely will compromise her ability to find publishers in the future. Publishers, who carry insurance policies imposing obligations to review the liability risks of works they consider for publication, may well shy away from an author subject to such an outstanding judgment. In fact, some already have: after Mr. Bin Mahfouz posted his account of the English judgment on his website, two publications that regularly featured Dr. Ehrenfeld's work rejected an article she wrote about a Saudi-owned company and have declined to provide Dr. Ehrenfeld with reasons for their decisions. A61.

By subjecting Dr. Ehrenfeld to liability based on the content of Funding Evil, the English judgment deters her from making any future statements about Mr. Bin Mahfouz, or any other of her research subjects, that might be alleged to be defamatory under English law. The outstanding English default judgment – particularly because it includes a "declaration of falsity" – harms Dr. Ehrenfeld's reputation as an American author and researcher. Further, unless Dr. Ehrenfeld is afforded an opportunity to challenge the English judgment, she is exposed to the ongoing risk of domestic enforcement proceedings and is potentially compromised in her ability to borrow funds and acquire property. Thus, Dr. Ehrenfeld has already begun to tailor her writing to more restrictive English libel standards in order to avoid future suits like Mr. Bin Mahfouz's English action. A61- 62.

Dr. Ehrenfeld is not the only one being chilled by the English default judgment. Increasingly, publishers are being subject, based on de minimis availability of their works abroad, particularly through the internet, to the jurisdiction of foreign courts that apply laws that do not comport with the constitutions and public policies of New York or the United States. As a result, media organizations have begun to curtail speech that would be protected in their home country out of legitimate concern that they will be subject to judicial actions in countries with fewer protections for free expression.

[snip]

Mr. Bin Mahfouz alone has sought to silence his critics by threatening to sue or by actually suing for defamation at least 29 times in the United Kingdom. See A26. This phenomenon is especially troubling where, as here, the challenged publication occurred solely in the United States, where the First Amendment requires libel plaintiffs to meet a much more demanding burden of proof. See Bachchan, 154 Misc.2d at 231-32, 585 N.Y.S.2d at 663; Matusevitch, 877 F. Supp. at 4.

This broad chilling effect not only jeopardizes the individual rights of members of the media, but also stunts the crucial free flow of information and ideas to the people of New York and the American public on matters of public concern. Mr. Bin Mahfouz's English judgment provides compelling evidence of the ease with which the subjects of critical investigative journalism are able to punish American authors by using the courts of another country to avoid the protections of the First Amendment, while also evading American judicial review of those foreign judgments.


You are encouraged to go to Dr. Ehrenfeld's website, read the legal papers that she has posted there, and while there, contribute monetarily to her battle against Sheikh Khalid bin Mahfouz, a multibillionaire, who is one of the world's richest men, and who has been consistently identified by many scholars as a Financier of Holy Terror.