Archive for the ‘terrorists’ Category

An Important Dialogue On Counter Terrorism And National Security

Cross post from the Engineer of Knowledge

As those who visit this site are of a more intelectual level, the Engineer of Knowledge thought he would post this message he received from his daughter who graduated from Washington College.

DENNIS BLAIR      AUDREY CRONIN      COFER BLACK     SARAH SEWALL
moderated by JOHN HARWOOD

Thursday, September 8, 2011 at 5 p.m.
Gibson Center for the Arts, Washington
College, Chestertown, MD.

Marking the ten-year anniversary of the attacks on the United States, a blue-ribbon panel of counter-terrorism experts will visit Washington College on September 8 for an important dialogue on the current state of national security. President Mitchell Reiss invites all alumni to participate in this vital conversation. Please SUBMIT YOUR QUESTIONS  (micenroad2@washcoll.edu) before midnight on September 7, 2011. Then join us on campus, or tune in for the simulcast discussion at live.washcoll.edu.

I think that my regular blog followers will find this very interesting. Washington College is a private liberal arts college with names from the Whos Whos list who attend and support this college. Being so close to Washington D.C. they do get the cream of the crop of those who really make the policies….not like those on Blow Hard Radio or Fox. You will find a lot of Truth and Facts here.

Posted 11/08/2011 by lacithedog in 9/11, Al-Qaeda, al-queda, terrorism, terrorists

Just a thought

It amazes me that people in the US forget that the most destructive act of terrorism on American territory prior to 911 was the Oklahoma City Bombing, which was committed by an angry white bloke.

What got me on this was this post.

Posted 27/12/2010 by lacithedog in terrorism, terrorists

Dream the American Dream

I did indeed watch تیرے بن لادن (Tere Bin Laden or in English: Without you Bin Laden) on the anniversary of 9-11. Some might say that a film about a hoax Osama Bin Laden tape would be in bad taste, but it was a very appropriate film. I watched this film at a time when people are protesting Islamic Centres being built near the site where the World Trade Centre stood and insane preachers threaten to burn Qu’rans to more media attention than they deserve.

Why do they hate us?

Do Muslims hate America or what it stands for? And when I say what it stands for, I don’t mean the ideals mentioned in the Constitution (and not the misinterpreted right wing version of that document). It is the misinterpretation of that document: the people who call the US a Christian nation in any form. The people who don’t decry the misuse of military power.

The protagonist of Tere Bin Laden, Ali Hassan, wants to come to America, but due to misunderstandings on his first visit to the US is deported. The film is about someone who wants to live the American Dream as this music video shows:

The problem is that Muslims don’t hate America. Most US muslims enjoy the fact, or believe that they can practise their religion in freedom. They see opportunity in living in America as well.

If anything, people hate the US not for what it is since the official US is a very lovely place. They hate the fact that it is a country that talks about high ideals, but doesn’t live up to them. It’s a bait and switch where the American dream is mentioned, but it doesn’t pan out. It’s a bit like online dating where the person sounds wonderful, until you meet face to face.

This film isn’t very kind to the Americans and their reaction to terrorism, which is probably why it won’t make it to many US theatres. Unfortunately, it’s probably something Americans need to see since they do tend to not like things which challenge their opinions. It’s a shame that a country which presents itself as a “melting pot” doesn’t want to pay attention to what amounts to a population of 1.3-7 Million its citizens (and most Muslims come from Indo-Pak region). In addition, American Muslims have a long and varied history coming from various backgrounds, and are one of the most racially diverse religious group in the United States according to a 2009 Gallup poll.

In fact, American views of Islam affected debates regarding freedom of religion during the drafting of the state constitution of Pennsylvania in 1776. Constitutionalists promoted religious toleration while Anticonstitutionalists called for reliance on Protestant values in the formation of the state’s republican government. The former group won out, and inserted a clause for religious liberty in the new state constitution.

In his autobiography, published in 1791, Benjamin Franklin stated that he “did not disapprove” of a meeting place in Pennsylvania that was designed to accommodate preachers of all religions. Franklin wrote that “even if the Mufti of Constantinople were to send a missionary to preach Mohammedanism to us, he would find a pulpit at his service.”

Shouldn’t that be the way things are now?

Just curious

I’ve read that the “gun rights” crowd is against preventing people on the terrorist watch list from acquiring firearms since they haven’t committed a crime.

That leads me to ask the question:

Does the gun rights crowd believe that the Bush handling of 9-11 was correct since the terrorists hadn’t done anything prior to hijacking the planes and flying them into the WTC and Pentagon?

It has been shown that the Worldwide Intelligence community knew that Bin Laden was planning this attack. It was also shown that there were people in flight schools who were learning to fly, but not take off or land.

But, THEY HADN’T DONE ANYTHING UNTIL THEY FLEW THE PLANES INTO THE WTC AND PENTAGON.

I guess the answer was that the People of NYC should have been able to carry handguns and they could have shot the planes down.

Al Qaeda is not that powerful

OK, I am not arguing that it doesn’t exist, just that it isn’t a very significant organisation. Security experts can debate on its changing strategy as well.

It just seemed odd to me that an organisation which is allegedly as strong and powerful as Al Qaeda is supposed to be launching the 9/11 attacks would have quit when its enemy was on its knees (or down on the ground). Despite what people will say, 9/11 was a victory for the terrorists since the east coast of the united States shut down for the day and US air traffic was pretty much shut down for a week. It seems that an organisation with such strong skills at organising such a task would have planned to keep kicking while the giant was down. Instead, the attacks pretty much stopped.

There was the Beltway Sniper attacks a little over a year later that paralysed the US Capital area, but that was just a loner. We can also argue that the Fort Hood Shooter was “Al Qaeda inspired” instead of just another crazy with a gun. Not to mention at least two conspiracies to shoot up military bases in the US, Fort Dix and Quantico, that have been thwarted so far.

My point, however,is that the ability to terrorise large segments of the US population using a firearm is pretty well known, yet no one has been successful. This is an avenue for terrorism that has remained wide open despite an alleged “war on terrorism”. Additionally, is the amount of gun carnage and the fear it creates also terrorism? I know that citing to VPC for a link between guns and terrorism won’t persuade the unpersuadable. In fact, a few more DC sniper incidents wouldn’t persuade them, but that’s irrelevant since the point is that guns are tools and they are tools that terrorists can use for their ends.

Also, I have to admit it was odd that no one took credit for 9/11. Most terrorists will take credit for their actions. It seems as if the 9/11 attacks were attributed to Bin Ladin and Al Qaeda as a reason for all sorts of other actions which make no sense in a “War on Terrorism”. Terrorism can be a homegrown act committed by anyone (e.g., Oklahoma City) and is not unique to a “Middle Eastern-looking man with a bomb.”

The Oklahoma City bombing was the most significant act of terrorism on American soil until the September 11 attacks in 2001, claiming the lives of 168 victims and injuring more than 680. The blast destroyed or damaged 324 buildings within a sixteen–block radius, destroyed or burned 86 cars, and shattered glass in 258 nearby buildings. The bomb was estimated to have caused at least $652 million worth of damage. This was an act of home grown terrorism perpetrated by some one who was upset at the federal government’s handling of the Waco Siege and the Ruby Ridge incident (Oddly enough, people of this mindset scream for “gun rights” to fight government tyranny).

It’s easy to look for the bogeyman outside of your country, but harder to deal with internal threats to national security.

Anyway, my point is that whatever threat “Al Qaeda” is to the United States is minimal. The US’s illogical reactions to 9/11 prove that to be the case. The problem is that these reactions have utilised US (and other countries’ resources) in activities that have not been productive. That’s fortunate since Al Qaeda would be having a field day if it were truly powerful.

In the fight against terrorism, some rights must be repealed

I found this whilst trying to get info on a certain Jewish “Gun Rights” organisation. It’s from altmuslim! It’s also been something that I have been saying since 9/11.

By Junaid M. Afeef, March 4, 2005

The newly appointed CIA Director Porter Goss, believes that terrorists may bring urban warfare techniques learned in Iraq to our homeland. If he is right, we could have a whole new war on our hands. The prospect is indeed scary.

The idea of terrorist cells operating clandestinely in the United States, quietly amassing handguns and assault rifles, and planning suicide shooting rampages in our malls, is right out of Tom Clancy’s most recent novel. If not for the fact that the 9/11 attacks were also foreshadowed in a Clancy novel, I would have given the idea no further thought.

However, rather than facing this potential threat publicly, the Bush administration is only focused on terrorist attacks involving missiles, nuclear devices and biological weapons. Stopping terrorists with WMDs is a good thing, but what about the more immediate threat posed by terrorists with guns? The potential threat of terrorist attacks using guns is far more likely than any of these other scenarios.

This leads to a bigger policy issue. In the post 9/11 world where supposedly “everything has changed,” perhaps it is time for Americans to reconsider the value of public gun ownership.

The idea of public gun ownership simply does not make sense anymore. The right to bear arms, as enumerated in the Second Amendment, was meant for the maintenance of a “well-regulated militia.” At the time the amendment was adopted, standing armies were viewed with a great deal of suspicion, and therefore, gun-owning individuals were seen as a protection mechanism for the public. These gun owners were also seen as guardians of the republic against the tyranny of the rulers. The framers of the Constitution saw the right to bear and use arms as a check against an unruly government. That state of affairs no longer exists.

Today, only a handful of citizens outside of neo-nazi and white supremacist groups view gun ownership as a means of keeping the government in check. Even those citizens who continue to maintain such antiquated views must face the reality that the United States’ armed forces are too large and too powerful for the citizenry to make much difference. Quite frankly, the idea of the citizenry rising up against the U.S. government with their handguns and assault rifles, and facing the military with these personal arms is absurd. The Branch Davidian tragedy at Waco, Texas, was one such futile attempt.

The more important consideration is public safety. It is no longer safe for the public to carry guns. Gun violence is increasingly widespread in the United States. According to the DOJ/FBI’s Crime In The United States: 2003 report, 45,197 people in the United States were murdered with guns between 1999 and 2003. That averages out to more than 9,000 people murdered per year. Nearly three times the number of lives lost in the tragic 9/11 attacks is murdered annually as a direct result of guns.

Examples of wanton violence are all around. One particularly heinous incident of gun violence occurred in 1998 when former Aryan Nation member Buford Furrow shot and wounded three young boys, a teenage girl and a receptionist at the North Valley Jewish Community Center in Los Angeles and then shot and killed a Filipino-American postal worker.

Another occurred in July 1999 when white supremacist Benjamin Nathaniel Smith, a member of the World Church of the Creator, went on a weekend shooting spree, targeting Blacks, Jews and Asians. By the time Smith was done he had wounded six Orthodox Jews returning from services, and killed one African-American and one Korean-American.

Just recently, in Ulster, NY, a 24 year old man carrying a Hesse Arms Model 47, an AK-47 clone assault rifle, randomly shot people in a local mall. While the Justice Department did not label this murder a terrorist attack, all the signs were there. The Ulster, New York shooting is an ominous warning of what lies ahead. Terrorism can be a homegrown act committed by anyone with a gun and is not unique to a “Middle Eastern-looking man with a bomb.” As long as the public is allowed to own guns, the threat of similar terrorist attacks remains real.

The idea of curtailing rights in the name of homeland security does not seem implausible given the current state of civil liberties in the United States. The war on terror has already taken an enormous toll on the First, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments, and thus far, very few Americans have objected. In light of this precedence, it seems reasonable that scaling back or even repealing the right to bear arms would be an easy task.

In fact, it will be a very difficult task. So far the civil liberties curtailment has affected generally disenfranchised groups such as immigrants, people of color and religious minorities. An assault on the Second Amendment will impact a much more powerful constituency.

According to the DOJ’s Bureau of Justice Statistics, in 2002 41 percent of American households owned at least one gun. According to these same statistics, 50 percent of the owners were male, 43 percent were white and 48 percent were Republican. More than 50 percent of the gun owners were college educated and earned more than $50,000 per year. Regrettably, these folks are going to marshal their considerable resources to protect their special interest.

This is a shame. Instead of laying waste to the civil rights and civil liberties that are at the core of free society, and rather than squandering precious time and money on amending the U.S. Constitution for such things as “preserving marriage between a man and woman,” the nation ought to focus its attention on the havoc guns cause in society and debate the merits of gun ownership in this era of terrorism.

So long as guns remain available to the general public, there will always be the threat of terrorists walking into a crowded restaurant, a busy coffee shop or a packed movie theater and opening fire upon unsuspecting civilians. The Second Amendment is not worth such risks.

Junaid M. Afeef is a Research Associate at the Institute for Social Policy & Understanding. His articles are available at http://ispu.org/.

Comment: if the US seriously starts addressing gun control, stops messing with gay marriage, abortion, making Christianity the state relgion, and other wedge topics, then there would be progress. As long as the US allows the political arena to be diverted by fringy groups, nothing will get done.

When we hang the capitalists, they will sell us the rope.

I have to admit being flooded with outrage about the Fort Hood shootings. There are loads of reasons for this.

First off, that it could have been allowed to happen. Even more so when you consider that the ridiculous access to firearms is done under the guise of the Second Amendment. This is a text that includes the words:

necessary to the security of a free State

Why has that gottten lost in the debate? I hear all sorts of stupid shit about “fighting tyranny”, “rights”, “Liberty”, and “freedom”, but I never hear about the responsibility and obligation that is incumbent upon this right.

That is service in the militia. Not some bullshit “unorganised” militia, which is the quivalent of having a draft card, but actually serving in a legally organised militia unit.

There has been at least two conspiracies to shoot up military bases in the US: Fort Dix and Quantico, VA. U.S. domestic military bases are still “wide open to attack.”

Charles Faddis, a 20-year CIA counterterrorism veteran, says:

“If you drive around the United States today, other than security measures in place at airports, you will see very little has changed in the last eight years,” said Faddis, who has visited several U.S. military bases in the past year while researching an upcoming book on homeland security, “Willful Neglect”.

“We remain wide open to attack. That is true in the nation as a whole, and it is true on military bases as well,” said Faddis, 51, who retired in 2008 as chief of the CIA’s weapons of mass destruction terrorism unit. Before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, he led a counterterrorism team into northern Iraq in search of an al Qaeda base. He has authored two withering critiques of his former employer, most recently “Beyond Repair: The Decline and Fall of the CIA”, published last month.

“They know how to secure an installation,” says Faddis. “They are not failing to do so because they do not know what to do. They are failing to do so, because somehow, some way, we have convinced ourselves that an attack cannot happen here.”

“You may have to show a photo ID at some locations, but even that is not always true. Even if you have to show an ID, a civilian driver’s license will often suffice,” he said. “Most bases remain open to civilian visitors with even the most cursory of explanations for why they are coming on post. “

Even the Fort Meade, Maryland, headquarters for both the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command and the super-sensitive National Security Agency, has porous security, said Faddis, who has visited the sprawling post within the last few weeks. “There are no barriers (at the gate),” he said. “If you want to stop, you do so. If you want to go by the gate and onto the base at 60 miles an hour, you do so.

“Once you are on base,” the former CIA official continued, “you go wherever you want. There are no armed guards. There are no checkpoints. There is no visible security. Even entering buildings, the only kind of security you are going to see is the kind designed to deter unauthorized personnel who are trying to sneak in, steal secrets. and sneak back out.

Nothing has been done to restrict access to firearms either. One can walk in to a gun store with a valid drivers licence and walk out with enough firepower to cause serious mayhem. Hey, you can buy enough guns and ammo to start WWIII. There have been mass shootings in the United States for at least 30 year, yet gun laws are becoming laxer, not tighter. The assault weapons ban was crap, but somewhat useful. Even then, it was allowed to lapse and newly made assault weapons can once again be bought,

So, why the fuck are people who should not have access to firearms still buying them legally? Or even acquiring them easily. I mean we lock our houses and cars, but we leave firearms wide open.

The next thing that pisses me off is that people are pointing fingers at everything except what allowed this to happen.

The gun.

Yeah, sure guns are tools. They are highly effective tools for killing. They work quite quickly as the Fort Hood shootings show.

Don’t give me any crap about an Army Base being a gun free zone since there was an armed guard who returned fire. They were guns on the base which could have been used to fend off the attack, but a semi-automatic pistol can has a high rate of fire. Unfortunately, people, especially civilians, don’t understand that an incident like this can happen quite quickly and result in a high body count before anybody can do anything.

The FN 5.7 holds 20 rounds. In a crowded room it would be easy beyond belief to hit 43 people in a matter of a few SECONDS, say nothing of minutes.

Are you going to tell me that US soldiers are cowards and didn’t resist in any way? They just let this psychotic asshole shoot up the military processing center. I don’t believe that.

Not to mention someone did return fire, but by that point, the body count had racked up.

Of couse, in this outrage, we also see a backlash against muslims, which also doesn’t make sense. The Fort Hood shooter could have been screaming “Kill for Cthulhu“. He was a fucking whack job.

His religious pseudofundamentalism is a symptom of his mental illness.

As Zirgar said, do we point out the people who kill abortion doctors are christians? Likewise, do we point out the religion of other mass shooters? How about the asshole who shot up the Holocaust museum, what religion was he? How about the dickhead who gunned down 3 Pittsburgh Officers, what religion was he? How about the Jerkoff who shot up an LA Fitness Centre in Pittsburgh? What religion was he?

No, only this asshole because he is a “muslim”.

If this is terrorism, then it is because someone with a firearms shoots up a place we would like to think is secure. But we would like to think streets, shopping malls, supermarkets, schools, universities, fitness centres, and so on are secure. Terrorism is creating a feeling of terror and panic, which mass shootings do create.

The United States has to become like Northern Ireland during the troubles where security checkpoints were ubiquitous and frequent if people are going to demand more guns without restrictions. Even with registration, there should be checkpoints.

It is completely moronic to give terrorists the tools they need to accompllish their goals. Those who block any restrictions, especially if they do it in the name of “fighing tyranny” are complicit in this act.

After all, who defines tyranny? Is it a small minority who feel that they have been wronged? Then why aren’t they praising the Fort Hood shooter for standing up against what he saw as tyranny?

No, because that it complete bullshit. So, cut the crap with the Second Amendment being for “fighting tyranny” and “freedom” because somehow our freedom of movement and right to live safely will have to be curtailed. Even if that destruction of liberty is from sheer paralysis about leaving the safety of your own home.

As for the Second Amendment, I have said more than once that it is archaic and its meaning has been lost with the passing of time. The founders would be shaking their heads in disbelief at things which are being said and done regarding “the Second Amendment right”. Especially when people say that the Army should be able to “exercise its Second Amendment rights”.

No, too much emphasis has been placed upon the phrase “right to keep and bear arms” with neglect of the concept of the “Security of the Free State”. The Supreme Court wrote those words out of the Amendment in its DC v. Heller decision, but it is time to revive that concept.

The “right to keep and bear arms” is related to the “Security of the Free State” and those who would allow terrorists, foreign or domestic, access to arms are guilty of treason.

So, where the fuck is the outrage that this shit can happen and why isn’t it directed at the ease it can happen?