04-20-12, 05:14 PM #301
Not to end it, to reinforce it. The budget of the military is the largest sucking force on the world economy, this will put food on the tables of americans and other nations. What good is protecting people that do not eat?
04-20-12, 05:48 PM #302
Are you talking about Afghanistan? Because we are scheduled to leave there soon anyway.
10-10-12, 12:44 AM #303
O! mighty America! How low hast thou fallen? What terror poisons thy heart, and corrodes thy soul?
A dying woman says a a security pat-down at Sea-Tac Airport left her embarrassed in front of crowds of people.
Michelle Dunaj says screeners checked under bandages from recent surgeries and refused to give her a private search when she requested one.
Dunaj, who is dying of leukemia, carried a large amount of prescription drugs through Sea-Tac to head to Hawaii for what would be one of the last trips of her life.
She called Alaska Airlines ahead of time to request a wheelchair and to ask how her medicines should be separated for the security line.
"I did everything they asked me to do, so I didn't think it would be an issue," she said.
But Dunaj says nothing went right at the security checkpoint.
A machine couldn't get a reading on her saline bags, so a TSA agent forced one open, contaminating the fluid she needs to survive.
She says agents also made her lift up her shirt and pull back the bandages holding feeding tubes in place. Dunaj needs those tubes because of organ failure.
With other passengers staring, Dunaj says she asked for privacy and was turned down.
"They just said that it was fine; the location we were at was fine," she said.
TSA spokesperson Ann Davis said "Officers are trained to perform pat downs in a dignified manner and, at any point, passengers can request a private screening with a witness present."
I ... I ... I ....
Look, if I thought it would help to get religion, to kneel and weep and pray, "Father, let this cup pass from us," I would.
My great nation has fought a war against terror, and it has lost.
Moreno, Joel. "Dying woman gets security pat-down at Sea-Tac". KOMO-TV. October 9, 2012. SeattlePI.com. October 9, 2012. http://www.seattlepi.com/local/komo/...ac-3932417.php
10-10-12, 06:35 AM #304
10-16-12, 07:23 PM #305
Hamdan Conviction Tossed
Hamdan Conviction Tossed
It can be embarrassing to an identity politic, such as, "American", when "the system" does the right thing. After all, it's only a few years late and glaringly obvious. So, yes. The system does work. And, yes. The wheels of justice turn excruciatingly slowly.
Pete Yost (AP) reports:
A U.S. appeals court on Tuesday threw out the conviction of Salim Ahmed Hamdan, a former driver for Osama bin Laden who served a prison term for material support for terrorism.
In a 3-0 ruling, the appeals court said that material support for terrorism was not an international-law war crime at the time Hamdan engaged in the activity for which he was convicted.
Hamdan was sentenced to 5 1/2 years, given credit for time served and is back home in Yemen, reportedly working as a taxi driver.
"If the government wanted to charge Hamdan with aiding and abetting terrorism or some other war crime that was sufficiently rooted in the international law of war at the time of Hamdan's conduct, it should have done so," wrote Judge Brett Kavanaugh. All three judges on the case were appointed by Republican presidents.
The war crime for which Hamdan was convicted was specified in the Military Commissions Act of 2006.
"The government suggests that at the time of Hamdan's conduct from 1996 to 2001, material support for terrorism violated the law of war referenced" in U.S. law, said Kavanaugh, but "we conclude otherwise."
In addition, a Hofstra University law professor suggests that the Hamdan result will likely affect other cases:
To date, the cases against seven Guantanamo Bay prisoners under the military commission system in place at Guantanamo Bay military base in Cuba have involved material support for terrorism. In five of the cases, those charged pleaded guilty. Hamdan went to trial, as did Ali Hamza al-Bahlul, who helped al-Qaida produce propaganda and handled media relations for bin Laden.
Bahlul was convicted in November 2008 of multiple counts of conspiracy, solicitation to commit murder and providing material support for terrorism, and is serving a life sentence at Guantanamo.
"It is highly likely that the result of this decision in Hamdan will be to vacate the convictions of Bahlul," said Hofstra University constitutional law professor Eric M. Freedman. "Even the conspiracy and solicitation to commit murder counts are very probably headed toward reversal."
In all this time ... no, wait.
How, exactly, does this go ...?
Look, we've won all of two cases in open court. The great American justice system is apparently so weak that politicians fear allowing due process for terror suspects in open court. This is, of course, unsettling in itself.
And now we're about to lose those two. Well, okay, we've lost one and the other looks ready to evaporate before our eyes.
Maybe because in our mad rush to being terrorized, nobody in power paused to think?
The whole Guantanamo chapter is a national disgrace, from its conception as a legalistic vortex in which human beings weren't people to the predictable wreck of human dignity upon its barbed-wire shores. We have sought to create a binding system of legalistic vendetta—the word "justice" has no place at Gitmo—based on principles of no evidence, no defense, no rights, and no chance.
And we're still losing.
What kind of institution, other than the Beltway, could possibly rig the game, stack the deck, buy the refs, and still lose?
And don't just blame Washington.
This is our fault. All of us. The politicians? They are us, too.
Baghdad Jim was right.
Anyone remember Max Cleland?
Mikey Hicks? Who was on the flight watch list from the time he was two? Because his mother had a funny-sounding name? Yeah, his mother who was a vice-presidential photographer?
Taking old ladies out of their adult diapers at the airport?
Contaminating cancer patients' treatment?
And on top of it all, we can't even invent our own game to capture and convict the alleged enemies, and not lose?
This is what it looks like when we're terrorized.
We invented this Guantanamo game. The whole point was to make sure we couldn't lose. And we lost.
The problem is that we tried to play this game in the first place.
How do we spend this long overlooking ex post facto? The whole time we're arguing about habeas corpus, nobody—nobody—is watching other constitutional flanks?
And yes, that includes me. I don't know if I figured ex post facto was forfeit, or simply not an issue, but I missed it, too. People want to know what makes me feel stupid? This makes me feel stupid. I can make whatever excuses I want, but it doesn't change the fact that I missed it, too.
Or maybe I'm glad I did.
You know, a dialectic of neurosis.
Sisyphus, stay! 'Til I get you a bigger rock to push up the goddamn hill.°
But this is what it looks like when we're terrorized.
This is why the terrorists are winning.
What the hell happened? We can't even rig a game of our own invention.
A note to the American people: Your nation needs you. Now. Stand beside Her, and guide Her. By faith alone, indeed. But what is faith without effect?
We're the United States of America.
We are the United States of America.
We are the United States of America.
And this is what it looks like when we're terrorized.
° Sisyphus, stay! 'Til I get you a bigger rock to push up the goddamn hill. — Attributed to "Fritz Wong", a character in Ray Bradbury's A Graveyard for Lunatics (New York: Knopf, 1990).
Yost, Pete. "Appeals court throws out bin Laden driver Hamdan conviction". Associated Press. October 16, 2012. CSMonitor.com. October 16, 2012. http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Latest-...dan-conviction
Last edited by Tiassa; 10-17-12 at 01:46 AM. Reason: Notes
10-16-12, 07:57 PM #306
While I concur with everything you said above, I just wanted to add that we oughtn't forget our comparably idiotic, inept, and downright immoral efforts to legislate and prosecute so-called "domestic terrorism." On the upside, at least some of these alleged perps actually get a trial.
The most notorious piece of legislation is the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, and the resulting prosecution of the SHAC 7:
The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA) is a United States federal law (Pub.L. 109-374; 18 U.S.C. § 43) that prohibits any person from engaging in certain conduct "for the purpose of damaging or interfering with the operations of an animal enterprise." The statute covers any act that either "damages or causes the loss of any real or personal property" or "places a person in reasonable fear" of injury. The law contains a savings clause that indicates it should not be construed to "prohibit any expressive conduct (including peaceful picketing or other peaceful demonstration) protected from legal prohibition by the First Amendment to the Constitution."  However, by its own terms, the statute criminalizes acts such as "intimidation." And prosecutions under AETA require using evidence of otherwise lawful free speech in order to demonstrate a "course of conduct" as proof of purpose or possible conspiracy.
So, it's not to be "construed" as prohibiting exercise of one's First Amendment rights, except that it DOES--and it HAS, as shown by the SHAC 7 trial which is thoroughly documented in Will Potter's Green Is the New Red.
Nevermind all the pricks who blow up clinics and murder abortion providers, the militant white supremacist groups, et al, the real "domestic terrorists" are people who send out "black faxes" and encourage people to boycott unethical companies on their websites and such-like. Obviously.
10-16-12, 08:24 PM #307
Everything that I've read indicates that extremist groups rely such as these rely heavily on oppressed groups of people who are very isolated - no knowledge about the outside world to speak of - and overt threats of violence towards their families to gain recruits. And even then, go on to rely on extensive brainwashing techniques to get them to go along.
Likewise, the Taliban itself kills orders of magnitude more Pakistani civilians than drone strikes ever could. So if this theory of recruitment-into-militant-organizations-caused-by-civilian-attacks theory is correct, shouldn't we also see a massive wave of infuriated people joining anti-Taliban militant/military organizations and so crushing them?
10-17-12, 08:09 AM #308
10-17-12, 09:06 AM #309
10-17-12, 02:38 PM #310
Do you have some other way to explain why both "collateral damage" in drone attacks and green on blue killings have both surged up in the same time period by about the same factor (more than doubled)? One thing the west needs to understand about most Mid East "countries" is they are not really countries at all in the western sense. They are boundary lines drawn on a map in London by the British Foreign Office, BFO. In fact often the BFO intentionally drew the lines so as to include conflicting culture groups as then they could play one off against the other for easier control of the territory they administered.
Originally, Kuwait did not exist except as a sub administration region part of Iraq, but then oil was discovered in both and that put too much potential power in Iraq´s hands, so Kuwait was cut off by the BFO as a separate country. Also that was done so that one British cruiser could control all of Iraq´s coasts and ports. (Iraq now has only tiny fraction of its original coast line.)
The people of the Mid East in general, but not all,* did not have any national identity and not much of even a concept of what a nation is.– Nations were imposed on them as some foreign concept. They had in principle as their highest loyalty Allah (either the Sunni or Shiite version) but in practice their highest loyalty was to their extend family (several hundred person) bound together by generations of second cousins marrying each other. i.e. a clan or small tribe. Saddam´s clan had about 400 members, and dozen of his clan supplied him with food and water, etc. and knew where his “spider hole” hide out was, but to turn him in for the several million dollar reward would have been signing your own death warrent – a worse crime against the clan than killing your own father. Have you never wondered why he could escape capture so long after Iraq was occupied for months?
* Those on the US´s pay roles did have some loyalty to US and "nation iraq"so long as they were collecting. As Iraq is about 75 or 80% Shiite, before GWB2 invaded, I posted two predictions, both are already half full filled. (1) That the region where the Kurds live would split off from Iraq and then that would make trouble for Turkey in the the south where many Kurds live. (I.e. those Kurds would want to split from Turkey and join the newly forming Kurdistan.) Already it is the Kurdish leaders who sign oil leases with western oil companies, not Baddad´s leaders. And more seriously for the US, (2) that the oil rich south, where all the already producing well are, would effectively become a satellite of Iran. The whole diplomatic world is now beginning to fear what I predicted about a decade ago. Read today´s news on this at: http://ca.news.yahoo.com/senior-iraq...ortBy%3Doldest
Which has starting text:
“Foreign Policy ran a piece a few days ago examining the question "Is Iraq an Iranian proxy?" that was most interesting for one of its co-authors: Safa al-Sheikh, the acting national security adviser to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
While Mr. Sheikh is frequently described as a technocrat, he has nevertheless advised Mr. Maliki on security policy for years now, at precisely the time that Iraq has strengthened its ties with Iran and distanced itself from the US (you may remember that Maliki kicked the US military out of Iraq last year). Iraq has uneasily supported Syria's Bashar al-Assad against the Sunni-dominated uprising against his regime. After all, a substantial chunk of the uprising is composed of Sunni jihadis hostile to Maliki's Shiite-dominated government. ..”
SUMMARY the Prime Minster of Iraq´s loyalty to his Shiite faith is stronger than to the nation called Iraq, especially now that funds from the US are decreasing. With almost every day that passes now Iraq turns more to Iran and away from the US. – Just as I predicted before GWB 2 invaded in a hopeless war. His father GHB1 was much smarter. – He halted the advance to leave Sunni Saddam in power – part of the old BFO policy, keep them divided with mutual hostility for easier control.
Last edited by Billy T; 10-17-12 at 03:18 PM.
10-17-12, 03:19 PM #311
10-17-12, 03:38 PM #312
This link is interesting reading too and helps one understand how complex things are with people still killing each other over events more than 1000 years in the past. Here is small part of text showing how foolish GWB was to invade and kill Saddam:
Originally Posted by http://ca.news.yahoo.com/syrian-shadow-iraqs-maliki-juggles-tehran-washington-053556765.html
10-17-12, 03:43 PM #313
10-17-12, 03:50 PM #314
Heck, you haven't even really substantiated your assertion that there is a "strong" correlation, or that the time frame in question is relevant and the observations statistically significant. Where is your statistical analysis establishing that the observations in question are indeed a signficiant trend, and eliminating possible confounding variables driving both of the observations? Your are asserting causation based on "gut feeling," and then spending the bulk of your output on speculating about its details.
If you are going to throw around terms like "strong correlation" as the basis for your positions, then you are going to have to do some actual statistics. And not just wave your hands and then leap into speculations fueled entirely by stilted, Orientalist cultural stereotypes.
10-17-12, 04:23 PM #315
10-23-12, 09:19 AM #316
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