Monday, May 30, 2011

Hazy Shade of Winter, Part 1

Earlier this month:

Jim Carafano, deputy director of the Heritage Foundation, says "I honestly don't know what the administration was thinking."

This has been Obama's policy all along, ever since he won the election. How did everyone miss this?

We examine excerpts from Barack Obama links Israel peace plan to 1967 borders deal; notice that the link is dated November 16, 2008!

Barack Obama is to pursue an ambitious peace plan in the Middle East involving the recognition of Israel by the Arab world in exchange for its withdrawal to pre-1967 borders, according to sources close to America's president-elect.

Obama intends to throw his support behind a 2002 Saudi peace initiative endorsed by the Arab League and backed by Tzipi Livni, the Israeli foreign minister and leader of the ruling Kadima party.

The proposal gives Israel an effective veto on the return of Arab refugees expelled in 1948 while requiring it to restore the Golan Heights to Syria and allow the Palestinians to establish a state capital in east Jerusalem.

On a visit to the Middle East last July, the president-elect said privately it would be "crazy" for Israel to refuse a deal that could "give them peace with the Muslim world", according to a senior Obama adviser.


[Dennis] Ross [a senior Obama adviser and former Middle East envoy] and Daniel Kurtzer, a former American ambassador to Israel, accompanied Obama on a visit to Israel last July. They also travelled to Ramallah, where Obama questioned Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian leader, about the prospects for the Arab plan.

According to a Washington source Obama told Abbas: "The Israelis would be crazy not to accept this initiative. It would give them peace with the Muslim world from Indonesia to Morocco."


Livni, the leader of Kadima, which favours the plan, is the front-runner in Israeli elections due in February. Her rival, Benjamin Netanyahu, the leader of Likud, is adamantly against withdrawing to borders that predate the Six Day war in 1967.

The 1967 "borders" scheme would result in Israel's destruction. Anyone with any amount of knowledge regarding the situation in the Middle East should know this, and any President who doesn't know this could ask his intelligence and military analysts to explain it to him. (See Defensible Borders for a Lasting Peace for excellent background.)

Is Obama so incompetent that he thinks this might work?

Or does he want to destroy Israel?

Or, maybe both?

The amazing thing is that 78% of the US Jewish vote went to Obama in 2008 (see 2008 Jewish Vote for Obama Exceeds All Expectations and 78% of American Jewish Vote Goes To Obama-Biden); within days, Obama was planning a Mideast "Peace" that would obviously result in Israel's eventual and likely fairly prompt destruction.

We now consider an excerpt from Israel's Requirement for Defensible Borders by Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror:

Could the Arab-Israeli wars of 1948, 1956, 1967, and 1973 return? It could be argued that conditions have entirely changed; Israel has peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan that have withstood the test of time. After 2003, the threat of Iraq seems to have been neutralized. In addition, with the collapse of the Soviet Union, Syria finds it more difficult to arm itself sufficiently. However, this is only a relatively static snapshot of Israel's strategic situation over the last ten years.

Long-Term Strategic Threats

The determination of defensible borders must be based on an assessment that takes into account potential long-term strategic threats as well. In this context, the following questions need to be considered:

1. Is there any way to guarantee that Iraq will not evolve into a radical Shi'ite state that is dependent on Iran and hostile to Israel (differences between Iraqi and Iranian Shi'ites notwithstanding)? Indeed, King Abdullah of Jordan has warned of a hostile Shi'ite axis that could include Iran, Iraq, and Syria.

2. Is it not conceivable that a Palestinian state will arise in the West Bank that will ultimately take over Jordan? It is worth recalling that just as Iraq has a Shi'ite majority, Jordan already has a Palestinian majority. Can Israel defend itself if it is attacked by a Palestinian state that stretches from Iraq to Kalkilya?

3. Is it not possible that in the future, militant Islamic elements will succeed in gaining control of the Egyptian regime?

None of these possible scenarios can be discounted; each of them, and certainly their combination, requires thinking about how to defend Israel against a classical military threat.

A combination of these scenarios is exactly what is developing - and what had been developing for months prior to Obama calling for Israel to withdraw inside the 1967 "borders".

First, we consider reports about the situation in Jordan. From Jordan's New Generation of Salafi-Jihadists Take to the Streets to Demand Rule by Shari'a dated May 5, 2011:

Jordan has not escaped the political turmoil and street confrontations that have enveloped the Middle East during the so-called "Arab Spring." The ongoing debate between the Jordanian government and protestors seeking political reform in Jordan escalated on March 24 when one man died and scores of others were injured in clashes that erupted between progovernment and pro-reform protesters at the Interior Ministry Circle in Amman. The pro-reform protestors claimed that security forces turned a blind eye to the attacks against them.

Prime Minister Marouf Bakhit blamed the Muslim Brotherhood for the violent developments (Jordan Times, March, 25). In an interview with Jordanian television, Bakhit accused the group of creating chaos in the country and taking orders from Islamist leaders in Egypt and Syria, while warning them "not to play with fire" (Petra News [Ammon], March, 27).

Jihadists on the Street

Some Jordanian Islamists have joined street protests for the first time in their history. These include the Salafi-Jihadists, whose members have held demonstrations in several cities of Jordan demanding the release of their imprisoned colleagues while stressing that their movement has paid a high price for Jordan's alliance with United States in the so-called "War on Terror." The jihadists, who demanded that Jordan be ruled by Shari'a, have shown that they are large in number, organized and defiant. The jihadists hailed the recent release of four of their colleagues and cancelled a pre-planned demonstration in Amman a few days later, adding that "the State [of Jordan] knows our strength" (, April 12).

On April 15, Salafi-Jihadists were among other Jordanian groups demonstrating after Friday prayer in various Jordanian cities. After demonstrating in Amman, Ma'an, Salt, and Irbid, jihadists then went into the streets of Zarqa, the hometown of Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi, the late leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq who was killed in June 2006.

The protest ended with clashes between jihadists and pro-government and security forces that resulted in some 80 injured policemen. Jordan's police chief, Lieutenant General Hussein Majali, stated that eight civilians had been hurt when police fired tear gas to stop Salafist demonstrators from attacking shoppers in Zarqa: "It was clear that the demonstrators had plans to clash with police. They carried swords and daggers and were provocative, seeking to drag police into a bloody confrontation" (AFP, April 15). Jordanian security services responded to the violence by conducting a series of raids in Zarqa and the nearby town of Rassifeh that rounded up some 70 Islamists, including prominent leader Shaykh Abdul Shahatah al-Tahawi (AFP, April 16).

The Hashemite dynasty in Jordan is facing the same instability as other regional governments, with the same players involved.

Next we consider New Nazi Party for Egypt by IPT News, May 27, 2011:

Egyptian leftist news portal Al-Badeel reports that a group of Egyptian activists will form a Nazi party for upcoming elections. The Egyptian Nazi group claims it will bring together prominent figures and ex-military officers, to promote fascist single-party rule.

Founding member Emad Abdel Sattar summed up the group's belief in single-party rule. The party "believes in vesting all powers in the president after selecting him or her carefully," and within the party "preparations are under way to choose the most competent person to represent the party." The appeal of authoritarianism comes from recent chaos in the streets, burning Coptic churches by Salafi Muslims, and random violence against civilians, according to the report.

Members are "increasing at an unexpected rate, and several people came to ask about the nature of the party and its plans," it says. The group has an ambitious plan to rapidly advance development in Egypt, in a single year, and rejects the "marginalized liberal parties, which are like dead bodies."

Nazis aren't the only group in the country that rejects long term democracy. Salafi Muslim groups support the reestablishment of the Caliphate, starting in Egypt, while the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party has sent mixed messages.

These are developments in two countries that have peace treaties with Israel; what about the countries that have continued to call for Israel's destruction?

As this series continues, we will examine what the concept of "defensible borders" means to Israel, and how developments in the region threaten renewed wars of annihilation against Israel, even as the "leader" of Israel's most important ally calls on Israel to change and make suicidal sacrifices in the hope of achieving peace with neighboring powers who consider it their religious duty to destroy Israel and kill Israelis.

Stink Bombs, Part 2


From Is Birther Donald Trump a Democratic Sleeper Agent? by Robert Schlesinger, March 29, 2011:

But with a GOP primary field composed of professional politicians who know better than to tread beyond winks, nods, and dog-whistles, who benefits the most from a GOP candidate willing to go full birther? With Trump in a presidential debate (the first one will be May 2) making birtherism his signature issue, the rest of the GOP field will be forced to weigh in definitively and either alienate the rabid base (the people who vote in Republican primaries and, according to one recent poll, are majority birther) or risk alienating centrist voters. The Democratic National Committee's opposition research department must be licking their collective chops. They couldn't have invented a better sabotage candidate than Trump: Unserious enough to actually wave the bloody birth certificate, but wealthy and famous enough that he's impossible to ignore.

Now, do I believe that Donald Trump is really a Democratic plant? It's tempting to say that I'm just raising questions about the Donald in the same spirit that he is about the president. But I'd put it this way: This conspiracy theory requires as big a suspension of disbelief as does contemplating President Donald Trump.

Now Birthers' Ranks Plunge: Poll:

(Newser) – A year ago, 20% of Americans thought the president was foreign-born; now, it's half that, a Washington Post poll finds. Surveyed after President Obama released his "long-form" birth certificate, just 10% of Americans now believe he was likely born outside the US. What's more, 70% say he's a Hawaii native, compared to 48% in an April 2010 Post-ABC poll. Overall, 86% say he was born in the US or call that their "best guess," the Post notes.

Meanwhile, among those who hold that he's foreign-born, nearly everyone says it's just their "suspicion." Only 1% see "solid evidence" to support the idea, compared to 9% a year before. The false belief has plummeted most sharply among his opponents; while 31% said he was born abroad last year, just 14% believe it now. Last year, 35% of conservative Republicans thought Obama was born elsewhere; now it's 16%.

Donald Trump made a big splash by jumping into the US Presidential race talking about President Obama's birth certificate.

Then, Obama's team released something that supposedly answers all the questions, and Trump climbed back out of the pool and went his way. The question itself has lost momentum and is being more effectively ridiculed.

Trump set the question up, and Obama's team knocked it down.

Almost as if it were planned that way...?

It is a legitimate question to ask whether someone running for (or serving as) President is actually legally qualified. And, regardless of where you stand on whether Obama is legally qualified, there are other legitimate questions that also need to be asked.

For example, politicians get money from PACs that are associated with foreign organized crime and even terrorist organizations. Then, these politicians push agendas that harm America's interests in the world, but which benefit certain foreign powers, such as Turkey or Kosovo. Shouldn't these policies and shouldn't this financing be questioned?

Now, though, thanks to Trump's maneuver, any question can be ridiculed more effectively by comparing it to the birther issue: questions about 9/11, about why we are supporting Ouattara in Côte d'Ivoire, about what is up in Libya, about how things are going to play out in Egypt and what impact that will have on Israel's security, about our funding for Pakistan when Pakistan is a de facto state sponsor of terrorism... all ridiculous, now. The controlled press in this country, owned by the Donald Trumps of the world, now have even more ammunition to ridicule any inconvenient question raised. Long gone are the days when the press might have pursued something like the Sibel Edmonds case.

"The Donald" - Why did anyone on the Republican side ever take this guy seriously?

Are we so desperate for a leader who will save us that we need to jump at any proffered bait?

Have we, the People of the United States of America, no heroes among ourselves?

The elites offer us the same pathetic choices, and we begin to argue over which of them is better. We argue within our parties, we argue across party lines, about which brand is the best. But all these brands are the same product, made in the same place.

Why do we go along with it all? Conformity?

"The Donald" contributes to political campaigns. And, he does so in a big way.

He gives to both Democrats and Republicans - understandable, so that whoever wins, he has the access that his money buys.

And, when a guy like "The Donald" starts moving money, it comes from a variety of directions, it goes through a variety of channels, and it arrives at a variety of locations. Campaign finance laws are no obstacle; they merely define what kind of a convoluted course the money takes.

Trump Donation to Democratic Senatorial Compaign Committee, Non-Federal, 2002

Trump Donation to Democratic Senatorial Compaign Committee, 2008

Trump Donation to Democrat Senator Harry Reid, 2009

Trump Donation to American Crossroads, 2010

That is why laws in this country are so complicated; politicians put in plenty of loopholes and wiggleroom for their patrons to do exactly as they please. The law only really applies to us little people; and, increasingly, no one even cares if the law is Constitutional.

It should by now be obvious to anyone that Donald Trump is a stink bomb. Who threw him?


Sunday, May 29, 2011

Seat of the Shah, Part 6

In Part 1 we introduced the situation in Somalia; toward the end of the post I commented:

We hear about Somali piracy and Somalia as a base for terrorists, but we don't often hear the other side of the story: foreign fishing vessels fishing Somali waters and depleting fish stocks, foreign vessels dumping hazardous waste in Somali waters... Somalis have a right to be angry over these infringements on Somali sovereignty, and just because Somalia does not have an effective government to deal with this does not give foreigners the right to essentially rape Somalia like this.

In Part 2 we examined more of the chaotic situation there, and considered efforts by Somali government officials to restore order in their country. Then, in Part 3 we saw the mechanics of piracy - how the money gets distributed - and considered how the pirates held sway in one Somali town.

Part 4 addressed more on the mechanics of piracy, and touched on how the al-Shabaab terrorists were beginning their own television station, while Part 5 explored how environmental factors helped create conditions favorable to piracy, and how pirates actually help local communities by bringing much needed cash into the economy; and, we again touched on one motivating factor - the desire for revenge against foreign exploitation of Somali waters in the absence of an effective Somali governmental response.

In this post, we will update and explore a variety of themes. We begin with South Korean court jails four Somali pirates, dated May 27, 2011:

A Somali pirate has been jailed for life by a South Korean court, after being convicted of the attempted murder of the captain of a hijacked ship.

Mahomed Araye was one of several Somalis seized in January when South Korean special forces stormed a cargo ship hijacked in the Arabian Sea.

Another man was sentenced to 15 years; two others received 13-year terms.

The trial marks the first attempt by South Korea - a major seafaring nation - to punish foreign pirates.

The court in the port city of Busan ruled that only Araye had been involved in the shooting of Capt Seok Hae-Kyun, who is still recovering in hospital.

For additional background regarding the legal questions involved in trying pirates, may I suggest Q&A: What do you do with a captured pirate?

Meanwhile, the story quoted above is interesting, with an interesting tidbit of information found farther down:

In the course of the trial, prosecutors also said that a British man working in the insurance industry contacted the Samho shipping company shortly after the kidnapping, allegedly to broker a possible deal with the hijackers.

Some Brits looking to broker a deal...

Another recent article addresses how some people were arrested at the airport in Mogadishu trying to pay a ransom. Excerpts are from Brits arrested in Somalia with '£2.2 million ransom for pirates':

LONDON (Sh. M. Network) – The Britons, who are among a group of six foreigners also understood to include two Kenyans and an American - were allegedly caught with $3.6 million in cash at the airport in Somalia's capital Mogadishu.


'It will be a risk consultancy-type operation and typically the guys doing it would be very experienced, military guys that have a clear understanding of the tasks they are going to be undertaking,' he said. 'The arrests were probably down to an information leak that caught them out, not the way they were doing it or where they were going because it's a regular thing.'

Andrew Mwangura, Maritime Editor for the Somali Report and founder of the Seafarers' Assistance Programme, which monitors piracy off the coast of East Africa, said: 'Ransom-handling is a very lucrative business – the majority of handlers are professionals working with private security companies.

'But this is the first time that anyone has been arrested whilst transferring the money.'

"Ransom-handling is a very lucrative business."

Skipping down:

Somalia's Transitional Federal Government, which controls only part of the war-torn country's territory, is opposed to the payment of ransoms, saying that it fuels piracy.

But according to a report released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in May 2011, ransoms totalling $112.79m were paid to Somali pirates in 2010, up from $75.68m the previous year. Pay-offs are sometimes dropped onto vessels from aircraft, or passed through middlemen.

I wonder if the payment of ransoms doesn't fuel piracy for a variety of reasons.

Obviously, it's a get-rich-quick scheme for pirates in a country where honest work can only earn grinding poverty.

But, pirates aren't the only ones to profit off the endeavor.

Handling the ransoms is also a get-rich-quick scheme, isn't it?

Pirates take a vessel, middlemen negotiate, a ransom is paid and delivered, and everyone makes money, except for those who pay the ransom - often an insurance company.

Would that constitute both motive and opportunity for some of the ransom handlers and security people to work with the pirates?

We consider a report of a successful ransom payment and vessel release; Somali pirates say release Syria ship after ransom (again, recent but undated):

MOGADISHU (Sh. M. Network) – Somali pirates say they have freed a Syrian owned and Togo-flagged ship seized this year after they received a $2.5 million.

The 24,022 deadweight tonne MV Khaled Muhieddine K crewed by 22 Syrians and three Egyptians was taken by pirates in January in the North Arabian Sea, approximately 330 nautical miles southeast of the Omani port of Salalah.

Somali pirates said late on Wednesday they had received the ransom drop on Wednesday morning.

'The ransom has been dropped early in the morning and it was $2.5.million. We have abandoned the ship and it has just started to sail away from our shores safely,' a pirate who gave his name as Omar told Reuters from the pirates hideout of El-Dhanane.

Andrew Mwangura, a Kenya-based former maritime official and now the maritime editor of The Somalia Report said he was aware negotiations for the release of the ship were at an advanced stage, but was trying to confirm news of the ship's release.

Somali pirates are making tens of millions of dollars in ransoms from seizing ships, including tankers and dry bulkers, in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden, despite the efforts of foreign navies to clamp down on such attacks.

Andrew Mwangura has a particular understanding of the situation involving the pirates. We now consider excerpts from an article he wrote, Somalia: Pirates or protectors?, dated May 20, 2010 (the date is listed as 2010, but the article was posted on May 23, 2011, and some of the references are to information current as of late 2010; other sites have the article with the 2010 date - ?):

The devastating Somali civil war since 1991 forced the Somali marine and fisheries sector to an abrupt collapse and almost all Somali fisheries activities shut down. The vessels of the Somali national fishing fleet were abducted and have never been returned. It is estimated that at least 200,000 people lost their jobs and the Somali fishing communities are still struggling to recover.

However, illegal fishing by foreign fleets and the more serious nuclear and toxic waste dumping from the industrialised world pose since then an environmental, socio-economic and ecological threat, which is unparalleled.

Very sophisticated factory-style fishing-vessels, which were designed for distant-water fishing and travel from faraway countries, whose harbours are thousands of miles away from Somalia and whose own fisheries resources are either under tight legal protection or already drastically overexploited, poured into the unprotected Somali waters.

They are in search of high-priced tuna, mackerel, swordfish, grouper, emperor, snapper, shark and of course the other valuable species in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden. With impunity they rob rock-lobster and shrimps for the tables of the wealthiest in this world, and dolphins, sea turtles and sea-cucumbers for the deranged tastes of the Far East. They have diminished the extraordinary population of dugong to near extinction.

Their task is solely oriented toward short-term gains, knowing the ecological limits, since Somalia does not only experience political but also resource displacement. Besides civil strife and outright war, the massive foreign fishing piracy, bringing criminal poaching and wanton destruction of the Somali marine resources for the last 19 years, may be one of the most damaging factors for the country, economically, environmentally and security-wise.

The article provides a wealth of background information. Skipping down:

Mr [Mohammed] Waldo [a Somali specialist working with ECOTERRA International], who keeps a close watch of his country, traces the origin of sea piracy and pirate fishing in Somalia back to 1991 when the Siad Barre regime fell, resulting into the disintegration of the Somali navy and coastguard services.

'Following severe draughts in 1973/74 and 1986, tens of thousands of nomads, whose livestock were wiped out by the draughts, were re-settled along the villages on the long, 3,300 km Somali coast,' says the analyst. The resettled groups were developed into large fishing communities whose livelihoods depended mainly on inshore fishing, as well as the processing of the offshore catch.

From the early beginnings of the civil war in Somalia (as early as 1988) illegal fishing trawlers started to trespass and fish in Somali waters, including in the 12-nautical mile inshore artisanal fishing waters. The poaching vessels encroached on the local fishermen's grounds, competing for the abundant rock-lobster and high value pelagic fish in the warm, up-swelling 60km deep shelf along the tip of the Horn of Africa.

ECOTERRA International and Waldo describe the deadly events that were to follow in the war torn country thus: 'The piracy war between local fishermen and the IUU [illegal, unreported and unregulated - fishing] ventures started here. Local fishermen documented cases of trawlers pouring boiling water on the fishermen in canoes, their nets cut or destroyed, smaller boats crushed, killing all the occupants, and other abuses suffered as they tried to protect their national fishing turf.' ECOTERRA International has many well documented cases that fishing nets provided by the emergency funds from the international community to ease the disaster of 1992/3 were wiped from the coast by foreign trawlers just days after they were provided to the impoverished fishing communities of Somalia.

Later, the fishermen armed themselves. In response, many of the foreign fishing vessels armed themselves too and with more sophisticated weapons and began to overpower the Somali fishermen again. It was only a matter of time before the local fishermen reviewed their tactics and modernised their hardware. This escalation and cycle of warfare has been going on from 1991 to the present. It is now developing into fully a fledged, two-pronged illegal fishing and sea piracy conflicts, which in addition soon will become politicised and radicalised if nothing stops the foreign impact.

The local fishing net incidents from 1992/3 - that was when US forces were in Somalia trying to stabilize the country and help the economy get back on track so the people wouldn't starve. Meanwhile, international fishing vessels were destroying the emergency nets, causing further harm to the local economy and further instability, contributing to the dangerous situation our troops and the troops of our allies faced.

The direction this could go in now is that the pirates could ally themselves with the al-Shabaab jihadists - both groups are enemies of the international community, and preying on infidel business could be justified using some interpretations of Islamic texts. Somalia could develop into not just a regional but a serious global menace - menacing more than just critical international shipping lanes in the Indian Ocean.

Or, efforts could be made to deal with some of the underlying problems, which include the other pirates, those who dump toxic waste and fish Somali waters illegally.

Two hundred years ago, when our young nation was dealing with Islamic pirates off the coast of North Africa, it was cannonballs, not gold, that stopped the piracy. Near those same parts of Africa today, Islamic militants operate in a sea of sand - the Sahara/Sahel region - and fund their insurgency through kidnappings and ransoms; they are now turning to narcotics, arms and human trafficking. The payment of ransoms to Somali pirates needs to stop - it is merely fueling the crisis, and could easily contribute to a pirate/terrorist coalition which, in turn, could evolve in the direction of moving drugs, guns and other contraband. And the middlemen need to be investigated, because some of the biggest money to be made in piracy is to set oneself up as a middleman/negotiator/ransom handler.

Consequently, efforts to fight the pirates and police Somali waters need priority from the international community, but must be in conjunction with established and legitimate Somali authorities, and must include efforts to keep foreigners from exploiting Somalia's territorial waters.

This needs to happen before the situation deteriorates, fueled by Islamic extremism and easy ransom money, and perhaps spreads into neighboring countries.

Heavy battle rocks parts of Mogadishu:

MOGADISHU (Sh. M. Network) – Heavy battle between Somali army supported militarily African Union peacekeepers and Al shabaab on Thursday night broke out in northern part of Mogadishu, according to local residents.

The fighting erupted after Al shabaab, which US alleges to be al Qaeda’s proxy in the horn of Africa nation, have launched the northern districts of Bondhere and Abdul-aziz.

Sporadic firefight leaves two dead in Mogadishu:

MOGADISHU (Sh. M. Network) – Sporadic firefight and artillery barrages erupted between Somali government forces backed by African Union peacekeepers and Al shabaab in Somalia’s war torn capital of Mogadishu, witnesses said of Friday.

The fighting started after Somali forces and AMISOM troops attacked key Al shabaab military bases in Hodan district in southern Mogadishu.

In the duration of the battle, the two warring factions used both heavy and light weapons as the echoes of artillery barrages could be heard most of the capital neighborhoods.

Al Shabaab fighters in Gedo region called for ceasing fire:

MOGADISHU (Sh. M. Network) – The administration of Somali government in Gedo region in Southern Somalia on Friday called for the fighters of Al shabaab in the region to cease fire.

Speaking to Shabelle Media Network, Mohammed Abdi Kalil, the governor of Gedo region said that Al shabaab fighters to stop violence and take peace.

Somalia: People start displacing from Gedo as battle looms:

BURDHUBO (Sh. M. Network) – As tense between Somali government forces and Al shabaab fighters is escalating, a lot of local residents in Gedo region started fleeing from their homes.

Ugandan Police Says Somali Extremists Sneak into Country:

KAMPALA (Sh. M. Network) –Ugandan police on Thursday confirmed that 'suicide bombers' trained by Somali extremists had sneaked into the country with the intention of carrying out bomb attacks similar to the July 2010 blasts that killed dozens of people.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Cursory Look at Impact of Israeli Espionage on US Interests

I was just on Facebook when one of the people I had friended posted a link to an article, and the image that accompanied the link indicated that one is either with Israel or with the terrorists.

I commented that generally I support Israel, but that Israel conducts espionage against the United States, and when that happens, I do not support Israel.

The "friend" asked me for one example "pls". As I was looking for an appropriate example, apparently he deleted and blocked me.

No big loss - anyone who can't handle the truth is welcome to delete and block me. When he's ready to realize that he overreacted, I will be happy to be his friend again.

However, the topic now has my interest.

Established as a homeland for Jews, Israel is a small country surrounded by very hostile enemies whose religion calls for death to Jews. Do you see a potential problem for Israel here?

Needless to say, Israel has had to fight for its very existence ever since day one of that existence; when there has been peace, it is only because Israel has been strong enough to defend itself.

Since it is a small country surrounded by enemies, and since the United States plays such a vital role in guaranteeing Israel's existence by supporting Israel in a variety of ways, it is only natural that Israel's intelligence services are active. They spy on potential enemies, they spy on various organized crime syndicates (who do business with terrorists that seek to destroy Israel), and they spy on the United States. The need for intelligence activities to focus on the United States is acute; for example, Israel needs to know whether a current US administration will support Israel (the Obama Administration seems to be less friendly than one might hope), what the attitude in Congress is regarding issues that are important to Israel, and Israel seeks to gain valuable information about potential enemies and technical data that could improve Israel's battlefield performance.

I understand Israel's position in this regard; we do the same to them. But, when Israeli operations violate US laws and hurt US interests, there needs to be an accounting - just as Israel needs an accounting when US operations are discovered violating Israeli laws and hurting Israeli interests.

So, here is a cursory, non-systematic survey of some Israeli espionage activities that have impacted the United States.

From a background article on Jonathan Jay Pollard:

Born on August 7, 1954, Jonathan Jay Pollard appeared destined to enter into the world of the highly educated. The son of a prominent professor of microbiology, who taught at Notre Dame University, Pollard had no less than a dozen Nobel Prize winners at his fourth birthday party. During his formative years, he was an avid reader of the country of Israel and military history. His family lost over 70 European relatives during the Holocaust. The Pollards instilled in their son a deep respect for Israel, the Jewish faith and repeatedly acknowledged the U.S. as a Godsend for Jews.

When Pollard attended Stanford University he falsely claimed to hold dual citizenship with the U.S. and Israel (this did not become true until November 1995). He was known for telling tall tales, such as being a "Colonel" in the Israeli military and a member of the Mossad. After he attended Stanford, Pollard entered the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Boston to attain his graduate degree. While at Tufts, Pollard enacted some of his espionage fantasies by informing on foreign students to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Pollard applied for a position with the CIA, but was turned down due to his occasional drug use in college.

In 1979, Pollard began working for the U.S. Navy as an Intelligence Analyst. Before he started spying for the Israelis, Pollard provided classified political and economic analyses information to three friends he felt could use the information. It is believed his principal motivation at the time was to impress his "friends" of his knowledge and importance within the Navy. In 1982, Pollard attended a meeting between the U.S. Navy Intelligence Officers and officials of Israeli Intelligence and felt the U.S. was not sharing information of vital importance to Israeli defense. He also grew resentful over what he perceived as anti-Semitic sentiments among his co-workers.

On May 29, 1984, Pollard met with Colonel Aviem Sella, one of Israel's top war aces, in a coffee shop at the Washington Hilton Hotel. At that meeting, Pollard volunteered to spy for the Israelis and Colonel Sella became his handling agent. During his spying escapades, Pollard provided the Israelis with more than a thousand documents, classified cables and messages, and 800 documents, many of them labeled top secret. He was paid $2,500 a month from the Israelis to provide classified information. U.S. intelligence estimates the mother lode of the secrets Pollard stole and gave to the Israelis would occupy a space six feet by six feet by ten feet, basically a truckload. Much of the information given to the Israelis involved Soviet-made weaponry supplied to Arab countries that were hostile to Israel. His involvement directly led to the Israeli air strike in Tunisia and the destruction of the Palestinian Liberation Organization headquarters.

The PLO got bombed! Great!!

Pollard violated the trust that the American people, acting through our government, gave him; he broke the law. He is in prison where he belongs.

And, he was working for Israel.

From Israel: State Comptroller Report Says U.S. Deprived Convicted Spy of Due Process:

(Sep. 03, 2009) On September 2, 2009, a report was issued by Israel's State Comptroller, Micha Lindenstrauss, on the Israeli government's actions to obtain the release of Jonathan Pollard, who has been incarcerated in the United States since 1985 following his conviction for spying for Israel. Pollard, an American citizen, received Israeli citizenship in 1995 and was acknowledged as an agent working for Israel in 1998. While most of its content remains classified, an abstract of the report was released for publication.

The report was directed by the Knesset (parliament) State Control Committee and focused on the efforts exerted by Prime Ministers Benjamin Netanyahu, Ehud Barak, Ariel Sharon, and Ehud Olmert to secure Pollard's release. In preparing the report, the State Comptroller established an investigative team that reviewed numerous documents and met with former Israeli prime ministers and other officials whose portfolios cover national security and foreign affairs. The State Comptroller further ordered a professional legal opinion regarding all the procedures related to Pollard's trial from Professor Kenneth Mann, whom the report describes as "knowledgeable in American law and an expert in criminal law." According to the report, the request for Mann's opinion was initiated and paid for by the State Comptroller's office.

The report concluded that there has been strong and steady opposition on the part of U.S. administrations to releasing Pollard, based on U.S. intelligence claims that his release contradicts U.S. defense interests. The report further concludes that Israeli prime ministers had steadily raised the Pollard issue in discussions with U.S. presidents. These discussions, however, have not been recorded. Official contacts were also made by Israeli officials to their U.S. administration counterparts, as well as to Members of Congress. All efforts, however, were unsuccessful.

One effort was made late during the Clinton years. We consider an excerpt from a 2007 article entitled How former CIA chief foiled Pollard's release:

The drama reached its peak on Thursday, October 22, 1998, the night before the agreement was signed at the White House. The senior American staff, including Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and National Security Advisor Sandy Berger was present.

Berger told Tenet that then Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu put the Pollard matter on the table.

Upon hearing this, Tenet stormed out of the room, telling Berger that he was wrong and that Pollard was not on the agenda, calling the idea ridiculous and insisting that the Pollard issue had nothing to do with the talks taking place at Wye.

According to Tenet's account, Berger then told him that then US President Bill Clinton had not agreed to anything.

Tenet spent the next few hours contemplating how to respond. If Pollard was in the final package deal, no one at CIA headquarters would believe he had nothing to do with it, he thought.

Fearing that including Pollard in the deal would give the impression that an American citizen spying against his country was being rewarded and that he would have no moral capital in front of his soldiers and that his career in the CIA would be destroyed, Tenet decided that he would back out of the deal if the Clinton accepted these terms.

According to Tenet, the senior administration staff wanted the deal, but was afraid of his resignation.

Pollard worked for Israel, and Israel has the decency to admit it and try to take care of him.

There is also the case of Larry Franklin, in which AIPAC's use as a front by Israeli intelligence came to be widely known:

Larry Franklin, Senior Analyst for the Department of Defense at the Pentagon since 1979, held prestigious offices throughout the government, such as: The Office of the Secretary of Defense, International Security Affairs; Office of Near East and South Asia; Office of Northern Gulf Affairs; Iran Desk. Franklin also held the rank of Colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserves and was assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), Defense HUMINT Services. In these positions, Franklin obtained TS/SCI clearances with access to the most sensitive U.S. secrets. An educated man (he holds a BA, MA and PhD in Asian studies), Franklin perhaps had a sense of grandiosity (he knows what is good for the country, more than the elected and appointed official over him). He felt he could share classified information with members of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) without authorization. On May 4, 2005, he was arrested on charges that in June 2003 he provided unauthorized persons classified information regarding potential attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq.

During a search of Franklins Pentagon office in June 2004, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) found classified documents dated June 2003 which contained information believed to have been given to AIPAC representatives. Franklin admitted to FBI investigators in a June 30, 2004 interview, that he in fact provided the classified information to two individuals (lobbyists for AIPAC), Steven J. Rosen and Keith Weissman, senior staff members of AIPAC, a pro-Israel lobbying organization.The affidavit also stated that Franklin disclosed classified information to a foreign official and members of the news media on other occasions. The FBI conducted a search of Franklins Kearneysville, West Virginia home, where they discovered 83 separate classified U.S. government documents, 30 of these documents being classified as Top Secret. These documents spanned three decades of classified information, one of them was even found on his coffee table! Some of these documents were situation reports from the Terrorism Threat Integration Center; one Top Secret document from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) concerned al Qaeda. Other Secret documents were CIA information relating to Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda and a memorandum on Iraq.

I wonder if AIPAC is just infiltrated by Israeli intelligence, or whether organized crime cartels have it infiltrated, as well?

Franklin's side of the story can be found at Once Labeled An AIPAC Spy, Larry Franklin Tells His Story by Nathan Guttman, July 1, 2009.

More on shady dealings involving Israel can be found in a Congressional Research Report entitled Israeli-United States Relations, dated December 21, 2001:

The Washington Times reported on March 12, 1992, that the Administration of former President Bush was investigating if Israel transferred U.S. Patriot missile technology to China without U.S. approval. The Wall Street Journal reported the next day that the State Department Inspector-General and U.S. government intelligence agencies had been investigating unauthorized Israeli technology transfers to China, South Africa, Ethiopia, Chile, and other countries. Israeli leaders denied that Israel transferred U.S. technology without U.S. permission, and denied violating U.S.-Israeli agreements on weapons security and transfers. The State Department announced on April 2 that a team that visited Israel on March 21 found no evidence of an unauthorized transfer of Patriot technology to China. But, an Inspector-General's report released the same day said Israel did transfer other equipment and technology to other countries without proper U.S. authorization. The story resurfaced on October 11, 1993, when NBC news reported that Israel sold billion of dollars worth of military equipment, including U.S. sophisticated technology, to China, and reappeared again in October 1995 when it was reported that China had Lavi technology (Israel built a prototype Lavi aircraft with U.S. money and technology).

There are times when Israel transfers technology to some countries that we have to wonder about. Occasionally, Israeli sources are saying they have approval or even a request from the US government to do so.

What I suspect is that US officials, who are corrupt and working for foreign intelligence services or organized crime cartels, request Israel to transfer some information or some technology. Israeli officials do it, believing they are doing a favor for the United States government when, in fact, they are doing a favor for a corrupt US official who expects to get paid by the foreign intelligence service or organized crime cartel that requested the operation.

Skipping down:

The Espionage Affairs. In 1985, U.S.-Israeli relations were rocked by two spy cases. Richard Smyth was indicted in California for illegally exporting 800 Krytons to an Israeli company. Krytons are high speed electronic switches that can be used to detonate nuclear weapons. Israel claimed that it was not aware of needed export licenses for the devices. Smyth jumped bail in 1985 but was arrested by Spanish authorities in July 2001. Smyth was extradited to the United States in November 2001 and will stand trial on 30 counts of violating the Arms Export Control Act and filing false statements.


Farther down:

In addition to the Smyth and Pollard cases, U.S. Customs agents raided 3 U.S. companies on December 12, 1985, to seize materials describing a metallurgical process for tank guns that were being transferred illegally to Israel. In another case, 3 Israelis were arrested on April 22, 1986, for conspiring to sell arms to Iran. On May 15, 1986, 2 Israelis were arrested in New York on another weapons selling scheme. On July 8, 1986, U.S. Customs agents searched 3 U.S. companies for information about a plan to transfer technical information for cluster bombs to Israel. An Illinois company said on August 8, 1986, that Israelis tried to steal data on aerial reconnaissance cameras. Israel denied any connection with any of these cases. In February 1997, an engineer at a military testing facility in Michigan admitted that he "inadvertently" gave classified materials to Israel over a ten-year period. Press reports in early May 2000 said that Israeli intelligence had tapped into White House and State Department communications, but a later FBI investigation cleared Israel.

If you are among those who believe that Israel can do no wrong, then you are, in principle, no better than the Islamofascists. If you can't take the truth and a disagreement, then you are, in principle, no better than the Islamofascists.

Delete me, block me.

Get a fatwa.

Send hitmen after me.

But, please, spell my name right, and tell others where to find my blog.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Campaign for the Land of the Pure, Part 3

We pick up right where we left off at the end of Part 2.

From Headley says Major Iqbal is Chaudhery Khan, 26/11 Mumbai attacks mastermind, May 25, 2011:

CHICAGO: The mysterious Major Iqbal, who India suspects is a Pakistani army officer in ISI, has now been identified as 'Chaudhery Khan' by Mumbai terror accused David Headley who said he is the mastermind of the 26/11 attacks plot.

50-year-old Headley also told a Chicago court during the trial of 26/11 co-accused Tahawwur Rana that an attempt to take the attackers to Mumbai in September 2008 failed as a boat in which they were to sail was lost.

He said before the jury that according to Major Iqbal, in September they lost the Pakistani boat which was supposed to take the attackers to sea for some distance after which they were to be shifted to an Indian fishing boat.

Iqbal also told Headley that they had lost 12 life jackets meant for the attackers.

Headley, a Pakistan-American, said that Major Iqbal, whose name keeps cropping up in the testimony, used the ID of 'Chaudhery Khan', made key decisions and was indeed the mastermind of the 26/11 plot.

In further testimoney, Headley identified India's movie capital as a possible target, and gave more information about "Major Iqbal"; from Headley identified Somnath temple, Bollywood as targets, May 26, 2011:

CHICAGO: A self-confessed key plotter of the Mumbai terror attack, David Coleman Headley Wednesday testified that he identified ancient Somnath temple in India and Bollywood among several more targets he "liked" for future terror attacks.


Rana also said that nine of the 10 Mumbai attackers who died should be given Pakistan's highest military bravery award, Nishan-e-Haidar, Headley testified.

Headley also talked about his conversation with another of his Pakistani handlers Pasha and the new email he would create.

According to the transcript of Pasha-Headley conversation, read out by the federal prosecutor, Headley said: "Major Iqbal went to my house in Lahore in Pakistan, my employee told me over there."

Headley also testified that handlers of Pakistan-based terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) guided the attackers on phone and even asked them to change tactics to challenge the advancing commandos as they watched the 2008 Mumbai carnage live from Pakistan.

Headley said his LeT handler Sajid Mir, who was in Karachi during the Mumbai attack, was in contact with the attackers via phone and he was watching TV coverage of the siege and seeing what was going on in India.

This Major Iqbal is a key figure. And, based on what we learned in Part 2, he is likely an interface for the ISI. From Mysterious 'Major Iqbal' is Pakistan's latest albatross dated May 26, 2011:

WASHINGTON: He's acquiring the status of mythic villain, and Bollywood scriptwriters may soon caricature him in the mold of Mogambo and Shakaal, among their more famous screen scoundrels.

But the way David Headley aka Daood Gilani describes him, Major Iqbal was not given to loud laughs or corny dialogues. A serving ISI officer, he was a cold, calculating operational mastermind of the Mumbai 26/11 terrorist attack who handled its logistical aspects, including forking out the money, choosing targets, and liaised with other shadowy ISI operatives and terrorist outfits.

From the time US Department of Justice attorneys named the mysterious "Major Iqbal" in their indictment following Headley's disclosure during investigations that he was his principle ISI handler, investigators have struggled to get a fix on him. Who did Major Iqbal report to? Where is he now? What is his full and real identity? And most importantly, will Pakistan identify and extradite him – or will it hide him as it has done with many wanted terrorists?

Interesting questions raised in that last paragraph....

It seems a safe bet that someone in Pakistan's military/government circles was helping Osama bin Laden, and that was how bin Laden was able to live right up the street from a military academy just a few dozen kilometers from Islamabad.

Osama bin Laden's Hideout North of Islamabad

We also know ISI is connected to LeT.

Needless to say, ISI is going to be protecting the guy who serves as their connection, at least as well as they covered for bin Laden... unless Major Iqbal gets bargained away as a pawn in the game? (Or killed to bury the story with him?)

In his testimony on Tuesday, Headley revealed that "Major Iqbal" was also known by the name "Chaudhery Khan." Exhibits presented by the prosecution showed Headley corresponded with him using a Yahoo ID. It was Khan aka "Major Iqbal" who recruited him, walked him through the Mumbai plot, and set him on his way with $25,000 to begin surveillance and identifying targets in Mumbai.

Headley says "Major Iqbal" disclosed to him that a previously scheduled attack on Mumbai in September 2008 had to be abandoned after terrorists deployed for the purpose lost their moorings -- and their boat. He also advised Headley to befriend influential people "who live in military facilities" in India, and while he was thrilled with the advances the Pakistani-American made in infiltrating Shiv Sena, he was disappointed that Headley did not scout the Mumbai airport as a target.

Headley also revealed that his principle ISI handler directed that the Jewish community center Chabad House be added to the list of targets because he believed it was being used as a front for Israel's Mossad intelligence agency. Chillingly, his associate Sajid Mir, who is also believed to be ISI official, told Headley that they had no compunctions killing women at Chabad House because Israeli women served in their army on account of mandatory draft.

In the rogue's gallery of Pakistani masterminds of 26/11, "Major Iqbal" clearly emerges as the operational chief. While Headley says he is an ISI official, the US chargesheet, while naming him as a defendant, does not mention his ISI affiliation, though this has been identified in both US and Indian case files.

This whole War on Terror is falling into the gap between what is said and what is done.

And that is convenient, because the War on Terror is a source of tremendous profiteering, and creates the instability that permits heroin trafficking while providing the exigency to allow the heroin trafficking to continue in order to prioritize counterterrorism - even though the terrorists fund their jihad with money from heroin trafficking.

It is worth recalling what Sibel Edmonds said in Cracking the Case: An Interview With Sibel Edmonds by Scott Horton, back on August 22, 2005:

SE: [snip]

You know, they are coming down on these charities as the finance of al-Qaeda. Well, if you were to talk about the financing of al-Qaeda, a very small percentage comes from these charity foundations. The vast majority of their financing comes from narcotics. Look, we had 4 to 6 percent of the narcotics coming from the East, coming from Pakistan, coming from Afghanistan via the Balkans to the United States. Today, three or four years after Sept. 11, that has reached over 15 percent. How is it getting here? Who are getting the proceedings from those big narcotics?

Heroin trafficking became a source of funding for the jihad against the Soviets in the 1980's. The heroin was shipped to the Soviet Union, where it was sold to fund the fight against the Soviet occupation in Afghanistan, even as the heroin helped destroy the Soviet Union from within. This was clandestine, "black" money, out of reach of Congressional oversight.

After the jihad, though, the channels continued to exist and, as the Cold War ended, with state funding of terrorism drying up, terrorist organizations turned increasingly to organized crime to fund their operations. Some terrorist organizations morphed into criminal organizations, criminal organizations began to look like terrorist groups... and, it is important to consider, organized crime has always sought to buy influence with government officials, law enforcement, and political leaders by bribery and illicit money.

As Edmonds pointed out in Former FBI Translator Sibel Edmonds Calls Current 9/11 Investigation Inadequate by Jim Hogue, May 7, 2004:

JH: Here's a question that you might be able to answer: What is al-Qaeda?

SE: This is a very interesting and complex question. When you think of al-Qaeda, you are not thinking of al-Qaeda in terms of one particular country, or one particular organization. You are looking at this massive movement that stretches to tens and tens of countries. And it involves a lot of sub-organizations and sub-sub-organizations and branches and it's extremely complicated. So to just narrow it down and say al-Qaeda and the Saudis, or to say it's what they had at the camp in Afghanistan, is extremely misleading. And we don't hear the extent of the penetration that this organization and the sub-organizations have throughout the world, throughout their networks and throughout their various activities. It's extremely sophisticated. And then you involve a significant amount of money into this equation. Then things start getting a lot of overlap -- money laundering, and drugs and terrorist activities and their support networks converging in several points. That's what I'm trying to convey without being too specific. And this money travels. And you start trying to go to the root of it and it's getting into somebody's political campaign, and somebody's lobbying. And people don't want to be traced back to this money.

By the way... did you know that Headley is a convicted heroin dealer? See Witness Implicates Rana in Mumbai Terror, May 25, 2011, by Bouboushian: "Headley, the prosecution's star witness, is a former heroin smuggler turned informant."

And, did you know that the LeT is connected to heroin trafficking? A brief article, Heroin seized from LeT carriers, dated October 22, 2007, is reproduced here in its entirety:

Jammu: Over 1 kg of top-grade heroin was on Sunday seized in Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir indicating the growing use of the Golden Crescent route by cash-strapped Lashkar-e-Taiba militants to smuggle narcotics for terrorist activities.

The consignment of A-999 grade heroin, manufactured in Afghanistan and packaged in Pakistan, with a street value of Rs 1.50 crore, was recovered from two persons in Bhaderwah town of the district, Doda range Deputy Inspector - General of Police Farooq Khan said.

He said preliminary tests carried at the local forensic aboratory confirmed that it was the "purest form of heroin."

The consignment which came in triple packs was handed by a LeT overground worker of Thatri to a tailor Abdul Khalid and cable operator Tahir Hussain for selling it in Bhaderwah.

Khalid and Hussain told the police that the money for the contraband consignment was to be paid back to the LeT worker once it was sold in the grey market.

"Bhaderwah does not have hard drug consumers nor is it close to India-Pakistan border. That points to one thing, that the cash-strapped LeT militants have chosen drug peddling for funding their activities," the IG told PTI.

Several Hawala rackets and drug networks, from which Rs. 8 lakh, several kg of heroin and SIM cards and mobile handsets were recovered have been busted by police in Jammu division in the past month. — PTI

This is a standard play out of the jihad playbook.

Heroin money finances the jihad, even as the heroin itself destroys the infidel country. And, since infidel politicians are on the payroll of the heroin traffickers, any investigation will only go so far - and that is not far enough to stop the terrorist attacks.

This is how 9/11 didn't get prevented.

A similar situation is how the Oklahoma City Bombing didn't get prevented.

And this is how future attacks by the LeT in the United States will not get prevented.

This campaign for the Land of the Pure isn't just about what happens to Pakistan, and who controls what's left; it's about terrorist sleeper cells here in America, heroin money in political campaigns in the US... it's about what happens to America, and who controls what's left.

Campaign for the Land of the Pure, Part 2

I began Part 1 by briefly considering the case of Raymond Davis, then touching on other topics, such as the fact that Colonel Imam had reportedly been killed, to introduce the fact that so much of what is happening in Pakistan is happening well beneath the surface.

Well, that is true anywhere.

But, I also called attention to why it is important to focus on Pakistan:

But what else we are seeing is the Pakistani Deep State, which is involved in nuclear proliferation for profit, heroin smuggling, and other lucrative activities, as well as support for Islamic terrorism, battling other factions of Pakistan's elite.

I finished that post with this:

The War on Terror will be decided mainly in Pakistan.

A major battle in the War on Drugs will also be decided there, as, until the War on Terror in Afghanistan is ended, the instability there will foment trafficking of high-quality heroin as Afghanistan essentially corners the world market for both quality and quantity.

And, there is profiteering and the Great Game going on.

All of this fuels corruption in Rawalpindi and Islamabad and, of course, in London and especially in Washington.

There is a covert fight occuring to decide Pakistan's future, and even Pakistan's existence as a sovereign nation.

We now examine that covert fight.

First, we define a few terms. Overt action refers to when everyone knows something is happening, and everyone knows who is doing it. Covert action is when everyone knows something is happening, but no one really knows who is behind it. Then, there is clandestine action: people don't even know that something is going on.

The fight in Pakistan is covert - you can read the paper, watch TV and surf the 'net and know something is going on, but we do not really know who is behind it or what their agenda is.

David Coleman Headley was indicted, charged with twelve counts of being on the wrong side in the War on Terror. Legal proceedings are ongoing, and from an article entitled Implicating ISI in terror, Headley says hatred of India after 1971 war drove him to LeT by Shalini Parekh & Chidanand Rajghatta, May 24, 2011, we learn the following:

CHICAGO/WASHINGTON: Hatred of India arising from Pakistan's defeat in the 1971 war drove him to the terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba, David Coleman Headley, the Pakistani expatriate who involved in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack told a Chicago court on Monday while implicating Pakistan's spy agency ISI in nurturing terrorism.

First, a little bit about Lashkar-e-Taiba. From Bad Company: Lashkar-e-Tayyiba and the Growing Ambition of Islamist Militancy in Pakistan, testimony before Congress by Lisa Curtis, dated March 11, 2010:

My name is Lisa Curtis. I am a senior research fellow at The Heritage Foundation. The views I express in this testimony are my own, and should not be construed as representing any official position of The Heritage Foundation.

The Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, a Pakistan-based terrorist organization, poses a threat to U.S. citizens as well as to critical U.S. national security interests, including promoting stability in South Asia and degrading the overall threat from terrorism emanating from the region. The U.S. government has previously associated the Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT — "Army of the Pure") primarily with the Indo–Pakistani dispute over Kashmir and has viewed the group as less inimical to U.S. interests than al-Qaeda, although the U.S. State Department has listed the LeT as a Foreign Terrorist Organization since December, 2001.

Notice that Lashkar-e-Taiba, by whatever spelling, means "Army of the Pure".

This series is entitled Campaign for the Land of the Pure, and a previous series (see sidebar) was entitled The Land of the Pure.

Where do these names come from?

This trial addresses connections to the Mumbai terrorist attack, and is bringing up connections between LeT and Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate, or ISI.

For more background, we consider an excerpt from The Threat to the US Homeland Emanating from Pakistan, Congressional testimony by Stephen Tankel with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, dated May 3, 2011:

Lashkar-e-Taiba (the Army of the Pure or LeT) is one of Pakistan's oldest and most powerful militant groups. India has been its primary enemy since the early 1990s and the group has never considered itself to be an al-Qaeda affiliate, but LeT did begin contributing to al-Qaeda's global jihad against the United States and its allies after 9/11. The spectacular nature of the 2008 Mumbai attacks and target selection suggested LeT continued to prioritize jihad against India, but was moving deeper into al-Qaeda's orbit. Despite repeated calls by a chorus of U.S. officials on Pakistan to take actions against the group in the wake of Mumbai, LeT's position remains relatively secure. There are several reasons. First, Pakistan is facing a serious insurgency and LeT remains one of the few militant outfits whose policy is to refrain from launching attacks against the state. The security establishment has taken a triage approach, determining that to avoid additional instability it must not take any action that could draw LeT further into the insurgency. Second, the Pakistan army and its powerful Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI) have long considered LeT to be the country's most reliable proxy against India and the group still provides utility in this regard. LeT also provides potential leverage at the negotiating table and so it is therefore unrealistic to assume support for the group will cease without a political payoff from India in return. As a result, the consensus among the Pakistani security establishment appears to be that, at least in the short-term, taking steps to dismantle the group would chiefly benefit India, while Pakistan would be left to deal with the costs. Finally, LeT provides social services and relief aid via its above ground wing, Jamaat-ul-Dawa, and its activities in this sphere have led to a well of support among segments of the populace.

To understand LeT and how it grew so powerful, one must recognize the two dualities that define it. The first is that it is a missionary and a militant organization that for most of its history has placed an equivalent emphasis on reshaping society at home (through preaching and social welfare) and to waging violent jihad abroad. The second is that its military activities are informed both by its pan-Islamist rationale for jihad and its role as a proxy for the Pakistani state. LeT was able to grow into a powerful and protected organization in Pakistan as a result of its ability to reconcile these dualities. Jihad against India to liberate Muslim land under perceived Hindu occupation aligned with LeT's ideological priorities and also with state interests. This enabled the group to become Pakistan's most reliable proxy, which brought with it substantial benefits including the support needed to construct a robust social welfare apparatus used for missionary and reformist purposes. However, this approach also necessitated trade-offs and compromises after 9/11, since preserving its position vis-à-vis the state sometimes forced the group to sublimate its pan-Islamist impulses. As the decade wore on, internal tensions increased over who LeT should be fighting against.

Finally, for some additional background, we review Lashkar-e-Toiba 'Army of the Pure', excerpts of which are quite eye-opening:

The LeT has consistently advocated the use of force and vowed that it would plant the 'flag of Islam' in Washington, Tel Aviv and New Delhi.


Arrests made during March-April 2004 near Baghdad brought to light links between the LeT and Islamist groups fighting the United States military in Iraq.


LeT has an extensive network that run across Pakistan and India with branches in Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom, Bangladesh and South East Asia.

The outfit collects donations from the Pakistani community in the Persian Gulf and United Kingdom, Islamic Non-Governmental Organisations, and Pakistani and Kashmiri businessmen. It receives considerable financial, material and other forms of assistance from the Pakistan government, routed primarily through the ISI. The ISI is the main source of LeT's funding. Saudi Arabia also provides funds.

The LeT maintains ties to various religious/military groups around the world, ranging from the Philippines to the Middle East and Chechnya primarily through the al Qaeda fraternal network.

The LeT has also been part of the Bosnian campaign against the Serbs.

It has allegedly set up sleeper cells in the U.S. and Australia, trained terrorists from other countries and has entered new theatres of Jihad like Iraq.

The group has links with many international Islamist terrorist groups like the Ikhwan-ul-Musalmeen of Egypt and other Arab groups.

LeT has a unit in Germany and also receives help from the Al Muhajiraun, supporter of Sharia Group, (Abu Hamza Masari- of Mosque Finsbury Park, North London) and its annual convention is regularly attended by fraternal bodies in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Yemen, Bahrain, Oman, Kosovo, Bangladesh, Myanmar, USA, Palestine, Bosnia, Philippines, Jordan, Chechnya, etc.


The outfit collects donations from the Pakistani community in the Persian Gulf and United Kingdom, Islamic Non-Governmental Organisations, and Pakistani and Kashmiri businessmen. It receives considerable financial, material and other forms of assistance from the Pakistan government, routed primarily through the ISI. The ISI is the main source of LeT's funding. Funds also come from some sources in Saudi Arabia.

We now skip down in indicted, charged with twelve counts of being on the wrong side in the War on Terror. Legal proceedings are ongoing, and from Implicating ISI in terror, Headley says hatred of India after 1971 war drove him to LeT, where Headley is discussing LeT:

He chronologically mentioned his handlers in LET, including the others charged along with Rana, in a recent second superceding indictment, including Pasha, Kashmiri, Saajid and Major Iqbal. He also related various types of camps he attended in different regions of Pakistan, ranging from essential espionage, to arms training, surveillance training and hand to hand combat.

"These groups operate under the umbrella of the ISI... They coordinate with each other," Headley told the court, recalling that one time, when he suggested that LeT sue the U.S government for designating it as a terrorist organization, LeT leader Zaki-ur Rehman said "he would have to consult the ISI."

Headley also related how his LeT handler Ali took his phone number and told him that a "Major Iqbal" would be calling him about an operation in India. The prosecution case mentions a "Major Iqbal," believed to be a serving ISI officer, who is alleged to have coordinated the Mumbai attacks.

Allegations surfacing in credible expert testimony before Congress, and elsewhere in a criminal trial, that Pakistan's ISI is pulling the strings on the terrorist organization behind the Mumbai attacks, the LeT (the "Army of the Pure"), and discussions of one "Major Iqbal" - a name growing in importance.

Then there are claims by the LeT that they will plant the flag of Islam in Washington, D.C., as well as credible reports that they are connected to terrorist organizations all over the world, including having sleeper cells right here in the United States.

Do you think the "Campaign for the Land of the Pure" is only a fight for control of Pakistan?

Stick around!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Gone Fishing in Indiana

(This post is in response to comments left at Hitpiece Interview Targets Newton Co, IN, Sheriff Hartman; for additional background, see also Sheriff Hartman Controversy Update.)

The reason I did not want to debate the Constitutionality of probable cause and hot pursuit was not to end the discussion. Indeed, I expected that, if the discussion continued, I would learn something, and sure enough, I have. My point is this: probable cause and hot pursuit are not random.

I reiterate that there are law enforcement personnel who abuse their power; police power is easy to abuse.

However, random searches are not an abuse of lawfully-derived police power; they are unconstitutional from the start, a police power that is not lawfully-derived, but which is rather the very thing our Constitution is intended to defend us from.

Sheriff Hartman has stated he will not do random searches. I believe him. As any other law enforcement officer, he has the opportunity to abuse his power, to say he saw or suspected something, and to do a search which from a Godseye view would be random, but which he could deceitfully defend in court. This is not the issue here. The issue here is blatantly going down a street where no criminal activity is believed to be occurring, and searching houses anyway, to see if something can be dug up - a random search; goin' fishin' - under the authority of a state supreme court ruling which some claim can be interpreted to mean that such blatantly unconstitutional conduct is in fact Constitutional. I have seen no evidence to suggest that such blatantly unlawful conduct would be anything but repugnant to Sheriff Hartman, or that he would do anything other than arrest the law enforcement officers who attempted it.

Your basic premise, however, seems to be not whether probable cause authority was exceeded, but rather that probable cause itself is unconstitutional, and is itself the problem. For example, you stated:

There's only one clear understanding of the fourth amendment. The discretion of probable cause is forbidden to anyone but judges and grand juries. No warrant = no search, seizure, or arrest.

This is erroneous.

The Fourth Amendment reads as follows:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

The Fourth Amendment offers us protection against unreasonable searches and seizures, and then states that warrants shall be issued upon probable cause.

However, certain searches and seizures, limited in scope and under exigent circumstances, have been allowed as being reasonable even despite the absence of a warrant which was deemed unobtainable due to the exigency.

For example, in Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968), the Supreme Court opinion stated that "the rule excluding evidence seized in violation of the Fourth Amendment has been recognized as a principal mode of discouraging lawless police conduct"; thus, "its major thrust is a deterrent one ... and experience has taught that it is the only effective deterrent to police misconduct in the criminal context, and that, without it, the constitutional guarantee against unreasonable searches and seizures would be a mere 'form of words.'"

This, to me, seems to argue in favor of what I hope would be obvious: random searches of homes are a gross violation of civil rights, and evidence seized thereby is not admissible in court. Furthermore, I feel this is an argument against the "scope-and-grope" and "pornoscanning" that now routinely accompany efforts to travel by air in the US. However, if the intent of such a search is not to secure admissible evidence for a criminal prosecution, but merely to intimidate the people, then such unconstitutional conduct does indeed serve the interests of those in power; this situation would have to be addressed in a different and more comprehensive manner other than using the exclusionary rule in a criminal case.

The court went on to say:

Yet a rigid and unthinking application of the exclusionary rule, in futile protest against practices which it can never be used effectively to control, may exact a high toll in human injury and frustration of efforts to prevent crime. No judicial opinion can comprehend the protean variety of the street encounter, and we can only judge the facts of the case before us. Nothing we say today is to be taken as indicating approval of police conduct outside the legitimate investigative sphere. Under our decision, courts still retain their traditional responsibility to guard against police conduct which is overbearing or harassing, or which trenches upon personal security without the objective evidentiary justification which the Constitution requires. When such conduct is identified, it must be condemned by the judiciary, and its fruits must be excluded from evidence in criminal trials. And, of course, our approval of legitimate and restrained investigative conduct undertaken on the basis of ample factual justification should in no way discourage the employment of other remedies than the exclusionary rule to curtail abuses for which that sanction may prove inappropriate.

The court upheld that even something portrayed as outside the bounds of the Fourth Amendment, such as a "stop-and-frisk", is indeed a Fourth Amendment seizure and an act that subjects the person to more than a "petty indignity" and went on to say:

We do not retreat from our holdings that the police must, whenever practicable, obtain advance judicial approval of searches and seizures through the warrant procedure ... But we deal here with an entire rubric of police conduct -- necessarily swift action predicated upon the on-the-spot observations of the officer on the beat -- which historically has not been, and, as a practical matter, could not be, subjected to the warrant procedure. Instead, the conduct involved in this case must be tested by the Fourth Amendment's general proscription against unreasonable searches and seizures.

After pointing out the necessity to use a balance of the need to search against the invasion it would entail as the only ready test for reasonableness of a search or seizure, the court held that

in justifying the particular intrusion, the police officer must be able to point to specific and articulable facts which, taken together with rational inferences from those facts, reasonably warrant that intrusion. The scheme of the Fourth Amendment becomes meaningful only when it is assured that, at some point, the conduct of those charged with enforcing the laws can be subjected to the more detached, neutral scrutiny of a judge who must evaluate the reasonableness of a particular search or seizure in light of the particular circumstances. And, in making that assessment, it is imperative that the facts be judged against an objective standard: would the facts available to the officer at the moment of the seizure or the search "warrant a man of reasonable caution in the belief" that the action taken was appropriate?"

The court also cautioned that "[a]nything less would invite intrusions upon constitutionally guaranteed rights based on nothing more substantial than inarticulate hunches, a result this Court has consistently refused to sanction."

(Please see the Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968) for links and footnotes which I omitted in my quotes.)

The difference is probable cause versus random searches and seizures.

The Supreme Court has upheld, and I agree in principle, that probable cause is not unreasonable, provided it meets certain criteria.

The incendiary allegation against Sheriff Hartman is that he is ready to use random house-to-house searches with essentially no legitimate reason. He has denied this, and I believe him.

In the wake of that Indiana Supreme Court ruling, someone did indeed go fishing in Newton County, Indiana - and it was not the county sheriff!