Views From Kennewick

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Untitled Terrorism
Submitted by Sean Osborne on Fri, 2007-08-31 12:36. Editorials

By Sean Osborne, Associate Director, Military Affairs

31 August 2007: There is an old saying that goes something like this: If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it did its falling make a sound? To put it another way, if there was an earthquake and no one was around to feel the effects underneath their feet did the earth really move? Well, we’re told by science that the vibration of trillions of molecules creates audible sound and without a human ear to hear those vibrations the sound did occur without a human to detect the falling of the tree. Same goes for the earthquake. Seismographs might record the events in the dimensions of magnitude and duration, but nobody heard or felt them and the danger potential was not otherwise recorded or reported. Some of you are now shrugging your shoulders and saying,”yeah, so what”?

This is what. If there were numerous precursor events and actual events of terrorism going on all over the United States of America with neither the national mainstream media nor the government you elected were acknowledging their occurrence would you know those events had occurred? No, you would probably not, unless you read this website often or had been told by your friends about it via word-of-mouth or an email with a link. Otherwise these events are untitled terrorism, they do not exist. And if you did not know about those untitled terrorist events would you care one iota that they had occurred? Negative, you would not care. If you didn’t hear that “tree” fall near you or feel the “earth move” under your feet then there is no report of an imminent threat to you or your family and you believe you and family are perfectly safe and secure where you are. Believe me; nothing could be further from the truth. Click the article title or “read more” above to continue with this important editorial report.

America, are you aware of the threat to your beloved children on their way to school or in school? How many times over the past couple of years have you heard of this potential danger and then forgotten about it over time. The danger hasn’t gone away, so why are you comfortable now? Maybe I should inform you that in the Houston, Texas area the FBI, JTTF and local law enforcement are anything but comfortable. If you’re not a resident of the Houston area you did not hear this tree fall. Over the summer months, and while your attention has been upon everything but school, at least 17 school buses have been stolen from a variety of student transportation concerns, including private companies, charter schools and businesses. These thefts occurred within a specific geographical suburb of Houston. No known threat? Oh, yes, there is a very real promissory threat from Islamic terrorists to kill several million American children; this is just one avenue to accomplish that Islamic promise. Figuratively, this falling “tree” is a threat to our children and also involves a transportation system. Did you hear it?

In Washington, D.C. problems continue on the Metro transportation system. A month ago the Northeast Intelligence Network reported on the poison spread at various stations of the various systems lines and the sudden death of birds at these locations, which also was eerily similar to what occurred on Congress Avenue in Austin, Texas back in January 2007. Not quite a month after the poison incidents the DC Metro experienced unexplained electrical power problems. Some enterprising public affairs officer blamed this two-day long failure on lightning. It is interesting to note here that one DC Metro power supplier, Virginia Dominion, did not record any electrical problems during the outages and fires on the affected segments of the system. Again, those who do not live in the DC Metro area probably never heard of these events and for you this electrical power and transportation “tree” never fell.

Then there are the various explosive events we have reported on over time and very recently. Do you recall the explosive events in Romulus, Michigan; Texas City, Texas; Spokane, Washington, and most recently the near identical incidents in Houston and Dallas, Texas? And I’ll bet you never felt the earth move under your feet unless you live near Henderson, Texas where a natural gas pipeline exploded without apparent cause and illuminated the night sky for a half-mile in every direction. This pipeline belongs to Kinder Morgan, which according to its website, is one of the largest pipeline transportation and storage companies in North America. In other words, this is part of American strategic national infrastructure. No comment from the national mainstream media, and no government commentary either.

Shhhh, be quiet America, the trees are not falling in the American forest, and the ground does not move under our feet. This September and during the school year dare not to express concern to your elected officials over the security of your children on their way to or while in their school. After all, Beslan is in Russia, not America. Fret not over your own security as you commute over rail lines, bridges and our national transportation infrastructure. A little nick of the razor in the morning is not really a problem, but ten thousand of them that you’re not aware of probably will kill you. The same is true for this country unless you demand the government do something to secure the razors, the axes felling the trees and the Improvised Explosive Devices moving the ground under our feet. It really is up to you to make a difference for your children, yourselves and the nation as a whole. Make some noise like a falling tree; make the government feel the earth move under its bureaucratic feet by stomping your own.

Until next time America.

For up-to-date info, visit Northeast Intelligence Network Website.

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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Irena's Children -a story we should all read.

by Gavriel HoranIrena Sendler is a 97-year-old Polish woman who saved 2,500 Jewish children during the Holocaust.

She takes the crying baby into her arms, turns her back on the hysterical mother, and walks off into the night. If she's caught, she and the baby will die.
'Promise me my child will live!' the mother cries desperately after her.
She turns for a moment. 'I can't promise that. But I can promise that if he stays with you, he will die.'

Irena Sendler is 97 years old. She has seen this image in her dreams countless times over the years, heard the children's cries as they were pulled from their mothers' grasp; each time it is another mother screaming behind her. To the children, she seemed a merciless captor; in truth, she was the agent to save their lives.

Mrs. Sendler, code name 'Jolanta,' smuggled 2,500 children out of the Warsaw Ghetto during the last three months before its liquidation. She found a home for each child. Each was given a new name and a new identity as a Christian. Others were saving Jewish children, too, but many of those children were saved only in body; tragically, they disappeared from the Jewish people. Irena did all she could to ensure that 'her children' would have a future as part of their own people.

She listed the names of every rescued child and buried the lists in a jar, hoping that the children could be reunited with their families after the war.

Mrs. Sendler listed the name and new identity of every rescued child on thin cigarette papers or tissue paper. She hid the list in glass jars and buried them under an apple tree in her friend's backyard. Her hope was to reunite the children with their families after the war. Indeed, though most of their parents perished in the Warsaw Ghetto or in Treblinka, those children who had surviving relatives were returned to them after the war.

Yet Irena Sendler sees herself as anything but a heroine. 'I only did what was normal. I could have done more,' she says. 'This regret will follow me to my death.'

Breaking the Silence

Though she received the Yad Vashem medal for the Righteous Among the Nations in 1965, Irena Sendler's story was virtually unknown. But in 1999 the silence was broken by some unlikely candidates: four Protestant high-school girls in rural Kansas. The girls were looking for a subject for the Kansas State National History Day competition. Their teacher, Norm Conard, gave them a short paragraph about Mrs. Sendler, from a 1994 U.S. News & World Report story, 'The Other Schindlers.' Mr. Conard thought the figures were mistaken. After all, no one had ever heard of this woman; Schindler, who was so famous, had rescued 1,000 Jews. 250 children seemed more likely than 2,500.

Conard encouraged the girls to investigate and unearth the true story. With his help, the girls began to reconstruct the life of this courageous woman. Searching for her burial records, they discovered, to their surprise, that she was still alive, ninety years old and living in Warsaw. The girls compiled many details of Mrs. Sendler's life, which they eventually made into a short play, 'Life in a Jar.' The play has since been performed hundreds of times in the United States, Canada, and Poland, and has been broadcast over radio and television, publicizing the silent heroine to the world.

Learning to Swim

Irena Sendler was born in 1910 in Otwock, some 15 miles southeast of Warsaw. Her father, a physician and one of the first Polish Socialists, raised her to respect and love people regardless of their ethnicity or social status. Many of his patients were poor Jews. When a typhus epidemic broke out in 1917, he was the only doctor who stayed in the area. He contracted the disease. His dying words to seven-year-old Irena were, 'If you see someone drowning, you must jump in and try to save them, even if you don't know how to swim.'

Even before the war, Irena had strong loyalties towards Jews. In the 1930s, at Warsaw University, she stood up for her Jewish friends. Jews were forced to sit separately from 'Aryan' students. One day, Irena went to sit on the Jewish side of the room. When the teacher told her to move, she answered, 'I'm Jewish today.' She was expelled immediately. (Decades later, under Communist rule, she was considered a subversive; her son and daughter were refused entry into Warsaw University.)

In fall of 1939, Germany invaded Poland and began its campaign of mass destruction. Many Poles were quick to side with the Nazis. Although Jews had never been accepted by the Polish masses, many of them had fought alongside their Polish countrymen during the few days before the country was overrun. Now these loyalties meant nothing.

Mrs. Sendler was a senior administrator in the Warsaw Social Welfare Department, which was in charge of soup kitchens, located in every district of the city. They distributed meals and gave financial assistance and other services to the poor, elderly, and orphans. From 1939-1942, she was involved in acquiring forged documents, registering many Jews under Christian names so they could receive these services; she listed them all as typhus and tuberculosis victims, to avoid any investigations.

It wasn't enough. Irena joined the Zegota, the Council for Aid to Jews, organized by the Polish underground resistance, operating out of London with the help of many British Jews. Obtaining a pass from the Warsaw Epidemic Control Department to enter the Warsaw Ghetto, she smuggled in food, medicine, and clothing.

Irena decided that the most that could be done was to try to save the children.

Over 450,000 Jews had been forced into the small 16-block area that was the Warsaw Ghetto; 5,000 were dying each month. Irena felt that her efforts were helping only to prolong the suffering, but doing nothing to save lives. She decided that the most that could be done was to try to save the children. 'When the war started, all of Poland was drowning in a sea of blood. But most of all, it affected the Jewish nation. And within that nation, it was the children who suffered most. That's why we needed to give our hearts to them,' Sendler said on ABC News.

Breaking Through the Walls

In 1942, Mrs. Sendler, 'Jolanta,' was put in charge of the Children's Division of Zegota. She and her team of twenty-five organized to smuggle out as many children as possible from the Ghetto. Ten members were to smuggle children out, ten were in charge of finding families to take the children, and five were in charge of obtaining false documents.

The hardest part was convincing parents to part with their children. Even the many secular Jewish parents shrank from the thought of surrendering their children into Catholic homes or convents, where they might be baptized or taught Christian prayers. Many chose to die with their children instead. Irena, herself a young mother, found it almost impossibly painful to have to persuade parents to part with their children, entrusting them to a non-Jewish stranger. The only thing that gave her strength to withstand this pain was the knowledge that there was no other hope for survival. Sometimes, she would finally convince the parents, only to be met with the grandparents' adamant refusal. She would be forced to leave empty-handed, returning the next day to find that the entire family had been sent to Treblinka.

Many in the Ghetto thought that Treblinka was a relocation settlement. Actually, it was even worse than Auschwitz, which was a labor camp/death camp. Treblinka, on the other hand, contained little more than gas chambers and ovens. Fighting against time, 'Jolanta,' entered the Ghetto several times a day, wearing on her arm a yellow Star of David to show her solidarity, desperately trying to convince parents to let her take their children. Many parents would ask her why they should trust her. 'You shouldn't trust me,' she would agree. 'But there's nothing else you can do.'

The second biggest challenge was finding Polish families. The penalty of death to every family found harboring a Jew was not always enforced, but some 700 people were killed because of it. Many of the children had to be hidden in orphanages and convents. Jolanta would write to them that she had bags of old clothes to donate; among the old clothes she would hide a child.

Then there was the smuggling of the children out of the Ghetto. Small children were sedated to keep them from crying, then hidden inside sacks, boxes, body bags, or coffins. Older children who could pretend to be ill were taken out in ambulances. Many were smuggled through sewers or underground tunnels, or taken through an old courthouse or church next to the Ghetto.
Outside the Ghetto walls, the children were given false names and documents. Mrs. Sendler claims that no one ever refused to take a child from her. But children often had to be relocated several times. She recalls carrying a little boy from one guardian family to the next, as he sobbed, 'How many mothers can a person have? This is my third!'

The smuggling did not always go as planned. Fourteen-year-old Renada Zajdman was smuggled out, but then became separated from her rescuer. She survived on her own in warehouses for several months, until she was reconnected with members of Zegota.

She stresses that the goal was not to convert people to Catholicism, but rather to save lives.

The Church was actively involved in much of Mrs. Sendler's work. However, she stresses that the goal was not to convert people to Catholicism, but rather to save lives. Each family had to promise to return the children to any surviving family members after the war. Unfortunately, this promise was not always kept. Mrs. Sendler spent years after the war, with the help of her lists, trying to track down missing children and reconnect family members.

Of the remaining orphans, some 400 were taken to Israel with Adolph Berma
n, a leader in Zegota. Many others chose to stay with their adopted parents. Despite Mrs. Sendler's efforts to trace them, some 400 to 500 children are still missing; presumably they either did not survive or they are living somewhere in Poland or elsewhere, perhaps unaware of their Jewish identity.


For two years, Jolanta's covert operations were successful. Then, in October 20, 1943, the Gestapo caught up with her. She was arrested, imprisoned in Warsaw's notorious Pawiak prison, and tortured. Her feet and legs were broken. She still needs crutches and a wheelchair as a result of those injuries, and still carries the scars of those beatings. She refused to betray any of her co-conspirators or to reveal the whereabouts of any of the children.

Jolanta was sentenced to death by firing squad, a sentence that she accepted with pride. But unbeknown to her, Zegota had bribed one of the German guards, who helped her to escape at the last moment. He recorded her name on the list of those who had been executed. On the following day, the Germans loudly proclaimed the news of her death. She saw posters all over the city reporting it. The Gestapo eventually found out what had happened; they sent the guard to fight on the Russian front, a sentence they felt was worse than death. Irena spent the rest of the war in hiding much like the children she had saved. Relentlessly pursued by the Gestapo, she continued her rescue efforts in any way she could, but by then the Warsaw Ghetto had been liquidated.

Due to the Communist regime's suppression of history and its anti-Semitism, few Poles were aware of Zegota's work, despite the unveiling of a plaque honoring the organization, in 1995, near the former Warsaw Ghetto. Mrs. Sendler continued her life, simply and quietly, continuing to work as a social worker ... until the discovery by the Kansas teenagers catapulted her into the public arena.

Irena Sendler was awarded the Order of White Eagle, Poland's highest distinction, in Warsaw, in 2003. This year, she was nominated to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. At a special session in Poland's upper house of Parliament, President Lech Kaczynski announced the unanimous resolution to honor Mrs. Sendler for rescuing 'the most defenseless victims of the Nazi ideology: the Jewish children.' He referred to her as a 'great heroine who can be justly named for the Nobel Peace Prize. She deserves great respect from our whole nation.'

Today's Warsaw still bears testimony to Mrs. Sendler's lifesaving work. The corner store where children were hidden in the basement and the apple tree where the names of the children where buried still stand, all within sight of the German army barracks. Although the children had known her only as Jolanta, as her story became publicized, she began to receive calls from people who recognized her face from the photos: 'I remember your face! You took me out of the Ghetto!'

In an interview earlier this year with ABC News, Mrs. Sendler voiced some of her frustrations about how little anything has changed in the world: 'After the Second World War it seemed that humanity understood something, and that nothing like that would happen again,' Sendler said. 'Humanity has understood nothing. Religious, tribal, national wars continue. The world continues to be in a sea of blood.' But she added, 'The world can be better, if there's love, tolerance, and humility.'

This article originally appeared in Mishpacha Magazine

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Transcript: Dan Abrams gives Christiane Amanpour the SmackDown, Finally.

and all this time I thought Abrams was a screamin' liberal!

Note: Rev. Gaddy is not audible for transcript

DAN ABRAMS: For the past week, CNN has been proudly promoting and then celebrating its series called God's Warriors, presumably a look at radicals of
different religions willing to fight for their cause. My take: I think it's fair
to say it was not what it claimed or promised to be.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: So we're not here lobbying for or advocating for or drawing conclusions, either political, religious or ideological-
ABRAMS: Oh, yes they did. CNN should have called it what it was: a defense of Islamic fundamentalism and the worst type of moral relativism. For each of three nights, CNN devoted two hours to the, quote, "warriors" of each
religion: Jewish, Christian and Muslim. But rather than distinguish between Islamic terrorists who utilize fierce violence to achieve warped goals, and the merely fiercely religious or even just those who fiercely believe in the state of Israel, Christiane Amanpour avoided getting bogged down in objectivity.

Christians and Jews, for example, who support Israel's strategy for self-defense are just as much God's warriors, according to Amanpour, as the Islamic radicals who blow themselves and others up in an effort to destroy the world as we know it. A handful of the most radical of the Jews and Christians who can almost all be identified by name are highlighted. The violent Islamic fundamentalists are, quote, "understood," with no comparable effort to "understand" the evangelical Christians or Israelis.
Amanpour even offers an explanation for the angry radical Islamists. She blames the warrior Jews.
AMANPOUR: Muslims, like people everywhere, abhor terrorism. The small
minority who resorts to violence is symptomatic of something many of us have failed to understand: the impact of God's Jewish warriors goes far beyond these rocky hills. The Jewish settlements have inflamed much of the Muslim world.
ABRAMS: She takes Jewish and Christian political movements, even Jewish
lobbyists in Congress, and lumps them in with God's warriors, thereby equating them with the radical Muslim warriors, the quote, "much feared and little understood." Maybe most troubling, much of the warrior Muslim program highlights not the warriors themselves, but claims of discrimination against Muslims.
AMANPOUR: Geneive Abdo is the author of Mecca and Main Street. She says that since 9/11, the majority of American Muslims feel they're singled out for suspicion and surveillance by the government and by ordinary people. Imam Fawaz Jneid, leader of a mosque in the Hague, believes Muslims are under attack, victims of religious discrimination.
ABRAMS: What does that have to do with the warriors? She portrays Muslims as victims, while accusing evangelical Christians of playing the victim.
AMANPOUR: The religious right would have you believe that there's no mention of God anywhere in our public sphere. It's on the currency.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN Legal Analyst: It's on the currency, and they say because it's on the currency, there's nothing wrong with it being in the schools, or in the courthouses, or in the Capitol.
AMANPOUR: But they also play the victim somewhat.
ABRAMS: This series was well-produced and successful, but also shameful
advocacy masked as journalism. We have opinionated hosts here on MSNBC who offer opinions on a wide range of topics, including me, but I admit it when I'm advocating. In the end, this was exactly what she said it wasn't: lobbying, advocacy, and an effort, intentional or not, to have people draw particular conclusions.
Before we talk about some of this other stuff, Asma, what do you think about
the comments that I just made?
[ASMA HASAN, Author of Why I Am a Muslim]
ABRAMS: A little history lesson for you. I covered the Oklahoma City bombing trial, and you talk to any of the prosecutors who prosecuted the case. In the end, they don't believe that it was part of some militia effort. So that's just fiction, and that's the problem here. The facts are so important.
HASAN: But didn't Timothy McVeigh say in writings from prison that he didn't like how the government was treating Christians, how they were restricting Christians?
ABRAMS: Yeah, he didn't. He didn't. That's right. That's right. That's the
beauty of this. Steve Emerson, the beauty of this is they highlight throughout the CNN piece, they highlight identifiable people, Christians and Jews,
who've been arrested and convicted of various crimes. And they lump it in, and they claim this is all one big religious fundamentalism.
STEVE EMERSON, Terrorism Analyst: Right. It's so contrived, I thought that I was watching Al-Jazeera. The treatment of radical Islamic fundamentalists
were given kid-glove treatment. They explain the Muslim Brotherhood as a
peaceful movement. They explain jihad as a peaceful internal struggle. I mean, this was inverting reality on its head. And when they described terrorism, they could only explain it in terms of Muslims being the victims, not being the perpetrators. I felt that, I was really, I felt that the viewer here was really dishonestly treated here. And as far as the treatment of Jews and Christians, when Christian lawyers went to law school, they were called, demonized as "God's warriors." And when Jewish supporters of Israel lobbied for Israel, they were demonized as somehow causing riots throughout the Middle East. This was the most unfair series and, I think, the most dishonest series on television that I've seen in my 20 years of reporting or covering terrorism.
ABRAMS: Reverend Gaddy, let me ask you this. Let me play this piece of sound for you where, again, Christiane Amanpour compares some of the fundamentalist Christians to the Taliban. And I want to ask you if you think this is a fair comparison.
AMANPOUR: On campus, students must follow a strict set of rules. When I, you know, read that women have to wear skirts of a certain length and guys aren't allowed to, you know, go on the Internet unsupervised, I mean, I think, you know, totalitarian regimes.
RON LUCE, Christian youth leader: No, it's about learning to have
disciplines that communicate purity, you know. The skirts' length are to keep guys from, you know, any man on the planet could be distracted, and we don't want to unintentionally create distraction.
AMANPOUR: But, Ron, that's what the Taliban said. They kept women in their house because men couldn't be trusted around them.
ABRAMS: Fair comparison, Reverend Gaddy, between a dress code and the
[Reverend WILTON GADDY, The Interfaith Counsel]
ABRAMS: And they back it up, again, we're not just talking about individuals
who we can name, but there is a large and significant movement of
fundamentalist Islam, which I think ends up being minimized by equating this all. I'm sorry, Asma, I interrupted you before.
[HASAN talks about international criticism of Jewish settlement expansion]
ABRAMS: Okay, but that's fine. That's fine. But that doesn't address, look,
I'm not going to have debates about the settlements here. I'm debating the
bias, the overt bias of this CNN series.
ABRAMS: Steve Emerson, I want to play you this piece of sound. It's a final
one. ... And this is again suggesting, let's listen, and then we'll talk about
AMANPOUR: Across Europe, Islam is the fastest growing religion, the number of Muslims tripling in the last 30 years. This increased Muslim presence and violence like the Van Gogh murder play into the hands of right-wing politicians, like Geert Wilders, a member of the Dutch parliament.
ABRAMS: All right, Steve Emerson, again, "play into the hands," the Muslims
as the victims, again, throughout this whole piece.
EMERSON: Exactly. She didn't mention the Madrid bombings, she didn't mention the two London series of bombings, she didn't mention the number of attacks in Europe, throughout Europe. She didn't mention the vast amount of Wahabist radical Islamic influence and supporters in the United States. She omitted all of that in an attempt to bring the perpetrators who she claimed were right-wingers or Christians or Jews. I thought that, in part, the actual dogma of this series actually focused mainly on Jews and Christians as being the demons, and in fact, one could accuse her of actually engaging in anti-Christian and anti-Semitic behavior by the selection of facts she chose to choose.
ABRAMS: Reverend Gaddy, go ahead.
ABRAMS: Well, I can tell you this, CNN is listening to this segment, so maybe
they will hear you loud and clear on that and make up for what I think was
really well done but ultimately shoddy journalism.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Inside The Terrorist Mind, One U.S. Headline at a Time

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

In counterterrorism there’s an old concept that essentially goes… to prevent a terrorist attack you have to get inside the mind of the terrorist.

You have to be able to understand the terrorist mindset well enough to think like they do.

This is similar to the law enforcement approach: To catch a criminal you should think like a criminal. This works equally well for a wide variety of other dangerous subjects, including toddlers, dogs and presidential candidates.

Here’s the thing… let’s say you got inside the mind of a terrorist for a moment or two. Now, for the sake of moving things forward, I’m going to suggest our terrorist is a fundamentalist, radical jihadist with strong allegiances to Al Qaeda and an unswerving hatred of the West.

Even though he’s never actually been insulted or slighted by a Westerner, he knows what he doesn’t like. In anyone but a terrorist that’s an admirable quality.

Now I don’t mean to imply by choosing an Al Qaeda supporter who happens to be a radical Muslim that all terrorists are Muslims. It’s just a convenient example, since so far the vast majority of terrorists we’ve been dealing with for the past decade plus are radicalized Muslims with an overbearing, if not altogether predictable, bad attitude towards all things American.

But as a disclaimer, just so we don’t tick anyone off, I’m not profiling.

So we have our imaginary terrorist, and let’s say he’s sitting in a little safehouse somewhere in, umm, Pakistan. Again, not implying anything, just needed a location for scene building. Now remember, terrorists don’t operate in a vacuum… Al Qaeda is very media savvy and many of their supporters are intelligent and focused on the world around them.

There he is, just finished up some breakfast, and now he’s perusing the past week’s headlines in the Waziristan Daily Examiner (motto “Dog bites Infidel, that’s not news. Infidel bites dog, that’s not only news, it’s an indication of the Infidels desire to wage war on Islam.”)

Scanning the news from the despised West, here’s what our terrorist would be looking at this past week…

Headline: "Possible Surveillance of Washington State Ferry System Overshadowed by Concern That Publishing the Suspects Pictures May Have Violated Civil Liberties and Upset Countless Self Righteous Liberals"

Did you see this story?

The FBI, alerted by well meaning and watchful citizens and workers using the nation’s largest ferry system, sought the public’s help in locating two unidentified men who, according to witnesses, appeared to be conducting surveillance on the technical layout and operation of the ferries.

The system, identified as the nation’s primary maritime terrorist target by counterterrorism experts, has long encouraged a policy of “see something, say something” to enlist the public’s support in identifying potential threats.

Well, this should be a lesson for anyone who thinks they see something in the future.

The two men, whose pictures were taken by a ferry worker, reportedly were seen on several occasions acting suspicious, showing unusual interest in areas off-limits to the public and in the technical operations of the boats. The photos show two men of undetermined ethnic background, but speculation is that they look Middle Eastern, Spanish or somewhat like my cousin Anthony.

To recap, we have an identified and heavily used terrorist target, the ferry system. We have two men acting suspiciously enough to be noted by several people, including one who takes their photos. We have the information going to the FBI, and we have the FBI turning to the public and the media for assistance in locating these gentlemen. So far, so good. It’s pretty much how we would have liked things to go before 9/11, right?

And then, we put our own unique American twist on the effort. No sooner had some media outlets published the pictures than some other media outlets piously announced that they would have nothing to do with this dastardly effort to slur the good name of two unknown possible terrorist suspects.

Now mind you, no one had accused them of being terrorists, the FBI was simply looking to follow up on the reporting of their suspicious behavior and determine the facts.

Isn’t that what we expect the bureau, the CIA and our other agencies to do? Haven’t we had numerous commissions, hearings, reports and task force studies designed to get our counterterrorist efforts to function more efficiently? Aren’t we supposed to be looking to identify threats? Isn’t that the freakin’ game plan?

Apparently, the fact that the men looked to be something other than Icelandic (no offense to our Icelandic friends) raised the alarm for all those incredibly sensitive people out there who object to anyone implying that terrorists may occasionally be foreign looking. What a load of crap. (Note: “What a load of crap” is the registered trademark of the Peoples Weekly Brief.)

Back to our terrorist pal in the safehouse as he glances through the headlines…

"CIA’s Internal Watchdog Beats Dead Horse in Effort to Show Who’s to Blame for 9/11."

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, no one does navel gazing better than us. It’s like we’re addicted to self flagellation.

Back in 2005, Congress went to the CIA’s Inspector General (IG) and requested that the IG carry out a narrowly focused study on the CIA’s role in 9/11. Now Congress claims that their purpose was not just to find blame, it was also to perhaps identify people in the agency who might deserve special praise or commendations for their work. Insert PWB registered trademark.

Not even if I was heavily medicated and sleep deprived could I imagine Congressmen and senators sitting around saying, “…ya know Bob, we really oughta see if there’s anyone over there at the CIA who we could reward for all their hard work… it’d be a nice change from kickin’ their butt.”

Call me cynical, but the request to the IG was all about trying to find blame.

So, two years later, out pops the declassified executive summary from the IG’s report. Once again, the public is treated to a titillating look at the internal workings of what is, in all honesty, the most transparent intelligence service on the planet.

The report, focusing on the agency’s efforts to understand, penetrate and combat Al Qaeda during the 1990s leading up to 9/11, gives the agency mixed reviews.

It clearly states that there wasn’t a single failure or missed opportunity that could have prevented 9/11, but notes that the agency’s leadership failed to have a strategic plan to counter the threat.

It echoes earlier reports and much discussed studies that there was a failure to fully share and analyze important information and to play well with others. In particular, it notes that numerous officers had access to cables that, in one way or another, mentioned two of the eventual 9/11 hijackers... yet that information wasn’t properly shared or collated with the FBI in order to initiate follow up surveillance and monitoring.

My problem with the IG’s report is that it fails to examine the underlying reasons for some of the problems it mentions. The report fails to note that throughout the 1990’s the CIA’s budget was under attack as politicians, pundits and inside the beltway eggheads were questioning whether the CIA was even relevant anymore in a post Cold War era.

The report doesn’t examine the impact on the agency of a shrinking Directorate of Operations, as recruitment classes were cut to match budgets, resources were redistributed to focus more on technical than human intelligence collection and morale for ops officers dipped.

And the report certainly doesn’t examine the impact of legislation over the years pushed through by overreaching whiners concerned that, if left to run amok, the agency and other organizations would spend all their days monitoring the average U.S. citizen.

Here’s a hint: The intel community doesn’t give a rat’s backside about monitoring the average American. By the time we reached 9/11, sharing intelligence with domestic law enforcement, including the FBI, was like walking through a bureaucratic and legal minefield of regulations.

Meanwhile, back at the safehouse, the reading continues…

"National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq Says Damned if You Do and Damned if You Don’t."

In an effort to confuse our enemies and keep them guessing, it’s been decided that we’ll continue to plot the course of the war in broad daylight. The latest NIE, coming just before the much anticipated report to Congress on the success (or not) of the surge in Iraq, provides analysis from throughout the intelligence community and follows on from the previous Iraq NIE issued in January.

To summarize, and hopefully I’m not making this too simplistic, the NIE notes that there’s still lots of violence that Al Qaeda in Iraq maintains the ability to carry out attacks, the Iraqi politicians haven’t been able to get much done and the situation will likely suck for the next six to 12 months or so, possibly longer.

At the same time, the NIE mentions that if we draw down troops to basically a limited number designed to support the Iraqi forces and to carry out counterterrorist operations, the situation will suck more. The report notes that there have been security gains in areas where surge troops have been deployed and that, as a result, attack levels have fallen during seven of the last nine weeks leading up to the NIE’s release.

Immediately after the NIE’s publication, politicians in Washington, using special political alchemy, turned the NIE magically into a report which was able to support whatever side you happen to be on. That’s a wordy sentence, but you get my point. Glass half full, glass half empty. Which is likely to be the outcome of the report to be issued soon by the ground commander in Iraq, Gen. Petraeus.

A clever plan to make our enemies in Iraq believe that we’re not sure how best to resolve the situation.

So, back to our starting point. To understand the terrorist, you need to get inside their mind. After this week’s headlines, whaddaya think our imaginary terrorist pal sitting in the safehouse is thinking?

Send me your suggestions, and we’ll print the best responses in next week’s column. Consider it your contribution to homeland defense.

Till next week, stay safe.

Respond to the Writer

Mike Baker served for more than 15 years as a covert field operations officer for the Central Intelligence Agency, specializing in counterterrorism, counternarcotics and counterinsurgency operations around the globe. Since leaving government service, he has been a principal in building and running several companies in the private intelligence, security and risk management sector, including most recently Prescience LLC, a global intelligence and strategy firm. He appears frequently in the media as an expert on such issues. Baker is also a partner in Classified Trash, a film and television production company. Baker serves as a script consultant and technical adviser within the entertainment industry, lending his expertise to such programs as the BBC's popular spy series "Spooks" as well as major motion pictures. In addition, Baker is a writer for a BBC drama to begin production in July 2007.


CAIR: Media Cowers in Face of Islamist Threat

On August 24th, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), issued a "News Release" trumpeting the role CAIR played in getting the Christian TV program "Live Prayer with Bill Keller" off the air in Tampa, Florida.

While this is not a free speech issue, (TV stations are free to carry programs as they wish), it is troubling that a national broadcaster would terminate a program based on the demands of an Islamist hate group.especially an Islamic hate group that was not only founded by Islamic terrorists, but now stands as an unindicted co-conspirator in a major terrorism case.

In view of the fact that CAIR was founded by Islamist terrorists, is here to overthrow constitutional government, actively works to impose Sharia (Islamic law), and other odious aspects of CAIR's perverted brand of "Islam", and one can't help but wonder, "What was CBS thinking?" CBS is in the business to make money; the Bill Keller program paid for its air time; in normal times, this would be considered good business.except for the antics of the unindicted co-conspirator, CAIR.

But these are not normal times.

Islam have become the latest "victim" in the American public arena, thanks to groups like CAIR; groups that purport to support "equal rights", but in reality demand "Special Rights".for Muslims only.

Rights not available to non-Muslims.

That's right. If you are not a Muslim in America , you can be insulted; your faith (or lack of faith) can be made fun of, the way you dress, your voice, your choice of living arrangements.are all fair game.

The odious activities of CAIR have even influenced decisions regarding publication of cartoons.and we don't mean the Danish Cartoons. The popular "Opus" cartoon strip has been pulled from the August 26th and September 2nd editions of many North American newspapers. Why? Could it possibly be the subject matter? Readers may view the August 26th strip and reach their own conclusion:

This is an alarming trend. While there is no evidence that CAIR had anything to do with the Opus cartoon strip being pulled, it would seem to fit well with CAIR's agenda to define Islam in America .to define what can be said.or not said.


By a group that tarnishes the meaning of the words "Islamic civil rights group".

It should be noted that when Anti-CAIR attorney Reed Rubinstein asked a reporter from a renowned Washington DC newspaper why they won't report on the obvious connections CAIR has to terrorism, he was told that the newspaper would never print or follow up on information uncovered in the CAIR v Anti-CAIR Lawsuit "because Muslims are an oppressed minority in this country."

This is extremely dangerous, especially since America has a long tradition of inquiry; no subject has been taboo, no course of inquiry subject to censorship in search of the truth on important matters of public interest. This is as it should be.

Until now.

Whenever there is an article that questions Islam, a commentary that correctly points out problems with Islam in North America, or even dares to raise the issue of Islamic terrorism, CAIR is in the forefront demanding that Islam be described in only the most innocent of terms.

CAIR, once again, is clearly demonstrating what is in store for North America should CAIR's perverted brand of Islam become dominant.

CAIR has, since its founding, told us exactly what is in store for us should its dream of imposing Wahabbi Islam on North America come to fruition. Our "mainstream press" has refused to even make inquiry into any aspect of CAIR's activities on behalf of radical Islam; is it any wonder that most North Americans are woefully ignorant of the threat?

The mainstream press has abdicated its role in society. Is it any wonder that many people now turn to alternative sources for their news?

Come what may, North Americans will never be able to claim we weren't warned.

Andrew Whitehead

Saudi Arabia: The Islamist Cage

August 27, 2007

A former prime minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif, recently declared he was returning home to try to regain power after six years of exile — in Saudi Arabia. The day that the monster of Uganda, Idi Amin, was removed from power in 1979, he flew to a country where sanctuary as a Muslim African leader would be guaranteed upon his arrival — Saudi Arabia.

And in 1970, immediately following the death of an Egyptian dictator, Gamal Abdel Nasser, the leadership of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood movement returned home in droves to try to Islamize their native land — after two decades in Saudi Arabia.

Thus, Saudi Arabia ever expands its fundamentalist cage.

Robert Baer, a 20-year veteran of the CIA and the author of "Sleeping With the Devil: How Washington Sold Our Soul for Saudi Crude," has often described the Saudis as the world's primary financiers of terrorism, the source of much of Al Qaeda's leadership, and an incubating station for radical Islam.

Though such activities have come back to haunt the Saudis and their allies in America — Islamist terror struck home in 1995, 1996, and 1998 bombings, two American embassies were attacked in Africa, and the USS Cole was bombed in Yemen in the leadup to the attacks of September 11, 2001 — the Saudi system continues to perpetuate the model.

The reason, according to Mr. Baer and other Middle East analysts, is that Saudi Arabia runs on two currencies: the riyal and Islam.

Neither Saudi society nor its ruling establishment can escape: All of its constituent elements — from business and charity to religious instruction, law enforcement, and foreign relations — rattle inside the cage of the country's fundamentalist obsessions: The Saudi flag contains a Koranic verse. The Saudi monarch wraps his authority in Islam as "the custodian of Mecca and Medina." Saudi foreign aid is based on building fundamentalist madrassas and mosques, supporting such fundamentalist groups as Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, and spreading Koranic instruction worldwide.

Arab and Muslim expatriate workers who have lived and worked in Saudi Arabia — easily numbering 50 million over the last three decades — return imbued with a model of militancy that duplicates an Osama bin Laden-style path toward jihad against their home societies.

This vicious cycle mattered little when oil was cheap and the Saudis were a mere curiosity. But Saudi Arabia's power grew as it was transformed into a prime energy source in the 1970s, a huge financial influence in the 1980s, and an immense lobbying presence in the 1990s.

By the late '90s, there were full-size mirror images of Saudi Arabia's stilted brand of Islam in Egypt, Pakistan, Somalia, the Philippines, Chechnya, Bosnia, and Kosovo, as well as among Muslim communities in Europe, Australia, and America. More mirror images are in the making.

In one of his many interviews since leaving the CIA, Mr. Baer gave an interesting analysis of the elements that make for the creation and exportation of this model, describing Saudi Arabia as both hapless and evil.

"They feel humiliated by colonialism, by the United States, by Israel — call it what you want. They feel they are citizens or subjects of a country that has never fought a war, and yet spends so much money on defense. They're humiliated that they don't take the Israelis on, because their army is worthless. They sit around and they read the Koran. And they get on these Islamic Web sites, and they watch Al-Jazeera. And they go to the mosque."

In other words, the Saudis do little except rattle around within the cage of their own fundamentalism. This deep confusion is reflected throughout the ruling family, which contains both princes who are Westernized — in such vulgar aspects as drinking, womanizing, gambling, and wearing diamond-studded Rolex watches — and others who leave a mosque only to enter a charity that nurtures madrassas turning out little bin Ladens.

Their schizophrenia is exemplified in such global personalities as Prince Al-Walid bin Talal, a multibillionaire businessman who simultaneously invests his billions in America while funding both the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which is the American chapter of the jihadist Muslim Brotherhood.

In the end, the Saudis are just rattling around in their cage. A society with no social project except to produce more Muslims, deeper Muslims, better Muslims, ends up as one that produces Muslim fanatics and terrorists.

Now, with oil prices having moved north of $70 dollar a barrel, a lot more trouble will be coming our way out of the Saudi cage.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Islamic Parade on September 9, 2007

I am nervous. Could the reason be the Islamic plan for a parade on September 9, 2007 in New York? One to which Islamic terrorists and enabling organizations feel their right to march in the city and country attacked on 9/11 by Islamic terrorists? Why is the spawn of this terror informed ideology so tolerated by their very target? Why is this sense of entitlement to do bad things to our country, to other countries to the non-Moslem world so tolerated? Why are bookstore like B&N stacked with an anti-Israel propaganda book! Islamic/Socialist/Marxist political alignment books demonizing America and American efforts to self protect from jihadic States and ideology? Why so few book appearing among the stacks and stacks at B&Ns critical of or on analysis that confronts the menace of Islam on our shores - indeed - to our world?
Where are those books? Where hidden? And why? The preponderance of books are liberal bias including an anti-Semitic diatribe against the Jewish State of Israel titled "The Jewish Lobby" on prominent display ! Who is charged with displaying of such obvious political bias? And if no one is - why are those who do able to do so?
I think about Islamic States buying American infrastructure, unknown to the public at large of businesses such as cruise lines, department stores, and effective say in spectrums of public related institutions such as stock ownership in FOXNEWS, other media outlets. As well I suspect in book publishing, corporations (those who supply our public schools and private schools textbooks, maps and other teaching instruments), computer server AOL, and on and on.
Islamic States do not create - they buy out, buy into Western countries while simultaneously at work to destroy us. Also the buying into American universities, the infiltration of Islamic agents as professors and teachers, and on curricula determining boards. The practice of insinuating agenda into hosts of teaching academies.
Investing into America's infrastructure and financial interests sounds like a good thing. However, there is a far wider price being paid by America. Our soul as a democracy and the risk to American sovereignty.
There are hierarchic, vertical, horizontal and parallel strategies aimed at the Islamization of our country. The serving of Islamic interests under the rubric of Islamic religious and political dictate which are merged as one and as such diametrically opposite to that of Western democracy! Its as though the very vestiture of Islamic mullacracy is entrenching on our soil. What does anyone think the "Khalil Gibran International Academy" given the machinations ongoing in American public schools and higher education institutions, our colleges and universities, by Islamic organizational interests believe is intended?
Processes in efforts that work toward eviscerating our democracy include the immigration of Moslems from African countries that we do not normally think of as Moslems as certainly posing threat! Not as part of a larger religion based interest that seeks population hegemony. The insidiousness of targeting American born Blacks to gain converts for Islam has been ongoing for decades. Yet the larger significance of this phenomenon eludes America! This strategy is central to putting in place cadres who are turned against the host country, the United States, while in fact loyal to Islamic handlers and Islamic dictate. Such cadres are strategic in the implementation of Islamic ambition.
The targeting of specific populations, their indoctrination, their conversion as spawn in non-Moslem countries is a practice many born to, educated in democracy appear to somehow ignore. Whether effected by the desensitization through Islamic cohort activism, or failure of leaders with enough vision and courage to confront the challenge of alien invaders, one has to wonder at one point will the visceral threat be at such level in which ignoring Islam's war against us is no longer an option!
We see Islamic jihadic activism, strategy effected in Belgium, England, France the Scandinavian countries among hosts of others. A failure of resistance to the insinuation of Shar'ia and the Islamization thus far in Europe. What about America? Why is what is happening in our midst ignored - and in some cases - furthered as in the establishment of a madrassah, Islamic indoctrination and training of young minds in infidelphobia in Brooklyn, New York? Why the toleration of jihadic strategy in our midst?
Indeed, what about America? What about us?
Importantly, steps are taken so that Moslems are not necessarily identifiable to us as Moslems. That is, if we see someone in Islamic head dress we can pretty much gauge who they are. However, Moslems and Moslems converts are instructed to not look Islamic in non-Islamic countries in the furtherance of their cause. And to not arouse suspicion. Is every Moslem working at Barnes and Noble, or as tellers in banks or in the food industry from grocery stores to restaurants, or the ubiquitous newspaper stands and store fronts, cab drivers? I don't know. But I do suspect there is a carrying forward jihad according to a religion that sees itself as the only religion entitled to exist! AND is heavily invested in accruement of arms, recruitment, and influence wielding to its agenda of usurping democracy for purpose of installing Caliphate rule over everything!
Infidelphobia and dhimmi law need be in our everyday language towards understanding how we are at risk.
And the essential of reducing that risk even if entirely eliminating it is not possible is not an option.

Author unknown.