..I would like to convey the message that our system works. We did not need to use a secret military tribunal, or detain the defendant indefinitely as an enemy combatant, or deny him the right to counsel, or invoke any proceedings beyond those guaranteed by or contrary to the United States Constitution. ...We can deal with the threats to our national security without denying the accused fundamental constitutional protections. ...
--U.S. Western District Judge John Coughenour, while sentencing "Millennium Bomber", Ahmed Ressam.
With 60 Terror Plots
foiled in the past 10 years, and pretty much none foiled due to the DHS and Patriot Act, it has to be asked-- Why isn't regular law enforcement and all the rest enough? (a little more inside)
posted by amberglow
on Jul 27, 2005 -
"At this moment, I am proud to be a citizen of a country that has done more than most to help the US get rid of the Taliban and Saddam Hussein. And I think that it would do other Europeans some good to think again about what their countries have achieved, if anything, to try to stem the tide of dictatorships and terrorism around the world. They should wonder whether they are really asking themselves the hard questions. Or whether they are shrugging their shoulders and blaming America because that is what they have been brought up to do."
A thoughtful & conflicted post from the anti-war Englishman in New York
reflecting on the London bombings.
posted by dhoyt
on Jul 16, 2005 -
Israel's Cabinet has approved final details of a barrier to surround Jerusalem
"redrawing the disputed city's boundary and shifting its demographic balance in favor of Jews." The Jerusalem Post declares
this to be "most dramatic change [in Jerusalem's borders] since 1967." The decision means
Israel is taking lands claimed by the Palestinians for a future state, including traditionally Arab east Jerusalem, the intended Palestinian capital. In addition, the UNRWA
(pdf) reported that other negative impacts on the Palestinain population include "logistical problems of access, proximity of schools" for Palestinians and that "access of refugees to secondary and tertiary care in Jerusalem hospitals will be severely hampered." Dr. Gerson Baskin of the Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information wrote in 2003
"It is time for honesty – the security barrier may have started in its conceptual phase as a security barrier, but in its translation into reality it has been manipulated to be a political border." Is this another nail in the coffin of the peace process, a necessary and constructive step towards a solution, or an encouraging development in the ultimate conversion of Jews to Christianity and the second coming of Christ?
posted by three blind mice
on Jul 11, 2005 -
Police evacuate Birmingham centre
West Midlands police have evacuated the second largest city in England tonight as a precautionary measure. Sky News are reporting
that a series of controlled explosions (I heard on Sky News TV that one of these was on a bus, but this may be innacurate) have been carried out in the Broad Street area.
I hope that any and all UK MeFi-ites in Birmingham are keeping sane through out all this.
posted by tomcosgrave
on Jul 9, 2005 -
proposed terror management
theory to explain toxic leaders
(among other things.)
The war on terror provides many examples of how fear-mongering enables the rise of authoritarian regimes.
have even found that self-inflicted fear mongering can cause permanent cognitive and behavioral impairment.
Does this mean that conservativism
is actually a form of mental disability? Others disagree
. (previously in comments here
posted by warbaby
on Apr 24, 2005 -
Former Carrier, USS America, CV-66, leaves port for the last time
The conventional powered aircraft carrier, USS America
, of the Kitty Hawk
class, previously docked at the former Naval Base in Philadelphia (photo
), has left for her date with Davy Jones.
The Navy intends to "attack" the America
with a variety of tactics and munitions, in order to measure the hardiness of US carriers, especially against unconventional terror attacks. Personally named by President John F. Kennedy and having seen active duty
through much of the Cold War, from 1961 until 1996
, it's suprising that the Navy decided to dispose of the country's namesake in this way.
Veterans who served aboard the America are sad to see her go
, and mounted an effort
to save her from the bottom. Their efforts have been unsuccessfull - she left port for the last time today.
posted by rzklkng
on Apr 19, 2005 -
The End Of Faith
A belief is a lever that, once pulled, moves almost everything else in a person’s life. Are you a scientist? A liberal? A racist? These are merely species of belief in action. Your beliefs define your vision of the world; they dictate your behavior; they determine your emotional responses to other human beings. If you doubt this, consider how your experience would suddenly change if you came to believe one of the following propositions:
1. You have only two weeks to live.
2. You’ve just won a lottery prize of one hundred million dollars.
3. Aliens have implanted a receiver in your skull and are manipulating your thoughts.
posted by nofundy
on Mar 19, 2005 -
So I finally got around to watching 24
, Fox's Golden Globe winning prime-time show. I normally don't go for shows like that, but I'd heard about the controversy
surrounding this season's story line. I was pretty damned shocked when the hero decided to spark up some electrodes and torture one of the terrorists to get information out of him. Apparently, this
is nothing new
for the show.
Can anyone think of a precedent for this type of heroic depiction of torture? On a network tv show?
posted by es_de_bah
on Feb 28, 2005 -
[Flash]. Having survived two terror regimes, it was felt that the time had come for Hungary to erect a fitting memorial to the victims, and at the same time to present a picture of what life was like for Hungarians in those times.
A tour of the Terror Musuem at 60 Andrássy út in Budapest. After the introduction, proceed to the Exhibition link.
posted by Wolfdog
on Feb 7, 2005 -
"Things just happen, he had decided;
they happen and they happen again, and anybody who tries to make sense out of it goes out of his mind."
For this reason, Tom Rath, the hero of Sloan Wilson's 1955 novel The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit,
decides not to "make sense" of the the atrocities to which he bears witness during World War II. Instead, he accepts that war is in itself irrational, and that he must simply forget its horrors before returning to civilian life. This New Yorker article
contrasts Wilson's 1950's stoicism with today's veneration of the grieving process and suggests that this change in attitude has led us to vastly underestimate our own capacity for coping with trauma. The author also draws some interesting parallels with a controversial study
in which victims of childhood sexual abuse were found to be no more likely than others to suffer from mental health problems as adults. Intriguing stuff, to say the least, and as I read it, I can't help but think of Johnny Cash's "The Man Who Couldn't Cry"
(Note: Having thankfully never been subjected to war or sexual abuse myself, I am in no way attempting to demean the anguish of those who have. Rather, I'm more interested in the idea that people are stronger than they give themselves credit for, and how different upbringings affect our experience of trauma.)
posted by idontlikewords
on Dec 28, 2004 -
Cat Stevens on NatSec watchlist.
"A London-to-Washington flight was diverted to Maine on Tuesday when it was discovered passenger Yusuf Islam
- formerly known as singer Cat Stevens
- was on a government watch list and barred from entering the country, federal officials said... Homeland Security Department spokesman Dennis Murphy identified the passenger as Islam. 'He was interviewed and denied admission to the United States on national security grounds,' Murphy said, and would be put on the first available flight out of the country Wednesday."
posted by mwhybark
on Sep 21, 2004 -
Rumsfeld fears U.S. losing long-term fight against terror. The troubling unknown, he said, is whether the extremists -- whom he termed "zealots and despots" bent on destroying the global system of nation-states -- are turning out newly trained terrorists faster than the United States can capture or kill them.
"It's quite clear to me that we do not have a coherent approach to this," Rumsfeld said at an international security conference.
Who are you and what have you done with Rumsfeld? And Can you do it some more? via the illustrious oliver willis.
posted by jonmc
on Jun 7, 2004 -
National Security Letters and John Doe
--once only issued against suspected terrorists and spies, NSLs now can be used, thanks to the Patriot Act, against all and any of us. John Doe, the currently gagged owner of a small ISP was targeted for the political speech of his customers and is fighting, along with the ACLU and others. More here
(and more inside)
posted by amberglow
on May 30, 2004 -
One of Ashcroft's "credible sources"
from last week's terror warning came from Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades
, a group that has also claimed responsibility for the blackout in the Northeast last year, the power outage in London, the Madrid bombing and has been called "notoriously unreliable"
by U.S. officials. “The only thing they haven't claimed credit for recently is the cicada invasion of Washington". Ashcroft blames the FBI who have admitted that claims that terrorists were 90 percent ready to attack came not from al-Qaida, but from the Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades’ statements.
posted by gfrobe
on May 29, 2004 -
More Foreign (Terrorist) Leaders Want Bush Reelected
A statement sent to the Arabic language daily al-Hayat by the terrorist group Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades said it supported President Bush in his reelection campaign, and would prefer him to win in November rather than the Democratic candidate John Kerry, as it was not possible to find a leader "more foolish than you (Bush), who deals with matters by force rather than with wisdom."
posted by dogmatic
on Mar 21, 2004 -
D.H.S. - The Series. "... a multimillion-dollar episodic series, will explore the inner workings of the Department of Homeland Security, teaming the FBI, CIA, Secret Service, and National Security Administration (NSA) together with "first responders" such as local police, fire and safety administrators."
The series is being pitched to prospective networks today
and has the full support of President Bush and Tom Ridge. "They love it. They think it is fantastic," say the series' producers at Steeple Productions, located in the Seventh-Day Adventist
Community of Zillah, Washington
. Not familiar with Steeple Productions
? Well, perhaps you might find their four-episode "Creation Vs Evolution
" series enlightening.
posted by grabbingsand
on Feb 27, 2004 -
«Clearly, one of the most critical questions
of the twenty-first century concerns why the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 were not prevented. As I outline below, there are numerous aspects regarding the official stories about September 11th which do not fit with known facts, which contradict each other, which defy common sense, and which indicate a pattern of misinformation and coverup. The reports coming out of Washington do very little to alleviate these concerns.»
22 questions to chose from and decide which ones are nightmares of a conspiracy theorist and which ones must be answered.
posted by acrobat
on Sep 4, 2003 -
The Bombay(Mumbai) blasts.
Why detonate two car-bombs in Bombay? Destabilize the economy creating a climate for terror.
Terror attacks have become commonplace
in parts of India. The US condemned the Bombay attack- Powell called Indian officials. But, it seems like India should do more before if it wants broader US support. As the WSJ editorial page put it- "We think India could have helped build even closer U.S. ties had it decided to send troops to Iraq. The U.S. has driven a wedge into the center of Muslim terrorism with its occupation of Iraq, and it is looking to see who its friends really are." What is the lesson from all of this to the Indian government? What would you do if you were running India?
posted by SandeepKrishnamurthy
on Aug 28, 2003 -
Trading on the Future of Terror [LA Times] The war on terrorism has come to this: The Pentagon is setting up a commodity-style market to use real investors — putting down real money — to help its generals predict terrorist attacks, coups d'etat and other turmoil in the Middle East.
You can sign
up here to bet on suicide bombings.
posted by srboisvert
on Jul 29, 2003 -
Terror's myriad faces Al-Qaeda, conceived of as a tight-knit terrorist group with cadres and a capability everywhere, does not exist in that form. It barely existed before the war in Afghanistan in 2001 destroyed Osama bin Laden's carefully constructed infrastructure there. It certainly does not exist now. Instead, we are facing a different kind of threat. Al-Qaeda can only be understood as an ideology, an agenda and a way of seeing the world that is shared by an increasing number of predominantly young, predominantly male Muslims. Eliminating bin Laden and a few hundred senior activists will do nothing to counter this al-Qaeda. Hundreds more will come forward to fill their ranks. Al-Qaeda, however understood, will continue to operate. The threat will remain and it will grow.
See also Sowing The Dragon's Teeth
Or, alternately, Hercules and the Hydra
posted by y2karl
on May 20, 2003 -
Did Bush know?
An article in today's New York Times (link to mirrored site with no reg. req.) pieces together data that the author claims proves that Bush and his inner circle were well-aware that they were using false "evidence" of Iraqi WMD. Sy Hersh from the New Yorker
is also chiming in
, as is Salon's Joe Connason
and Katha Pollitt
of The Nation
. A pretty decent subsection of media is finally descending on this story. If Bush or Powell or Rumsfeld are proven to have been knowingly deceitful, will the American public be even half as angry as the rest of the world?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly
on May 6, 2003 -
Mike Hawash Charged
with conspiracy to levy war against the United States, conspiracy to provide material support to al Qaeda and conspiracy to contribute services to al Qaeda and the Taliban.
Heavy. 5 days ago, a now near-famous letter
was removed from a website
that had recently been trumpeting his cause
. Today, the Feds allege terrorism.
Of note: the frequent allusion to "secrecy" and "secret warrants". Is this ammo for the pro-PATRIOT crowd? Any changing opinions on Mefi?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly
on Apr 28, 2003 -
Leniency for Terrorists
CIA memorandums strongly suggest, according to Bardach's book, that Bosch was one of the conspirators, and quotes the then secretary of state, Henry Kissinger, as writing that the "US government had been planning to suggest Bosch's deportation before Cubana airlines crash took place for his suspected involvement in other terrorist acts and violation of his parole".
Bosch's release, often referred to in the US media as a pardon, was the result of pressure brought by hardline Cubans in Miami, with Jeb Bush serving as their point man. Bosch now lives in Miami and remains unrepentant about his militant activities, according to Bardach.
Is there a double standard at work regarding terrorists?
posted by nofundy
on Dec 2, 2002 -
Violence and Repression in Western Afghanistan.
"A man who was severely beaten by Ismail Khan's forces described to Human Rights Watch the effect of the repression: 'At any time I feel that I am in danger. When I leave my house, I do not know if I will return. I do not know whether something will happen to me, if there will be some car crash, or that I will be hit in the back of the head.' Another witness talked about how his community's hopes after the hated Taliban regime was ended have been deflated: 'What has changed in Afghanistan? All our hopes are crushed. We are completely disappointed. Look-all the same warlords are in power as before. Fundamentalism has come into power, and every day they strengthen their power.'
The light of liberation and liberty descends upon Afghanistan.
posted by fold_and_mutilate
on Nov 6, 2002 -