Realism Urgently Needed - Or Not?
David Ignatius's column today in The Washington Post addresses the question of effectiveness in the war against terrorism. He tells the sobering story of the CIA's collaboration with the terrorist Ali Hassan Salameh.
The downside: "The most obvious (lesson) is that collecting intelligence about terrorists is a truly dirty business. This world cannot be penetrated without help from members or friends of the terrorist network".
The upside: "Paradoxically, these tragic days have probably been an ideal time for the CIA to be recruiting new sources of intelligence about terrorism. The barbaric attacks Tuesday aroused disgust around the world --- not least among civilized Muslims. Some of these disgusted Muslims will surely want to help the United States and its allies put the terrorists out of business."
The crucial moral question: It's really a classic means/ends debate. Is it right - or just acceptably expedient - to collaborate with known terrorists in order to strike out at those we don't yet(or otherwise will never) know about?
Bin Laden Denies attack was his.
"I stress that I have not carried out this act, which appears to have been carried out by individuals with their own motivation." Maybe it was the guy on the grassy knoll again?
the map of terrorism
An Israeli commentator shows that there are many Arab states and not all are terrorist or so inclined. Regarding all is over simplification.
For All Those of Us Asking Why
A Muslim activist presents "My explanation to the 'Attack' on the US from the Islamic perspective."
Note the inverted commas around "Attack" and proceed to his contention that "It is not who did it! It is why it was done that really matters."
Then take an industrial dose of anti-emetics and explore the "Jihad" section - including interviews with Osama Bin Laden under the "Heroes of Islam" menu - of the whole "IamMuslim.net" site.
This is what we're all up against. Well, almost all of us, anyway.
So tragically wrong...
Proof that the FBI didn't have a clue. From a year ago: "Even the American cells of violent Middle East political movements as Hamas and Hezbollah, [then FBI Director Louis] Freeh declared, are devoted exclusively to "fundraising and low-level intelligence gathering." Salon writer Bruce Shapiro even goes so far as to call the National Commission on Terrorism's finding that "The threat from terrorists is so high, the potential for massive casualties is so real, that an independent panel is pushing the government to take immediate, drastic action" as a con job.
Tough Times For Pakistan
Please read all the articles. These articles explain in detail what has been going on in Pakistan since the attacks on Tuesday.
Once again my country is facing a tough time to make a decision. To succumb to international pressure and help the BIGGEST bully (US) and in return face the wrath of internal bullies.
Last time Pakistan helped a US cause, we were left alienated to face the problems of Post-Afghan War era.
God Bless Pakistan.
A thoughtful and fascinating analysis
of the historical backdrop to the current situation. Why did this happen, what circumstances got us into a de facto state of undeclared war with the Islamic world, and what can we realistically do to prevent those circumstances from ever recurring?
Missles hit Gaza.
Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat called it here.
"If Sharon goes ahead and cancels [the cease-fire talks], that means he has other plans and we know those other plans -- they involve tanks, shelling and assasinations."
Carnivore and other forms of snooping approved by congress
there has been some references to what this articles deals with but this gives a slightly broader perspectve.
This is a very good article
which does us the service of specifically addressing why it would be "okay" to (basically) assassinate Bin Laden. And you thought we'd just carpet-bomb.
First Amendment advocates fear erosion of rights in aftermath of attacks.
In the aftermath of the worst terrorist attack in America, First Amendment proponents expect and fear that the nation's heightened national security concerns will soon overpower some of its basic freedoms.
A German newspaper, FAZ
is reporting that the U.S. and Israeli intelligence agencies received warnings at least three months ago that Middle Eastern terrorists were planning to hijack commercial aircraft
to use as weapons to destroy important symbols of American and Israeli culture.
NPR Commentator Jim Sleeper on recent events
Links to Real Audio file.
I spent some time today looking for a transcript but this is the best I could find. I heard this yesterday and it's the one of the most reasoned piece of commentary I've heard and places this incident in an appropriate historical context.
"We'll have to be tougher and smarter than ever before but also wiser and, if possible, more noble."
What Does Osama Bin Laden Want?
Slate's David Plotz says "Nothing we have." Read. Discuss.
Is it bin Laden or?
I was watching CNN and they had a little bit on this other terrorist and how the intelligence community is more scared of him than Osama bin Laden. The last picture of him was from 20 years ago. He's responsible for a number of attacks, and is attributed as being responsible for killing more Americians. Anyone catch this guy's name? Got any info on him?
Serj Tankian's (System of a Down) comments
on the terrorist attacks. Aside from making a whole lot of sense, in this well formulated article, Serj also offers up the point-of-view of a middle-eastern living in America. It's a good read, and I would like to thank Qambient for tracking down this article.
University campus communities are a logical place to give and receive support. Blood drives, counseling, vigils are occurring almost universally. Many university departments are sponsoring programs and panel discussions for the public on terrorism: a sort of rough draft of history. (See
, and some with whom I have personal connection:
UCSD (no annoucement online yet)
Is it too soon to see the brighter side?
I'm torn. The words of the tragedy have turned from "The horror" to "let's kill the gays" in less than three days. But at the same time, I know there's a brighter side. Crisis brings (generally) the best out of Americans (if not the world). We will rebuild, re-design, re-shape our world. After WWII, America had a huge upsing economically and socially. People remembered to be happy to be alive, had kids, made families, partied like Hugh Hefner, and created one of the most amazing periods in our history. The same will happen again: unimaginable horror, work, then prosperity. But this only happens is these idiots
don't screw it up. Your thoughts?
The U.S. Embassy in Manila
may have been the target of a simultaneous attack. (this is a rumor, NBC has stated that two men were found videotaping the embassy, and they were questioned, released, and then they fled to Thailand. Bomb-making materials were found in their home.)
Does anyone know how to circulate an online petition? That is, to get one rolling? I think we need to urge President Bush to address the nation directly and as soon as possible, beseeching the American public to end the outbreak of violence against their fellow citizens of Arab (or perceived as such) extraction. The worst irony of the WTC terrorism is that angry Americans are now committing acts of terror against other Americans. Yes, Americans.
Maybe it would fall on deaf ears, but it never hurts to try, right? We have to do something.
Clinton was here
And then, as if by magic he got here
How did he do it?
Pentagon warns of sustained retaliation
Sounds to me like a declaration of war.
Recently I was made aware of a response to the terrorist attacks of Tuesday, by Serj Tankian, vocalist for the politically-themed band, System of a Down
. The response was well written, highly articulated and, yet, it is now MISSING from the band's official website.
I have been unable to find a cached copy of the post, and I am wondering if this article was removed due to it's less-than 100% agreement with the current mindset of the media propaganda machine, or whether it is related to something else.
If anyone can dig up a cached copy, or shed some light on this matter, it would be much appreciated.
Ananova reports bodies of hijacker and stewardess found
in the WTC wreckage. Does it seem that foreign news outlets are reporting stuff earlier than domestic ones to anyone else? And how could there be bodies still intact, so close to the point of impact?
Cancer, and Carcinogens
"This event is not an isolated instance of violence.
This is not an 'act of war.' It is one symptom of a
cancer that threatens to metastasize."
"We're in an age where we don't want to deal with serious issues, we want to deal with little boys pitching baseballs who might be 14 instead of 12."
Hart says he just shook his head when he saw a former Clinton administration Cabinet official on TV Tuesday calling for the formation of a commission to study the best way to combat terrorism. "If a former Cabinet officer didn't know, how could the average man on the street? I do hope the American people understand that somebody was paying attention."
Guns selling briskly. (NYTimes link, registration required -- scroll down to last subheading.)
"They sold me out of ammo by 10 in the morning," said the owner of one Colorado gun store. Apparently some people want personal protection, and others want to "vent" on the firing range. "I had people who said, yeah, they would like to put up a picture of Osama bin Laden and go to work."
World wide "lock-down" of major parts of major cities.
The Malaysian government has detained without trial several Islamic extremists, checkpoints were set up outside the Citibank Tower and Asian-Pacific Financial Tower in Hong Kong, the CN Tower in Toronto was shut, Downing Street was evacuated because a suspect package had been found inside No 10. (The alert was called off within minutes.) Etc, etc, etc.
Planes over London will be shot down, warns government.
The UK government warned that any plane venturing into airspace over central London was likely to be shot down. All aircraft movements over the heart of the capital are banned until further notice. The flight path into London-Heathrow airport passes close to the Canary Wharf skyscraper in the east of the city and along the River Thames over the House of Parliament, the Guardian newspaper reports. (Down the page a ways.)
Ways to heal.
I'm a long, long way from being OK, as are most others here in NYC, many of whom have lost far more than me. The one thing that has helped more than anything has been the people who have crawled out of the woodwork of my life. From the friends currently housing me, to a phone call from an expat friend living in China, to hearing an ex-girlfriend say "I love you," a month after it hit me that we would probably never speak again.
As a distraction, how about you? Who have you heard from that you never thought you'd see again? Old lovers? Former best friends? Long-lost cousins?
FBI Identifies Team of 50 Attackers
"Authorities searching nationwide for terrorists behind the deadly airliner attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center have identified a team of as many as 50 infiltrators who supported or carried out the strikes, a source familiar with the investigation said Wednesday.
The source said about 40 of the men have been accounted for, including those killed in the suicide attacks, but that 10 remain at large. In the hours immediately after the assaults, he said, agents searching cars and apartments up and down the East Coast found suicide notes in New York that some of the hijackers wrote for their parents."
Fear of flying?
New security measures are being discussed. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta says, "These terrorist acts are designed to steal the confidence of Americans. We will restore that confidence."
Bin Laden under house arrest
Just read this article. I haven't seen this posted anywhere yet, so...
Simply astonishing. Within the past few months, the FBI had placed two men associated with an Islamic Jihad terror group on a border watch list, but through a screw-up, the pair got into the U.S. The two men appear to have been on the American Airlines Flight 77, the plane that crashed into the Pentagon, TIME has learned.
Nasdaq headquarters on verge of collapse.
This is turning into a day in history that will be added to text books soon enough. Without a doubt next September 11th will be a national rememberance day, no work, no school etc.
"Lawmakers [have been] told in classified briefings that additional attacks are 'possible if not probable'
and they should not assume a false sense of security. This message has been conveyed with a very deliberate and serious level of magnitude.
" I've been worried about this from the beginning. Who knows if there aren't more terrorists cooling their heels in some airport somewhere because the FAA grounded all the planes so fast? Or that they don't have some evil plan to freak us all out first, get us worked up into a "yeah, we're gonna get 'em!" frenzy, and then do something else just as bad to make us feel helpless?
The Doctor Is In
Yes, he may be crazy. Yes, he may be irrelevant. And yes, his numbers might be a little high, but it beats listening to the same dozen folks repeat the same stuff on the networks (Couldn't they all take 2-4 am off for bathroom breaks and showers?).
Microsoft Flight Simulator
From the Theory-Of-The-Moment Dept: Is it possible
to use Microsoft Flight Simulator as a training tool for terrorists?
A mosque in Irving, TX came under gunfire in the early hours of this morning just before Muslims gathered for the early morning (first) prayer of the day.
News from here in Boston, the police have arrested
people (Boston Globe says 3, other local sources say 1) in Coply Square Hotel, and are investigating passengers on an Amtrak train bound for Providence.
Also, word has it that the Pennsylvania Plane was heading for the White House. There's numerous reports of civilians overtaking the plane and crashing it. If this is true, they saved a lot of lives.
"A plan to hijack US commercial planes and slam these into targets like the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Langley, Virginia, was first uncovered in Manila in 1995
after police arrested four suspects in a plot to assassinate Pope John Paul II." So perhaps what happened yesterday shouldn't have been an entirely unforeseeable event.
Wondering why those in power are so earnestly characterizing an act of terrorism as an act of war? Because under New York Consolidated Law S3203.a.17.c.1.C, insurance companies don't have to pay for acts of war
. (More inside.)
FBI Currently storming Copley Hotel (Streaming Windows Media)
I am truly amazed at the speed at which this investigation is unfolding.