http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/detail/irans-offensive-in-americas-backyard?f=puball While much attention lately has rightly been focused on Iran’s nuclear weapons program, the mullahs have also been busy elsewhere-especially in America’s own backyard. During Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s two-term presidency, Iran has expanded its activity in the Western Hemisphere to an alarming degree. Tehran has found hospitable terrain among some of Latin America’s most anti-American […]
Feeling a need to humor myself, and casting about for a way to cock a snook at the Department of Homeland Security and The Transportation Security Administration (in German, Die Abteilung der Heimatland-Sicherheit, and Die Transport-Sicherheitsverwaltung, one click of the heels and raised right arm, palm down, required for pronunciation, if you can manage it) and strike a blow for freedom of speech and the First and Fourth Amendments, the DHS provided me with a salubrious vehicle.
Cowboy Byte and other blog sites reported the grudging release by the DHS of its 39-page Analyst’s Desktop Binder (2011) containing words employed anywhere on the Internet that should cause red flags and whistles and bells to awaken the glaze-eyed human monitors and alert over-heating computers to open that Binder and follow its instructions.
The list is pseudo-comprehensive, including obvious terms that would slap a monitor on the back of his head when they pop up, and numerous terms used millions of times every day by Internet users, so that one wonders why they were included, unless the monitors and computers are programmed to look for suspicious combinations of two or more of them in sneaky repetitions or recurrences. The DHS may as well have programmed the whole Oxford English Dictionary and the Cambridge Complete Works of Shakespeare.
“The keywords are included.in the Binder,” notes Cowboy Byte, “which also instructs analysts to hunt down media reports that reflect poorly on the department.”
And they’re not even in alphabetical order. Very, very sly. Makes it difficult to follow.
“Obama is a mass of varying principles and liberal emotions. He, and his worshippers in the media such as the Times, want to characterize his personal control of anti-terrorist drone strikes as moral, courageous, and risky. But this is the same president who refuses to recognize and deal with the Islamist threat that emanates from Iran, Pakistan, Syria, and Saudi Arabia. It is the same president who two years ago banned the use of the terms “Islam,” “jihad,” and even “Islamic extremism” from our national security strategy documents. And it is the same president who is doing everything in his power to prevent an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear weapons program.”
Between December 7, 1941, and September 2, 1945, a clarity of thought and purpose pervaded America. We understood who our enemies were and undertook as a nation to bring about their utter defeat. After September 1945, that clarity was dulled in Korea and by the midpoint of the Vietnam War it had disappeared altogether.
We never had that clarity after the war that was brought to our homeland on September 11, 2001. Since then, we have muddled through bereft of the unifying knowledge of who the enemy really is and the pervasive purpose of bringing about its defeat. Now we have another episode of ad hockery: a U.S. president has undertaken to choose personally who shall be targeted for what the left used to call “non-judicial killing” and to reveal the once-secret killing program to his media allies.
The New York Times May 29 story on President Obama’s “Secret Kill List” put together the pieces of the process Obama established to identify terrorists and decide himself who would be targeted for drone strikes. The article was produced in cooperation with the White House. (In the long and tendentious piece, the Times claimed three dozen interviews with current and former Obama administration officials as the story’s foundation.) It was clearly intended to portray the heroic and moral role the president had created for himself but instead demonstrated how undecided the president is, and how timorous his approach to defeating the terrorist threat remains.
There have been a number of articles analyzing and criticizing how the president goes about deciding who will be killed and how. But many of them either pass by the most important issues or simply get it wrong.
Fox News’s Judge Andrew Napolitano condemned the program as illegal. But the judge apparently decided his case without all the facts. Saying that the president’s powers were bound by the Constitution and our laws, he concluded that Obama’s program wasn’t lawful because it lacked the necessary statutory authorization. However, as I have been repeatedly informed by members of the intelligence community, the CIA has secret lethal authorities. These statutory authorities almost certainly provide the legal basis for the targeted killings of terrorists.
My sources will not describe those authorities because they were enacted in secret and remain so. There’s no validity to the point that secretly enacted laws are themselves unlawful: there is nothing in the Constitution barring them. Though uncommon, such laws are passed when some aspect of our intelligence or military operations require them. For example, top secret intelligence satellite programs need the authorization of Congress — and congressional appropriations — to be brought to fruition. That same congressional action almost certainly is the basis for Obama’s use of CIA and military assets to target and kill terrorists.
Congress’s “Authorization of Military Force,” passed soon after 9/11, gave the president the authority to attack those responsible for the attacks, meaning al Qaeda. That explains Obama’s limitation of the targeted killings to those revealed by intelligence information to be al Qaeda’s members and those acting in concert with them. Combined with the CIA’s secret lethal authorities, we must conclude that Obama’s targeted killing program is legal until it is shown that the CIA’s lethal authorities — and those of the military — do not provide for it.
A Better Relationship with the World? By Frank Salvato http://www.newmediajournal.us/ As then first-term US Senator Barack Obama campaigned for the presidency, one of the pledges he made to the American public – and the world – was that an Obama presidency would repair the reputation of the United States with the nations of the world. […]
“In short, the Obama administration wants Senators to suspend common sense and ignore real and legitimate concerns about the deleterious impact of the Law of the Sea Treaty on our sovereignty, economic interests and potentially even the national security. Will 34 Senators have enough common sense to just say “No”?
In recent days, top U.S. cabinet officers have traveled around the world on high-profile diplomatic missions. Ironically, in the process of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s visit to the Arctic Circle and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s travels in Asia, they both undercut the case for the United Nations’ controversial Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) – a case they had jointly made prior to departing in testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Mrs. Clinton took part in a meeting of the Arctic Council whose eight members have territory in that region. Of these, just five – Russia, Canada, Norway, Denmark’s Greenland and the United States – actually have coasts on the Arctic Ocean, and therefore are able to claim rights to the resources offshore.
To be sure, the Secretary of State used the occasion of her joining the other Arctic nations for the purpose of forging a new region-wide search-and-rescue (S&R) agreement to express the Obama administration’s commitment to LOST. She assured her colleagues that the President is determined to overcome opposition in the Senate and the country in order to get the treaty ratified.
Still, this S&R agreement suggests the obvious: It is far easier to achieve understandings in a group of eight – or, better yet, five – nations that have similar, if not identical, interests and a shared understanding of the stakes, than among agroup of 150-plus nations, most of whom do not. If that is true for an accord governing assistance to downed planes and ships lost at sea, it surely is the case when it comes to the disposition of potentially many billions of dollars worth of undersea oil and gas deposits.
Meanwhile, our Defense Secretary was off in Asia trying to shore up America’s alliances in the region without actually saying that China is a threat that needs to be countered there. So he eschewed the President’s much-touted strategic “pivot” from the Middle East and South Asia to the South China Sea – supposedly involving a move in force to parry the PRC’s aspirations for hegemony. Instead, Mr. Panetta employed less offensive terms like “rebalancing” and made commitments about a future U.S. presence in the theater that were deeply discounted in light of ongoing, and forthcoming, sharp cuts in defense spending.
It happens that Secretary Panetta’s enthusiasm for the Law of the Sea Treaty tracks with Team Obama’s public efforts to low-ball the dangers posed by China’s increasingly aggressive behavior towards our Asian friends and allies, and its growing capacity to act coercively due to its growing military capabilities. He and, surprisingly, even senior Navy and other military officers who should know better seem to think that if only the United States were a party to LOST, international law would tame the Chinese dragon.
As one of the nation’s most astute China hands, Gordon Chang, noted recently in his column at World Affairs Journal (www.worldaffairsjournal.org/blog/gordon-g-chang/should-us-ratify-un-sea-treaty-because-china): “Although Beijing ratified the [LOST] pact in June 1996, it continues to issue maps claiming the entire South China Sea. That claim is, among other things, incompatible with the treaty’s rules. It’s no wonder Beijing notified the UN in 2006 that it would not accept international arbitration of its sovereignty claims.”
Just as common sense argues for using bilateral or, at most, five-party forums to establish arrangements governing the Arctic Ocean’s resources, it strongly militates against the United States allowing itself to be bound to a treaty whose core provisions (i.e., those governing limitations on territorial claims and mandatory dispute resolutions) are already being serially violated by Communist China.
After Israel’s stunning victory in 1967 things changed for the Jewish people everywhere. In America the barriers to Jewish participation tumbled….in finance, the academies, social and fraternal institution…..which had been formerly restricted to Jews. The confidence of Jews throughout the world soared. Gone was the perception of weakness and victimization. In Russia, as the indomitable “refusenik” Ida Nudel told it, the war inspired dissent and activism even among those who considered themselves hopelessly marginal in the Soviet Union.
It is a great anniversary but laden with regret and a sense of loss as Israel has consecutively dismembered its patrimony and heartland in pursuit of accommodation with implacable enemies, and this sign of weakness and lack of resolve has emboldened jihadists and uncovered the bedrock of Antisemitism that has always plagued Europe.
Chinese authorities have rounded up hundreds of activists in the capital Beijing, rights campaigners said on Monday, as they marked the 23rd anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown.The detentions came as Washington urged Beijing to free all those still jailed over the demonstrations on June 4, 1989, when hundreds, if not thousands, of peaceful protesters were shot and killed by soldiers.
The anniversary of the brutal army action in the heart of Beijing is always hugely sensitive, but particularly so this year ahead of a once-a-decade handover of power marred by fierce in-fighting in the ruling Communist Party.
“They brought in a lot of buses and were rounding up petitioners at the Beijing South rail station on Saturday night,” Zhou Jinxia, a petitioner from northeast China’s Liaoning province told AFP.
“There were between 600 to 1,000 petitioners from all over China. We were processed, we had to register and then they started sending people back to their home towns.”
Police made it clear that the round up of petitioners — people who gather at central government offices in Beijing to seek redress for rights violations in their localities — was to prevent them from protesting on June 4, she said.
China still considers the June 4 demonstrations a “counter-revolutionary rebellion” and has refused to acknowledge any wrongdoing or consider compensation for those killed, more than two decades later.
Israel Is the New Sudetenland. And Obama? URL to article: http://frontpagemag.com/2012/06/04/israel-is-the-new-sudetenland-and-obama/ Not only is it the case that President Barack Obama will never attack Iran or support an Israeli attack, but his policy of acquiescence is giving the Iranian Ayatollahs exactly what they are looking for: time to complete a nuclear process and build an […]
URL to article: http://frontpagemag.com/2012/06/04/obama-threatens-florida-over-purging-non-citizen-voters/
Last Thursday, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) reached a new low in its efforts to prevent individual states from combating vote fraud. The state of Florida was ordered to halt its efforts to identify and purge its voter rolls of non-citizens. “Our records do not reflect that these changes affecting voting have been submitted to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia for judicial review or to the Attorney General for administrative review as required by Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act,” wrote T. Christian Herren Jr., the DOJ’s lead civil rights lawyer. “Accordingly, it is necessary that they either be brought before that court or submitted to the Attorney General for a determination that they neither have the purpose nor will have the effect of discriminating on account of race, color, or membership in a language minority group under Section 5.”
Florida is not backing down. Despite being given until Wednesday to decide whether or not to comply with the DOJ’s order, it took state officials only one day to reach a decision. “We have an obligation to make sure the voter rolls are accurate and we are going to continue forward and do everything that we can legally do to make sure than ineligible voters cannot vote,” said Chris Cate, a spokesman for Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner on Friday. “We are firmly committed to doing the right thing and preventing ineligible voters from being able to cast a ballot. We are not going to give up our efforts to make sure the voter rolls are accurate.”
Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act requires the DOJ or or a three-judge panel of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia to “preclear” changes in “any voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure with respect to voting different from that in force or effect on November 1, 1964,” in order to prevent “denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race or color.” Florida is one of a handful of states, predominantly in the South, covered by Section 5, due to its historical efforts to suppress minority voting. Critics contend Section 5 continues to stigmatize states that have long abandoned tactics such as requiring non-white voters to pay a poll tax or pass a literacy test. The Act contains a bailout provision for states that can demonstrate a record of good behavior, yet many counties within those states consider the cost of doing so prohibitive.
Earlier this year Secretary Detzner worked with the Florida’s Department of Motor Vehicles to identify more than 2,600 people who were registered to vote despite being non-citizens at the time they applied for a driver’s license. Critics of the effort claim that many of those drivers become citizens between scheduled license renewals. They further contend that many of the warning letters sent out by state notifying these individuals that they would be purged from voter rolls unless they provided proof of citizenship within 30 days, were sent to people who were citizens.
Detzner, who contended that earlier efforts by his agency had identified 182,000 voters who were non-citizens by comparing voter rolls and driver’s license databases, revealed that he and his staff were refused access by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to the federal database containing more up-to-date immigration and citizenship information. Thus, it would appear that the federal government is working at cross-purposes with itself: the DHS won’t assist Florida in its effort to be as non-discriminatory as possible, even as the DOJ insists that Florida is engaging in discrimination. And not just with respect to Section 5. The DOJ also contends Florida is violating the 1993 National Voter Registration Act that requires states to maintain “accurate and current” voter registration lists “in a uniform and non-discriminatory manner.”
URL to article: http://frontpagemag.com/2012/06/04/university-of-illinois-professor-quotes-holocaust-denier-in-class/
Professor Farhad Malekafzali teaches political science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Or, at least, that’s what he’s supposed to teach. If you read his final, according to students, he actually teaches anti-Israel canards for a living.
Posing as a moderate on the Israel-Arab issue, Malekafzali instead associates with the radical anti-Israel group “Students for Justice in Palestine.” He has told students at rallies that Zionist Jews only began moving to Israel in the 20th century, ignoring centuries of historic Jewish connection to Israel. He has also said that before any negotiations take place, Israel must withdraw from all territories won in the 1967 Six Day War. And yes, he’s a member of Change.org.
But it’s what Malekafzali teaches in the classroom that’s truly disturbing.
According to one of his students, a recent final exam asked students to explain, “why, in reality, Israel has never faced an existential threat from its neighbors.” He asked students to “discuss Israel’s policies toward Gaza since 2005.” And he told students to “Compare and contrast in depth the arguments advanced in Mearsheimer and Walt, The Israel Lobby and Plitnick and Toensing, The “Israel Lobby” in Perspective.”
This isn’t just anti-Israel. It’s anti-Semitic.