"I have often been forced to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that there was no place else to go.”
Peter Kassig, an American is also an American Muslim who went to Syria to HELP Syrians not fight them and he is the latest hostage of the terror group ISIS to be threatened with death. In a letter to his parents he talks about how he is at peace with his religion and his decisions he made that took him to Syria but also that he is afraid of the uncertainty of death at the hands of this terror group. Is there anyone who still thinks the group has anything to do with Islam? It kills its native sons from all over the world; sounds more fascist than Islamist.
That’s what the New York City Police Department’s six year investigation, read spying, on American Muslims (it should be noted this spying took place in places outside of New York city) turned up in terms of terror suspects, indictments, cases, leads, you name it.
In more than six years of spying on Muslim neighborhoods, eavesdropping on conversations and cataloging mosques, the New Yorkpolice department’s secret demographics unit never generated a lead or triggered a terrorism investigation, the department acknowledged in court testimony unsealed late Monday.
The demographics unit is at the heart of a police spying program, built with help from the CIA, which assembled databases on where Muslims lived, shopped, worked and prayed. Police infiltrated Muslim student groups, put informants in mosques, monitored sermons and cataloged every Muslim in New York who adopted new, Americanized surnames.
Police hoped the demographics unit would serve as an early warning system for terrorism. And if police ever got a tip about, say, an Afghan terrorist in the city, they’d know where he was likely to rent a room, buy groceries and watch sports.
But in a 28 June deposition as part of a longstanding federal civil rights case, assistant chief Thomas Galati said none of the conversations the officers overheard ever led to a case.
“Related to demographics,” Galati testified that information that has come in “has not commenced an investigation.”
The NYPD is the largest police department in the nation and mayor Michael Bloomberg has held up its counterterrorism tactics as a model for the rest of the country. After the Associated Press began reporting on those tactics last year, supporters argued that the demographics unit was central to keeping the city safe. Galati testified that it was an important tool, but conceded it had not generated any leads.
“I never made a lead from rhetoric that came from a demographics report, and I’m here since 2006,” he said. “I don’t recall other ones prior to my arrival. Again, that’s always a possibility. I am not aware of any.”
Galati, the commanding officer of the NYPD intelligence division, offered the first official look at the demographics unit, which the NYPD denied ever existed when it was revealed by the AP last year. He described how police gather information on people even when there is no evidence of wrongdoing, simply because of their ethnicity and native language.
As a rule, Galati said, a business can be labeled a “location of concern” whenever police can expect to find groups of Middle Easterners there.
Galati testified as part of a lawsuit that began in 1971 over NYPD spying on students, civil rights groups and suspected communist sympathizers during the 1950s and 1960s. The lawsuit, known as the Handschu case, resulted in federal guidelines that prohibit the NYPD from collecting information about political speech unless it is related to potential terrorism.
Civil rights lawyers believe the demographics unit violated those rules. Documents obtained by the AP show the unit conducted operations outside its jurisdiction, including in New Jersey. The FBI there said those operations damaged its partnerships with Muslims and jeopardized national security.
In one instance discussed in the testimony, plainclothes NYPD officers known as “rakers” overheard two Pakistani men complaining about airport security policies that they believed unfairly singled out Muslims. They bemoaned what they saw as the nation’s anti-Muslim sentiment since the 2001 terrorist attacks.
Galati said police were allowed to collect that information because the men spoke Urdu, a fact that could help police find potential terrorists in the future.
“I’m seeing Urdu. I’m seeing them identify the individuals involved in that are Pakistani,” Galati explained. “I’m using that information for me to determine that this would be a kind of place that a terrorist would be comfortable in.”
He added, “Most Urdu speakers from that region would be of concern, so that’s why it’s important to me.”
About 15 million Pakistanis and 60 million Indians speak Urdu. Along with English, it is one of the national languages of Pakistan.
In another example, Galati said, eavesdropping on a conversation in a Lebanese cafe could be useful, even if the topic is innocuous. Analysts might be able to determine that the customers were from South Lebanon, he said, adding, “That may be an indicator of possibility that that is a sympathizer to Hezbollah because Southern Lebanon is dominated by Hezbollah.”
After the AP began reporting on the demographics unit, the department’s former senior analyst, Mitchell Siber, said the unit provided the tip that ultimately led to a case against a bookstore clerk who was convicted of plotting to bomb the Herald Square subway station in Manhattan. Galati testified that he could find no evidence of that.
Attorney Jethro Eisenstein, who filed the Handschu case more than 40 years ago and questioned Galati during the deposition, said he will go back to court soon to ask that the demographics unit be shut down. It operates today under a new name, the zone assessment unit. It recently stopped operating out of state, Galati said.
“This is a terribly pernicious set of policies,” Eisenstein said. “No other group since the Japanese Americans in World War II has been subjected to this kind of widespread public policy.”
Dozens of members of Congress have asked the justice department to investigate the NYPD. Attorney general Eric Holder has said he was disturbed by the reports. But John Brennan, President Barack Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser, has said he is confident the NYPD’s activities are lawful and have kept the city safe.
Is anyone concerned with how much all of this cost the taxpayer? No matter what the investment was the return worth the money it cost? Why hasn’t Congreeman Peter King of NY asked these questions during a Congressional hearing….or better yet, why haven’t any of the hearings he held led to the NYPD questioning or indicting anyone? We have been bamboozled America! It’s time to stop this madness.
Michael Migliore an American citizen who was put on the no-fly list by US authorities possibly because he refused to talk to the FBI without a lawyer had to end his way to Italy by train from the West Coast and then by boat to England. The story doesn’t end there however, he was detained by authorities before the boat he was in even made it to port in Suffolk, England.
Migliore was responsible enough to make his way to Europe by 19th century means because of how the US government categorized him, but it seems that “brand” followed him to England as well which underscores the pernicious nature of the no-fly lists. Migliore’s crime seems to be being Muslim, knowing someone who was charged with terrorism and not talking to the FBI about that relationship without a lawyer (something any seasoned lawyer would advise and which he has the right to do). What this says is the federal government wants to rescind the right to have someone present when authorities talk to you AND the government wants to punish you for exercising your right to freedom of religion. That a 21 year old university graduate has to fight this fight against the two greatest powers in the world, the US and the UK, is shameful and disgusting. That no one or very few people in America is up in arms about this violation of Migliore’s inalienable rights is further indication of how close this country is to abandoning the principles of its Founding Fathers.
Here it is without the filter; Muslims in the West commenting on the Osama bin laden execution
I wonder what was going through the mind of this young Afghani boy as he was asked, no doubt, to pose with Michael Enright for this photo. As it turns out he has every reason to be apprehensive after what happened to a New York cab driver at the hands of Enright’s rage. In reality, the photo above is just another trophy picture, like the others we’ve covered here on the pages of Miscellany101 of “conquerors” posing with their conquered, the dispossessed.
It’s also noteworthy that Enright had to go to a land thousands of miles from his own to nurture his racism, accompanied by an invading army from his country, which has been known for inflicting massive casualties on the civilian population of Afghanistan. Along with his assault on an unsuspecting cab driver, Enright no doubt struck terror in the minds of the little boy pictured above. Yet we are led to believe the threat of Islam on God fearing western populations is at hand? Go figure.
Thank God for the US Constitution which sets a 2 term limit for the office of President because I really think there are enough people so anesthetized to violations of the law that they would elect Bush to a third term in order to satisfy the blood lust currently going on in the social psyche. Thank God too for Bush’s moments of candor, where he admits to waterboarding and claims he would do it again, which should seal his fate and make him a convicted war criminal. What’s sad about a grown man with the experiences he has had making false assertions about how this one violation of international law, rather of law that we the American government instituted during the Reagan administration, could save lives is that he is lying.
Throughout the heated debate about waterboarding it was pointed out again and again that (a) it’s illegal and the Congress of the United States codified it and (b) there was never any actionable intelligence that resulted from the practice against anyone! Yet there are still people who dismiss the former, we wrapped the term ‘waterboarding’ into a more pleasant sounding euphemism, ‘enhanced interrogation’ to get out of admitting to an illegal act, and erroneously tout the latter about all the lives saved when we finally tortured the information from harden criminals. Why are they purposefully lying? Even more importantly, and this leaves a very dark stain on the Obama administration, why hasn’t Bush been prosecuted for violating that law which explicitly states
The State Party in the territory under whose jurisdiction a person alleged to have committed any offence referred to in article 4 is found shall in the cases contemplated in article 5, if it does not extradite him, submit the case to its competent authorities for the purpose of prosecution.
These authorities shall take their decision in the same manner as in the case of any ordinary offence of a serious nature under the law of that State. In the cases referred to in article 5, paragraph 2, the standards of evidence required for prosecution and conviction shall in no way be less stringent than those which apply in the eases referred to in article 5, paragraph 1.
Therefore we are obliged to prosecute members of the former administration for their illegal acts of torture and the fact that is not even on the table, or up for discussion, means America continues to go down the road of not respecting its own law or laws it enters into with other nations. In other words we have become lawless, and GWBush feels quite comfortable propagating his false bravado even though it is illegal because no longer feel it binding to follow the rule of law. There is no distinction between us and the enemy we claim to fight.
People all over the world are entitled to their opinion about the state of Israel but when these opinions are those of dissent to what the state is doing Israel has decided to ban such people terrorists. With that name affixed to yours or the group to which you identify, Israel considers it a very real possibility you are a threat to their existence and liable to face preemptive action or even death. As a result the alternative rock group Pixies had better watch out the state of Israeli might very well target them.
In what I consider the ‘mother of all ironies’, the Israeli promoter for the bands appearance, which the band cancelled in protest of the murder of people on a relief convoy to Gaza, said
“I am full of both sorrow and pain in light of the fact that our repeated attempts to present quality acts and festivals in Israel have increasingly been falling victim to what I can only describe as a form of cultural terrorism which is targeting Israel and the arts worldwide,” he wrote.
“Fans cannot be punished for the deeds of their governments.”
Two things about what monsieur Shuki Weiss, the author of the above quote, said. The most onerous is his equating a group’s right for them to choose who they want to associate with to a term that has become synonymous to death and destruction, when most likely the reason for the Pixies cancellation was to protest against death and destruction of the Jewish state. The second point to be made is Weiss’ assertion that fans, read people, shouldn’t be punished for the actions of their government is probably something everyone in the Gaza strip is saying and has been saying since the Israeli blockade of that country.
Israel has claimed for itself ‘victim’ status which means anyone who offers any opposition to the State’s policies and/or its actions is considered a terrorist in the eyes of the Israeli establishment. While the old saying ‘sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me’ used to have meaning, now the tag of terrorism means extra judicial action might be taken against such people in ways only that State can decide. To make that point clear, here is another ominous quote from the same article
“The Israeli authorities must do what they can to fight against those who are doing everything they can to prevent artists from performing in Israel,” she (Moran Paz, a spokeswoman) said, without elaborating.
If the Pixies were to join a caravan seeking to give aid to Gazans, they most likely would be singled out for targeted assassination as were the people on the Turkish convey earlier last week.
The Pixies as well as Elvis Costello are entertainers who have decided to take a courageous stand against murder and the complete disregard for the rule of law which the Israelis have embraced for quite some time. Usually there is nothing wrong with such protest; Americans have the right to associate with whomever they want as well as the right to protest and the right to free speech. Unfortunately the Israelis don’t see things that way so they heap upon such people who dissent perhaps the ugliest and most incendiary term, terrorist, they can which means absent bowing and scraping before the altar of Israeli power in any act of penitence, such people are doomed to failure or worse, death. If nothing else the events over the last week have proven that to be true. But it is extreme chutzpah for someone to self-righteously declare that people shouldn’t be held accountable for what their government does, when that is exactly what the State of Israel is doing to the people of Gaza. Monsieur Weiss’ protestation would have more impact if he at first voted for people in Israel who would end the blockade (Miscellany101 wonders if such politicians exist in that country) or joined the next aid caravan headed for the strip. Absent those two actions, Weiss’ statements are hypocritical at best and inflammatory at worse but he is as entitled to them as The Pixies are to boycotting or refusing to play in Israel because of its high crimes. In fact, The Pixies are doing the state a favor by opposing Israel’s actions because they refuse to be enablers of a country that is headed to self-destruction. If it, Israel, takes just a minute or two to reflect on what it is that drove The Pixies to their decision, perhaps the state will change course. But who are we kidding…….Israel is inextricably headed towards international condemnation and perhaps war because of its racist policies which they seem to cling to more passionately than the religion they say is the reason for their occupation. So a hat tip to The Pixies for their telling truth to power. I wish I could shake their hands…..all of them.
It has been very revealing watching members of the Right deny the responsibility of their ideology for two tragic murders that have recently occured which captured the attention of the Nation. First came the cold blooded slaughter of an abortionist, Dr. George Tiller in Wichita, Kansas followed up shortly by the brutal killing of a security guard at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC of all places.
Dr. Tiller’s death is troubling because he had been the target of anti-abortionists’ rage before and even the person charged with his murder had been known to stalk and even vandalize the clinic where Tiller worked in the days preceeding his death. Several people in the clinic have gone on record saying they knew about Scott Roeder’s attempts at disrupting the operation of the clinic and notified the proper authorities yet nothing was done to apprehend Roeder and possibly prevent Dr. Tiller’s death. Such ineptness on the park of the federal beaucracy does not mean that even more layers of government are necessary to protect the citizens but rather irresponsible civil servants need to be replaced with more diligent and efficient ones.
The death of Stephen Jones at the National Holocaust Museum at the hands of a white supremacist is a tragedy underscored by the fact this murderer had a long history, easily documented that could possibly point to such a heinious crime being committed by his hand, age notwithstanding, yet he very easily walked down a metropolitan city street with a .22 caliber rifle and shot and killed an armed federal agent. The reason why I mention again both of these crimes is because of the contortions those on the right are taking to distance their ideology from these two men who claimed to hold that ideology near and dear to them. Political pundits are taking great lengths to say that these murderes aren’t from the right at all but rather from the left of the political spectrum, despite the fact they, the perpetrators clearly identify with the Right. Punditry has managed to make actions a mark of political persuasion and not words and have told their admirers that death and killing are marks of the political left, terrorism marks of Muslims, while the opposition the Right makes to anything is noble and necessary to save America from its enemies.
This was the kind of meme advanced by Dick Cheney, more recently, and the entire Bush administration before which reduced all argument to ‘with us or against us’ sloganeering. In that small universe built by the likes of the triumphant Right there was nothing that we did to those ‘against us’ that could be considered illegal or immoral behavior. The concept of “exceptionalism” had been developed to the point that meant even the boundaries of legality didn’t apply to us or we made every attempt to legalize illegal behavior in order to legitimize our unlawful actions. It was a vicious circle we continue to traverse by denying the rational of these latest criminals for their criminal behavior.
News accounts and political pundits have taken great pains to classify these murderers as lone gunmen who are completely separate and detached from the environment which they have enveloped themselves. By doing so they hope to further distance themselves from the effect their rhetoric has on the people who listen to and subscribe to it.
In our system of law as it pertains to capital crimes unless there is a conspiracy there is no guilt by association. Conversely there is also no innocence by association. Christian leaders and conservative citizens in general have jumped at the chance to label Mr. Roeder a vigilante, a monster and things far worse.
Regrettably this tactic is only applied to members of the right who spent an entire two terms of a right leaning Republican administration to paint with the broadest of brushes entire groups of people based on the actions of individual(s). This has been a common practice of demagoguery; the politics of the many condensed into the actions of the lone individual. Cries of bombing the institutions that are symbolic of political ideology have given way to the absolute negation of ideology and their import on an individual’s actions. Murderers on the right have suddenly appeared on our political landscape and killed their perceived foes because they were inherently defective and acting completely on their own, while the last eights years of a Republican administration were spent literally trying to root out whole communities of conspirators who lurked in every corner of our country waiting for a chance to reap their collective death and destruction at the earliest possible moment on an unsuspecting public that need the invasive protection of a government bureaucracy.
Finally the absence in many cases of condemnation from the progenitors of rightist motivation for such murderous tendencies is another characteristic of the sudden revisionism going on in Obama’s America. During the Bush years people were always challenged to condemn the acts of coreligionist or fellow ideologues, today’s America sees there is no need for condemnation because such acts rarely accomplish anything and not worth the time spent doing so.
Condemning Roeder doesn’t add anything to the pro-life cause. Pro-abortionists are always quick to remind the Christians of Christ’s rule of not judging or condemning. Why add fuel to the fire by condemning Mr. Roeder, isn’t it just a matter of six of one and a half dozen of the other? Both Tiller and Roeder have One that will be their final judge and he is neither hot under the collar, biased or partial. Why don’t we leave all that to Him?
In many ways such ideas mirror the current glossing over done by the Obama administration vis-a-vis Bush Administration crimes of torture and violations of the US constitution and are entirely motivated by groups’ needs to absolve themselves of responsibilty for actions of the past or the future.
Their leader, Shaitan Bin Iblis, trained these groups to destroy the muslim community. The plan is to enter the masjid disguised as Muslims and to work from within to discourage, disrupt, and destroy.
However, there have been reports of a sixth group. A tiny cell known by the name Bin Prayin’ is actually the only effective counter terrorism force in the masjid. Unlike other terrorist cells, the Bin Prayin’ team does not blend in with whoever and whatever comes along.
Bin Prayin’ does whatever is needed to uplift and encourage the muslim community. We have noticed that the Bin Prayin’ cell group has different characteristics than the others. They have Bin Workin’, Bin Studyin’, Bin Fastin’, Bin Givin’ and Bin Patiently Perseverin’ in the cause of Allah!
NO MASJID IS EXEMPT!
The Sun newspaper in England ran a story with a photo given to it by one of the local British rednecks/islamophobes of a British bus driver praying in the bus he drove. The article stated quite clearly the driver had forced everyone off his bus and inconvenienced them so that he could pray. Turns out it was all a lie and it seems The Sun newspaper makes a hobby of lying and inciting public passions against Muslim residents of the UK.
Here is more evidence of the Sun paper doing the same thing, entirely making up a story of supposed Muslim excess when there wasn’t anything to it. By the time the smoke clears what’s left is a public that is misinformed, angry and mistrustful of one another and an industry that has profited from lies and deception.
I wish Mr. Raulynaitis had received a lot more than the paltry sum of 30,000 pounds for the Sun’s lies. The Sun is owned by K. Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp which had revenues of 25 billion USD in 2006. I would have suggested to Mr. Raulynaitis that would be a great figure from which to start bargaining in settling his lawsuit against the Sun.
I really don’t know where to go with this, the story has such potential. There was a plot to explode a dirty bomb, bomb making material was found along with literature that explained how to assemble it and the person responsible was a member of a known subversive group. His name was James G. Cummings, of Belfast, Maine and the group he belonged to was the National Socialist Movement. Before the plot could go anywhere, Mr. Cummings was shot and killed, by of all people……….his wife, who just got fed up with the domestic abuse she endured during their married life.
Jose Padilla should now be released from jail and every member of the National Socialist Movement should be rounded up and herded to some remote island prison camp, shackled, put under sensory deprivation and forced to listen toMarvin Gaye, James Brown or the Average White Band blaring through loudspeakers continuously for months at a time because they constitute a threat to the United States and one of their own was caught red handed in an act of terrorism. And for that matter, too, perhaps we should round up every white male who looks like Mr. Cummings because they hate the president of the United States and his values and therefore by extension, us.
This would be the rhetoric applied to Muslims, yet the story of Cummings hasn’t spiked the front pages of most newspapers, let alone the muliti-colored Homeland Security fear index whose needle pegged whenever terror and Islam were mentioned in the main stream media. Just as with most of what’s “good” about America, self expunging took place with regards to Cummings and there wasn’t the need for another level of government bureaucracy to protect us from him. All it took was a law abiding citizen who had the nerve, or strength and steady hand, to shoot him and rid us of the evil he intended for the “homeland”. In fact, his wife did more to combat terrorism than George Bush did in all the 8 years of his presidency.
We know that will not be the approach of people in government. Their goal is to make us more dependent on them and fearful of them as well, even if it means pitting one group of people against another. Don’t fall for it. The laws we have absent those enacted during the Bush administration, are enough to protect us, as long as we have the courage and strength of Cummings’ wife keep a steady hand and act. Are you feeling me, President Obama?