Saturday, March 11, 2006

CAIR: Islamists Fooling The Establishment

That's the title of a new article by Daniel Pipes and Sharon Chadha, written in the Spring Middle East Quarterly.

Power Line's Scott Johnson has the story. A sampling:

*Perhaps the most obvious problem with CAIR is the fact that at least five of its employees and board members have been arrested, convicted, deported, or otherwise linked to terrorism-related charges and activities.

*CAIR has a number of links to Hamas.

*CAIR's founding personnel were closely linked to the Islamic Association of Palestine; the Islamic Association of Palestine functions as Hamas's public relations and recruitment arm in the United States.

*CAIR encourages law enforcement in its work -- so long as it does not involve counterterrorism.

*CAIR discourages Americans from improving their counterterrorism skills.

*CAIR has consistently shown itself to be on the wrong side of the war on terrorism, protecting, defending, and supporting both accused and even convicted radical Islamic terrorists.

Any time a major American organization is mysteriously embedded with terrorists and does the things that CAIR does, it is a very serious issue. The implications of this article are uncompromising, and anyone who can should read the entire piece.

Friday, March 10, 2006

The NCAA Tourney Terror Threat

The FBI has issued a warning of a possible terrorist attack to sports arenas hosting events this month:
WASHINGTON - The FBI said Friday there is no specific, credible threat of a terror attack aimed at college basketball arenas or other sports stadiums, but acknowledged alerting law enforcement to a recent Internet posting discussing such attacks.

The FBI and Homeland Security Department distributed an intelligence bulletin Friday to state and local law enforcement nationwide describing the online threat against sporting venues, said Special Agent Richard Kolko, an FBI spokesman in Washington.

"We have absolutely no credible intelligence or threats pertaining to this issue," Kolko said.

As Kolko later put it, the FBI's statement was issued out of an "abundance of caution." There is nothing to be terribly worried about here, but the message is worth passing along at least in the amount it will cause people to be more alert.

CNN has more:
According to law enforcement sources, the Web posting advises would-be bombers to hide explosives under winter clothing, and suggests that one suicide bomber detonate a bomb inside a stadium while others detonate bombs where fans are running.

The information also suggests using "blonde or black American suicide bombers," the sources said.

Agents recommended that stadium operators review security procedures and that local law enforcement keep an eye out for suspicious activities.

U.S. Hostage Killed

American hostage Tom Fox was found murdered earlier today:

An American who was among four Christian activists kidnapped last year in Iraq has been killed, a State Department spokesman said Friday.

The FBI verified that a body found in Iraq Friday morning was that of Tom Fox, 54, of Clear Brook, Va., spokesman Noel Clay said. He said he had no information on the other three hostages.

His organization and fellow members had this to say:
Fox's organization, Christian Peacemaker Teams, said Friday, "We mourn the loss of Tom Fox, who combined a lightness of spirit, a firm opposition to all oppression, and the recognition of God in everyone."

Christian Peacemaker co-directors Doug Pritchard and Carol Rose said in a statement, "In response to Tom's passing, we ask that everyone set aside inclinations to vilify or demonize others, no matter what they have done."

"This guy was not after martyrdom by any means," said Paul Slattery, a member of the McLean, Va.-based Langley Hill Friends Meeting that Fox, a Quaker, also attended. "He actually believed in his heart that he would better them by his conviction and his beliefs and his skills, and I think largely succeeded.

Keep his family in your prayers.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

The Ports Deal Is Off

Earlier today, Dubai pulled out of the Ports Deal in order to "preserve the relationship" between the U.A.E. and the United States:
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- United Arab Emirates-owned DP World said Thursday it would transfer its operations of American ports to a U.S. "entity" after congressional leaders reportedly told President Bush that the firm's takeover deal was essentially dead on Capitol Hill.

"Because of the strong relationship between the United Arab Emirates and the United States and to preserve that relationship ... DP World will transfer fully the U.S. operations of P&O Operations North America to a United States entity," Edward H. Bilkey, DP World's chief operating officer, said in a statement.

The announcement did not specify which U.S. company would be involved.

Here's what Sen. John Warner had to say about the announcement on the Senate floor:
SEN. JOHN WARNER (R), VIRGINIA: ... that what I had to say might bear on your remarks. Mr. President, I have had the opportunity to work very closely with the White House and the administration, with our distinguished leader, Bill Frist, and others in the Senate, several of the senators, on this question. And I've had the opportunity to meet and work with representatives of the DP World company, who came to the United States for the purposes of really acknowledging to the world the importance of this contract and their perspective.

I shall not recount the events that have occurred here in the last few days, but i've just been contacted by Edward Bilkey, chief operating officer of DP World, and in an effort to get this message to all interested parties as quickly as possible, I indicated a willingness to read a press release that is now being issued by DP World and Edward Bilkey.

It reads as follows, "Because of the strong relationship between the United Arab Emirates and the United States, and to preserve that relationship, DP World has decided to transfer fully the U.S. operation of P&O Ports North America to a United States entity. This decision is based on an understanding that DP World will have time to effect the transfer in an orderly fashion, and that DP World will not suffer economic loss. We look forward to working with the Department of Treasury to implement this decision." End statement.

His highness Shaikh Mohammed Al Maktoum, prime minister of UAE, has advised the company that in the interest of the UAE, the nation, and the United States, that this action is the appropriate course to take in the future.

This move saves us the confrontation between the President and Congress and the potential of an embarrassing veto override by the latter. Bush has sufficiently saved face, and I suspect that --as we saw with the Miers nomination-- in a few weeks the Dubai Ports Deal will be ancient history.

I tend to agree with Rick Moran, who is dead on in his analysis:
I would still like to see hearings on other foreign owned companies who manage our ports and other transportation nexus. These are a particularly vulnerable part of our overall security profile and what this deal proved is that no one appears to be thinking very hard about them.

I sincerely hope that the UAE isn’t offended by the pressure that was put on them, although, when a country is owned by one man, it becomes very hard to separate the business from the personal. Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum may feel that he’s been double crossed but he shouldn’t blame the Congress or the American people. The blame is ultimately the Presidents’ to shoulder as are our other problems with border control and gaps in security at our airports.

If the killing of this deal has opened the eyes of the President and his people to the concerns of Congress and many conservatives, then it just may have a silver lining. They can go a long way toward proving that they’re listening by working with Congress on an immigration reform package that puts security over commerce and the safety of the American people over the wallets of the members of the Chambers of Commerce.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Why We Spy

It's been awhile since I've commented on the NSA's terrorist intercept program, mainly because, along with the rest of the blogosphere (and especially John Hinderaker of Power Line), I've addressed most of the major issues regarding the program.

The bottom line, it's legal. The president has the authority to conduct surveillance under his Article II powers of the Constitution, and the judicial precedent set forth in Hamdi, Truong, and In Re: Sealed override the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, allowing the feds to circumvent the FISA courts.

But Ed Morrissey renews my interest in the program, and points us to an ABC News Report that reminds us why we spy:

The number 050-520-9905 is what several of the 9/11 hijackers dialed to establish contact with Mustafa al Hawsawi, a senior al Qaeda member in the United Arab Emirates.

Prosecutors said today that Hawsawi was one of the key financial contributors and travel coordinators for several of the 9/11 hijackers, and that the 9/11 investigation shows that Mohammed Atta was in regular contact with him in the weeks before the attack.

In laying out for the jury the specifics of how the 9/11 plot was hatched, prosecutors showed the jury a series of money transfer orders and records of calls to Hawsawi from Mohammed Atta, which he made using an AT&T calling card.

Restricting counter-terrorism intelligence by forcing it to fit in with criminal domestic laws and the FISA provisions will ultimately make such intelligence efforts useless.

But even if we recognize this fact, The New York Times has still done a great damage to the NSA's intercept program. With the program's existence now common knowledge, terrorists will likely choose alternate methods through which they can initiate their terror plots and their fellow terrorists.

The Avian Flu Claims Another Human Victim

As the Avian Bird Flu continues to spread west across Europe, it seems ever likelier that the United States will inevitably face the virus.

This appears especially probable given the recent deaths in China and infection in Germany:

A German minister claimed that deadly bird flu was moving closer to infecting humans in Europe after two more cats died of the virus, while China reported its 10th human fatality.

And Albania became the latest European country to report an outbreak of the highly pathogenic H5N1 bird flu strain, as international veterinary experts warned that the United States, Canada and Australia will probably not escape the ever-spreading disease.

China said on Wednesday that a nine-year-old girl had become the 10th person to die from bird flu, bringing the global death toll since 2003 to 96.

In Germany, Agriculture Minister Horst Seehofer said late on Tuesday the discovery of the dead cats a week after the first feline infection in Germany signalled a heightened risk of infection for humans.

"This means that the virus is not confined to a single case of a mammal but has spread to several cases. Therefore, bird flu has clearly moved closer to humans."

The administration has issued a number of warnings to state and local governements, and it remains up to these branches of government be adequately prepared for the arrival of the H5N1 virus.

Iran Threatens The United States...

with "harm and pain."

Now imagine, that they are allowed to acquire nuclear weapons. Anybody uncomfortable about that?

Perhaps this explains why Israel is preparing to take action when the U.N. doesn't.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Cheney Warns Iran

Today as the 35-nation International Atomic Energy Agency governing board was meeting in Vienna to decide its next move with Iran, Vice President Cheney reaffirmed that the United States would not allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Iran will not be allowed to have nuclear weapons and faces "meaningful consequences" if it persists in defying the international community, Vice President Dick Cheney said on Tuesday.

Cheney, speaking to the pro-Israel lobbying group AIPAC, also reaffirmed that the United States was keeping all options on the table -- including military force -- in its determination to prevent Iran from developing nuclear arms.

"The Iranian regime needs to know that if it stays on its present course the international community is prepared to impose meaningful consequences," Cheney said...

"For our part, the United States is keeping all options on the table. ... We will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon," Cheney said.

The military option must remain a viable option for the United States, because the international community has shown itself to unreliable in these types of pressure situations. Empty threats and warnings will do nothing to stop a man who denies the holocaust and wants Jewish people to be wiped off the earth.

I hope the IAEA comes out of its meeting today with the intention of administering sanctions against Iran, so that the international community is at least sending some sort of a real message. Regardless of what the decision is, the United States must be prepared to pursue military action against Iran if President Ahmadinejad and his government continue to pursue nuclear weapons.

Monday, March 06, 2006


That was the margin by which the SCOTUS upheld the Solomon Amendment. You can read the opinion here.

The guys at Power Line have been covering the story since the beginning, and they offer more commentary now as the case ends.

This decision does not surprise me in the least. Besides the appeal from common sense, this case is governed by a number of controlling cases that allow the federal governemnt to condition the money it grants states and their institutions. But I'll leave the technical explanations to those who are more qualified than myself.

More On The UNC Crash

Mary Katherine Ham has been updating regularly on the situation in Raleigh, and in doing so, came across this:

UPDATE: Fox News just ran video of the suspect being taken to court. Along the way, reporters were shouting questions at him.

Reporter: Were you trying to kill people? Taheri-azar: Yes.

UPDATE 2: Taheri-azar is going to be representing himself at trial with the help of Allah, he said in a hearing today.

Fox is reporting that Taheri-azar's also said this at his hearing.

A University of North Carolina graduate from Iran, accused of running down nine people on campus to avenge the treatment of Muslims, said at a hearing Monday that he was "thankful for the opportunity to spread the will of Allah."

If anything, Taheri-azar's conviction seems to be uncompromising. It will be interesting to see as this case develops how such a bright individual could become so disillusioned that he attempted to kill innocent college students with an SUV.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

MSM Selective Reporting

The MSM loves to selecitvely quote people of opposing viewpoints. Doing so allows the major media outlets to fake support for their message.

But when the MSM starts misusing statements from our military commanders in order to avoid or downplay the successes of the war, I tend to get quite upset.

As a result, I feel the need to pass along this from The Mudville Gazette:

In a recent press briefing General George Casey (the commander of Multinational Forces in Iraq) countered virtually every inflated claim made by the media regarding Iraq's recent "civil war" in the wake of the Shrine bombing in Samarra. But there are significant disconnects between what Gen Casey said and how his words are reported...

The media is free to dispute the General's claims - that's expected of them. But in this case they aren't, they are simply using his words selectively in a manner that supports their own previously published fictions. There's no law that says U.S. media outlets are required to report accurately or completely on comments made by military or government officials. Likewise there are no requirements for media outlets to acknowledge that they are printing unverified claims made by "other parties" in the war as confirmed "news" - as was the case in the aftermath of the Shrine bombing (See here and here). But consumers of those reports should be aware of their flaws.

If it weren't for reliable milblogs like The Mudville Gazette, I'm not too certain that some of these misrepresentations wouldn't go unnoticed.

I recommend you read the entire post. (HT: Instapundit)