February 22, 2012
By David Swanson
“Here is a great ‘tongue in cheek’ list of just how crazy the US would be if they attacked Iran. This shows just how absurd it all really is. Click the link below for the full list.” –KTRN
1. Iran has threatened to fight back if attacked, and that’s a war crime. War crimes must be punished.
2. My television says Iran has nukes. I’m sure it’s true this time. Just like with North Korea. I’m sure they’re next. We only bomb places that really truly have nukes and are in the Axis of Evil. Except Iraq, which was different.
3. Iraq didn’t go so badly. Considering how lousy its government is, the place is better off with so many people having left or died. Really, that one couldn’t have worked out better if we’d planned it.
4. When we threaten to cut off Iran’s oil, Iran threatens to cut off Iran’s oil, which is absolutely intolerable. What would we do without that oil? And what good is buying it if they want to sell it?
5. Iran was secretly behind 9-11. I read it online. And if it wasn’t, that’s worse. Iran hasn’t attacked another nation in centuries, which means its next attack is guaranteed to be coming very soon.
January 16, 2012
A report that Iran is about a year away from having the capability to build a nuclear bomb may be too optimistic, contended John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
“I worry the publicly available information is giving only a very small picture and that Iran is actually even much further along,” Bolton said today in a radio interview.
Bolton was on “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio” on New York’s WABC Radio. The former ambassador was asked about a statement from a former head of U.N. nuclear inspections claiming Iran is now just a year or so away from having enough enriched uranium to assemble a nuclear bomb.
Olli Heinonen wrote in an article published earlier this week that Iran made this advancement after switching production of its higher-grade enriched uranium to a new, underground site.
Reacting to the one-year timeline, Bolton stated, “I think it can be even less than that.”
October 20, 2011
NewsChannel 5 WTVF
By Adam Ghassemi
You’re probably used to seeing TSA’s signature blue uniforms at the airport, but now agents are hitting the interstates to fight terrorism with Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR).
“Where is a terrorist more apt to be found? Not these days on an airplane more likely on the interstate,” said Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons.
Tuesday Tennessee was first to deploy VIPR simultaneously at five weigh stations and two bus stations across the state.
Agents are recruiting truck drivers, like Rudy Gonzales, into the First Observer Highway Security Program to say something if they see something.
“Not only truck drivers, but cars, everybody should be aware of what’s going on, on the road,” said Gonzales.
It’s all meant to urge every driver to call authorities if they see something suspicious.
“Somebody sees something somewhere and we want them to be responsible citizens, report that and let us work it through our processes to abet the concern that they had when they saw something suspicious,” said Paul Armes, TSA Federal Security Director for Nashville International Airport.
The Tennessee Highway Patrol checked trucks with drug and bomb sniffing dogs during random inspections.
“The bottom line is this: if you see something suspicious say something about it,” Gibbons said Tuesday.
The random inspections really aren’t any more thorough normal, according to Tennessee Highway Patrol Colonel Tracy Trott who says paying attention to details can make a difference. Trott pointed out it was an Oklahoma state trooper who stopped Timothy McVeigh for not having a license plate after the Oklahoma City bombing in the early 1990s.
Tuesday’s statewide “VIPR” operation isn’t in response to any particular threat, according to officials.
Armes said intelligence indicates law enforcement should focus on the highways as well as the airports.
Today, Kevin gives you his take on the Norwegian tragedy and how the media isn’t giving you all the accurate details. Plus, get Kevin’s predictions about where the economy is going and the indications that inflation is coming in a huge way!
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February 28th, 2011
Wall Street Journal
By: Evan Perez
Federal agents charged a Saudi student in Texas with attempting to construct improvised explosives and compiling a list of possible targets, including the home of former President George W. Bush.
Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, 20 years old, was arrested and charged in a federal criminal complaint with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction. Mr. Aldawsari is in the U.S. on a 2008 student visa and is enrolled at South Plains College, near Lubbock, Texas.
Federal Bureau of Investigation agents have scrambled in recent weeks to determine whether Mr. Aldawsari has links to international terrorist groups and have found none, according to U.S. officials. Mr. Aldawsari is set to appear in federal court in Lubbock on Friday and faces up to life in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.
Attempts to contact Mr. Aldawsari’s attorney weren’t successful.
The FBI alleges that electronic surveillance and searches of Mr. Aldawsari’s apartment turned up Internet blog postings and a personal journal that expressed his desire for jihad and martyrdom.
An FBI affidavit filed in federal court says the investigation began Feb. 1 after a North Carolina company alerted law enforcement about suspicious purchases of the chemical phenol. The FBI says phenol has common legitimate uses but can be used to make trinitrophenol, an explosive also known as picric acid.
After the company’s shipping restrictions for the chemical thwarted the purchase, Mr. Aldawsari bought the chemical and other ingredients—including wiring, clocks and lab equipment to help make explosives—from other sources, including Amazon.com, according to the FBI affidavit.
In recent years, jihadi websites and articles published in the Yemeni al Qaeda affiliate’s magazine have urged Muslims living in Western countries to build improvised explosives from substances easily found in anyone’s kitchen. It isn’t clear whether Mr. Aldawsari viewed those websites.
Federal authorities have developed tripwires in the private sector that could alert them to terrorism suspects who are seeking to buy ingredients for explosives. For instance, companies that sell chemicals often used in hair products are required to maintain records and report suspicious customer purchases.
James T. Jacks, the U.S. attorney in Dallas, credited the information supplied by the public with thwarting Mr. Aldawsari.
Mr. Aldawsari’s alleged plot was derailed in part by what appear to be his own missteps. According to the FBI, he sent himself bomb recipes through email accounts that were monitored by investigators. He also allegedly maintained a personal journal, which FBI agents copied during searches of his apartment.
The criminal complaint alleges that Mr. Aldawsari emailed himself a list of possible targets for attack, including the Dallas address of former President Bush, reservoirs and dams in Colorado and California, nuclear-power plants and Dallas nightclubs.
Mr. Aldawsari also researched realistic-looking baby dolls, which the FBI alleges he considered using to hide explosives.
In one journal entry, the suspect said the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks produced a “big change” in his thinking and that he was inspired by Osama bin Laden, according to the FBI.
Another journal entry cited by the FBI is alleged to read in Arabic: “I excelled in my studies in high school in order to take advantage of an opportunity for a scholarship to America, offered by the [Saudi] government and its companies….Now, after mastering the English language, learning how to build explosives, and continuous planning to target the infidel Americans, it is time for jihad.”
January 6th, 2011
By: Mike Adams
If you carry bagels or other food items with you on an airplane these days, you’d better paint them red white and blue just to make sure all the passengers around you know you’re truly an American. Otherwise, they just might turn you in. In yet another case of air passengers turning into in-flight SS troops, a Florida professor was arrested, handcuffed and removed from a plane when his fellow passengers reported he had a “suspicious-looking bag” in his hands.
The contents of that suspicious-looking bag turned out to be a bagel with cream cheese, a set of keys and a hat.
But in America’s ultra-paranoid environment where the U.S. government actually encourages people to spy on each other, apparently just about anything can set off the suspicions of the citizens’ secret police. Maybe you talk funny, or walk funny or just look funny. Maybe your skin isn’t white. Maybe you speak with some sort of foreign accent which, as all Americans already know, means you must be a terrorist.
Perhaps you pay with cash instead of a credit card. What? Only a terrorist would carry cash! Or maybe you are just “suspiciously minding your own business” and not chatting it up with all the other people around you. That makes you a potential terrorist, too, didn’t you know?
I can’t wait to see how quickly I’ll be arrested on my next flight. I bring superfood powders and a Blender Bottle with that springy metal mixer inside. So during the flight, I’m sitting there mixing water and powders like some sort of mad chemist. Some nutritional noob sitting nearby would no doubt have no clue what was really going on and probably call the flight attendant to report, in secretive tones, “There’s a strange man sitting over there mixing up a bomb!”
And that’s all it would take. The FBI’s anti-terrorism unit would be called out, the plane would be diverted to the nearest landing strip, the on-board Air Marshall would pull a gun on me, and I’d be arrested upon landing, then interrogated for 48 hours under the U.S. Patriot Act (no more Bill of Rights, see?) for the mere act of drinking superfoods on a flight.
Obama becomes Bush
This is no exaggeration, by the way. The paranoia has reached precisely such a level on airplanes crossing the skies of America today. This is all due to government-sponsored paranoia and the idea that people should all spy on each other. Just today, the Obama administration, which was elected primarily to oppose the secret prisons and fear-mongering of the Bush administration, has now announced that federal agencies should all spy on their employees to prevent future Wikileaks incidents.
Now, the mere act of not being a “happy” federal employee makes you a suspicious target for being spied on, too. This just gets more and more like 1984 all the time, doesn’t it?
Be sure to watch my “report suspicious behavior at Wal-Mart” video.
Oh, and don’t bring a bagel on any flights. Your average corn-fed American thinks a bagel is “foreign food” and it immediately raises red flags that you might be a terrorist. Same story with hummous. Actually, hummous is even more suspicious and can earn you a trip to Guantanamo Bay just for mentioning it, because your typical TSA moron can’t differentiate between “hummous” and “Hamas.” They think “hummous” is a terrorist group.
The whole thing is so sadly laughable. Instead of addressing the real threats to America (such as the Federal Reserve and the FDA), the U.S. government turns the citizenry into a network of secret spies who now accuse each other of being terrorists for things like going to the bathroom too many times during a flight. (I drank some watermelon juice, okay?)
If you really want to protect the safety of the American people, just dismantle the FDA and end the government-protected monopolies for Big Pharma and conventional medicine. You would save upwards of several hundred thousand lives a year just from the decrease in deaths caused by the medical industry.
Big Pharma’s FDA-approved drugs, just by themselves, kill roughly 30 times the number of Americans killed in 9/11 — every year! That’s why the FDA is far more dangerous than any terrorism group.
In fact, the most suspicious person on an airplane these days should be a drug company CEO. There’s a terrorist if I ever saw one. Someone call 911.
November 18th, 2010
By: Fran Golden
When you ask a friend to join you for a nice weekend cruise from Miami, you don’t expect the friend to be hauled away by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents into a private room where she says she was practically strip-searched. But that’s what happened at Logan International Airport in Boston.
I breezed through security, taking off my shoes, putting my stuff on the belt and walking through the traditional metal detector machine. The process took less than five minutes.
Then I looked over to the adjacent security line and saw to my horror my red-faced friend questioning TSA officers after she was chosen at random for, and refused to go through, a full body scanner.
My pal happens to be a Boston media personality and crime reporter, Michele McPhee. She is not a shy lady. When this tough blond makes up her mind she makes up her mind. There was no way she was going to be convinced to do a body scan if she didn’t want to.
So instead, she opted for a pat down and was whisked away, barefoot, by two women – a TSA officer and her supervisor – to a private room, where McPhee says a very intrusive body search was conducted.
“They run their hands inside your leg and under your bra strap and patted the front of my breasts,” she says. “If someone had done that to me at a nightclub I’d call the cops.”
McPhee says the officers were “nice and apologetic” and seemed to feel bad they couldn’t give her her shoes back until after the search, especially when she pointed out how dirty the floor of the terminal was. The whole process took about 15 minutes.
So why did she reject the full body scan? McPhee says her big issue is privacy when it comes to the images that are taken.
“I have questions about privacy. I don’t really trust the TSA to keep these things private,” she says.
McPhee says she’d also like to know who profits from the proliferation of the body scanner machines the TSA is rolling out.
With some grass roots groups calling for a boycott of full body scanners on Nov. 24, the day before Thanksgiving and one of the busiest travel days of the year, McPhee says she’s all for it if it shakes things up.
“People need to know why we need body scanners,” she says. “The humiliation of walking across a crowded, dirty terminal in bare feet, escorted by two TSA agents, dragged into a room and essentially assaulted, I really did leave mad.”
The TSA maintains both pat downs and full body scans are designed to find dangerous items such as explosives and bomb parts that can be concealed on the body.
Coming back from Florida, at the airport in Fort Lauderdale, neither of us was asked to go through a body scanner or given a pat down.
November 17th, 2010
By: Joe Newby
Imagine taking your family to the airport and watching as Federal agents terrorize your 3-year-old child.
That is exactly what happened to little Mandy Simon.
She was first forced to surrender her teddy bear, and ended up getting flagged for further screening.
As the girl’s mother held her, the TSA agent scanned her with a wand, and then proceeded to give the girl a more thorough search. As the screener searched her, the frightened girl screamed for the agent to stop touching her.
The girl’s father, Steve Simon, works as a reporter for CW-39 from Houston, Texas, and managed to capture the encounter on his cell phone camera.
In the video, the girl is clearly traumatized as the TSA screener attempts to search her.
But the question remains – what is the TSA doing screening toddlers like this? Do they honestly think the little girl is concealing a bomb in her stuffed toy?
Terrorists have been known to use children in places like Iraq, but Houston does not have a history of bomb-wielding toddlers.
The TSA is charged with providing security on our airlines, but many are questioning their methods.
The Dallas Morning News reported last Monday that:
The TSA recently changed its hand-search policies. Before, the officers would use the back of their hand to check a person; now they are to use their open hand and fingers to go over one’s body, including the genital area and breasts.
Mike Cleary, President of the US Airline Pilots Association, issued a statement which read, in part:
“Let’s be perfectly clear: the TSA procedures we have outlined above are blatantly unacceptable as a long-term solution. Although an immediate solution cannot be guaranteed, I can promise you that your union will not rest until all U.S. airline pilots have a way to reach their workplace … the aircraft … without submitting ourselves to the will of a TSO behind closed doors.
“This situation has already produced a sexual molestation in alarmingly short order. Left unchecked, there’s simply no way to predict how far the TSA will overreach in searching and frisking pilots who are, ironically, mere minutes from being in the flight deck.
“As we all know, it makes no difference what a pilot has on his or her person or in their luggage, because they have control of the aircraft throughout the entire flight. The eyewash being dribbled by the TSA in this instance is embarrassingly devoid of common sense, and we will not stand for it.”
The agency is also under fire for the use of a scanner that can see through a passengers clothing. As reported by CNN Travel, passengers and pilots alike are up in arms over the scanners.
A group called National Opt Out Day is calling for travellers to opt-out of the screenings on Thanksgiving Day – traditionally the busiest flying day of the year.
After the incident with Mandy Simon, TSA officials said that screeners would undergo “sensitivity training” in order to deal with children better.
Perhaps the TSA should include a course on common sense followed by a course on the Fourth Amendment, which guards against unreasonable searches and seizures.
In the meantime, they should keep their hands off our children and our bodies and instead focus on keeping terrorists off of commercial aircraft.
May 5, 2010
by Sebastian Smith
New York officials say they could stop attacks like the attempted Times Square car bomb by expanding a controversial surveillance system so sensitive that it will pick up even suspicious behavior.
New York is already a heavily policed city, with 35,000 officers and a counterterrorism bureau — the first of its kind in the country — partnering the FBI.
But Saturday’s failed terrorist bomb in the Times Square tourist hot spot has provided the authorities with a new argument for expanding a sometimes controversial security blanket of cameras, sensors and analytical software.
The system “will greatly enhance our ability and the ability of the police to detect suspicious activity in real time, and disrupt possible attacks,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Monday.
The high-tech system, modeled on the “ring of steel” in London’s financial district, is already in service in lower Manhattan, where Wall Street and the World Trade Center reconstruction site are located.
Headquartered at 55 Broadway, the Lower Manhattan Security Initiative goes far beyond the traditional hodgepodge of police cameras, such as the 82 devices installed around Times Square.
Instead, an integrated system maintains an unblinking eye, not just watching, but constantly collecting license plate numbers and video of pedestrians and drivers, as well as detecting explosives and other weapons.
An important component of the program is coordination between the police network and private businesses’ cameras, something that has not been established in Times Square, causing detectives significant extra work.
Also, a separate, but similar program called Operation Sentinel plans to log every vehicle entering Manhattan island by scanning their license plates and checking for radiation.
Last October, Bloomberg announced plans to expand the lower Manhattan system into Midtown, including the Times Square area.
On Sunday, New York police chief Raymond Kelly reiterated the plan and used the occasion to press for more federal funding from Washington.
Kelly also gave details about the system, explaining how the aim is for “analytic software” allowing experts to make sense of raw information in real time.
For example, alarms would trigger when cameras noticed an unattended bag or a car circling a block too many times to be considered normal, Kelly said.
“This is a whole new area for us,” he told Fox News. “We’re very enthusiastic about it.”
Bloomberg said the city has budgeted “more than 110 million dollars to expanding the Lower Manhattan Security Initiative and incorporating it with the Midtown Manhattan Security Initiative.”
That large-scale, yet simultaneously detailed intelligence gathering clearly pays in some terrorism investigations.
Officials point out that acquiring the ingredients for a bomb or weapons exposes plotters to precisely the kind of surveillance New York is promoting.
Kelly noted on Fox News that Afghan immigrant Najibullah Zazi found it “very difficult to get explosives” for his plan to bomb the New York subway system. A major piece of evidence against him was security camera footage of a shopping trip for chemicals in Colorado.
Similarly, although the Times Square bomber tried to disguise the car, it was still quickly traced, providing detectives with an important lead.
But while law enforcement officials tout a brave new world of security, rights groups fear a “big brother” presence violating fundamental privacy.
The New York Civil Liberties Union has sued the Department of Homeland Security in an attempt to extract more information about the Manhattan security system and to
know how the information will be used, shared and stored.
The irony is that the lowest tech responses can sometimes best the most sophisticated gizmo.
The misfiring of a device hidden in the underpants of a Nigerian passenger and the quick reaction by others on the US-bound flight prevented potential tragedy in a December 25 attempted airliner attack.
And in Times Square, a vigilant street vendor and nearby beat cop — not a computer — raised the alert on the suspicious vehicle.
“Think about the street vendor. Think about the passengers on the flight on Christmas Day,” said Republican congressman Pete Hoekstra.
“All of these people perhaps were the difference between a major disaster and actually what happened: a failed terrorist attack.”
April 28, 2010
A top Al Qaeda leader in the Arabian peninsula region Tuesday said he trained the US major who killed 13 people at a military base as well as the Nigerian bomber who attempted to blow up a US-bound plane last year.
Anwar al-Awlaqi claimed to have trained UK-educated Nigerian Islamist Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab who attempted to blow up a jet bound for Detroit Dec 25, 2009.
He also said he was ‘proud’ to have trained radical Islamist Nidal Hassan, a US-born doctor of Palestinian descent who shot dead 13 people and wounded 30 others at the Fort Hood military base in Texas in November last year.
‘I am proud to have been their teacher,’ al-Awlaqi, who has dual Yemeni-US citizenship and was an imam of mosques in San Diego and Virginia, said in a video aired by Al-Jazeera channel.