Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Just How Low , Will Dubya and his Followers Go?

Dearest Readers, from time to time Prissy may have a guest writer to post, as her duties increase in other areas. Anonymous Soldier will be entertaining and Prissy will oversee his posts (see sidebar for more about Prissy's soldier relative).

This is the second post for today, the first got lost in cyberspace...

Hot Links

AMBRAMOFF TELLS ALL! Implicates Bush, Cheney, ect Via Patrick J Fitzgerald's blog Room Advance from Vanity Fair Magazine


Update 9: Three Students Held in Ala. Church Fires

Gov. Bob Riley said the church arsons did not appear to be "any type of conspiracy against organized religion" or the Baptist faith. With the arrests, he said, "the faith-based community can rest a little easier."

From former Senior CIA Analyst Larry Johnson- No Quarter "Let's Paint Spy Planes with U.N. Colors

Sands, in a live person-to-person interview today with Amy Goodman who is airing Democracy Now! this week from London, says the minutes show that Bush tells Blair that he has more ideas, and it is at that point Bush brings up the wholly perverse idea of using U.S. spy planes disguised as U.N. planes. (Actually, I rather doubt Bush thought up that idea on his own, and I wonder who suggested it to him. Surely not one of the White House Iraq Group (WHIG) members? It'd be amusing if someone in intel suggested it as a joke, but Bush took it seriously.)

Facts about terrorism you won't see in the news. Prissy thinks this will give us all a better understanding of exactly what terrorism is and is not. Dubya might not like the experts, but Prissy and most smart people do. U.S. Army War College

Prissy has put together some words of Wisdom from Experts in the field of terrorism: Note: Since the following was published in Law Vs. War: Competing Approaches to Fighting Terrorism(July 2005) Since that time, Dr. Pillar and Micheal German have testified against the way some national security issues by the Bush administration, including the Able Danger program. Please read more by searching for the above U.S. Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute. Prissy gives you some of the best, but the entire 25 pages was fantastic. These folks are true experts, including Ms. Shawn Boyle, who also wrote a chapter.

Michael German, FBI Agent, lawyer and FBI counter terror instructor: German has actually infiltrated domestic terrorist organizations, said this:

Three universal truths about terrorists are: First, terrorists are unhappy with the status quo; second, terrorists lack the political power to alter the status quo through legitimate, peaceful means; and finally, terrorists lack the military power to force a change. A terrorist has a very black and white worldview that divides “us,” the virtuous and pure, from “them,” the corrupt and unclean.

Terrorists see the world at a tipping point, and their goal is to devise an attack that will alter the status quo; that will throw the world into chaos, a cleansing war, a jihad.

White Supremacists’ call it RAHOWA, short for Racial Holy War. Charles Manson called it Helter-Skelter.

Whatever they call it, the terrorists believe that out of the chaos, their people will rise and dominate, either because God, or simply justice, is on their side.

In the past, acts of terrorism committed on American soil were considered a Law Enforcement problem, not a declaration of war. Dr. Paul Pillar of the CIA and a Federal Executive fellow at the Brookings Institute: Attacks in this country in the early to mid- 1970s. Both foreign and domestic terrorism was occurring.

A series of attacks by the leftist Weather Underground, which targeted police stations, corporate offices, and federal offices, including the U.S. Capital, where the group set off a bomb in a bathroom.

Assassinations of police officers in several major cities, as well as other attacks, by the Black Liberation Army

A campaign of assassinations, bank robberies, and kidnappings in California by the Symbionese Liberation Army.

Dozens of bombings and other attacks by Puerto Rican militants, carried out on the U.S. mainland as well as Puerto Rico, including the bombing in 1975 of the Fraunces Tavern in New York City.

The assassination of an Israeli colonel in Washington, DC, in 1973, an act claimed by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

A terrorist campaign by Croatian extremists in 1975 and 1976, including a bombing at the LaGuardia Airport that killed 11, the placing of a bomb in the Grand Central Station and the hijacking of a TWA jet out of New York

A car bombing in Washington, DC, in 1976 by Chilean intelligence, in which former Chilean ambassador Orlando Letelier was killed.

And a campaign of bombings in the Miami area, beginning in 1975 and including dozens of attacks, perpetrated by anti-Castro Cubans.

That’s just a partial list of the terrorism taking place in the United States during a 3 or 4-year period. Imagine anything like that taking place during the last 3 ½ years, in our current climate. Where was our “war on terrorism” then? Where were the recriminations, the finger pointing, the commissions of inquiry? Where was the 1970s version of the Patriot Act?

In conclusion, Law Vs. War, Michael German on reforms in Intel: The worst part of these reforms, though, is that they increase the government’s power to operate in secret, beyond judicial or congressional oversight, and beyond public accountability. After failing us once, the security services should be more accountable, not less.

We also need to better understand our enemy, and to do this, we need to use more efficiently the intelligence we already have. I have spent over a year and a half living undercover with right wing extremists, but despite my many requests, I was never operationally debriefed by the Domestic Terrorism Unit. I recorded hundreds of hours of conversations with real terrorists, selecting targets, planning attacks, and discussing motive and methods.

These tapes were used as evidence in public trials, but they have never been analyzed for their intelligence value. (Readers, think Sibel Edmounds-pp) If someone had bothered to listen to these tapes in the early 1990’s, they would have heard right wing extremists discuss the possibility of crashing a passenger airliner into a military installation to start a race war.

Contrary to popular opinion, from a terrorists’ perspective, 9/11 was a political disaster for the jihadist movement. The scale of the attack so horrible, the world united in solidarity with the United States to stop terrorism.

Even many jihad supporters could not accept that Muslims did something so terrible and they dreamed up conspiracy theories suggesting Israel planned the attack to frame Muslims.

In Tehran, the heart of most anti-American Muslim state, there was a spontaneous candlelight vigil in sympathy for the victims. Other Muslim countries with a history of antagonism against the US, such as Pakistan and Syria, agreed to assist us.

When diplomatic efforts failed to convince the Taliban to arrest and extradite al Qaeda criminals, the international community supported a military intervention to remove the Taliban from power and al Qaeda, “the base” of the jihadist movement, was destroyed.

But when we departed from the rule of law, both our own Constitution and our obligations under international conventions, when we antagonized and alienated the international community, we undercut our success and handed a victory to the terrorists.

What we have to realize is that this is not a struggle of ideologies; it is not Islam against Christianity or fundamentalism versus secularism. This is a battle for legitimacy, and as such, it is one that we should easily win. As an open and free society regulated by the rule of law, we offer a future of peace and prosperity that the jihadist movement does not. Its resort to terrorism is a sign of weakness, not of strength.

We need to avoid the trap of demonizing our enemies, of dividing the world between “us” and “them” as the terrorist does. As former Weather Underground member, Brian Flanagan said in a recent documentary, “if you think that you have the moral high-ground…you can do some really dreadful things.” That goes for both sides.

Respect for the rule of law, international conventions and treaty obligations will not make us weaker, it will endanger international cooperation and good will that make it impossible for extremist’s movements to prosper. I have heard commentators suggest that we are losing the propaganda battle in the Middle East, but that misses the point entirely.

The term propaganda connotes a fabrication or a spinning of facts to support one’s position, and that is exactly what we must not do. In a battle for legitimacy, honesty and accountability are the most effective ammunition. Terrorism will never go away, and free and open societies will always be especially vulnerable.

But we do not win by becoming less free and less open. Ironically, al Qaeda does not have the power to destroy the United States of America. But we do.

Quotes of the Day

Former VA Secretary Anthony Principi, a Republican, well before he was removed from office, gave all veterans the call to arms. Principi said, "History is littered with governments destabilized by masses of veterans who believed that they had been taken for fools by a society that grew rich and fat at the expense of their hardship and suffering."

He harms himself who does harm to another, and the evil plan is most harmful to the planner.--Hesiod (~800 BC), Works and Days

No man is justified in doing evil on the ground of expediency.--Theodore Roosevelt (1858 - 1919), 'The Strenuous Life,' 1900

Crime does not pay ... as well as politics.-- Alfred E. Newman

Behind every great fortune there is a crime.--Honore de Balzac (1799 - 1850)