Friday, July 22

BandAids and Bandits

Most medical professionals know that in order to cure a disease, you strike at the cause. Putting bandaids on symptoms may be comforting temporarily, but the disease always returns.

Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice is trying to apply bandaids in the Sudan. On her recent visit there demanded that the Sudanese government own up to its responsibilities and acknowledge accountability for the violence in Darfur. All this while her own security people were being hassled by the Sudanese.

Condoleezza Rice today demanded a full apology from the Sudanese President after members of her entourage were allegedly roughed up by guards at a diplomatic meeting.

Jim Wilkinson, a senior adviser to the US Secretary of State, was grabbed and thrown against a wall at the entrance to President Omar al-Bashir’s palace in the capital Khartoum.

US officials said that the security guards elbowed and pushed them, barring advisers and the press from entering the meeting by slamming closed the residence's wooden doors.

An attempt was also made to seize tapes from a National Public Radio reporter before Sean McKormack, Miss Rice's spokesman, and others intervened.


Visiting a refugee camp, Rice called the crisis in Darfur, where 180,000 have died since 2003, a "genocide," the same word Powell used in his visit. And she warned that she wants "actions, not words" from Khartoum on dealing with the situation in Darfur. The State Department has found that the Sudanese government, after promising to quell the violence in Darfur , is still paying salaries to leaders of Arab militias known as Janjaweed that continue to attack and kill black civilians.

The leverage Rice has on Khartoum are strict sanctions that, if lifted, would allow Sudan to improve its decrepit infrastructure. But, first, she says she wants to see Khartoum live up to the peace deal it signed on Darfur. On that, she must stay tough.


Meanwhile, back in the US Senate, Kansas Senator Brownback reintroduces his Darfur Peace and Accountability Act of 2005, which also calls for increased pressure on the Sudanese government.

“As tomorrow marks the one-year anniversary of Congress’ declaration of genocide in Darfur, Sudan, it is not the time to start thinking about easing sanctions or restoring certain diplomatic ties. It’s time to address the needs of the African Union and to sanction those responsible for genocide,” Brownback said.

The Darfur Peace and Accountability Act of 2005 increases pressure on Khartoum, provides greater support to the African Union mission in Darfur to help protect civilians, imposes sanctions on individuals responsible for atrocities, and encourages the appointment of a U.S. special envoy to help advance a peace process for Darfur.

Today Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visited Sudan for the first time. While momentum for international support to end this crisis has been building, the violence and humanitarian crisis continues. Rape is still being used as weapon. Some women who have become pregnant due to brutal rapes have been forced to abort their unborn babies, while other women have been imprisoned for bearing illegitimate children. In addition, the government remains prepared to raze the Kalma refugee camp, moving 120,000 people against their wishes, thus, sending them back into areas where there is no security against these rapes and killings.

In remarks prior to the G-8 summit on June 30, 2005, President Bush declared, “the violence in Darfur is clearly genocide,” and “the human cost is beyond calculation.”

Brownback applauded Senator Corzine and his colleagues in the House, including Congressmen Hyde, Tancredo, Payne, Wolf, Smith and others, who have diligently worked with him to ensure a strong piece of legislation that they hope will move quickly and be enacted so that further relief may be provided to the suffering victims.

Brownback traveled to the Darfur region of Sudan in July 2004 and issued a report with recommendations for the international community to deal with the dire human rights situation there. Brownback also authored legislation declaring the dire situation in Sudan genocide, and sponsored legislation providing $95 million in emergency humanitarian aid to the Darfur region.


The Sudanese government reminds me of a doll I had when I was a child. With the skirt pulled down in one position, the doll was white but if you turned the skirt inside-out, the doll was black.

The white doll side:
Rice acknowledged that Sudan, once a terrorism sponsor, is a far better place today than it had been for decades, or even since her predecessor, Colin Powell, visited it 13 months ago. Sudan now has an elected national unity government that has become a useful ally in the U.S. fight against global terrorism, has increased its flow of oil substantially and, above all, is consolidating the peace deal ending Africa's longest civil war. The war pitted the Arab government in Khartoum against black Christian and animist rebels in the south and cost millions of lives. Today, a former rebel leader is vice president and the new constitution protects religious and political rights for all groups.


The dark doll side:
Villagers in Mirhanda in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where UN peacekeepers have chased out the Rwandan Hutu rebels terrorising the population, said on Thursday they feared the fighters would return to their stronghold. "Before leaving, they threatened us they would return," said 16-year-old Burhendwa Kahegesha, staring at the smouldering straw huts that served as a hideout for some 900 fighters for the past three years. "I am happy that the men are gone, but they said that we were responsible for their leaving. They will come back for revenge," he said. The Rwandan Democratic Liberation Forces (FDLR) rebels, who have been hiding out in eastern DRC since the 1994 Rwandan genocide, have inflicted terror on the residents of Mirhanda for years. Living in mud houses near the rebel base, some 70 families make up Mirhanda village, some 70 kilometres (45 miles) west of Bukavu, the provincial capital of the volatile Sud Kivu region.


The Sudanese government is a Muslim government. They have supported the rebels, providing them with guns and gunship support when they ravage the villages of native Africans. Threatening them with sanctions is about as effective as threatening Saddam Hussein and we all know how that worked. Sanctions are bandages on symptoms; what the situation needs is a strike at the heart of the disease.

Thursday, July 21

ICE It -- Now, Just in Case

A campaign encouraging people to enter an emergency contact number in their mobile phone's memory under the heading "ICE" (for "In Case of Emergency"), has rapidly spread throughout the world as a particular consequence of last week's terrorist attacks in London. Originally established as a nation-wide campaign in the UK, ICE allows paramedics or police to be able to contact a designated relative / next-of-kin in an emergency situation.

The idea is the brainchild of East Anglian Ambulance Service paramedic Bob Brotchie and was launched in May this year. Bob, 41, who has been a paramedic for 13 years, said: "I was reflecting on some of the calls I've attended at the roadside where I had to look through the mobile phone contacts struggling for information on a shocked or injured person. Almost everyone carries a mobile phone now, and with ICE we'd know immediately who to contact and what number to ring. The person may even know of their medical history."

By adopting the ICE advice, your mobile will help the rescue services quickly contact a friend or relative - which could be vital in a life or death situation. It only takes a few seconds to do, and it could easily help save your life.

Why not put ICE in your phone now?

Simply select a new contact in your phone book, enter the word 'ICE' and the number of the person you wish to be contacted. For more than one contact name ICE1, ICE2, ICE3 etc.

It's so simple that everyone can do it. Please do, and please pass this on.......it may save a life.

Thursday, July 14

We the Sensible People by State Representative Mitchell Aye of GA

We the sensible people of the United States, in an attempt to help everyone get along, restore some semblance of justice, avoid more riots, keep our nation safe, promote positive behavior, and secure the blessings of debt free liberty to ourselves and our great-great-great-grandchildren, hereby try one more time to ordain and establish some common sense guidelines for the terminally whiny, guilt ridden, delusional, and other liberal bed-wetters. We hold these truths to be self evident: that a whole lot of people are confused by the Bill of Rights and are so dim they require a Bill of NON-Rights.

ARTICLE I: You do not have the right to a new car, big screen TV, or any other form of wealth. More power to you if you can legally acquire them, but no one is guaranteeing anything.

ARTICLE II: You do not have the right to never be offended. This country is based on freedom, and that means freedom for everyone -- not just you! You may leave the room, turn the channel, express a different opinion, etc.; but the world is full of idiots, and probably always will be.

ARTICLE III: You do not have the right to be free from harm. If you stick a screwdriver in your eye, learn to be more careful, do not expect the tool manufacturer to make you and all your relatives independently wealthy.

ARTICLE IV: You do not have the right to free food and housing. Americans are the most charitable people to be found and will gladly help anyone in need, but we are quickly growing weary of subsidizing generation after generation of professional couch potatoes who achieve nothing more than the creation of another generation of professional couch potatoes.

ARTICLE V: You do not have the right to free health care. That would be nice, but from the looks of public housing, we're just not interested in public health care.

ARTICLE VI: You do not have the right to physically harm other people. If you kidnap, rape, intentionally maim, or kill someone, don't be surprised if the rest of us want to see you fry in the electric chair.

ARTICLE VII: You do not have the right to the possessions of others. If you rob, cheat, or coerce away the goods or services of other citizens, don't be surprised if the rest of us get together and lock you away in a place where you still won't have the right to a big screen color TV or a life of leisure.

ARTICLE VIII: You do not have the right to a job. All of us sure want you to have a job, and will gladly help you along in hard times, but we expect you to take advantage of the opportunities of education and vocational training laid before you to make yourself useful.

ARTICLE IX: You do not have the right to happiness. Being an American means that you have the right to PURSUE happiness which, by the way, is a lot easier if you are unencumbered by an over abundance of idiotic laws created by those of you who were confused by the Bill of Rights.

ARTICLE X: This is an English speaking country. We don't care where you are from, English is our language. Learn it or go back to wherever you came from!

(lastly....)

ARTICLE XI: You do not have the right to change our country's history or heritage. This country was founded on the belief in one true God. And yet, you are given the freedom to believe in any religion, any faith, or no faith at all; with no fear of persecution. The phrase IN GOD WE TRUST is part of our heritage and history and if you are uncomfortable with it, TOUGH!!!!

Monday, July 11

Proud To Be An American

The Mainstream Media hasn't mentioned this, either. See HERE an example of what is REALLY happening in this war.

That's IT, folks. The truth that the mainstream media doesn't want us to see. They are willing to sacrifice our nation and its freedoms -- for what?

Have You Seen This In The Mainstream Media? Why Not?

This unclassified document was released by the Pentagon in late March 2005. It details the case for designating an Iraqi member of al Qaeda, currently detained in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as an "enemy combatant."

1. From 1987 to 1989, the detainee served as an infantryman in the Iraqi Army and received training on the mortar and rocket propelled grenades.
2. A Taliban recruiter in Baghdad convinced the detainee to travel to Afghanistan to join the Taliban in 1994.
3. The detainee admitted he was a member of the Taliban.
4. The detainee pledged allegiance to the supreme leader of the Taliban to help them take over all of Afghanistan.
5. The Taliban issued the detainee a Kalishnikov rifle in November 2000.
6. The detainee worked in a Taliban ammo and arms storage arsenal in Mazar-Es-Sharif organizing weapons and ammunition.
7. The detainee willingly associated with al Qaida members.
8. The detainee was a member of al Qaida.
9. An assistant to Usama Bin Ladin paid the detainee on three separate occasions between 1995 and 1997.
10. The detainee stayed at the al Farouq camp in Darwanta, Afghanistan, where he received 1,000 Rupees to continue his travels.
11. From 1997 to 1998, the detainee acted as a trusted agent for Usama Bin Ladin, executing three separate reconnaissance missions for the al Qaeda leader in Oman, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
12. In August 1998, the detainee traveled to Pakistan with a member of Iraqi Intelligence for the purpose of blowing up the Pakistan, United States and British embassies with chemical mortars.
13. Detainee was arrested by Pakistani authorities in Khudzar, Pakistan, in July 2002.

Interesting. What's more interesting: The alleged plot was to have taken place in August 1998, the same month that al Qaeda attacked two U.S. embassies in East Africa. And more interesting still: It was to have taken place in the same month that the Clinton administration publicly accused Iraq of supplying al Qaeda with chemical weapons expertise and material.

FOR MANY, the debate over the former Iraqi regime's ties to Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network ended a year ago with the release of the 9/11 Commission report. Media outlets seized on a carefully worded summary that the commission had found no evidence "indicating that Iraq cooperated with al Qaeda in developing or carrying out any attacks against the United States" and ran blaring headlines like the one on the June 17, 2004, front page of the New York Times: "Panel Finds No Qaeda-Iraq Tie."

But this was woefully imprecise (not to mention incorrect because that's not what the report said). It assumed, not unreasonably, that the 9/11 Commission's conclusion was based on a firm foundation of intelligence reporting, that the intelligence community had the type of human intelligence and other reporting that would allow senior-level analysts to draw reasonable conclusions. We know now that was not the case.

John Lehman, a 9/11 commissioner, spoke to The Weekly Standard at the time the report was released. "There may well be--and probably will be--additional intelligence coming in from interrogations and from analysis of captured records and so forth which will fill out the intelligence picture. This is not phrased as--nor meant to be--the definitive word on Iraqi Intelligence activities."

Lehman's caution was prescient. A year later, we still cannot begin to offer a "definitive" picture of the relationships entered into by Saddam Hussein's operatives, but much more has already been learned from documents uncovered after the Iraq war. The evidence we present below, compiled from revelations in recent months, suggests an acute case of denial on the part of those who dismiss the Iraq-al Qaeda relationship.

There could hardly be a clearer case--of the ongoing revelations and the ongoing denial--than in the 13 points below, reproduced verbatim from a "Summary of Evidence" prepared by the U.S. government in November 2004. This unclassified document was released by the Pentagon in late March 2005. It details the case for designating an Iraqi member of al Qaeda, currently detained in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as an "enemy combatant."

1. From 1987 to 1989, the detainee served as an infantryman in the Iraqi Army and received training on the mortar and rocket propelled grenades.
2. A Taliban recruiter in Baghdad convinced the detainee to travel to Afghanistan to join the Taliban in 1994.
3. The detainee admitted he was a member of the Taliban.
4. The detainee pledged allegiance to the supreme leader of the Taliban to help them take over all of Afghanistan.
5. The Taliban issued the detainee a Kalishnikov rifle in November 2000.
6. The detainee worked in a Taliban ammo and arms storage arsenal in Mazar-Es-Sharif organizing weapons and ammunition.
7. The detainee willingly associated with al Qaida members.
8. The detainee was a member of al Qaida.
9. An assistant to Usama Bin Ladin paid the detainee on three separate occasions between 1995 and 1997.
10. The detainee stayed at the al Farouq camp in Darwanta, Afghanistan, where he received 1,000 Rupees to continue his travels.
11. From 1997 to 1998, the detainee acted as a trusted agent for Usama Bin Ladin, executing three separate reconnaissance missions for the al Qaeda leader in Oman, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
12. In August 1998, the detainee traveled to Pakistan with a member of Iraqi Intelligence for the purpose of blowing up the Pakistan, United States and British embassies with chemical mortars.
13. Detainee was arrested by Pakistani authorities in Khudzar, Pakistan, in July 2002.

Interesting. What's more interesting: The alleged plot was to have taken place in August 1998, the same month that al Qaeda attacked two U.S. embassies in East Africa. And more interesting still: It was to have taken place in the same month that the Clinton administration publicly accused Iraq of supplying al Qaeda with chemical weapons expertise and material.

But none of this was interesting enough for any of the major television networks to cover it. Nor was it deemed sufficiently newsworthy to merit a mention in either the Washington Post or the New York Times.

The Associated Press, on the other hand, probably felt obliged to run a story, since the "Summary of Evidence" was released in response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by the AP itself. But after briefly describing the documents, the AP article downplayed its own scoop with a sentence almost as amusing as it is inane: "There is no indication the Iraqi's alleged terror-related activities were on behalf of Saddam Hussein's government, other than the brief mention of him traveling to Pakistan with a member of Iraqi intelligence." That sentence minimizing the importance of the findings was enough, apparently, to convince most newspaper editors around the country not to run the AP story.

It's possible, of course, that the evidence presented by military prosecutors is exaggerated, maybe even wrong. The evidence required to designate a detainee an "enemy combatant" is lower than the "reasonable doubt" standard of U.S. criminal prosecutions. So there is much we don't know.

Indeed, more than two years after the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein was ousted, there is much we do not know about the relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda. We do know, however, that there was one. We know about this relationship not from Bush administration assertions but from internal Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) documents recovered in Iraq after the war--documents that have been authenticated by a U.S. intelligence community long hostile to the very idea that any such relationship exists.

We know from these IIS documents that beginning in 1992 the former Iraqi regime regarded bin Laden as an Iraqi Intelligence asset. We know from IIS documents that the former Iraqi regime provided safe haven and financial support to an Iraqi who has admitted to mixing the chemicals for the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center. We know from IIS documents that Saddam Hussein agreed to Osama bin Laden's request to broadcast anti-Saudi propaganda on Iraqi state-run television. We know from IIS documents that a "trusted confidante" of bin Laden stayed for more than two weeks at a posh Baghdad hotel as the guest of the Iraqi Intelligence Service.

We have been told by Hudayfa Azzam, the son of bin Laden's longtime mentor Abdullah Azzam, that Saddam Hussein welcomed young al Qaeda members "with open arms" before the war, that they "entered Iraq in large numbers, setting up an organization to confront the occupation," and that the regime "strictly and directly" controlled their activities. We have been told by Jordan's King Abdullah that his government knew Abu Musab al Zarqawi was in Iraq before the war and requested that the former Iraqi regime deport him. We have been told by Time magazine that confidential documents from Zarqawi's group, recovered in recent raids, indicate other jihadists had joined him in Baghdad before the Hussein regime fell. We have been told by one of those jihadists that he was with Zarqawi in Baghdad before the war. We have been told by Ayad Allawi, former Iraqi prime minister and a longtime CIA source, that other Iraqi Intelligence documents indicate bin Laden's top deputy was in Iraq for a jihadist conference in September 1999.

All of this is new--information obtained since the fall of the Hussein regime. And yet critics of the Iraq war and many in the media refuse to see it. Just two weeks ago, President Bush gave a prime-time speech on Iraq. Among his key points: Iraq is a central front in the global war on terror that began on September 11. Bush spoke in very general terms. He did not mention any of this new information on Iraqi support for terrorism to make his case. That didn't matter to many journalists and critics of the war.

CNN anchor Carol Costello claimed "there is no evidence that Saddam Hussein was connected in any way to al Qaeda." The charitable explanation is ignorance. Jay Rockefeller, the West Virginia Democrat who serves as vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, knows better. Before the war he pointed to Zarqawi's presence in Iraq as a "substantial connection between Iraq and al Qaeda." And yet he, too, now insists that Saddam Hussein's regime "had nothing to do with Osama bin Laden, it had nothing to do with al Qaeda."

Such comments reveal far more about politics in America than they do about the Iraq-al Qaeda relationship.


The Mother of All Connections
From the July 18, 2005 issue: A special report on the new evidence of collaboration between Saddam Hussein's Iraq and al Qaeda.
by Stephen F. Hayes & Thomas Joscelyn
07/18/2005, Volume 010, Issue 41

Saturday, July 9

U.S. Terror Attack Coming -- Ninety Days at Most

Counterterrorism expert Juval Aviv spoke with FOX Fan Central
about what Americans can do to protect themselves in case of a terror
attack.


Q: Do you believe another terrorist attack is likely on American soil?

A: I predict, based primarily on information that is floating in Europe
and the Middle East, that an event is imminent and around the corner
here in the United States. It could happen as soon as tomorrow, or it
could happen in the next few months. Ninety days at the most.

What advice do you have for individuals that have the misfortune of
finding themselves in the middle of a terror attack?.

A: Since mass transportation is the next attack, when you travel to work have with you, a bottle of water, a small towel, and a flashlight.
What happened in London is exactly a point to look at. Those people
who were close to the bombs died, then others were injured or died
from inhaling the toxic fumes or getting trampled. The reason you
take a bottle of water and a towel is that if you wet the towel and
put it over your face, you can protect yourself against the fumes and
get yourself out of there.

Don't be bashful. If your gut feeling tells you when you walk on to a
bus there is something unusual or suspicious, get out and walk away.
You may do it 10 times for no reason, but there will be one time that
saves your life. Let your sixth sense direct you.

Try to break your routine. If you travel during rush hour everyday,
try to get up a little earlier and drive to work or take the train
when it's still not full. Don't find yourself every day in the midst
of rush hour. Terrorists are not going to waste a bomb on a half
empty train.


Q: What portion of the American infrastructure do you believe is at the
greatest risk for a terror attack?

A: We have put all of our emphasis, right or wrong, on the aviation
area. What has happened, in the last two to three years, based on
information we have, the terrorists have realized that they cannot
hijack a plane in America soon because the passengers are going to
fight back. So they realize what they have been very successful with
over the last 50 years in Madrid, London, Iraq, Israel: demoralizing
the public when they go to work and when they come back from work.

What they're going to do is hit six, seven, or eight cities
simultaneously to show sophistication and really hit the public. This
time, which is the message of the day, it will not only be big
cities. They're going to try to hit rural America. They want to send
a message to rural America: `You're not protected. If you figured out
that if you just move out of New York and move to Montana or to
Pittsburgh, you're not immune. We're going get you wherever we can
and it's easier there than in New York.'

Q: What more do you think the government can do to protect the public?

A: Number one, and this is the beef I've had with Homeland Security
for the last four years, is educating the public on how to deal with
those types of events. There's no education. We're raising the color
code alert and that means nothing to anyone. Whether it's green,
yellow, pink, no one ever educated the public how to identify
suspicious items or people. In Israel, so many of them [terrorists]
have been apprehended just because people have phoned in. We don't
have that training on campuses, schools, or kindergarten.

In Israel, it's very popular right now [amongst terrorists] to put
one device to explode and time another one for five minutes later
when it's all calm, people are getting up, and the rescue teams have
responded. You need to know all those things and think about those
things. The government must pursue that. Law enforcement will never
have enough people on the street to detect things. We don't have that
kind of manpower. That's why the government must enlist the public.



Juval Aviv is a former Israeli Counterterrorism Intelligence
Officer and President and CEO of Interfor, Inc. Mr. Aviv has also
served as a special consultant to the U.S. Congress on issues of
terrorism and security and is the author of "Staying Safe : The
Complete Guide to Protecting Yourself, Your Family, and Your
Business."

Friday, July 8

The Judge and the Shoe Bomber

When Judge William Young sentenced Richard Reid, the shoe bomber, he made a statement that should be placed beside the greatest speeches in American's history.

In the middle of it he said, "You hate our freedom. Our individual freedom. Our individual freedom to live as we choose, to come and go as we choose, to believe or not believe as we individually choose. Here, in this society, the very wind carries freedom. It carries it everywhere from sea to shining sea. It is because we prize individual freedom so much that you are here in this beautiful courtroom. So that everyone can see, truly see, that justice is administered fairly, individually, and discretely. It is for freedom's sake that your lawyers are striving so vigorously on your behalf and have filed appeals, will go on in their representation of you before other judges.

We Americans are all about freedom. Because we all know that the way we treat you, Mr. Reid, is the measure of our own liberties. Make no mistake though. It is yet true that we will bear any burden; pay any price, to preserve our freedoms. Look around this courtroom. Mark it well. . . Read the whole statement:
January 30, 2003, United States vs. Reid. Judge Young:

"Mr. Richard C. Reid, hearken now to the sentence the Court imposes upon you.

On counts 1, 5 and 6 the Court sentences you to life in prison in the custody of the United States Attorney General. On counts 2, 3, 4 and 7, the Court sentences you to 20 years in prison on each count, the sentence on each count to run consecutive with the other.

That's 80 years. On count 8 the Court sentences you to the mandatory 30 years consecutive to the 80 years just imposed. The Court imposes upon you each of the eight counts a fine of $250,000 for the aggregate fine of $2 million. The Court accepts the government's recommendation with respect to restitution and orders restitution in the amount of $298.17 to Andre Bousquet and $5,784 to American Airlines. The Court imposes upon you the $800 special assessment.

The Court imposes upon you five years supervised release simply because the law requires it. But the life sentences are real life sentences so I need go no further. This is the sentence that is provided for by our statutes. It is a fair and just sentence. It is a righteous sentence.

Let me explain this to you. We are not afraid of you or any of your terrorist co-conspirators, Mr. Reid. We are Americans. We have been through the fire before. There is all too much war talk here and I say that to everyone with the utmost respect. Here in this court, we deal with individuals as individuals and care for individuals as individuals.

As human beings, we reach out for justice.

You are not an enemy combatant. You are a terrorist. You are not a soldier in any war. You are a terrorist. To give you that reference, to call you a soldier, gives you far too much stature. Whether it is the officers of government who do it or your attorney who does it, or if you think you are a soldier. You are not----- you are a terrorist. And we do not negotiate with terrorists. We do not meet with terrorists. We do not sign documents with terrorists. We hunt them down one by one and bring them to justice.

So war talk is way out of line in this court. You are a big fellow. But you are not that big. You're no warrior. I've know warriors.

You are a terrorist. A species of criminal that is guilty of multiple attempted murders. In a very real sense, State Trooper Santiago had it right when you first were taken off that plane and into custody and you wondered where the press and where the TV crews were, and he said: "You're no big deal."

You are no big deal.

What your able counsel and what the equally able United States attorneys have grappled with and what I have as honestly as I know how tried to grapple with, is why you did something so horrific. What was it that led you here to this courtroom today?

I have listened respectfully to what you have to say. And I ask you to search your heart and ask yourself what sort of unfathomable hate led you to do what you are guilty and admit you are guilty of doing. And I have an answer for you. It may not satisfy you, but as I search this entire record, it comes as close to understanding as I know.

It seems to me you hate the one thing that to us is most precious.

You hate our freedom. Our individual freedom. Our individual freedom to live as we choose, to come and go as we choose, to believe or not believe as we individually choose. Here, in this society, the very wind carries freedom. It carries it everywhere from sea to shining sea. It is because we prize individual freedom so much that you are here in this beautiful courtroom. So that everyone can see, truly see, that justice is administered fairly, individually, and discretely. It is for freedom's sake that your lawyers are striving so vigorously on your behalf and have filed appeals, will go on in their representation of you before other judges.

We Americans are all about freedom. Because we all know that the

way we treat you, Mr. Reid, is the measure of our own liberties. Make no mistake though. It is yet true that we will bare any burden; pay any price, to preserve our freedoms. Look around this courtroom. Mark it well. The world is not going to long remember what you or I say here.

Day after tomorrow, it will be forgotten, but this, however, will long endure. Here in this courtroom and courtrooms all across America, the American people will gather to see that justice, individual justice, justice, not war, individual justice is in fact being done. The very President of the United States through his officers come into courtrooms and lay out evidence on which specific matters can be judged and juries of citizens will gather to sit and judge that evidence democratically, to mold and shape and refine our sense of justice.

See that flag, Mr. Reid? That's the flag of the United States of America. That flag will fly there long after this is all forgotten. That flag stands for freedom. And it always s will.

Mr. Custody Officer. Stand him down.

Monday, July 4

Silence, Secrets and Sandy Berger

Sandy Berger, former Security Director for the Clinton Administration and Security Advisor for the Kerry campaign, has been on trial the past few months for "inadvertently" stuffing top secret documents into his pants and shoes, sneaking them out of the National Archives, taking them home and "accidentally" destroying them.

Berger has "cut a plea deal" and he's to be sentenced on July 8. However,his "trial" has raised more questions than it has answered:

1. Since Berger enjoyed personal protection because of his status at the time he obviously was stealing for someone else; who was he attempting to protect by stealing those documents?
2. Does anyone know what the stolen documents were, and why he had to return a second time to get more?
3. Since Berger was serving as Kerry's national security consultant is it possible that his intent was to leak privileged national security information to Kerry in the effort to defeat President Bush?
4. Have all the people connected with the Berger theft been named and prosecuted?
5. Were the stolen documents actually destroyed, or were they secreted for Mr. Berger's later use?
6. Is the plea deal conditioned on Berger giving up information?
7. Berger apparently did not act alone. Is naming names part of the plea deal?
8. Berger admitted to stealing documents the Archives did not list as missing. What did he do with them?
9. Is his plea deal conditioned on Berger returning these as well?
10. Did Berger actually destroy stolen docs--as he said---or are they being secreted for Berger's self-serving reasons: (a) for Hillary's campaign in exchange for Berger getting a political appointment, for (b) Berger's financial benefit in his oil consulting business, (c) to cover-up 9/11?
11. Who else was involved if there was a cover-up?
12. Did the documents reveal that Clinton knew that 9/11 was going to happen?
13. Since it is obvious to even those of most limited intelligence that stuffing documents into your pants and shoes cannot possibly be unintentional, shouldn't Berger's defense of "inadvertently" taking them be considered lying to a judge? Isn't that, in itself, a severe offense?
14. Why haven't we heard more about all this through the mainstream media? This has the potential to be as dangerous to national security as Watergate was -- more so, even. Why are they silent?
15. Does the fact that Berger's "global strategy firm," Stonebridge International, has taken on an interesting client, Gulfsands Petroleum Ltd., a private Houston-based oil and gas company, who, along with its larger partner Devon Energy Corp. of Oklahoma City, has oil and gas exploration and development interests in Syria and Iraq have anything to do with his theft of the National Archives documents?

Those are questions that really should be answered publicly and completely if justice is truly to be served in this case.

I wonder why no one else is asking them?

Sunday, July 3

To US Troops -- A 4th of July Blessing In Song

What follows here is a Fourth of July tribute to our troops. You are especially blessed if you know music well enough to sing each song.

Over there, over there,
Send the word, send the word over there -
That the Yanks are coming,
The Yanks are coming,
The drums rum-tumming
Ev'rywhere.
So prepare, say a pray'r,
Send the word, send the word to beware.
We'll be over, we're coming over,
And we won't come back till it's over
Over there.

To all you Yanks on duty in Iraq and Afghanistan: Thanks for being our Yankee Doodle Dandies.

Don't listen to the naysayers . . .they've been around for years. They are the cowards who preached isolationism in the First and Second World Wars. They are the wimps who pulled us out of Viet Nam and left the South to the plunder, murders and tyranny that followed. Don't listen to the voices of the Durbins, defeatists and quitters, pushovers, weaklings and snakes, sneaks and dastardly sissies.

Ben Franklin knew them well. He said, 1759 in his Historical Review of Pennsylvania, "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

Unfortunately we seem to be stuck with them. The worst of them even run for President. (That says a LOT about what you're fighting for, by the way.)

But most of your fellow Americans learned those lessons from history and we will stay with you to the end.

Listen to the history of love of freedom and this nation, expressed in some of our favorite 4th of July songs. Listen to those of us who take great pride in you and the sacrifices you're making not only to keep your homeland free from terror but to build a new nation of freedom and liberty in the midst of oppression.

These are voices of support and liberty that echo through our hearts today; voices from the past. . .

George M. Cohan was born July 3, 1878 but he always thought of his birthday as July 4. He was a famous songwriter, playwrite and producer, best known for his patriotic shows and songs during the First World War. He wrote, performed and produced the quintessential patriotic song, "Yankee Doodle Boy" or "I'm A Yankee Doodle Dandy."

I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy,
A Yankee Doodle, do or die;
A real live nephew of my Uncle Sam's,
Born on the Fourth of July.
I've got a Yankee Doodle sweetheart,
She's my Yankee Doodle joy.
Yankee Doodle came to London,
Just to ride the ponies;
I am the Yankee Doodle Boy.


Another Cohan favorite, "It's a Grand Old Flag:"
You're a grand old flag,
You're a high flying flag
And forever in peace may you wave.
You're the emblem of
The land I love.
The home of the free and the brave.
Ev'ry heart beats true
'neath the Red, White and Blue,
Where there's never a boast or brag.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
Keep your eye on the grand old flag.

You're a grand old flag,
You're a high flying flag
And forever in peace may you wave.
You're the emblem of
The land I love.
The home of the free and the brave.
Ev'ry heart beats true
'neath the Red, White and Blue,
Where there's never a boast or brag.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
Keep your eye on the grand old flag.


As our leaders have neglected to involve us in winning the wars we've found ourselves in, the songs have diminished but there's one "modern" song worthy of mention here: "I'm Proud To Be An American," written by Lee Greenwood. Greenwood was born in 1942, the year Cohan died.

If tomorrow all the things were gone,
I’d worked for all my life.
And I had to start again,
with just my children and my wife.

I’d thank my lucky stars,
to be livin here today.
'Cause the flag still stands for freedom,
and they can’t take that away.

And I’m proud to be an American,
where at least I know I'm free.
And I won't forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.

And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
'Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.

From the lakes of Minnesota,
to the hills of Tennessee.
Across the plains of Texas,
From sea to shining sea.

From Detroit down to Houston,
and New York to L.A.
Well there's pride in every American heart,
and its time we stand and say.

That I'm proud to be an American,
where at least I know I'm free.
And I won't forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.

And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
'Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.

And I'm proud to be and American,
where at least I know I’m free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.

And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
'Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.


And one more for you dear Troops; this one by the incomparable Meredith Wilson:

May the good Lord bless and keep you, whether near or far away.
May you find that long-awaited golden day today.
May your troubles all be small ones, and your fortune ten times ten.
May the good Lord bless and keep you 'til we meet again.

May you walk with sunlight shining and a bluebird in ev'ry tree.
May there be a silver lining back of ev'ry cloud you see.
Fill your dreams with sweet tomorrow. Never mind what might have been.
May the good Lord bless and keep you 'til we meet again.

May the good Lord bless and keep you 'til we meet ('til we meet),
'Til we meet ('til we meet) again.

Saturday, July 2

No more comments on blog entries

Folks;

I am tired of one particular reader of this blog posting insulting, patronizing comments using foul language. I warned him and allowed him to post his comments until he became so nasty that I have reconfigured the blog so no one can comment. I'm really sorry about that because one thing I really wanted here was intelligent discussion from all points of view.

However, I will not be insulted and verbally abused on my own blog.

If you'd like to comment on any post, you can email me at sunnyetoo@yahoo.com. I welcome intelligent, informed discussion.

Sunnye

CNN's Carol Costello Caught In A Lie

Here comes the mainstream media, lying again. This time it's CNN.

In a July 1 interview with Rep. Robin Hayes (R- NC), CNN anchor Carol Costello said, "There is no evidence that Saddam Hussein was connected in any way to
al Qaeda."

If you tell a lie often enough, people will believe it. This continual denial of the connection between Hussein and al Qaeda keeps cropping up again and again. Obviously we're expected to just believe it because they keep saying so. But what about the TRUTH? Let's look at the evidence, beginning with the 9/11 report:

In one place the report says, "We have no credible evidence that Iraq and al-Qa'eda co-operated on attacks upon the United States" - not that they never dealt with each other. On the contrary, in another it says they did deal with each other, particularly in Sudan.

Now look at the original indictment of bin Laden by the US Justice Department in spring 1998, which stated: ". . . al-Qa'eda reached an understanding with the government of Iraq that al-Qa'eda would not work against that government and that on particular projects, specifically including weapons development, al-Qa'eda would work co-operatively with the Government of Iraq."

Funny the 9/11 Commission ignored that. Read the evidence compiled by Mary Phillips in her articlein the London Telegraph

Or take this evidence from the former CIA director George Tenet: "We have solid reporting of senior level contacts between Iraq and Al Qa'eda going back a decade. Credible information indicates that Iraq and Al Qa'eda have discussed safe haven and reciprocal non-aggression. We have credible reporting that Al Qa'eda leaders sought contacts in Iraq who could help them acquire WMD capabilities. Iraq has provided training to Al Qa'eda members in the areas of poisons and gases and making conventional bombs."

Clearly, the credibility of intelligence reports is a minefield. Given the cloud over the CIA, there are obviously suspicions that Iraqi sources may have told it what it wanted to hear. But these reports go back to the Clinton administration, well before Iraq became such a political inferno. And their volume and detail are impressive. Hayes quotes an intelligence summary about one informant which said "the information and level of detail is so specific that this source's reports read almost like a diary".

The book quotes a "well-placed" intelligence source saying: "Bin Laden was receiving training on bomb making from the IIS's [Iraqi Intelligence Service's] principal technical expert on making sophisticated explosives, Brigadier Salim al Ahmed. Brigadier Salim was observed at bin Laden's farm in Khartoum in Sep-Oct 1995 and again in July 1996, in the company of the director of Iraqi Intelligence Mani-abd-al-Rashid-al-Tikriti [to discuss] bin Laden's request for IIS technical assistance" in making bombs.

Hayes quotes another "regular and reliable" intelligence source who said that bin Laden's top deputy Ayman al Zawahiri "visited Baghdad and met with the Iraqi vice-president on 3 February 1998. The goal of the visit was to arrange for co-ordination between Iraq and bin Laden and establish camps in al-Falluja, an-Nasiriya and Iraqi Kurdistan under the leadership of Abdul Aziz." Hayes says that visit coincided with a $300,000 payment from Iraqi intelligence to Zawahiri's Egyptian Islamic jihad, which merged with al-Qa'eda.

Recently, yet more evidence has emerged. The Wall Street Journal reported that captured documents listed one Ahmed Hikmat Shakir as a senior officer in the elite paramilitary Saddam Fedayeen. By an amazing coincidence, an Ahmed Hikmat Shakir was present at the January 2000 al-Qa'eda "summit" in Kuala Lumpur at which the September 11 attacks were planned.

It is of course possible that this was a different Ahmed Hikmat Shakir. However, Hayes reveals subsequent events showed this man was very important indeed to Iraq. Four days after September 11, he was arrested in Qatar and found to possess phone numbers of the 1993 World Trade Centre bombers' safe houses and contacts, as well as information about an al-Qa'eda plot to blow up airliners. But he was released, re-arrested in Jordan and released again (with CIA collusion) - following pressure from Iraq at the highest level. What is the point of an inquiry into al-Qa'eda that doesn't even consider such evidence?

Bill Clinton's administration was absolutely certain that Saddam was in cahoots with al-Qa'eda. It was a given. That is surely why, after September 11, Pentagon officials were obsessed with Iraq. Whether Saddam was personally involved in 9/11 was irrelevant; if he was aiding al-Qa'eda's terror, he had to be stopped. But this has been obliterated from the collective memory in order to place the most malign interpretation possible on the motives of the Bush administration.

Of course, one should be wary of intelligence. But the volume and specificity of these claims surely mean they should be addressed. Yet journalists for whom such nuggets would normally trigger a feeding frenzy astonishingly fail to report them and mislead the public instead. That is because the only story in town is that George W Bush and Tony Blair lied - a blinding certainty that cannot be disturbed by anything so inconvenient as the facts.


But there's even MORE evidence, carefully and studiously ignored by the MSM. In fact,they not only ignore it, they go out of their way to lie about it.

Richard Cohen, columnist for the Washington Post, regularly chides the Bush administration for presenting what he calls fabricated or "fictive" links between Iraq and al Qaeda. The editor of the Los Angeles Times scolded the Bush administration for perpetuating the "myth" of such links. "Sixty Minutes" anchor Lesley Stahl put it bluntly: "There was no connection."

Conveniently, such analyses ignore statements like this one from Thomas Kean, chairman of the 9/11 Commission. "There was no question in our minds that there was a relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda." Hard to believe reporters just missed it--he made the comments at the press conference held to release the commission's final report. And that report detailed several "friendly contacts" between Iraq and al Qaeda, and concluded only that there was no proof of Iraqi involvement in al Qaeda terrorist attacks against American interests. Details, details.

There have been several recent developments. One month ago, Jordan's King Abdullah explained to the Arabic-language newspaper al Hayat that his government had tried before the Iraq war to extradite Abu Musab al Zarqawi from Iraq. "We had information that he entered Iraq from a neighboring ountry, where he lived and what he was doing. We informed the Iraqi authorities about all this detailed information we had, but they didn't respond." He added: "Since Zarqawi entered Iraq before the fall of the former regime we have been trying to have him deported back to Jordan for
trial, but our efforts were in vain."

One week later, former Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi told the same newspaper that the new Iraqi government is in possession of documents showing that Ayman al Zawahiri, bin Laden's top deputy, and Zarqawi both entered Iraq in September 1999. (If the documents are authentic, they suggest that Zarqawi may have plotted the Jordanian Millennium attacks from Iraq.)

Beyond what people are saying about the Iraq-al Qaeda connection, there is the evidence. In 1992 the Iraqi Intelligence services compiled a list of its assets. On page 14 of the document, marked "Top Secret" and dated March 28, 1992, is the name of Osama bin Laden, who is reported to have a "good relationship" with the Iraqi intelligence section in Syria. The Defense Intelligence Agency has possession of the document and has assessed that it is accurate.

In 1993, Saddam Hussein and bin Laden reached an "understanding" that Islamic radicals would refrain from attacking the Iraqi regime in exchange for unspecified assistance, including weapons development. This understanding, which was included in the Clinton administration's indictment of bin Laden in the spring of 1998, has
been corroborated by numerous Iraqis and al Qaeda terrorists now in U.S.
custody.

In 1994, Faruq Hijazi, then deputy director of Iraqi Intelligence, met face-to-face with bin Laden. Bin Laden requested anti-ship limpet mines and training camps in Iraq. Hijazi has detailed the meeting in a custodial interview with U.S. interrogators. In 1995, according to internal Iraqi intelligence documents first reported by the New York Times on June 25, 2004, a "former director of operations for Iraqi Intelligence Directorate 4 met with Mr. bin Laden on Feb. 19." When bin Laden left Sudan in 1996, the document states, Iraqi intelligence sough "other channels through which to handle the relationship, in light of his current location." That same year, Hussein agreed to a request from bin Laden to broadcast anti-Saudi propaganda on Iraqi state television. In 1997, al Qaeda sent an
emissary with the nom de guerre Abdullah al Iraqi to Iraq for training on weapons of mass destruction. Colin Powell cited this evidence in his presentation at the UN on February 5, 2003. The Senate Intelligence Committee has concluded that Powell's presentation on Iraq and terrorism was "reasonable."

In 1998, according to documents unearthed in Iraq's Intelligence headquarters in April 2003, al Qaeda sent a "trusted confidante" of bin Laden to Baghdad for 16 days of meetings beginning March 5. Iraqi intelligence paid for his stay in Room 414 of the Mansur al Melia hotel and expressed hope that the envoy would serve as the liaison between Iraqi intelligence and bin Laden. The DIA has assessed those documents as authentic.

In 1999, a CIA Counterterrorism Center analysis reported on April 13 that four intelligence reports indicate Saddam Hussein has given bin Laden a standing offer of safe haven in Iraq. The CTC report is included in the Senate Intelligence Committee's review on prewar intelligence.

In 2000, Saudi Arabia went on kingdom-wide alert after learning that Iraq had agreed to help al Qaeda attack U.S. and British interests on the peninsula.

In 2001, satellite images show large numbers of al Qaeda terrorists displaced after the war in Afghanistan relocating to camps in northern Iraq financed, in part, by the Hussein regime.

In 2002, a report from the National Security Agency in October reveals that Iraq agreed to provide safe haven, financing and weapons to al Qaeda members relocating in
northern Iraq. In 2003, on February 14, the Philippine government ousted Hisham Hussein, the second secretary of the Iraqi embassy in Manila, for his involvement in al Qaeda-related terrorist activites. Andrea Domingo, head of Immigration for the Philippine government, told reporters that "studying the movements and activities" of Iraqi intelligence assets in the country, including radical Islamists, revealed an "established network" of terrorists headed by Hussein.


And then there's this:
OSAMA BIN LADEN and Saddam Hussein had an operational relationship from the early 1990s to 2003 that involved training in explosives and weapons of mass destruction, logistical support for terrorist attacks, al Qaeda training camps and safe haven in Iraq, and Iraqi financial support for al Qaeda--perhaps even for Mohamed Atta--according to a top secret U.S. government memorandum obtained by THE WEEKLY STANDARD.

The memo, dated October 27, 2003, was sent from Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas J. Feith to Senators Pat Roberts and Jay Rockefeller, the chairman and vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. It was written in response to a request from the committee as part of its investigation into prewar intelligence claims made by the administration. Intelligence reporting included in the 16-page memo comes from a variety of domestic and foreign agencies, including the FBI, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the National Security Agency. Much of the evidence is detailed, conclusive, and corroborated by multiple sources. Some of it is new information obtained in custodial interviews with high-level al Qaeda terrorists and Iraqi officials, and some of it is more than a decade old. The picture that emerges is one of a history of collaboration between two of America's most determined and dangerous enemies.

According to the memo--which lays out the intelligence in 50 numbered points--Iraq-al Qaeda contacts began in 1990 and continued through mid-March 2003, days before the Iraq War began. Most of the numbered passages contain straight, fact-based intelligence reporting, which some cases includes an evaluation of the credibility of the source. This reporting is often followed by commentary and analysis.


Now I can just hear all the Dem/Libs/Progressives hollering "but we've learned we can't trust those intelligence reports." We trusted them then. Everyone did. So saying that the President lied to the country is a lie.

Shouldn't CNN and Carol Costello be held responsible for her IRresponsible statement? I bet a dollar, though, that we won't hear any more of this. No matter how hard bloggers try to hold the MSM's feet to the fire of truth, they manage to get away with their lies (and mostly by calling us liars!)

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