Saturday, October 28, 2006

The DEA Position on Marijuana

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) believes that "any change in the legal status of marijuana, even if limited to adults, could affect the prevalence of use among adolescents (5)...treatment admission rates for adolescents reporting marijuana as the primary substance of abuse increased from 32 to 65 per cent between 1993 and 2003.22 More young people ages 12-17 entered treatment in 2003 for marijuana dependency than for alcohol and all other illegal drugs combined.23

A few billionaires—not broad grassroots support—started and sustain the "medical" marijuana and drug legalization movements in the United States. Without their money and influence, the drug legalization movement would shrivel. According to National Families in Action, four individuals – George Soros, Peter Lewis, George Zimmer and John Sperling – contributed $1,510,000 to the effort to pass a "medical" marijuana law in California in 1996, a sum representing nearly 60 per cent of the total contributions.

Here is a Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) site that discusses the health dangers of marijuana and cites medical articles.

The DEA Position On Marijuana

Table of Contents

Smoked Marijuana is Not Medicine
Marijuana is Dangerous to the User and Others
Dependency and Treatment
Marijuana as a Precursor to Other Drugs
Mental and Physical Health Issues Related to Marijuana Use
Delinquent Behaviors and Drugged Driving
Marijuana and Incarceration
The Foreign Experience
The Netherlands
United Kingdom
The Legalization Lobby
Still, There’s Good News
Appendix A: Acronyms

The DEA Position On Marijuana

The campaign to legitimize what is called "medical" marijuana is based on two propositions: that science views marijuana as medicine, and that DEA targets sick and dying people using the drug. Neither proposition is true. Smoked marijuana has not withstood the rigors of science – it is not medicine and it is not safe. DEA targets criminals engaged in cultivation and trafficking, not the sick and dying. No state has legalized the trafficking of marijuana, including the twelve states that have decriminalized certain marijuana use.1 [Full Text]

Here is an official Office of National Drug Control Policy site that has information about marijuana. The document is called, "Marijuana Myths & Facts: The Truth Behind 10 Popular Misperceptions ."

Ward Churchill Supports Ecoterrorism!

"To assault the meatpacking to mount a challenge to the mentality that allowed well over a million dehumanized humans to be systematically slaughtered by the SS einsatzgruppen in eastern Europe during the early 1940s, and the nazis' simultaneous development of truly industrial killing techniques in places like Auschwitz, Sobibor and Treblinka."---Ward Churchill

On 2-7-05, the Center for Consumer Freedom profiled an academic advocate of ecoterrorism, the University of Colorado's tenured Plagiarist of Ethnic Studies, Ward Churchill.

Churchill, who became well-known after he disparaged the victims of the 9-11 attacks as "little Eichmanns," also thinks that the targets of animal rights fanatics deserve the same fate.

The Center for Consumer Freedom writes:

In the foreword to Terrorists or Freedom Fighters: Reflections on the Liberation of Animals (edited and introduction by Steven Best, a University of Texas El Paso philosophy professor and animal-rights terrorism supporter), Churchill expands his Nazi comparison to modern medical researchers and meat companies.

"To assault the meatpacking industry," Ward Churchill muses in Professor Best's book, "is to mount a challenge to the mentality that allowed well over a million dehumanized humans to be systematically slaughtered by the SS einsatzgruppen in eastern Europe during the early 1940s, and the nazis' simultaneous development of truly industrial killing techniques in places like Auschwitz, Sobibor and Treblinka."

Churchill goes on to not only defend arson and violence committed by FBI-certified domestic terror groups like the
Animal Liberation Front (ALF) and Earth Liberation Front (ELF), but also to argue that they haven't gone far enough. He claims that drawing a "line in the tactical sand" that embraces "property damage" but excludes murder is "arbitrary" -- and again invokes Eichmann:

[Churchill writes] "Given the opportunity to do either in, say, 1942, would it have been more effective/appropriate to have torched the office of Adolf Eichmann, the nazi bureaucrat whose peculiar expertise made an orderly implementation of the Final Solution possible, or to have eliminated Eichmann himself? The answer need not be rendered as an abstraction."

As Ward Churchill receives near-universal rebuke for praising Al Qaeda's choice of tactics, he appears to be endorsing a similar escalation among animal-rights radicals. Which would put him right in line with long-time spokes-doctor for the PETA-affiliated Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Jerry Vlasak, who in 2003 endorsed the murder of medical researchers whose work requires lab animals.

Regardless, the mass media should recognize that Ward Churchill thinks his estimation of World Trade Center victims as "little Eichmanns" should logically extend to meat producers, scientists, and other institutional targets of animal-rights lunatics. And there are other terrorist-sympathizing professors lined up behind him, just waiting to be publicly acknowledged.

Dr. Best, for instance. He and Jerry Vlasak recently announced
their collaboration as "press officers" for the ALF -- odd duty for a college professor, but understandable given his philosophical leanings. There's been no word yet on whether Ward Churchill, likely to soon be stripped of his tenured job, will join Best. [Full Text]

PETA Film Event Is Grooming Teens for Violent Ecoterrorism!

"In her close-up moment, [PETA president Ingrid] Newkirk praises masked criminals for being "smart enough to know that they need to fight another day. They don't want to be recognized by law enforcement." ---Center for Consumer Freedom

An organization called the Center for Consumer Freedom, exposes the radical agenda of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), their financial connections to the terrorist ALF, and their advocacy on behalf of violence.

PETA has made a film which it is marketing to teenagers. According to the Center for Consumer Freedom:

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is raising eyebrows this morning without anyone even getting naked. The radical animal rights group is actively promoting a new film that glorifies the domestic-terrorist Animal Liberation Front (ALF). Along with several leaders of the violent animal rights fringe -- including ALF arsonist Rodney Coronado, maritime saboteur Paul Watson, and the murder-endorsing Jerry Vlasak -- the movie includes an interview with PETA president Ingrid Newkirk. In her close-up moment, Newkirk praises masked criminals for being "smart enough to know that they need to fight another day. They don't want to be recognized by law enforcement." [Full text]

PETA is giving "merchandise points" to teens who attend and bring a friend.

Here is the site of the masked ALF terrorists that PETA supports. They look just like Al Qaeda. I even wonder if these domestic terrorists might end up collaborating with foreign terrorists.

The Center for Consumer Freedom speculates that when Ingrid Newkirk introduces the film in New York, that "a good number of the aforementioned law enforcers will also be in attendance."

I certainly hope so!

The Ecoterrorist Organizations ELF and ALF

On 2-12-02, the FBI testified in Congress about domestic ecoterrorism:

Domestic terrorism is the unlawful use, or threatened use, of violence by a group or individual based and operating entirely within the United States (or its territories) without foreign direction, committed against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.

During the past decade we have witnessed dramatic changes in the nature of the terrorist threat. In the 1990s, right-wing extremism overtook left-wing terrorism as the most dangerous domestic terrorist threat to the country. During the past several years, special interest extremism, as characterized by the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) and the Earth Liberation Front (ELF), has emerged as a serious terrorist threat. Generally, extremist groups engage in much activity that is protected by constitutional guarantees of free speech and assembly. Law enforcement becomes involved when the volatile talk of these groups transgresses into unlawful action. The FBI estimates that the ALF/ELF have committed more than 600 criminal acts in the United States since 1996, resulting in damages in excess of 43 million dollars.

Special interest terrorism differs from traditional right-wing and left-wing terrorism in that extremist special interest groups seek to resolve specific issues, rather than effect widespread political change. Special interest extremists continue to conduct acts of politically motivated violence to force segments of society, including the general public, to change attitudes about issues considered important to their causes. These groups occupy the extreme fringes of animal rights, pro-life, environmental, anti-nuclear, and other movements. Some special interest extremists -- most notably within the animal rights and environmental movements -- have turned increasingly toward vandalism and terrorist activity in attempts to further their causes.

...The FBI defines eco-terrorism as the use or threatened use of violence of a criminal nature against innocent victims or property by an environmentally-oriented, subnational group for environmental-political reasons, or aimed at an audience beyond the target, often of a symbolic nature.

In recent years, the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) has become one of the most active extremist elements in the United States. Despite the destructive aspects of ALF's operations, its operational philosophy discourages acts that harm "any animal, human and nonhuman." Animal rights groups in the United States, including the ALF, have generally adhered to this mandate. The ALF, established in Great Britain in the mid-1970s, is a loosely organized movement committed to ending the abuse and exploitation of animals. The American branch of the ALF began its operations in the late 1970s. Individuals become members of the ALF not by filing paperwork or paying dues, but simply by engaging in "direct action" against companies or individuals who utilize animals for research or economic gain. "Direct action" generally occurs in the form of criminal activity to cause economic loss or to destroy the victims' company operations. The ALF activists have engaged in a steadily growing campaign of illegal activity against fur companies, mink farms, restaurants, and animal research laboratories.

Estimates of damage and destruction in the United States claimed by the ALF during the past ten years, as compiled by national organizations such as the Fur Commission and the National Association for Biomedical Research (NABR), put the fur industry and medical research losses at more than 45 million dollars. The ALF is considered a terrorist group, whose purpose is to bring about social and political change through the use of force and violence.

The most destructive practice of the ALF/ELF is arson. The ALF/ELF members consistently use improvised incendiary devices equipped with crude but effective timing mechanisms. These incendiary devices are often constructed based upon instructions found on the ALF/ELF websites. The ALF/ELF criminal incidents often involve pre-activity surveillance and well-planned operations. Members are believed to engage in significant intelligence gathering against potential targets, including the review of industry/trade publications, photographic/video surveillance of potential targets, and posting details about potential targets on the internet.

The ALF and the ELF have jointly claimed credit for several raids including a November 1997 attack of the Bureau of Land Management wild horse corrals near Burns, Oregon, where arson destroyed the entire complex resulting in damages in excess of four hundred and fifty thousand dollars and the June 1998 arson attack of a U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal Damage Control Building near Olympia, Washington, in which damages exceeded two million dollars. The ELF claimed sole credit for the October 1998, arson of a Vail, Colorado, ski facility in which four ski lifts, a restaurant, a picnic facility and a utility building were destroyed. Damage exceeded $12 million. On 12/27/1998, the ELF claimed responsibility for the arson at the U.S. Forest Industries Office in Medford, Oregon, where damages exceeded five hundred thousand dollars. Other arsons in Oregon, New York, Washington, Michigan, and Indiana have been claimed by the ELF. Recently, the ELF has also claimed attacks on genetically engineered crops and trees. The ELF claims these attacks have totaled close to $40 million in damages. [Full Text].

Cabazon Arson Fire

"That person watching today who committed this offense... we will not rest. We will find you. I can assure you of that -- you will be brought to justice"---Riverside County Undersheriff Neil Lingle

According to Fox TV News (10-28-06), California authorities are looking for a white van in connection with the huge wildfire in California.

The fire, now said to be arson, started in a dry riverbed called the San Gorgonio Wash at Esperanza Avenue in Cabizon, California, and quickly spread into the rugged San Jacinto Mountains west of Palm Springs, California. Here is a link to new stories about the Esperanza fire.

Four firemen were burned to death in a firestorm on Thursday, and one is in critical condition and not expected to survive. The authorities are calling these deaths "murder."

Fox TV News mentioned speculation that the fire might be the work of a serial arsonist.

Reuters (10-27-06) reports:

Officials have not said why they are treating the fire as arson and the deaths as murder. The Los Angeles Times on Friday quoted people as saying they had seen teenagers smoking marijuana around midnight Thursday near where the fire is thought to have started about 17 miles (27 km) northwest of Palm Springs.

Doctors said the prognosis for the injured fireman, named as Pablo Cerda, 23, was poor. Cerda has 90 percent burns, kidney failure and severe lung damage.

"His degree of burns is one of the most severe I have seen," Dr. David Wong, chief trauma specialist at the Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, told reporters.

The Los Angeles Times (10-27-06) reported that the fire was deliberately set on Thursday at about 1:12 a.m. in a riverbed called the San Gorgonio Wash.

In a 10-28-06 article, Los Angeles Times (10-28-06) reported that "at least two residents in the foothills along Esperanza Avenue in Cabazon saw two white men in their early 20s leaving the area — a popular hangout for teenagers and others — shortly before the fire was reported about 1 a.m. Thursday."

In an article about the Esperanza fire, CBS2 TV reported:

A joint investigation was under way, involving the FBI; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the California Department of Forestry; the U.S. Forest Service and the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.

Authorities are not releasing any details on the investigation, including any possible leads into who might have started the blaze, according to Riverside County Sheriff's Department spokesman Juan Zamora...

We're hunting these people with a vengeance, and we're going to find them," said Riverside County Supervisor Marion Ashley said. "If anybody has any information, call. ...Turn that scum in, please."

Riverside County Fire Department Chief John Hawkins said the arsonist was a murderer.

"Frankly, I'm mad as hell that someone would intentionally start a fire knowing full well that this is the kind of consequence," he said, "Our justice system will make people who do this kind of thing pay dearly."

Added Riverside County Undersheriff Neil Lingle: "That person watching today who committed this offense... we will not rest. We will find you. I can assure you of that -- you will be brought to justice." [Full Text]

Military Commissions Act of 2006

"[T]he bill I sign today will ensure that we can continue using this vital tool [CIA interrogations of terrorists] to protect the American people for years to come. The Military Commissions Act will also allow us to prosecute captured terrorists for war crimes through a full and fair trial."---President Bush

On October 17, 2006, President Bush signed the Military Commissions Act of 2006.

At a press conference, the President said:

The Military Commissions Act of 2006 is one of the most important pieces of legislation in the war on terror. This bill will allow the Central Intelligence Agency to continue its program for questioning key terrorist leaders and operatives like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the man believed to be the mastermind of the September the 11th, 2001 attacks on our country. This program has been one of the most successful intelligence efforts in American history. It has helped prevent attacks on our country. And the bill I sign today will ensure that we can continue using this vital tool to protect the American people for years to come. The Military Commissions Act will also allow us to prosecute captured terrorists for war crimes through a full and fair trial....

With the bill I'm about to sign, the men our intelligence officials believe orchestrated the murder of nearly 3,000 innocent people will face justice....

The bill I'm about to sign also provides a way to deliver justice to the terrorists we have captured. In the months after 9/11, I authorized a system of military commissions to try foreign terrorists accused of war crimes. These commissions were similar to those used for trying enemy combatants in the Revolutionary War and the Civil War and World War II. Yet the legality of the system I established was challenged in the court, and the Supreme Court ruled that the military commissions needed to be explicitly authorized by the United States Congress.

And so I asked Congress for that authority, and they have provided it. With the Military Commission Act, the legislative and executive branches have agreed on a system that meets our national security needs. These military commissions will provide a fair trial, in which the accused are presumed innocent, have access to an attorney, and can hear all the evidence against them. These military commissions are lawful, they are fair, and they are necessary.

When I sign this bill into law, we will use these commissions to bring justice to the men believed to have planned the attacks of September the 11th, 2001.
[Full Text]

Links to information or opinions about this law can be found at the University of Pittsburg Law School
, and at Wikipedia.

A PDF link to the law can be found here.

An official White House fact sheet on the law is here.

Here is an earlier post about this law.

I will add more links as I read about this new law.

The ACLU is against this law, so I am for it. I think that the ACLU is for violent communists and terrorists. I think that the ACLU is against my liberties.

The ACLU is also against new data mining technologies that could help protect my liberties from terrorists. I think that the ACLU wants America to lose this War on Terrorism. I even wonder if the ACLU gets funding from terrorists. Maybe that is why they are always on the side of communists and terrorists who want to take away my liberties.

Some people claim that this law may be used against Americans who might be labelled unlawful enemy combatants and denied their rights.

The University of Pittsburg Law School has collected articles assailing this law as an attack on our human rights.

I guess the law that Congress has passed and that President Bush has signed doesn't worry me. Maybe some Americans are unlawful enemy combatants and will be affected by this law; we will see.

Attorney General Gonzales says that the Military Commissions Act of 2006 does not apply to Americans. See here and here:

The Military Commissions Act does not apply to American citizens. The military commissions established under the Act may try only alien unlawful enemy combatants, and the new law does not restrict the rights of United States citizens to file writs of habeas corpus in federal court. Every detainee who is detained at Guantanamo Bay has had, or will have, a hearing before a Combatant Status Review Tribunal, which is a fair military tribunal designed to determine whether an individual is properly detained as an enemy combatant. If the tribunal determines that he may be detained, then the individual may appeal that decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. We provide even greater rights to individuals who go to trial before our military commissions. That trial would be presided over by an independent military judge. The accused will have the right to counsel; he will be presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt; he may see and respond to all the evidence introduced; and he may introduce evidence and witnesses on own his behalf. If convicted, he may appeal the commission's decision. This extensive array of procedures and protections are designed to ensure, and will ensure, that we do not detain or prosecute by military commission anyone other than captured terrorists and other alien enemy combatants. [Full text here and here]

I read that the FBI may be looking at the possibility that some Americans aided the 9-11 terrorists.

David Shuster, an MSNBC correspondant, wrote (9-7-06):

Prior to the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, all 19 of the terrorists had been living in the U.S. for several months, some for more than a year. They obtained visas, signed apartment leases, shopped, prayed at mosques, rented cars and bought airline tickets.

Could they have done so — especially those who did not speak English — without help from American citizens? It is one of the top unanswered questions lingering about the 9/11 attacks...

"It seems to me that there was some other support mechanism there,” said Roger Cressey, who was director of transnational threats for President Bush's National Security Council. “Now, did that support mechanism know what these individuals were going to do? We don't know. But I think there was something here in the United States they relied upon."

.....[T]he 9/11 commission says there is "no evidence" the hijackers received help from anybody in the U.S. who knew about the plot. But it's a question that has long bothered investigators.

Now that the Congress has voted on the Military Commissions Act of 2006 and President Bush has signed it, maybe we will find out more about the people who helped support, plan, and execute the 9-11 terrorist attack. Perhaps some American traitors helped the 9-11 masterminds.

I suspect that the politicians who did not sign this new law out of honest concern for our liberties may come to regret their lack of support when more information comes out.

But I think some politicians like Cynthia McKinney are not really in favor of Americans having civil liberties. McKinney gets some of her money from Arab organizations that want America to lose the War on Terrorism. As far as I am concerned, people like McKinney have gone over to the enemy.

Friday, October 27, 2006

TANGRAM: The Intelligence Czar's New Data-Mining Program That Hunts Down Terrorists!

The U.S. intelligence czar John Negroponte is giving Tim Sparapani of the ACLU a hissy fit!

According to an article by Shaun Waterman in the Washington Times (10-26-06), the US is using data mining to uncover terrorists:

The U.S. intelligence czar is developing a computer system capable of mining huge amounts of information about everyday events for patterns that look like terrorist planning -- technology reminiscent of the discontinued Total Information Awareness (TIA) program.

Civil liberties and privacy advocates have criticized the effort, called Tangram, which is being developed by contractors working for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence John D. Negroponte.

"They are misdirecting resources towards this kind of fanciful, science-fiction project," said Tim Sparapani, legislative counsel with the American Civil Liberties Union, "while neglecting the basics" of good counterterrorism detective work.

Mr. Negroponte's office declined to comment on the program, but it is described in some detail in a procurement document posted on the Web by the U.S. Air Force, and officials have said it is being tested without using any data about Americans.

The document says the system -- funded for $49 million in research over the next four years -- will build on previous work by U.S. intelligence agencies to develop "methods of ... efficiently searching large data stores for evidence of known [terrorist] behaviors." [Full Text]
Another article about Tangram cam be found here.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Colorado Methamphetamine Distribution Ring Smashed!

Joe Garner of The Rocky Mountain News (10-26-06) reports:

A methamphetamine distribution ring with tentacles across northern Colorado has been smashed and the kingpin arrested, law enforcement authorities announced Wednesday....

Officials said more than 45 pounds of high-purity methamphetamine, 1.1 kilos of cocaine and $59,000 were seized during a 13-month investigation. The wholesale value of the methamphetamine was about $865,000, with a street value in the millions, the officials said...

This was a monstrous amount," said Jeffrey D. Sweetin, special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration in the Rocky Mountain states. "This will have an impact for decades in Greeley."

Weld County Sheriff John Cooke said Greeley has emerged as a major point for methamphetamine sales and distribution because of the population growth on the northern Front Range, which includes a large community of illegal immigrants.

"The supply is coming to the demand," the sheriff said...

In at least once case, the traffickers stuffed a child's Elmo doll with four pounds of methamphetamine to hide the illicit cargo, Sweetin said.

The alleged leader of the organization, Rigoverto Valle-Sierra, was arrested without incident Tuesday in Greeley, officials said. Weld County Drug Task Force officers and DEA agents arrested nine others earlier this week. Nine more already were in custody on state charges, and two are fugitives. [Full Text]

The Drug Enforcement Agency has a press release about the Greeley, Colorado-based methamphetamine operation.

According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy,

The effects of methamphetamine use can include addiction, psychotic behavior, and brain damage. Methamphetamine is highly addictive and users trying to abstain from use may suffer withdrawal symptoms that include depression, anxiety, fatigue, paranoia, aggression, and intense cravings for the drug. Chronic methamphetamine use can cause violent behavior, anxiety, confusion, and insomnia. Users can also exhibit psychotic behavior including auditory hallucinations, mood disturbances, delusions, and paranoia, possibly resulting in homicidal or suicidal thoughts.12 Use of methamphetamine can cause damage to the brain that is detectable months after the use of the drug. The damage to the brain caused by methamphetamine use is similar to damage caused by Alzheimer's disease, stroke, and epilepsy.13 [Full Text]

More information about methamphetamine can be found at This site highlights the bad effect that methamphetamine is having in Indian country.

Vice President Cheney on Waterboarding

"Those of us who bear some responsibility for the security of the nation...look at it [the terrorist threat] and say, next time, they could, in fact, have far deadlier weapons than they did last time, that the ultimate threat is a group of terrorists in one of our cities with a nuclear weapon, and that would cause more casualties than we lost in all the wars we've fought in the 230-year history of the Republic. So it is a huge problem, and periodically, I think people are reminded of it."--Vice President Cheney (10-26-06)

Today Fox News will interview Vice President Cheney on the interrogation technique called waterboarding. It will be interesting to see how the Vice President expands on remarks he made Tuesday.

Vice President Cheney discussed waterboarding on Tuesday, October 24, 2006, with Fargo, N.D. radio talk-show host Scott Hennen, of WDAY Radio.

Hennen told Cheney that his WDAY audience had asked Hennen to "let the vice president know that if it takes dunking a terrorist in water, we're all for it, if it saves American lives." Here is a passage from the official White House transcript of the conversation:

Q [Hennan] I've heard from a lot of listeners -- that's what we do for a living, talk to good folks in the Heartland every day -- and I've talked to as many who want an increased military presence in Iraq as want us out, which seems to be the larger debate, at least coming from the left -- cut and run, get out of there. One fax said, when you talk to the Vice President, ask him when shock and awe is coming back to Iraq. Let's finish the job once and for all.

And terrorist interrogations and that debate is another example. And I've had people call and say, please, let the Vice President know that if it takes dunking a terrorist in water, we're all for it, if it saves American lives. Again, this debate seems a little silly given the threat we face, would you agree?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I do agree. And I think the terrorist threat, for example, with respect to our ability to interrogate high value detainees like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, that's been a very important tool that we've had to be able to secure the nation. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed provided us with enormously valuable information about how many there are, about how they plan, what their training processes are and so forth, we've learned a lot. We need to be able to continue that.

The Congress recently voted on this question of military commissions and our authority to continue the interrogation program. It passed both Houses, fortunately. The President signed it into law, but the fact is 177 Democrats in the House -- or excuse me, 162 Democrats in the House voted against it, and 32 out of 44 senators -- Democratic senators voted against it. We wouldn't have that authority today if they were in charge. That's a very important issue in this campaign.

Are we going to allow the executive branch to have the authority granted and authorized by the Congress to be able to continue to collect the intelligence we need to defend the nation.

Q Would you agree a dunk in water is a no-brainer if it can save lives?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: It's a no-brainer for me, but for a while there, I was criticized as being the Vice President "for torture." We don't torture. That's not what we're involved in. We live up to our obligations in international treaties that we're party to and so forth. But the fact is, you can have a fairly robust interrogation program without torture, and we need to be able to do that.

And thanks to the leadership of the President now, and the action of the Congress, we have that authority, and we are able to continue to program. [Full Text]

The Seattle Times (10-26-06) reported on this story but noted:

Lee Ann McBride, a spokeswoman for Cheney, denied that Cheney confirmed that U.S. interrogators used waterboarding or endorsed the technique.

"What the vice president was referring to was an interrogation program without torture," she said. [Full text]

The Christian Science Monitor (10-26-06) has also commented on Vice President Cheney's radio interview and the practice of waterboarding.

The Seattle Times and The Christian Science Monitor were pretty negative about waterboarding. Both articles pointed out that this practice originated with the Spanish Inquisition and that some important Republicans were against the practice. Both newspapers omitted this issue raised by the Vice President:

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, I think the -- a lot of folks, obviously, don't want to focus on the threat. To spend all your days worrying about that next attack is something that's difficult for people to adjust to. And I think there are some folks out there who say, well, it was just a one-off affair. It will never happen again.

Those of us who bear some responsibility for the security of the nation, on the other hand, look at it and say, next time, they could, in fact, have far deadlier weapons than they did last time, that the ultimate threat is a group of terrorists in one of our cities with a nuclear weapon, and that would cause more casualties that we lost in all the wars we've fought in the 230-year history of the Republic. So it is a huge problem, and periodically, I think people are reminded of it.

But as long as things are going along swimmingly, and there hasn't been another attack, it's hard, I suppose, for us to get credit for what hasn't happened in a sense.
[Full Text]

According to ABC News (11-18-05), everyone subjected to waterboarding confesses within seconds or minutes.

I read these articles, and I guess I don't trust Stephen Richard of the Open Society Institute [a Soros organization], the former CIA employee Larry Johnson cited by ABC News, The Seattle Times, or the Christian Science Monitor because they didn't bother to address Vice President Cheney's concerns about the terrorists' stated genocidal goals against millions of Americans. I am not at all sure that these people and organizations want Americans to be safe and to prevail against the terrorists.

Instead, these Administration critics point out that the Spanish Inquisition used waterboarding, that this practice has been regarded as a cruel war crime in the past, and that harsh interrogation techniques "don't work."

Still, in the event that an American city is incinerated by a nuclear weapon, the surviving Americans are not going to be saying that waterboarding, as conducted by trained CIA interrogators on a few highly-placed Al Qaeda operatives, were cruel and inhuman treatment.

I know for a fact that some of the people who show such touching concern for the rights of terrorists are themselves violent people who have assaulted men, women, and even children. Naturally, some of these "humanitarians" probably are getting paid money to advocate on the terrorists' behalf.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Sky Is Falling!

Remember Leupp the Dupe? He is the college professor who freaked out and started screeching to the press like Chicken Little when a college kid claimed that he was being questioned by government agents because he had used the school's interlibrary loan to order Mao's Little Red Book.

Seems like the kids were pulling Leupp's leg.

It turns out that the FBI has explained the rules right on their site.

Question: Can the FBI look at your library records any time they want?

Answer: No, they cannot. Access to library records is strictly governed by law.

A person's library records may be subpoenaed by a federal grand jury for a specific case. Special Agents of the FBI are also able to obtain records with a criminal search warrant in the course of an investigation. Now, under Section 215 of the U.S.A. Patriot Act of 2001 (which does not single out library records, but applies to "books, records, papers, documents, and other items" from any source), the FBI may be granted authorization by the federal FISA court to access records in an investigation specific to international terrorism or foreign intelligence. In this last case, the FBI must certify to a judge that these records are sought "for an investigation to obtain foreign intelligence information not concerning a U.S. person or to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities, provided that such investigation of a U.S. person is not conducted solely upon the basis of activities protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution." In any investigation, of course, including those in which Section 215 is invoked, it is important to maintain secrecy both to protect the integrity of the case and to protect the reputation of the individual being investigated, in the event no charges are brought.

Ward on Ice

The Ward Churchill soap opera is on hold because the University of Colorado at Boulder is showing a little backbone and refusing to pay the $20,000 legal fee for Churchill's defense in his appeal before the Privilege and Tenure Committee.

Sara Burnett of the Rocky Mountain News (10-18-06) has posted these bulleted points about what may happen next in the case of the tenured Plagiarist of Ethnic Studies, Ward Churchill:

What's next

• This week or next: Churchill's attorney plans to file a lawsuit to get the $20,000.

• Nov. 6: The chairman of the faculty's Privilege and Tenure Committee will set a date for a dismissal for cause hearing, with or without Churchill. The hearing is expected to take five days.

• Within 60 working days: The five-member panel will hear the case, then issue a report, including its findings of fact and a recommendation on whether Churchill should be fired.

• Within 10 days: Churchill will have the opportunity to respond. The report and response then will be forwarded to CU President Hank Brown.

• If Brown and the panel agree Churchill should not be fired: The case is closed.

• If the president believes Churchill should be fired but the panel does not agree: The president may return the case to the panel for reconsideration.

• If the president and panel agree Churchill should be fired: The case will be forwarded to the Board of Regents.

• If the regents get the case: Board Chairwoman Pat Hayes must notify Churchill of Brown's recommendation. Churchill will then get 20 days to respond in writing to the regents. He may also request a hearing before the board, all in closed session.

The board will then take a public vote on whether Churchill should be fired.

Source: University Of Colorado, Rocky Mountain News Research

David Lane's futile legal efforts to ward off the tenured plagiarist's self-inflicted doomsday have already been ridiculed here.

So it's not "Home Sweet Home," adjust!

This is Snapple's blog!

Stand Firm Against Terrorist and Defeatist Propaganda!

"Just as Rome was not built in a day, creating a pluralist democracy on the ruins of one of the nastiest of Arab tyrannies takes time." ---Amir Taheri

A writer named Amir Taheri has written a compelling article in the New York Post (10-20-06) about why America needs to stay the course in Iraq. Here are the highlights:

TALK to Iraqis these days, and you'll likely hear one thing: What are the Americans and Brits up to? The worry is that the U.S. and U.K. political mainstreams now regard the Iraq project as a disaster, with cut-and-run, or whistle-and-walk-away, the only options.

Most Iraqis regard the toppling of Saddam Hussein, the dismantling of his machinery of war and oppression and the introduction of pluralist politics to Iraq as an historic success...

Iraq today is the central battlefield in the global war between two mutually exclusive visions of the future. Yet the jihadists now know they can't win on that battlefield. After three years of near-daily killings, often in the most horrible manner imaginable, they've failed to alter Iraq's political agenda. Nor have they won control of any territory or even broadened their constituency.

The jihadists have suffered thousands of casualties, with many more captured by Coalition forces and the new Iraqi army and police. Despite more than 120 suicide operations, and countless attacks on civilian targets, the jihadists have been on the defensive since they lost their chief base at Fallujah last year. Their strategic weakness: They can't translate their killings into political gains inside Iraq.

They kill teachers and children, but schools stay open. They kill doctors and patients, but hospitals still function. They kill civil servants, but the ministries are crawling back into operation. They kidnap and murder foreign businessmen, but more keep coming. They massacre volunteers for the new army and police, but the lines of those wishing to join grow longer.

They blow up pipelines and kill oil workers, but oil still flows. They kill judges and lawyers, but Iraq's new courts keep on working. They machine-gun buses carrying foreign pilgrims, but the pilgrims come back in growing numbers. They kill newspaper boys, but newspapers still get delivered every day.

Since liberation, an estimated 45,000 Iraqis have been killed, largely by insurgents and terrorists. Yet there are few signs that a majority of Iraqis are prepared to raise the white flag of surrender...

Iraq's National Assembly gave near-unanimous approval to a new plan for peace and reconciliation...

The idea is to use the mosque as a forum for a unified and democratic Iraq, rather than a hub of sectarian agitation...

A third event is set to take place in Mecca...will bring together prominent Sunni and Shiite clerics from Iraq and eight other Muslim countries to discuss and approve a declaration demanding an end to sectarian feuds in Iraq...

The proposed draft [of the declaration] categorically states that bloodshed motivated by sectarian considerations is haram (forbidden) - and that its perpetrators are waging war on Islam as a whole...

...Iraqi morale is holding.

That morale, however, is under constant attack from two sources. The first is the part of the international (especially pan-Arab) media that depicts Iraq as a wayward train racing ahead with no light at the end of a dark tunnel.

The second threat to Iraqi morale is by far the most serious. It concerns uncertainty about the commitment of the United States and its allies to new Iraq.
[Full text]

Saturday, October 21, 2006

October Surprise!

from "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"

"Thus, by divers little make-shifts in that ingenious way which is commonly denominated "by hook and by crook," the worthy pedagogue got on tolerably enough, and was thought, by all who understood nothing of the labor of headwork, to have a wonderfully easy life of it...

In his hand he swayed a ferrule, that sceptre of despotic power; the birch of justice reposed on three nails, behind the throne, a constant terror to evil doers; while on the desk before him might be seen sundry contraband articles and prohibited weapons, detected upon the persons of idle urchins; such as half-munched apples, popguns, whirligigs, fly-cages, and whole legions of rampant little paper gamecocks. Apparently there had been some appalling act of justice recently inflicted, for his scholars were all busily intent upon their books, or slyly whispering behind them with one eye kept upon the master; and a kind of buzzing stillness reigned throughout the school-room."

America's most infamous October Surprise is recounted in Washington Irving's classic Halloween tale of an academic who who vanished without a trace, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow."

The more unreliable ancient texts and oral testimony recount that Sleepy Hollow "was bewitched by a high German doctor, during the early days of the settlement; others, that an old Indian chief, the prophet or wizard of his tribe, held his powwows there before the country was discovered by Master Hendrick Hudson. Certain it is, the place still continues under the sway of some witching power, that holds a spell over the minds of the good people, causing them to walk in a continual reverie. They are given to all kinds of marvellous beliefs; are subject to trances and visions; and frequently see strange sights, and hear music and voices in the air. The whole neighborhood abounds with local tales, haunted spots, and twilight superstitions: stars shoot and meteors glare oftener across the valley than in any other part of the country, and the nightmare, with her whole nine fold, seems to make it the favorite scene of her gambols.

The dominant spirit, however, that haunts this enchanted region, and seems to be commander-in-chief of all the powers of the air, is the apparition of a figure on horseback without a head."

Irving's apocryphal tale, allegedly "found among the papers of the late Diedrich Knickerbocker," purports to document the mysterious and uninvestigated disappearance of a greedy, superstitious, and preposterously ridiculous itinerant pedagogue, (no, not that one!) named Ichabod Crane, who was spirited "off the planet" by supernatural means on Halloween by the Headdessed Horsemen.

The pedagogue, a superstitious bird, imagined himself to be quite the ladies' man, but he was played for a sucker by an accomplished horseman, a "formidable ...burly, roaring, roystering blade, of the name of Abraham, or, according to the Dutch abbreviation, Brom Van Brunt, the hero of the country round, which rang with his feats of strength and hardihood. He was broad-shouldered and double-jointed, with short curly black hair, and a bluff, but not unpleasant countenance, having a mingled air of fun and arrogance. From his Herculean frame and great powers of limb, he had received the nickname of Brom Bones." (Just kidding! Heh heh!)


And now, the Legend of Pine Ridge proudly presents "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"!

"A Dog's Tale" by Mark Twain

"This last week a fright has been stealing upon me. I think there is something terrible about this. I do not know what it is, but the fear makes me sick, and I cannot eat, though the servants bring me the best of food; and they pet me so, and even come in the night, and cry, and say, "Poor doggie—do give it up and come home; don't break our hearts!" and all this terrifies me the more, and makes me sure something has happened."---from "A Dog's Tale" by Mark Twain

Here is a very sad short story by Mark Twain posted on The Project Gutenberg site. The story is about the betrayal of a totally innocent and trusting creature. It is called "A Dog's Tale."

The site includes pictures from the original story.

Chapter I

My father was a St. Bernard, my mother was a collie, but I am a Presbyterian. This is what my mother told me, I do not know these nice distinctions myself. To me they are only fine large words meaning nothing. [Full text]

FBI Seeks Killer of Seattle Assistant United States Attorney, Thomas Crane Wales

"The bureau also asked for help in finding a person who mailed a curiously literate letter this January from Las Vegas. Using crisp, crime-novel prose that echoes the smart-guy style of Elmore Leonard, the writer confessed to killing Wales in a murder-for-hire deal." ---Washington Post

The FBI has a special link with information about the hit-style murder of a Seattle Assistant United States Attorney named THOMAS CRANE WALES.

Mr. Wales, who investigated white collar fraud for the United states of America, was shot on 10-11-01 with a Russian-made gun as he sat working at his computer in his Seattle home.

Who murdered this dedicated public servant? The Seattle FBI reports that they received a letter in an envelope postmarked January 23, 2006, in Las Vegas, NV, that describes the murder and purports to have been authored by Wales’ killer. The killer claims that a lady called him on the phone and asked him to shoot Mr. Wales for $xxxx. The FBI is keeping the amount of the money secret.

Here is some information from the FBI site about this crime. The site also has video of Mr. Wales and pictures of this public servant enjoying a boating trip.



On the night of October 11, 2001, at approximately 10:40 p.m., Thomas Crane Wales was killed in his home in Seattle, Washington. Wales worked for the Western District of Washington as an Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) for over 18 years, prosecuting white collar crime cases on behalf of the United States of America. The shooter stood in the backyard of AUSA Wales' home and shot him several times through a basement window as he sat at his desk typing on his computer. It has been reported that a lone male suspect was seen fleeing the scene. Wales died at a hospital the next day....


Las Vegas Letter and Envelope

Information on Makarov Pistol and Replacement Barrel

Sketch of Person of Interest

Video of Thomas Wales,
Courtesy of the Thomas C. Wales Foundation

Download Free QuickTime

The Washington Post (10-17-06) writes:

[T]o mark the fifth anniversary of the crime, an FBI task force leader insisted last week that the case has not gone cold, and authorities released for the first time a composite sketch of a "person of some interest" who was seen wandering around Wales's neighborhood on Seattle's Queen Anne Hill before the killing.

For reasons not explained, the existence of the wandering stranger -- whose presence had been reported to police weeks before the Oct. 11, 2001, killing -- did not find its way to the FBI task force until about three years after Wales was shot.

Having failed over the past few years to find that man while keeping the hunt quiet, the FBI recently handed out a two-year-old sketch and asked for the public's help in finding a slim white man in his early 40s with black hair, tobacco-stained teeth and perhaps a ponytail.

The bureau also asked for help in finding a person who mailed a curiously literate letter this January from Las Vegas. Using crisp, crime-novel prose that echoes the smart-guy style of Elmore Leonard, the writer confessed to killing Wales in a murder-for-hire deal.

"OK, so I was broke and between jobs," the letter begins. "I got an anonymous call offering [dollar figure redacted by the FBI] to shoot the guy, so I drove to Seattle to do the job."

An FBI behavioral analyst said that while the murder scenario described in the letter was "made up," the writer is "relatively well-educated and well-read" and could be the killer or could know him. [Full text]

KOMO TV (10-11-06) reports:

[FBI] Agents don't know if the man [in the FBI sketch] had any connection to the killing. At the time, the man, who was white, was in his late 30s or early 40s, 5-foot-7 to 5-foot-10, slim, 140 to 165 pounds, with black hair and tobacco-stained teeth.