Monday, March 31, 2008
Sunday, March 30, 2008
NYPD Study: Radicalization in the West: the Homegrown Threat
attack using real world case studies."---Raymond W. Kelly, Police Commissioner of the City of New York
Today I watched a FOX News Special Report about homegrown terrorism called "Jihad, USA: Homegrown Terror." I may include more on this program if FOX posts a fuller account.
The program mentioned that the New York Police Department has published a study of homegrown terrorism called Radicalization in the West: the Homegrown Threat:
The NYPD’s understanding of the threat from Islamic-based terrorism to New York City has evolved since September 11, 2001. While the threat from overseas remains, terrorist attacks or thwarted plots against cities in Europe, Australia and Canada since 2001 fit a different paradigm. Rather than being directed from al-Qaeda abroad, these plots have been conceptualized and planned by “unremarkable” local residents/citizens who sought to attack their country of residence, utilizing al-Qaeda as their inspiration
and ideological reference point.
Some of these cases include:
• Madrid’s March 2004 attack
• Amsterdam’s Hofstad Group
• London’s July 2005 attack
• Australia’s Operation Pendennis (which thwarted an attack(s) in November 2005)
• The Toronto 18 Case (which thwarted an attack in June 2006)
Where once we would have defined the initial indicator of the threat at the point where a terrorist or group of terrorists would actually plan an attack, we have now shifted our focus to a much earlier point—a point where we believe the potential terrorist or group of terrorists begin and progress through a process of radicalization. The culmination of this process is a terrorist attack.
Understanding this trend and the radicalization process in the West that drives “unremarkable” people to become terrorists is vital for developing effective counterstrategies and has special importance for the NYPD and the City of New York. As one of the country’s iconic symbols and the target of numerous terrorist plots since the 1990’s, New York City continues to be among the top targets of terrorists worldwide.
In order to test whether the same framework for understanding radicalization abroad applied within the United States, we analyzed three U.S. homegrown terrorism cases and two New York City based cases:
• Lackawana, New York
• Portland, Oregon
• Northern Virginia
• New York City - Herald Square Subway
• New York City – The Al Muhajiroun Two
The same radicalization framework was applied to a study of the origins of the Hamburg cluster of individuals, who led the September 11 hijackers. This assessment, almost six years after 2001, provides some new insights, previously not fully-grasped by the law
enforcement and intelligence community, into the origins of this devastating attack [Full text].
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Active Measures: The Russian Art of Disinformation
A historian named Thomas Boghardt, who works for the International Spy Museum, has written an interesting article called "Active Measures: The Russian Art of Disinformation":
KGB-manufactured lies are legendary and die hard. Take, for instance, one of the most notorious conspiracy theories regarding the Kennedy assassination. Joachim Joesten’s book Oswald: Assassin or Fall-Guy, published in 1964, claimed that Kennedy’s death was the result of a right-wing conspiracy involving the CIA—a myth famously endorsed by Oliver Stone’s movie JFK. Today, we know that Joesten’s publisher was a KGB front [See here and here] and the author a paid Soviet agent [See also here]. Or look at the equally enduring rumor that the Pentagon developed the AIDS virus as a biological weapon at Fort Detrick, Maryland. First published on Independence Day in 1984, the tale had been planted by the KGB in an Indian newspaper and spread around the globe [See also here].
These and other Soviet “active measures” aimed to discredit the United States and “conquer world public opinion,” says retired KGB Major General Oleg Kalugin, formerly deputy chief of the KGB residency in Washington, DC. The KGB even set up a special department, Service A (“A” stood for active measures) for this purpose. But while the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991, active measures remain part of Moscow’s foreign and domestic policy toolbox. If anything, Russia’s contemporary active measures program is more aggressive than the campaign run by the old KGB. In the Soviet Union, each measure had to be approved by the all-powerful Politburo, but intelligence oversight in today’s Russia is spotty at best, and the domestic security service, or FSB, operates “absolutely independently and totally unchecked,” according to [the murdered] Alexander Litvinenko, a former FSB officer who defected to Great Britain in 2000. Kalugin agrees: “In terms of viciousness, it got even worse” after the Cold War. The “terrorist” campaign of 1999 is a case in point.
In September 1999, a string of bombings in three Russian cities destroyed several apartment houses and cost over 300 lives. The government blamed Chechen terrorists, and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin launched another war against Chechnya, in the process boosting his own popularity and cementing the elite’s hold on power [See here]. However, on September 22, a resident of the city of Ryazan reported suspicious activities at his apartment building to the police who discovered a bomb in the basement. The next day,
police officers arrested two terrorists—who promptly produced FSB identification and were released on orders from Moscow. Eventually, the FSB was forced to admit to having planted the bomb in a “training exercise,” but Moscow stubbornly refused to release the records of the so-called “exercise,” and the FSB’s explanation has been widely contested...
Contemporary active measures are not confined to Russian soil. In fact, the recent controversy over cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammad may well have been choreographed by the SVR, Russia’s foreign intelligence service [See here]. The evidence is circumstantial but compelling. For one, Kalugin says, the KGB has a history of using Danish journalists to plant disinformation in the Western press. And Flemming Rose, the Jyllands Posten cultural editor who commissioned the cartoons in 2005, happened to
serve for several years as a correspondent in Moscow where, Kalugin observes, he published a spate of obviously government-sponsored, anti-Chechen articles. According to Litvinenko and journalist Adlan Beno, Rose also happens to be married to the daughter of an ex-KGB officer. This does not per se make Rose a Russian agent, of course, but Russian intelligence may well have availed itself of this “in-house” connection to influence the Danish journalist. “This guy may have been used,” Kalugin says.
As the cartoon controversy spread across the globe, scores of brand new Danish flags turned up mysteriously all over the Middle East just in time to be set ablaze by enraged demonstrators at internationally televised protests. Predictably, Muslim anger quickly turned toward the West at large. “Some obscure Danish newspaper [prints these cartoons], and all the sudden across the Western world, everybody knows what’s it all about. Who organized it? Who ignited the process?” asks Kalugin, identifying a top suspect himself: The SVR...
Kalugin is not alone in suspecting Moscow’s hand behind the recent cartoon controversy. Says Peter Earnest, a former senior CIA clandestine service officer who served in the Middle East: “As a way of fueling anti-western feelings among Muslims, publishing of cartoons ridiculing the Prophet Mohammad in an obscure Danish journal was a no-brainer, if it was done deliberately, particularly if you are prepared to use resources elsewhere to keep the controversy alive and pulsating.” And what’s in it for
Moscow? The Kremlin seeks to compromise and undermine the United States and “make Russia look [like] an alternative” international partner to Middle Eastern nations, says Kalugin. [Full text].
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
The Trimbachs on Tour
The retired FBI agent Mr. Joseph H. "Joe" Trimbach (pictured above) and his son John Trimbach, the authors of American Indian Mafia, are scheduling speaking tours to tell people the truth about the violence perpetrated by the leaders of the American Indian Movement (AIM).
I was able to meet the Trimbachs and hear them discuss their book recently. Joseph Trimbach has been invited to speak at a university soon.
When word got out that Trimbachs would be appearing, some people who already had purchased the book also came to get their previously-purchased copies signed and to meet and thank the authors.
Some of the audience were very interested in Indian issues and expressed their gratitude that Joe Trimbach had finally written this history to set the record straight.
I offered to treat the Trimbachs for lunch, but they had to dash to the airport. They have a busy schedule.
The Trimbachs are very upbeat about their book project because they have the truth on their side and highly-respected supporters.
Their book has been endorsed by prominent people such as Judge William H. Webster, a former Director of both the FBI and CIA; Tim Giago, the former editor and publisher of Indian Country Today; Lt Colonel USMC and FOX News contributor Oliver North; Paul DeMain, the editor of News from Indian Country; Ed Wood, of the No Parole Peltier Association; and prominent political and legal officials.
Judge Webster's endorsement is quoted on the cover of the book, and he has written:
Although much has been written about the tragic events at Wounded Knee and Pine Ridge, Joe Trimbach's book appears to be the first definitive report of the courageous efforts of federal law enforcement (FBI, U.S. Marshals and BIA), often at great personal risk, to restore order to the Native Americans living in the midst of violence and intimidation. [American Indian Mafia] is well documented and presents an important contribution to our understanding of what actually happened.
Tim Giago, whose family home at Wounded Knee was destroyed by the AIM terrorists, has written:
As a longtime journalist, author, and Oglala Lakota born, raised and educated on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, I have been appalled at the many books, movies, and documentaries about Wounded Knee II and about Leonard Peltier [convicted in connection with the 6-26-73 murder of FBI Agents Jack R. Coler and Ronald A. Williams] that are so filled with myths, misconceptions and outright lies...Trimbach takes apart Matthiessen’s In the Spirit of Crazy Horse, movies like Thunderheart, Lakota Woman, and A Tattoo on My Heart - The Warriors of Wounded Knee 1973, and exposes them for the frauds that they are. It is refreshing to finally hear the other side of the story.
Paul DeMain has written:
It's an ugly dark feeling realizing you were lied to. For many years I supported clemency for Leonard Peltier, and towed the line for leadership of the American Indian Movement…The facts, the anger, and the blame [American Indian Mafia] puts on AIM, on its sympathizers, and even on the institution Trimbach once worked for, is from a law-enforcement perspective, and is revealing. See clearly through the foggy AIM alibis, the false cry of civil rights. From a tiny element of Native America we once looked up to, the people's Movement was hijacked by false warriors, murderers, and liars. Whether you support the FBI or thought of it as your enemy, [American Indian Mafia] is a must-read for understanding the other side of the DMZ, established at Wounded Knee ’73.
In his article "Anna Mae Awaits Justice," (6-30-07) Joe Trimbach wrote (scroll down):
Leonard Peltier, a member of a militant group of Native Americans...bragged about being the one who shot [FBI Agent Ron Williams] in the face, as he sat pleading for his life. With the exception of a few days on the lam following a prison break, Peltier has spent the last 30 years behind bars. Many of his brothers-in-arms, members of the American Indian Movement (AIM), have tried to construct plausible alibis to support his claimed innocence. None of it has stuck, and many of the cover stories have only served to implicate AIM members in other killings, such as the execution-style murder of Anna Mae Pictou Aquash. Anna Mae was a member suspected of cooperating with law enforcement. There’s an old Lakota saying when roughly translated means that medicine comes to those who need it. Put another way, what goes around, comes around. Well, here it comes.
June 26, 2007: The Supreme Court of British Columbia orders the extradition of John Graham to the United States. He is the alleged trigger man who carried out the executioner’s mandate against Anna Mae. According to Arlo Looking Cloud (Graham’s convicted helper), Graham put a gun to Anna Mae’s head, pulled the trigger, and pushed her off a cliff. For the last several years, he has been under house arrest in Canada. Like Peltier before him, Graham has surrounded himself with supporters, some of them pitifully uninformed. But unlike Peltier’s murderous rampage, Graham’s pre-meditation was evidently known to several others. In fact, dozens were said to be involved as co-conspirators, among them AIM legends, their lawyers, and the group’s lesser lieutenants...Peltier thought the Agents were after him because he was a wanted fugitive. The Agents were actually looking for someone else and didn’t even know Peltier was on the reservation. AIM leaders thought Anna Mae was an FBI informant. She was not. As it turned out, oblivious to the leadership, Anna Mae was loyal to the end. Ron pleaded for his life, hoping to prevail upon the humanity of his killer. In her final moments, Anna Mae did the same and when she realized the end was near, she asked to pray on her knees. (The request was denied.) Months before he placed a gun to Ron Williams’s head, Peltier had placed a gun in Anna Mae’s mouth, in one of her early interrogations. She died six months after the Agents, partly because it was feared that she would repeat Peltier’s boast which she heard “straight from the horse’s mouth.”
People familiar with the case believe that once Graham is on American soil, AIM’s legacy is up for grabs. As the embattled Professor Ward Churchill likes to say, the chickens have come home to roost. The professor, however, would presumably not want the description applied to his old warhorse buddy, AIM leader Russell Means. On a cold morning in 1976, Means and his brothers boycotted Anna Mae’s funeral, evidently believing her guilty as charged. AIM war chiefs and Anna Mae’s erstwhile friends must now reposition themselves for the coming storm. An old rusty prosecutorial engine is finally turning over, powered by an unlimited statute of limitations for murder in the first degree. Former members know that aiding and abetting carries the same penalty that awaits Graham: life in prison. And so they are naturally concerned that Graham may cut a deal and sing like a canary. Stay tuned. This could get very interesting.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Paul Wolf Watch: The Third Installment
the hypocritical Washington "Civil-Rights" Lawyer Who Disparages the Elderly
"As for my role in the secret program to "provoke" selfless heroes, I had heard of COINTELPRO in conjunction with FBI operations of the 1960s but was not involved with it, and certainly never used it against AIM [The American Indian Movement]. Of course this is not what the AIM defenders want to hear. They do not want the truth. They look only for a confirmation of their staunchly held theory that COINTELPRO was a central part (or any part) of the FBI's efforts to disrupt AIM's illegal activities. In virtually every pro-AIM publication the term appears as a historical fact and a convenient excuse for AIM's worse acts of violence. It is also the chief justification given for the execution of Anna Mae by the Movement leaders, some of whom abandoned the 'FBI did it' theory for the 'FBI made us do it' line."---Joseph and John Trimbach, American Indian Mafia p. 28
"Wolf’s report [to the U.N. about COINTELPRO---see here] also proved to be the perfect vehicle from which Bruce Ellison could construct plausible alibis for the murder of Anna Mae Aquash. That’s right, the same Bruce Ellison who, for over 30 years, has been in the business of blaming the FBI for the crime, while skillfully diverting attention away from his own alleged involvement in the murder—nice work if you can get it. Do you suppose the U.N.’s High Commissioner, Mary Robinson, to whom the report was presented, had a clue about any of this?"---Joseph Trimbach, "Wolf in Sheep's Clothing"
The retired FBI agent Joseph H. Timbach has penned a response to the defensive rantings of lawyer-blogger Paul Wolf, who has made a career of writing goofy conspiracy theories about an FBI program called COINTELPRO. Scroll down to read Mr. Trimbach's article "Wolf in Sheep's Clothing." [Readers can find my previous posts about Paul Wolf by scrolling down here.]
Mr. Trimbach's article begins:
Note: This article is in response to a recent blog posting by Washington civil rights attorney, Paul Wolf.
Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing
“Anna Mae Aquash was executed by a single gunshot to the back of her head on orders from the American Indian Movement because they believed her to be an informant for the F.B.I.”
Bringing the perpetrators to justice and telling the true story of the American Indian Movement’s crimes against the people of Pine Ridge is good news for Indian Country. But not everyone is happy that the truth is finally seeing the light of day. Particularly bothered are the self-anointed “historians” of the AIM legacy, usually found wearing a trench coat of conspiracy theories and half-truths. They do not like their version of Pine Ridge history challenged by anyone, even by people who were there.
A good example was recently provided by Washington-based attorney Paul Wolf. In 2001, Wolf oversaw a report presented to the U.N. Human Rights Commission about civil rights violations against AIM and other dissident groups [See here]. Central to Wolf’s argument are alleged abuses of COINTELPRO, the FBI’s counter-intelligence program originally designed to disrupt the Communist Party’s infiltration of America. While there were some abuses of COINTELPRO, Wolf’s presentation has proven to be a distinctly unreliable source of information for telling us about it. After reading my book, American Indian Mafia, you’ll see that all of Wolf’s assertions regarding the American Indian Movement, for example, are either distortions or outright lies. Also telling, Wolf’s report overlooks the fact that FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover formally terminated all COINTELPRO operations on April 28, 1971, well before AIM violence attracted the attention of federal investigators.
Not surprisingly, Wolf blogged that my book should be ignored, mostly because I’m old and cranky. You gotta love that, a civil-rights lawyer in favor of age discrimination...
...[W]hile it’s true I’m getting up there in years, I’m still young enough to spot an impostor trying to save his own legacy. The problem with Wolf’s report, as he surely knows, is that it is mostly propaganda designed to advance a political agenda. Its credibility is not helped by virtue of its co-authors, among them John Conyers, Cynthia McKinney, and Sheila Jackson Lee, all members of the Congressional Black Caucus. These politicians were evidently enticed into endorsing Wolf’s political nonsense based on assumed government abuses against the Black Panthers, a holdover group of extremists from the violent 1960s. Again, while there may have been some truth to the allegations, it is impossible to tell from this highly falsified report...
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Karl Rove on Senator Obama's Pastor Wright
Karl Rove observed:
Well, first of all, let's just say what [Senator Obama] did right. It was a well-executed speech, brilliantly staged. They moved quickly to deal with this issue. They didn't leave it out there for a long time. It was soaring rhetoric. It's gotten good notices from the mainstream media.
But I think, upon reflection, it's going to be found to be troubling and unsatisfactory and perhaps even cynical. And at the end of the day, the issue has not gone away. The issue remains. Why did Senator Barack Obama for 20 years tolerate a relationship with a pastor who had such vicious and paranoid views of our country? I mean, he believed that AIDS was created by the government as a tool of genocide [See evidence that this lie about AIDS was KGB disinformation], that Jesus Christ was a poor black man oppressed by white men, just like all blacks were today.
I mean, these — you know, he called on people to God damn America and said that it was even in the Bible. I mean, these are pretty outlandish views. And the question remains, why did Senator Obama for 20 years associate with such an individual?
...ABC News tonight pointed out that the speech contradicted all the spin and all the statements from the campaign before this incident broke, that Senator Obama was somehow unaware of these controversial statements and these very controversial views.
I was, frankly — I watched the speech, and you can't help but be moved by some of the sentiments in the speech, particularly at the beginning. It had a wonderful construct, talking about our Constitution and the troubled and flawed portion of the Constitution dealing with slavery.
But on reflection, look, the views that Reverend Wright talked about are reprehensible not because they are racially motivated but because they are so divisive and negative about our country. And in the speech, which I've read and reread, Senator Obama attempts to make those views a question of race. It's almost like he condemns them on one hand but refuses to disavow Reverend Wright on the other, saying he could no more disavow him than the black community, and then basically, asks us to accept that these views need to be understood, not accepted, but need to understood because they are legitimate expressions of black anger about discrimination. I just think most Americans — I think virtually all Americans would disagree with that.
...This whole thing has tarnished the image that he had attempted to build, first as a uniter, as somebody who'd bring everybody together. How can you claim to be somebody who can unite America if you're so tone deaf as to for 20 years be associated with an individual filled with such hatred for our country and for his fellow citizens?
And second of all, how can you claim to be something new and different when it turns out that you have misled people about the nature of your association with him? And how can you claim to be something new and different when it turns out you applied one standard to one individual and different standard to another?
This is deeply troubling, and particularly because we now live in a culture of the visual. These statements by Reverend Wright, which were, interestingly enough, given away or sold by the church on DVDs to people — you know, they're on YouTube. They'll be viewed and talked about continually between now and the election. And they're going to cause deep concerns about people because, again, it gets down to — these are bad. These are bad, paranoid and vicious things about our country. Why did you tolerate them for 20 years?
...if he had come out and said some of the things that he said about our country in this speech but said, Look, I recognize — I realize now how deeply troubling these comments by Reverend Wright were. I wish I'd spoken out at the time. I wish I had not tolerated them. I took part of our relationship, the relationship of faith, and allowed me — that allowed me to — that blinded me to how divisive these comments were. I made a mistake. I won't make that again. I think Americans would be applauding him.
Nobody expects our candidates for president to be perfect, but here he basically said, I now condemn them after I didn't acknowledge them before. But you need to really understand them in their context, and everybody in America, black and white, has reason to be angry, and we all ought to be angry at the same people. He talks about it towards the end of his speech, where he talks abut we need to be — you know, white and black together ought to be angry about, you know, corporate malefactors and people who've engaged in accounting abuse and people who are moving jobs overseas, which is basically to excuse almost anything that anybody would want to say, as long as we all have the same enemy.
...He equates the comments of Geraldine Ferraro with those of Reverend Wright. Now, Geraldine Ferraro was wrong to suggest that his presence in the race was a result of Affirmative Action, but I got to tell you, I find that, as reprehensible as it is, to be far less troubling than the suggestion that our government created AIDS in order to — as a tool of genocide. The moral equivalence that he drew between them was troubling.
It's even worse when it goes on to equate all these things that Reverend Wright says to what his grandmother said. Look, the private comments of an elderly grandparent are not equivalent to the public rantings and ravings over a 20- year — over several decades by a pastor of a very large church which are then disseminated into print and provided on diskette to anybody who wants to see it. I just thought throwing his grandmother under the bus like he did was — you know, showed an unattractive ambition that he should have kept contained.
...Americans don't like to talk about race. They'd like to get beyond race. They would like a post-racial society, black and white, yellow, brown, colorblind. But what Senator Obama did was deliberately say, We can't have this conversation about Reverend Wright except in and of a discussion about race. And as a result, the left-central media, the mainstream media, the left-center of American media applauded it, and a lot of people feel uncomfortable talking about it. But it will remain. It will remain a question for a lot of voters. Why did you associate with somebody who said such ugly things about America and made such outlandish, paranoid statements about our country? [Full text]
Bin Laden "Celebrates" the Prophet Muhammad's Birthday
UPDATE: There is circumstantial evidence that the controversy over the cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammed may have been choreographed by the SVR--the Russian foreign intelligence service (See "Active Measures: the Russian Art of Disinformation," p. 2).
Some Muslims observe a holiday called Mawlid---the Prophet Muhammad's birthday---which falls on March 20 this year; but Osama Bin Laden may have chosen the occasion of the Prophet's birth to post a new audio message on the As-Sahab website in order to incite violence by his followers against the European Union because European papers have republished some offensive 2005 political cartoons depicting Muhammad.
Bin Laden is even claiming that the cartoons---which some experts believe may have been inspired by the Russian foreign intelligence service---are part of a "new Crusade" against Islam in which [Pope] Benedict has played a "large and lengthy role," a claim that the Vatican denies. The Pope and the Vatican have criticized the cartoons more than once. The Pope said that religious symbols must be respected, but he also criticized the violent protests and the resulting deaths that followed the publication of these cartoons.
Pope Benedict XVI is scheduled to speak in April at the United Nations, pray at the site of the former World Trade Center, and celebrate Mass in Yankee Stadium, so Bin Laden's accusations against the Pope are being noted in New York City.
Time (3-19-08) reports that the Pope has been negotiating to build a Catholic church in Saudi Arabia, and the possibility that Catholic churches might eventually be permitted in Saudi Arabia is probably what is really enraging Bin Laden. There are 800,000 Catholic guest workers in Saudi Arabia.
To me, it seems very disrespectful of Bin Laden to observe the Prophet Muhammad's birthday by threatening people with death just because of a few offensive and possibly Russian-inspired cartoons in a Danish newspaper or because the Vatican may be allowed to build churches in Saudi Arabia. After all, Muslims have mosques in countries with Christian majorities.
Some Muslims do not observe Mawlid and some do, but from what I could find out, Muslims do not observe their Prophet's birthday by inciting murder.
Where Mawlid is celebrated in a carnival manner, large street processions are held and homes or mosques are decorated. Charity and food is distributed, and stories about the life of Muhammad are narrated with recitation of poetry by children.
That sounds perfectly lovely. I wonder what the Prophet Muhammad would say if he knew that Osama Bin Laden wants to turn his birthday into an occasion for murder in his name?
Did the Prophet Muhammad have a bomb in his bonnet, or is Muhammad the leader of the "religion of peace"?
The Bible says that when Jesus was crucified he asked God to forgive the people who humiliated and crucified him. Indeed, the humiliation of Jesus on the cross has become the symbol of Christianity.
For some reason, the crucifixion of a real human being who asked God's forgiveness for his killers has become the symbol for Christianity and the mockery of a man in a cartoon (possibly as the result of a Russian "active measures" operation carried out by the SVR) has become the focus of Bin Laden's outrage and the occasion for riots and incitement to murder real people.
On Sunday, March 23, 2008, Christians will celebrate the greatest day in their religion--the humiliation and murder of Jesus.
Other Bin Laden observers believe that Bin Laden's tape is occasioned by the five-year anniversary of the March 20, 2003 invasion of Iraq. Maybe in Osama's mind there is a symbolic importance to this date because it is both Muhammad's birthday and the date of the Invasion of Iraq. [Note: Mawlid fell on May 13 in 2003 and did not coincide with the March 20, 2003, Invasion of Iraq.]
Kurt Westergaard is a Danish cartoonist who published a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten on 9-30-05. Twelve editorial cartoons called Muhammad's Face [see English captions] were published that mocked the Prophet Muhammed. Westergaard's cartoon showed a picture of the Prophet Muhammad with a bomb in his bonnet.
The Danish paper said that these cartoons were published to make the point that newspapers are afraid to criticize Islam. Wikipedia has an article about the background of the cartoon controversy and a timeline.
Westergaard has reportedly been living in safe houses ever since the cartoons were published because radical Muslims are trying to kill him. The NYT (2-13-08) reported that three Muslims had been arrested in Denmark for plotting to kill Kurt Westergaard.
The NYT (3-20-08) reports that Bin Laden has denounced the Danish cartoons in an audio on As-Sahab on the occasion of the Prophet Muhammad's birthday and has warned Europeans of retaliation:
In the message, which appeared on a militant Web site that had carried statements from Al Qaeda in the past, a voice believed to be Mr. bin Laden’s did not specify what action would be taken but said, “Let our mothers bereave us if we do not make victorious our messenger of God.” The message was posted after Danish newspapers on Feb. 13 republished a cartoon showing Muhammad wearing a bomb-shaped turban to show their commitment to freedom of speech after the police said they had uncovered a plot to kill the artist. The drawing was one of 12 cartoons first published in a Danish newspaper that set off major protests in Muslim countries in 2006. “Publishing these insulting drawings,” Mr. bin Laden said in the recording, “is the greatest misfortune and the most dangerous.” The five-minute message, which featured English subtitles, is Mr. bin Laden’s first for 2008. It came as the Muslim world celebrated the holiday that marks the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad [Full text].
The Washington Post (3-20-08) believes that Bin Laden's message may have been occasioned by the five-year anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq war:
Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden warned Europe Wednesday of a "reckoning" for publishing controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, US monitoring groups said.
In an audio message, addressed to the "intelligent ones" in the European Union, a voice purported to be bin Laden's said that publishing the "insulting drawings" was a greater crime than Western forces targeting Muslim villages and killing women and children.
And the "reckoning for it will be more severe," he said, according to a transcript of the message provided by the Virginia-based IntelCenter.
Referring to a series of cartoons published in Danish newspapers, the Al-Qaeda leader also warned: "if there is no check on the freedom of your words, then let your hearts be open to the freedom of our actions."
And cryptically he added that the Muslims' response to the insult will be "what you see, not what you hear."
The five-minute audio message, titled "May Our Mothers Be Bereaved Of Us If We Fail to Help Our Prophet," was posted by As-Sahab, Al-Qaeda's media arm, according to SITE Intelligence Group.
...The message said that the cartoons were part of "the framework of a new crusade" in which the Roman Catholic pope "has played a large, lengthy role."
The Al-Qaeda leader also assailed the king of Saudi Arabia as the "one man who can put an end to these drawings, if it mattered to him."
The message coincided with the fifth anniversary of the Iraq War.
The audio track with English subtitles is heard over a video image of bin Laden holding an AK-47 automatic rifle.
IntelCenter chief Ben Venzke said bin Laden's message was "a clear threat against EU member countries and an indicator of a possible upcoming significant attack."
"However, it is unclear in exactly what timeframe it may occur," he said.
Protests have raged in a number of Muslim countries since 17 Danish dailies on February 13 reprinted a drawing featuring the Prophet Mohammed's head with a turban that looked like a bomb with a lit fuse.
The newspapers decided to republish the caricature, originally printed in 2005, a day after police in Denmark foiled a plot to murder the cartoonist.
Bin Laden's message also includes a nugget for US President George W. Bush, whom he describes as Europe's "oppressive ally who -- along with his aggressive policies -- is about to depart the White House."
He said the "savage acts" of the US-led military coalition in Iraq and Afghanistan "haven't ended the war, but rather (have) increased our determination to cling to our right, avenge our people and expel the invaders from our country"
...[President] Bush, in a speech earlier marking the war's fifth anniversary, hailed progress in the "war on terror" and said Iraq was witnessing an "Arab uprising" against bin Laden's Al-Qaeda network.
"In Iraq, we are witnessing the first large-scale Arab uprising against Osama bin Laden, his grim ideology, and his murderous network. And the significance of this development cannot be overstated," Bush said.
The president touted what he called "the Anbar Awakening," when Sunni tribal leaders in the restive province "had grown tired of Al-Qaeda's brutality and started a popular uprising." [Full text].
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Interpol Studying Documents in Captured FARC Computers
The Miami Herald (3-18-08) reports:
...If Interpol determines that the three computers found in the camp of Raúl Reyes, the FARC's second-in-command, are not a fabrication of the Colombian government of President Alvaro Uribe but really belonged to the narcoterrorist comandante killed by Colombian bombs, the International Crimes Court must take up the case, investigate the events in depth and punish the guilty. [See my previous post on this topic here.]
The sentiment was expressed with total authority by Diego Arria, former U.N. Security Council president and an expert in these affairs: ``The fact that the president of Colombia . . . denounced the presidents of Venezuela and Ecuador as collaborators with the terrorists who are holding 700 people hostage cannot be overlooked, no matter how many handshakes or forced smiles.''
True enough. The documents found in Reyes' computer tell of funding the FARC's activities with Venezuelan money. No less than 300 million petrodollars.
Liaison with narcoguerrillas
They describe the complicity of the government of President Rafael Correa of Ecuador, who assigned one of his principal ministers to be the liaison with the narcoguerrillas and offered to remove from the border any soldiers who interfered with the rebels' work.
The documents also mention Arab dealers, willing to sell missiles. And there are references to efforts to buy uranium, presumably to build ''dirty'' bombs capable of contaminating thousands of people with radioactivity.
We are, then, in the presence of an organization as lethal and sinister as al Qaeda, except that it is much older (40 years), better structured and more numerous. Its essential difference with Osama bin Laden's group is metaphysical in nature.
Al Qaeda is engaged in an anti-Semitic and anti-West religious crusade. The FARC is a communist organization, built within the strategic and political concept of the Cold War. It managed to survive after the disappearance of the Eastern bloc because drug trafficking and kidnapping furnish it with the resources it needs to remain viable.
Pact with radical elements
It is very important that we understand this fact, if we want to view reality through Chávez's eyes and interpret his behavior. The Venezuelan sees himself as the heir of the task and responsibilities that Moscow betrayed.
Chávez is convinced that the Caracas-Havana-Quito-La Paz axis is the seed of what someday will be a global power capable of destroying the rotten capitalist Western world. He dreams that he will have the honor of founding that glorious neocommunist era.
That is why he makes pacts (as Moscow did in its expansive phase) with the world's most radical elements, regardless of the ideology that sustains them or the methods they utilize. Their only requirement is to be profoundly and virulently anti-American and anti-West.
Whoever wishes to understand Chávez's behavior should read Epic of the Insurrection, a very interesting book, nicely written by Nicaraguan Gen. Humberto Ortega, a Sandinista and former minister of defense. Ortega tells -- with absolute frankness, much pride and thousands of facts -- how the Nicaraguan communists, at great cost, set up the subversive and insurrectional apparatus that liquidated the Somoza dictatorship.
Complicity with criminal gangs
But a second reading also demonstrates the intense degree of cooperation and solidarity between the ''brotherly'' forces in the socialist camp and the entire anti-West neighborhood.
Cubans, North Koreans, Russians and Palestinian terrorists turned out to help their Nicaraguan comrades ``unto victory forever.''
Chávez is not just the heir to the Soviet cause. He also inherited the tradition and strategy of ''revolutionary internationalism,'' something that includes total complicity with the criminal gangs. Moscow managed to shirk the consequences of that crime. Chávez probably will not be as lucky and will wind up, like Milosevic, behind bars.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
"Hamlet" by Boris Pasternak
"With this embattled book he restored to the world the image of what Russia has long been, despite violence, madness and corruption —a preacher to the nations on the text of death and resurrection."--Time (12-15-58)
The stir is over. I step forth on the boards. Leaning against an upright at the entrance, I strain to make the far-off echo yield A cue to the events that may come in my day.
Night and its murk transfix and pin me, Staring through thousands of binoculars. If thou be willing, Abba, Father, Remove this cup from me.
I cherish this, Thy rigorous conception, And I consent to play this part therein; But another play is running at this moment, So, for the present, release me from the cast.
And yet, the order of the acts has been schemed and plotted, And nothing can avert the final curtain's fall. I stand alone. All else is swamped by Pharisaism. To live life to the end is not a childish task.
[The poem is cited from Boris Pasternak's Dr. Zhivago. "Hamlet," is translated by Bernard Guilbert Guerney, p. 523. Here are some slideshows that showcase the beautiful Russian landscape and architecture. The slideshows are set to the songs "Laura's Theme" and "Evening Bells"---scroll down to Russian/English text.]
I thought Pasternak's Christlike "Hamlet" would be a nice reflection for Palm Sunday. I am dedicating this post to two American heroes, writers who, like Boris Pasternak, defied the vilification of communist criminals and witnessed to the truth: Joseph Trimbach and Richard Two Elk.
The retired FBI agent Joseph Trimbach, the author of American Indian Mafia, and the Indian oral historian Richard Two Elk were vilified by the violent criminals and communist agitators who controlled the American Indian Movement (AIM) because they punctured AIM's lies and told the plain truth about AIM's crimes in words that everyone could understand. [Here readers can scroll down and review some recent posts about Mr. Trimbach and Mr. Two Elk. My first post (4-29-06) about Mr. Trimbach is here.]
Mr. Trimbach and Mr. Two Elk fought for justice for Indians and other Americans who were victimized, persecuted, and murdered by the leaders of the so-called American Indian Movement (AIM).
As I noted in a previous post that cited A.V. Bartoshevitch:
For two centuries the Russian intelligentsia have regarded “Hamlet” as a reflection of their own essence and historical fortunes. The changing interpretations of Shakespeare’s tragedy by Russian critics, writers, painters, composers, theatre artists, etc., mirror with extraordinary precision the evolution of Russian society and culture.
Pasternak's "Hamlet" was supposedly written by the poet Dr. Yuri Zhivago, the protagonist of Pasternak's 1957 novel of WWI and the Russian Revolution.
Pasternak arranged for his novel to be published in Italy because it was rejected by the Soviet censorship, and in 1958 the novel was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Pasternak was not allowed to accept his Nobel Prize, but during the week that the Nobel Prizes were awarded, Time (12-15-58) profiled the author and his works in an article called "The Passion of Yurii Zhivago":
For nearly 50 years, during which most of his country and the world became a graveyard, the poet continued to write—and one of the things that shaped his vision was the contrast between the graves and his youth's calm summer landscape, the eternal tension between life and death. In Doctor Zhivago, one of this century's remarkable novels, Boris Pasternak carried that theme to its climax. With this embattled book he restored to the world the image of what Russia has long been, despite violence, madness and corruption —a preacher to the nations on the text of death and resurrection.
In 1988, Pasternak's novel was finally published in the Soviet Union.
The Soviet regime's condemnation of Boris Pasternak was one of the reasons that the KGB archivist Vasili Mitrokhin became disillusioned with the communist regime and brought his notes about the KGB's foreign espionage and active measures to the British.
Mitrokhin was an avid reader of the Russian writers who had fallen out of favor in the final years of Stalinist rule and began to be published again during the mid-1950s. The first great literary event in Moscow after Stalin's death was the publication in 1954, for the first time since 1945, of new poems by Boris Pasternak, the last leading Russian author to have begun his career before the Revolution. Published in a literary magazine under the title "Poems from the Novel Doctor Zhivago," they were accompanied by a brief description of the epic but still unfinished work in which they were to appear. However, the completed text of Doctor Zhivago, which followed the meandering life of its enigmatic hero from the final phase of Tsarist rule to the early years of the Soviet regime, was judged far too subversive for publication and was officially rejected in 1956. In the novel, when Zhivago hears the news of the Bolshevik Revolution, "He was shaken and overwhelmed by the greatness of the moment, and thought of its significance for the centuries to come." But Pasternak goes on to convey an unmistakable sense of the spiritual emptiness of the regime which emerged from it. Lenin is "vengeance incarnate" and Stalin a "pockmarked Caligula."
...Mitrokhin saw the official condemnation of Doctor Zhivago as typifying Khrushchev's cultural barbarism. "The development of literature and art in a socialist society," Khrushchev boorishly insisted, "proceeds ... as directed by the Party." Mitrokhin was so outraged by the neo-Stalinist denunciations of Pasternak by Moscow's literary establishment that in October 1958 he sent an anonymous letter of protest to the Literaturnaya Gazeta. Though he wrote the letter with his left hand in order to disguise his handwriting, he remained anxious for some time that his identity might be discovered. Mitrokhin knew from KGB files the immense resources which were frequently deployed to track down anonymous letter-writers. He was even worried that, by licking the gum on the back of the envelope before sealing it, he had made it possible for his saliva to be identified by a KGB laboratory. The whole episode strengthened his resentment at Khrushchev's failure to follow his secret speech of 1956 by a thoroughgoing program of de-Stalinization. Khrushchev, he suspected, had personally ordered Pasternak's persecution as a warning to all those inclined to challenge his authority.
The criminal AIMsters, their enablers, and literary apologists should think about the fact that witnesses with troubled consciences will come forward, and history will uncover and judge the AIMsters' lies and terrible crimes.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
The Wright Stuff?
[Senator Barack] Obama has written and spoken about being inspired by the preaching of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr., and his calls to “spur social change.” The title of Obama’s second book, “The Audacity of Hope,” which essentially launched his presidential bid, was taken from a sermon by Wright.
Baptized in Wright’s Trinity United Church of Christ, Obama has been an active member for two decades, regularly attending services with his family under Wright's spiritual mentorship.
On FOX News today, I saw some videos [See also here, here, and here] of Senator Obama's minister Rev. Wright. He is an arrogant lunatic and a raving anti-American racist who calls America "the US of KKKA."
Rev. Wright sounds like the evil ex-professor Ward Churchill, whose vicious racism and mendacious lies about the FBI and the U.S. Army, inspired my first post and this blog. [Churchill's lies about the FBI were published by the KGB's Covert Action Information Bulletin.]
Senator Obama first compared his minister to a relative with whom one does not always agree. This is a false analogy: we can't choose our relatives, but we can choose our ministers.
On Friday, March 14, 2008, Senator Obama posted a statement on the Huffington Post dissociating himself from Rev. Wright's delusional belief system. Senator Obama wrote:
All of the statements that have been the subject of controversy are ones that I vehemently condemn. They in no way reflect my attitudes and directly contradict my profound love for this country.
How could Senator Obama not know what his prominent minister was preaching, especially when he titled his book after one of Rev. Wright's sermons?
Rev. Wright claims that the U.S. government invented AIDS as an instrument of genocide against black people. This claim was first made by Jacob Segal, an East German scientist who collaborated with the KGB propaganda apparatus. It is the same kind of lie that Ward Churchill spread about how the U.S. Army allegedly deliberately infected the Mandan Indians with smallpox.
The mendacious claim that the American Army made AIDS is crude propaganda that was disseminated by the KGB experts in active measures. When communism ended, a Russian archivist for the KGB named Vasili Mitrokhin defected to the British with notes he had taken from the files of the foreign directorate of the KGB. These notes are called the Mitrokhin archive.
Mitrokhin and the former head of the Cambridge University History Department Christopher Andrew wrote a book called The Sword and the Shield that exposes KGB disinformation. The book explains:
Probably the most successful anti-American active measure of the Gorbachev era, promoted by a mixture of overt propaganda and covert action by Service A, was the story that the AIDS virus had been "manufactured" by American biological warfare specialists at Fort Detrick in Maryland. An East German, Russian-born physicist, Professor Jacob Segal, claimed on the basis of "circumstantial evidence" (later wholly discredited) that AIDS have been synthesized at Fort Detrick...[See pages 244-245].
STASI, John O. Koehler's book about the East German state security, also notes that Professor Segal collaborated with the KGB to "spin the AIDS yarn":
In research for this book in Berlin, I spotted Segal's name in Stasi documents...[Segal] denied having any contact with the Stasi. He was lying. In 1992, two former officers of the Stasi's disinformation department published a book in which they described how they collaborated with the KGB to spin the AIDS yarn, using Segal and his scientific credentials to lend the story credence [See pages 260-261].
White, so-called "mainline" Protestant denominations, the National Council of Churches, and the World Council of Churches have also been vehicles for mendacious KGB propaganda. Many churches and ministers claim to be for peace and justice, but they really defend agression and oppression. Mr. Wright is more crude and vicious, but American ministers and churches---not just black churches---often are mouthpieces for enemy propaganda.
America's mainline Protestant chuches have historically supported Soviet foreign policies and called it "peacemaking."
American churches even disseminated a film and literature that claimed that there was not much persecution of religion in the former Soviet Bloc and that Christians who were arrested in communist countries were "extremists and fanatics who had broken the law." The American KGB mouthpieces never explained the truth about communist laws.
Senator Obama needs to specifically counter all of Rev. Wright's racist lies since he has associated himself with this man and used his words as the title of his book. Mr. Obama needs to explain, for example, that the source of this lie about AIDS was the KGB.
In 1992, the head of the Russian foreign intelligence, Yevgeni Primakov, admitted that the KGB had fabricated the lie that AIDS was "made in America." The Russian newspaper Izvestia (3-19-92) reported:
[Russia's foreign intelligence chief Yevgeni Primakov] mentioned the well known articles printed a few years ago in our central newspapers about AIDS supposedly originating from secret Pentagon laboratories. According to Yevgeni Primakov, the articles exposing US scientists' 'crafty' plots were fabricated in KGB offices. [For the motives behind Primakov's frank admission see here.]
This crackpot KGB "science," was a big embarrassment to real scientists in the former USSR, and they disavowed the KGB's AIDS theory in November 1987.
The New York Times (11-5-87) reported:
Soviet scientists have disavowed charges in the Soviet-sponsored press that the AIDS virus was artificially cultivated at a secret American military base.
The scientists, Roald Sagdeyev and Vitali Goldansky, publicly distanced the Soviet Academy of Sciences from the accusations about American responsibility for acquired immune deficiency syndrome. They said they had protested the appearance of Soviet articles that repeated those contentions.
The disavowal was contained in Izvestia, the Soviet government newspaper, on Friday. The timing of the article by the scientists suggested that it had been written in response to complaints raised by Secretary of State George P. Shultz in an Oct. 23 meeting with Mikhail S. Gorbachev, the Soviet leader, about Soviet discussion of the AIDS issue. Mr. Shultz told Mr. Gorbachev that Moscow had been peddling ''bum dope'' on the subject.
Personally, I don't think Mr. Obama will explain to Americans what was in the KGB and STASI archives---and openly published in Izvestia---even though he is a U.S. Senator and could easily find out a lot more about what the FBI knows about KGB active measures than what is available to me from open sources. A real liberal would tell what those files revealed unless it compromised criminal investigations.
A lot of so-called "liberal" religious and political leaders in America have betrayed Americans of all races by tolerating or even fomenting reactionary racial and religious bigotry for political advantage while pretending to be advocates for peace, justice, and human rights.
If Senator Obama and his minister Rev. Wright want to find out who is killing black people in our times, they might investigate how it happened that the lawyer Mark Lane, reportedly a KGB asset, Charles Garry (a lawyer who defended the Black Panthers Huey Newton and Bobby Seale), and Huey Newton's cousin Stanley Clayton "narrowly escaped death" by running into the jungle when all those people---many of whom were black---were murdered at Jonestown. The conspiracist author Mark Lane even wrote a book that blamed Jonestown on the CIA.
I don't think that Senator Obama is really a liberal. A true liberal would not associate with a racist mouthpiece for KGB propaganda like Rev. Wright. The KGB likes it when Americans fight with each other. The KGB likes it when everyone has a chip on his shoulder.
I feel sorry for people who follow a man like Rev. Wright who preaches KGB lies from the pulpit and who teaches his congregants how to wallow in hatred and blame other people instead of how to overcome prejudice and how to get ahead in America.
Senator Obama has never talked like Rev. Wright, but he has had a close association with this nasty, bigoted, demagogic liar for many years. It makes me wonder what is really going on here. Senator Obama claims that he was unaware of his minister's controversial beliefs. This is hard for me to believe.
I think most black Americans must also be pretty shocked and disappointed to hear that Senator Obama's minister and mentor claims that their own government is selling them drugs and infecting them with AIDS.
80% of the new AIDS cases are young black boys and girls. Health professionals have learned that many of these youngsters believe that since the government is out to get them, they don't have to be careful with their health.
Senator Obama has made better health for Americans a main point of his campaign. He should tell young black Americans that the KGB made up this lie about AIDS.
Phill Wilson, the executive director of the Black AIDS Institute in Los Angeles, has observed:
[Conspiracy theories are] a huge barrier to HIV prevention in black communities...There's an issue around conspiracy theory and urban myths. Thus we have an epidemic raging out of control, and African Americans are being disproportionately impacted in every single sense...[Black] adolescents ages 18 to 24 accounted for nearly 80 percent of new HIV cases. The whole notion of conspiracy theories and misinformation...removes personal responsibility...If there is this boogeyman, people say, 'Why should I use condoms? Why should I use clean needles?' And if I'm an organization, 'Why should I bother with educating my folks?' The [Tuskegee] syphilis study was real, but it happened 40 years ago, and holding on to it is killing us.