Cam Cardow, Cagle Cartoons“Saudi Arabia is the most extreme fundamentalist state in the world. It’s also a missionary state. It’s expending huge efforts — has been for many years — to disseminate its extremist Wahhabi-Salafi version of Islam, all with U.S. backing.” — Noam Chomskyتظهر يديك! is Arabic for “Show your hands!” I heard it from two giant bodyguards standing only inches away from my father and me. They yelled it while gesturing with submachine guns in hand, which is a more effective language tool than anything you get from “Hooked on Ebonics.”It happened when the elevator door opened to the penthouse in a hotel in Geneva after my dad had gumshoed our way into an OPEC meeting in the 1980s.My father wanted to get the scoop on why Saudi Arabia was driving the price of oil down from an OPEC benchmark price of more than $35 per barrel to less than $11. He understood that Saudi Arabia was the world’s swing producer and that with enough convincing by its closest ally in the world, the United States, the Saudis could pretty much do anything they wanted when it came to the price of crude. That was because Saudi Arabia could pump up to 14 million barrels per day and controlled nearly one-third of the world’s oil reserves. What my father had forgotten from his trips to Saudi Arabia in the 1960s was how ruthless the House of Saud could be, especially when it came to dealing with infidels and interlopers.Looking back, that seems incredulous because as an oil publisher and guest of Crown Prince Fahd bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in the early 1960s, my dad was treated to a weekend of entertainment that included public beheadings. Whether or not there was an implicit message for Western petroleum producers I can’t even hazard a guess. What I know is that a close friend of mine who has been to Saudi Arabia was also invited to such a spectacle.
According to broadcast news, only ISIS is evil
Last week, the news media finally carried a couple of stories about the brutality inside Saudi Arabia. Newsweek wrote this headline, “When It Comes to Beheadings, ISIS Has Nothing Over Saudi Arabia.” From the story:
The escalation of the war against the Islamic State was triggered by widespread revulsion at the gruesome beheading of two American journalists, relayed on YouTube. Since then, two British aid workers have met a similar grisly fate. And another American has been named as next in line by his terrorist captors.
Yet, for all the outrage these executions have engendered the world over, decapitations are routine in Saudi Arabia, America’s closest Arab ally, for crimes including political dissent—and the international press hardly seems to notice. In fact, since January, 59 people have had their heads lopped off in the kingdom, where “punishment by the sword” has been practiced for centuries.
So why is Anderson Cooper from CNN not over there covering this story? One reason may be that he has come out as a homosexual. And in Saudi Arabia they give gays the chop! Oh, yes, Connie Chung, the Saudi religious police also beat women who drive cars, ride bicycles or are out in public unattended by their male guardians.
Yet the gay/feminist lobby and all the liberals say nary a word about Saudi Arabia. That’s because people like President Barack Obama, whether he is a Muslim or not, bow to King Abdullah.
Truth is not much has changed in Saudi Arabia when it comes to their barbaric ways for the past half century. And if you think about it, not much has changed since the Prophet Muhammad, a man who had close relationships with young boys half a millennium ago. The big differences are the result of the discovery of massive oil reserves, which has created incredible riches. And all of that took off when the United States made a deal with the Saudi devils in 1945.
That blood oath made by the U.S. has allowed America access to massive Saudi oil fields and fueled the denial of them to other great powers. It is still a bedrock deal today regardless of what the House of Saud does, including their full-fledged backing of the most barbaric terrorists in the world.
Thus, Saudi money is spilling over to the Islamic State (ISIS); and some of those petrodollars are being funneled from the United States and its unmitigated faith in the House of Saud. Yes, your taxpayer money is going to the very groups that want to kill you.
And if you think ISIS is bad, the group doesn’t carry a candle to the House of Saud when it comes to beheadings or other kinds of violence.
You can search YouTube for “Saudi Arabia beheadings” and see for yourself; but having done so myself, I would strongly recommend against it. Growing up in the country, I didn’t much like it when my dad took the hatchet to the chickens; and as you can imagine, that pales in comparison to seeing it happen to a human.
Yet beheadings are high times in Riyadh, spectacles with crowds you might imagine for a really big grudge match under the Friday night football lights. I don’t know if popcorn is served; but, of course, beer is off-limits. That would go against the will of Allah.
According to Newsweek: “People will gather to watch you die. They are the ‘only form of public entertainment’ in Saudi Arabia, aside from football matches.”
And while Allah may prohibit alcohol and women in public without a shower-curtain draped over their heads, there doesn’t seem to be much else that upsets the Muslim god and his sadistic prophet. Devotees, backed by their religious police, are free to murder, maim and collect all the arms and oil revenues they can — most of them provided by Uncle Sam. And while Saudi Arabia will kill homosexuals, young men in Saudi Arabia are sequestered from women and, thus, privately have sexual relations constantly with each other — but only in private.
Sleep soundly, Hollywood; the Saudis only kill people, not ducks
Movie stars have been making pilgrimages to Alberta over climate change. They come to Alberta to make movies and to protest dirty oil sands where hundreds or even thousands of ducks have been soaked in oil. No doubt, big stars like environmentalists Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo have discussed this, perhaps over pomegranate duck dinner. I have a suggestion for these two and other big stars. Try flying your Gulfstream jets into Saudi Arabia and carry a banner to one of the weekly beheadings. That way, you can sacrifice yourself for a good cause — that being we don’t have to hear your hypocritical arguments added to the liberal choir that is always fussing that carbon is being spilled into the atmosphere but couldn’t give a rat’s rear end about blood flowing throughout that desolate desert where there is no pity, no morality beyond the razor’s edge of a Saudi sword. And before one of you liberal critics attacks me over this, ask yourself this: When was the last time the Canadian government beheaded somebody, and when was the last time you ate duck?
Will ISIS be the future rulers of Saudi Arabia?
Washington is clamoring because the main goal of ISIS is the rich oil fields of Saudi Arabia. ISIS has already flanked this corrupt and despicable regime, and our government will send your sons and daughters to die for Saudi oil. You can bet on it. But in the end is ISIS, the devil we don’t know, any worse than the House of Saud, the devil we do know? Neither wants to drill for petroleum in the United States or run a pipeline from Canada. That is an evil that Obama and most of Congress cannot accept.
So the oil keeps flowing, the blood keeps spilling and dollars roll in like a tidal wave to one of the most baseless, evil nations in the world. Thank you, Al Gore!
U.N. to dump flood of Muslim refugees on U.S.
‘Several thousand in the pipeline, and that number will go up’
by Leo Hohmann
Displaced Syrians will likely make up the next big wave of Muslim refugees coming to America.
Since the early 1990s, the United Nations high commissioner for refugees has selected 200,000 to 250,000 refugees from Islamic countries to be resettled in the United States. Most of them have come from Somalia and Iraq.
Syria could soon be added to the mix in the midst of that country’s brutal civil war. The Obama administration has been greasing the skids for the Syrian refugees for months, WND has learned, and the refugees will soon be dumped on American cities throughout the U.S.
In February, the State Department moved to ease the rules that protect the U.S. from accepting refugees with potential ties to terrorist organizations. The rules were seen as “too strict” by the refugee-resettlement groups that lobby Congress and the administration to continuously let in more Muslims from the war-torn Middle East.
Then on Sept. 4, a U.S. State Department spokeswoman hinted at her daily press briefing that a new wave of refugees will soon be coming from another predominantly Muslim nation – Syria.
“The United Nations high commissioner for refugees just this year started referring Syrian refugees to the United States for processing,” said Marie Harf. “Obviously, we have several thousand in the pipeline, and that number will continue to go up.”
Obama’s State Department is expected to present Congress with a list within the next two weeks that shows the total number of foreign refugees it wants to accept into the country over the next year and the countries from which they will come. The new fiscal year begins Oct. 1.
A few local newspaper reports have already surfaced, providing clues as to where some of the Syrian refugees will be delivered. The Winston-Salem Journal carried a report last week that the Triad area of North Carolina could receive some of the refugees. The first Syrian family has already arrived in Greensboro, North Carolina, and is living in a hotel there, according to the Journal.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported Sept. 10 that the city’s social services were preparing for “a flood of refugees” from Syria and Iraq later this year. Cleveland, Akron and Columbus, Ohio, have been hotspots in the past for Muslim refugees coming from the Middle East.
Once the refugees are relocated to an American city, they are quickly connected to an array of taxpayer-funded social services, including Medicaid, food stamps and subsidized housing. Interpreters and tutors are often provided to help bridge the language gap that refugee children will find in local public schools.
Groups like Human Rights First, World Relief Corp., the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, the Catholic and Lutheran churches all have strong presences in Washington and often do the bidding of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services, World Relief, Episcopal Migration Ministries, Church World Services and the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society push for more foreign refugees to be resettled in America, which results in more federal grants flowing into their coffers.
Imam Educates the President on Islam:
The Koran Promotes Terrorism and the Killing of “Innocents”
In the beginning of his speech last week on the threat of ISIS (or ISIL), President Obama told Americans:
“Now let’s make two things clear: ISIL is not “Islamic.” No religion condones the killing of innocents…”
He is wrong on both counts. And he knows it. He is doing a disservice to the American public and our “war” effort. If our Commander-in-Chief refuses to honestly identify the enemy, we are not going to win this war in the long run. That’s because even if we destroy ISIS there will be other Islamic organizations to take its place.
The reason: Islam is a religion of violence.
I can only conjecture that the President’s comments were meant to pander to American Muslims and anesthetize the American people to the true internal threat posed by Muslims within our gates.
But British Imam Anjem Choudary set the President and the American public straight in this short video clip. (Click Here)
In the clip from a recent interview on RT’s (formerly Russia Today) Worlds Apart, Choudary, told the world the truth about Islam that so called “moderate” Muslims in America have been trying to hide.
When asked if the beheading of American journalist James Foley was justified under Sharia law, Choudary said:
“Every action for a Muslim must be based on the Koran, the word of Allah and the teachings of the messenger Mohammad … But those who are already Muslim must know that Allah mentions in the Koran, in fact if you look at Chapter 8 Verse 60, he said prepare as much as you can the steeds of war to terrorize the enemy. So, terrorizing the enemy is in fact part of Islam. I mean, this is something that we must embrace and understand as far as the jurisprudence of jihad is concerned.”
Regarding “innocents” there are none.
The Imam explains:
“The thing that people need to appreciate is that in war the Muslims are not distinguishing in general between civilians and military because those very civilians are those who put the people in charge and those people in charge like Obama and others are sending the troops to Muslim countries so they don’t making (sic) that distinction; let alone between people who are journalists, who are considered to the right hand in fact and the propaganda machine of the Obama Administration.”
The Koran commands Muslims to engage in a holy war (Jihad) in order to impose Islam and Shariah Law on the entire world.
“Fight and kill the disbelievers wherever you find them, take them captive, harass them, lie in wait and ambush them using every stratagem of war.” (Koran 9:5)
Interestingly, the President’s counter terrorism advisor, John Brennan (now Director of the CIA), during a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, argued that the terms “jihadist” or “jihad” should not be used to describe America’s enemies. His reason: jihad is a holy struggle and a legitimate tenet of Islam.
It sure is. And jihadists are America’s enemy.
See the video below:
by Sam Rolley
As violent Islamic extremists in the Middle East vow to bring bloodshed to the U.S. homeland, the federal government continues its politically correct willful ignorance of the threat radical Islam poses to the well-being of American citizens.
Last week, British Prime Minister David Cameron announced that his country raised its terror threat level to “severe,” its second highest spot, because of the ISIS terror threat.
“The ambition to create an extremist caliphate in the heart of Iraq and Syria is a threat to our own security here in the UK,” he said.
Cameron also spoke of the challenges related to responding to a terrorist threat rooted in religious extremism.
“This threat cannot be solved simply by dealing with perceived grievances over Western foreign policy,” he said. “Nor can it be dealt with by addressing poverty, dictatorship or instability in the region – as important as these things are.
“The root cause of this threat to our security is quite clear. It is a poisonous ideology of Islamist extremism that is condemned by all faiths and faith leaders.”
The British actions and willingness to admit that Islamic extremism is a major threat contrast sharply with the stance that American officials have taken in conversations about ISIS.
Last week, Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that there was no indication that ISIS is plotting attacks against the U.S.
“I can tell you with great clarity and certainty that if that threat existed inside of Syria that it would certainly be my strong recommendation that we would deal with it,” he said. “I have every confidence that the president of the United States would deal with it.”
Officials at the U.S. State Department have taken a similar stance, claiming that there was no indication that ISIS is religiously motivated, or bent on attacking the U.S.
“This is not about [ISIS] versus the United States,” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said. “They are killing anyone who gets in their way: Sunnis, Shia Muslims, Christians, Yazidis, Iraqis, Syrians, anyone who gets in their way — and now an American.”
“So this is not about what the United States is or isn’t doing,” Harf continued. “This is about [ISIS] stated a commitment to murder, rape, enslave people who don’t agree with their ideology and who get in their way.”
She later added, “[T]hey can say whatever they’d like, but what I am making clear is that’s not what [ISIS] represents. And they don’t represent any religion. They are at war with everybody they come into contact with.”
Obama’s Illegal Prisoner Exchange
by Chip Wood
The prisoner swap Barack Obama just arranged may be the stupidest decision to come out of the White House in the past six years.
But it’s even worse than that. It’s put every member of our armed forces at even greater risk. And by emboldening the terrorists who believe they are waging a holy war against us, it’s increased the danger that every citizen of this country could become the victim of a hijacking, a hostage-taking or another form of terrorist attack.
Brad Thor, a best-selling author with deep ties in military and intelligence circles, didn’t mince words when he described the effects of Obama’s actions. “The President has just put a target on the back of all Americans,” he warned in an appearance on Greta van Susteren’s FOX News show. Thor said that our diplomats and American civilians traveling abroad are now in even greater danger of being taken hostage than our military. “Every American should be terrified by that,” he said.
Needless to say, the Taliban view what has happened as a “great victory.” Taliban leader Mullah Omar declared, “We shall thank almighty for this great victory. The sacrifice of our Mujahedin have resulted in the release of our senior leaders from the hand of the enemy.”
In the face of a growing backlash against the prisoner exchange, guess what the Administration did? It sent Susan Rice, of Benghazi talking points fame, back on the Sunday morning talk shows. And once again, the lady told a whopper. Appearing on ABC News’ “This Week,” Rice said, “Sgt. Bergdahl wasn’t simply a hostage, he was an American prisoner of war, captured on the battlefield.”
Turns out that this is nowhere near the truth. Bergdahl wasn’t captured on the battlefield, he walked away from his post. Several of the men who were stationed with him say he was a deserter. The New York Times reports that he “left behind a note in his tent saying he had become disillusioned with the Army, did not support the American mission in Afghanistan and was leaving to start a new life.”
Doesn’t sound much like an American hero, does he? But wait, it gets worse. Prior to leaving his post, Bergdahl sent an email to his parents in which he said, “I am ashamed to be an American. And the title of US soldier is just the lie of fools. … The horror that is America is disgusting.”
Wow! Sure doesn’t sound like someone you’d want to risk your life rescuing, does it? But it turns out, that is exactly what our troops in the area were ordered to do. After Bergdahl walked away from his post in June 2009, the Army mounted several operations to try to find him. At least six soldiers were killed during those efforts.
Sgt. Matt Vierkant, one of the soldiers who served in Bergdahl’s platoon, was interviewed by CNN. His disgust and anger were obvious: “I was pissed off then and I am even more so now with everything going on,” he said. And he added, “Bowe Bergdahl deserted during a time of war and his fellow Americans lost their lives searching for him.” Vierkant says that he wants to see Bergdahl face a military trial for desertion under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
Army 2nd Lt. Darryn Andrews was one of the soldiers killed while hunting for Bergdahl. He was shot to death in an ambush while on patrol in an area near where Bergdahl vanished. When she learned of the exchange that gained Bergdahl’s release, Andrews’ mother told Army Times:
“It gets really hurtful when I think, this guy was worth my son’s life? My son who was patriotic? Who was a true soldier? Who defended his country with his life? That guy was worth that? I don’t think so.”
Hard to disagree with her, isn’t it?
Bergdahl was a private first class when he disappeared five years ago. Since then, he was promoted to the rank of staff sergeant, because that is what would have happened had he remained on duty, re-enlisted and continued to serve honorably — three assumptions that now seem to be very questionable. Nevertheless, that is why he is referred to now as Sgt. Bergdahl, not Pfc. Bergdahl.
Faced with questions about Bergdahl’s actions, Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that Bergdahl will be disciplined if the Army finds any evidence of misconduct. “Our Army’s leaders will not look away from misconduct if it occurred,” Dempsey promised. But he added that Bergdahl must be regarded as innocent until he is proven guilty. And that in any case, the military will continue to care for him and his family, as of course it should.
Make no mistake about it, the five prisoners that Obama released are all serious bad guys. Two years ago, James Clapper, who was the Director of National Intelligence at the time, described all five terrorists as “too dangerous to release.” But things are apparently different now.
The United States has had a long-standing policy, respected by both Republican and Democrat Administrations, of never negotiating with terrorists. Obama has tossed that one on the scrap pile.
The President has said for years that he wants to close the U.S. Navy facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and transfer the terrorists who are being held there to prisons in this country. Back in 2009, the Senate voted 90-6 in opposition to the Obama plan.
Last year, Congress passed a law demanding that the White House notify Congress 30 days in advance of any plans to transfer any of the jihadists being held at Guantanamo. Obama signed the measure, but at the same time he issued a signing statement saying that that part of the law was probably unConstitutional and that he didn’t feel obligated to obey it.
This was a 180-degree switch from what candidate Obama said when he was first running for the Presidency. Back in 2007, he was quick to denounce his predecessor, George W. Bush, for issuing such disclaimers. And he promised, “We’re not going to use signing statements as a way of doing an end run around Congress.”
But as I said, that was then and this is now. Now, Obama needed to do something to get the Veterans Affairs scandal out of the headlines and off the front page. What better way to do it than to bring home an American prisoner of war?
A year ago, White House press secretary Jay Carney was asked about rumors of a possible prisoner swap using Guantanamo detainees. Here’s what he said on June 21, 2013: “As we have long said, however, we would not make any decisions about transfer of any detainees without consulting with Congress and without doing so in accordance with U.S. law.”
Guess what? Turns out that was another White House whopper.
In a classic example of too little, too late, the White House decided to call some key lawmakers this past Monday — two days after announcing the prisoner exchange — to apologize for the “oversight” in not notifying them sooner. Time will tell if this is enough to appease Senators Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), their parties’ leaders on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
By his actions, Obama has emboldened our enemies, discouraged our service members and increased the danger to every American citizen. Thor said he has put a target on the back of every one of us.
In saner times, this would be enough to start rumblings about impeachment. But, of course, we aren’t living in sane times. The Federal government has become one vast insane asylum — with the most dangerous inmates running the show.
Let’s hope there are still enough patriots left who want to make some big changes in this sorry situation. We’ll have a chance to do so this November.
Until next time, keep some powder dry.
New Patriotic Movie Blasts the Media
By: Cliff Kincaid
As incredible as it sounds, Hollywood has produced a patriotic movie for a change. “Lone Survivor,” the new war movie starring Mark Wahlberg, is so powerful in its depiction of the brutality of al Qaeda and its Taliban backers that it could awaken the American people to the reality of President Obama’s deliberate retreat in the face of this global danger.
“‘Lone Survivor’ leaves box office shocked and awed,” is how USA Today described its debut. It depicts the grueling training of U.S. Navy SEALs and the sacrifices that American soldiers are making to keep Afghanistan free of Taliban and al-Qaeda control.
A local Texas paper noted, “Both men and women came out of the theater red in the face from crying, some still wiping tears from their eyes.”
In short, the reaction shows that the American people are not prepared to give up on the battle against Islamic terrorism.
While celebrating American heroism and sacrifice, the film also leaves the distinct impression that rules of engagement in battles with the enemy, encouraged by a “liberal media” that puts the human rights of terrorists above the lives of our troops, threatens ultimate victory in this global struggle.
The story of Marcus Luttrell, a retired Navy SEAL who received a Purple Heart and Navy Cross for his actions against Taliban fighters, is also part of a Patriot Tour coming to various U.S. cities this year. The purpose is to demonstrate appreciation for the U.S. military and to expose the brutality of the terrorists who cut off heads and massacre their own people. This, too, is shown in the film.
The release of the film comes as a new book by former defense secretary Robert Gates asserts that President Obama doesn’t believe in the Afghanistan mission, and apparently doesn’t care if al Qaeda takes control of the country.
The movie, however, makes it clear that American soldiers fighting the Taliban believe in this mission, and understand what they’re fighting for and against. It also shows that many Afghans want the U.S. to succeed, and their country to be free of terrorist control.
The Taliban is the Islamic movement that protected al Qaeda in Afghanistan before the terrorist group carried out the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on America. President Bush ordered the invasion of Afghanistan in retaliation for the attacks and then, with Congressional approval, an invasion of Iraq in 2003 in order to expand a military campaign against terrorist-supporting Arab regimes.
The timing of the film could not be more significant. Terrorism expert Peter Bergen has recently writtenthat “…al Qaeda appears to control more territory in the Arab world than it has done at any time in its history.”
In a related development, The New York Times reported on Friday that the fall of Falluja, Iraq, to al-Qaeda-affiliated forces, has “stunned” American troops who fought terrorists there in 2004 and liberated the city from terrorist control. One soldier told the paper, “It made me sick to my stomach to have that thrown in our face, everything we fought for so blatantly taken away.”
The film has drawn attention to Luttrell’s 2007 book, which became a best-seller and describes in detail how he became the “lone survivor” of the mission to kill a notorious Taliban commander.
Luttrell says he is not a political person, but his book is very complimentary toward President George W. Bush and detailed in its criticism of the “liberal media” and “liberal politicians” who he says thwart victory in the war effort.
He even defends the invasion of Iraq, where he had previously been deployed, saying he saw at an al-Qaeda training camp north of Baghdad, Iraq, “evidence of the strong links between the Iraqi dictator and Osama bin Laden’s would-be warriors.” He adds, “Some of the guys who had been in Afghanistan said it was just about a direct replica of the camp the United States destroyed after 9/11.”
He went to Iraq in 2003 and Afghanistan in 2005.
Luttrell makes clear that he believes restrictions on the U.S. ability to wage war, some of them emanating from fear of the media, have put the U.S. at a significant disadvantage.
He writes that in the Middle East, a captured terrorist “knew that the way out was to announce he had been tortured by the Americans, ill-treated, or prevented from reading the Koran or eating his breakfast or watching the television. They all know Al Jazeera, the Arab broadcasters would pick it up, and it would be relayed to the U.S.A., where the liberal media would joyfully accuse all of us of being murderers or barbarians or something. These terrorist organizations laugh at the U.S. media, and they know exactly how to use the system against us.”
The “liberal media,” writes Luttrell, “knows nothing of combat, nothing of our training, and nothing of the mortal dangers we face out there on the front line.”
He says the Taliban and al Qaeda are among “the monsters of history” with their savage attacks on innocent civilians. But American soldiers go into combat with “an extra element of fear and danger”—“the fear of our own, the fear of what our own navy judge advocate general might rule against us, the fear of the American media and their unfortunate effect on American politicians. We all harbor fears about untrained, half-educated journalists who only want a good story to justify their salaries and expense accounts.”
He writes about the “media war” associated with combat operations against terrorists; when the media get involved, “you’ve got a damned good chance of losing, because the restrictions on us are immediately amplified, and that’s sensationally good news for our enemy.”
The intense fighting in the movie follows a decision by the four American soldiers on a secret mission to release a group of goat herders that stumble upon their location.
If they kill the goat herders and save themselves from an anticipated counter-attack from the Taliban, they figure the news will reach CNN and Al Jazeera, and the American soldiers will be portrayed as bloodthirsty killers. Luttrell’s fellow soldier Michael P. Murphy says, “The media in the U.S.A. will latch on to it and write stuff about the brutish U.S. Armed Forces. Very shortly after that, we’ll be charged with murder.” Luttrell says the “terrible reality” of those words hit him hard. “Was I afraid of the liberal media in the U.S.A.? Yes. And I suddenly flashed on the prospect of many, many years in a U.S. civilian jail alongside murderers and rapists.”
Luttrell’s book even predicts the Al Jazeera headline that would result if they kill the non-combatants and word leaks out:
US Military Promises SEALs Will Be Charged
Releasing the goat herders would mean the Americans would be fighting for their lives as the Taliban learned about their presence and came after them. The latter option is what they chose, however, because they couldn’t morally justify killing the goat herders or leaving them tied up to die. After their release, one of them is shown running down the mountain to inform the Taliban of the American presence after being released, leading to death and destruction.
As a result, three of the four American soldiers on this dangerous mission pay with their lives, fighting against a much larger force of 50 Islamist fighters. Another 16 soldiers die in a rescue mission when the Taliban brings down their helicopter with a rocket-propelled grenade.
Almost miraculously, Luttrell survives the onslaught and is saved by a local Afghan villager named Mohammad Gulab. Taliban terrorists attack the village to find and kill Luttrell, but are beaten back. Eventually, the villagers contact American forces who rescue Luttrell. His book portrays the Afghans who save him as tough people willing to stand up to the terrorists, but in need of U.S. help to prevail.
Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sensenbrenner Argues For Increased Oversight, Transparency To Protect Privacy As Well As Legitimate Anti-Terror Tools
by Sam Rolley
Representative James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), a member of the House Judiciary Committee, is becoming something of a character in a modern parable as Congress continues to quarrel over the legality of aspects of the Nation’s burgeoning surveillance state. The lesson Sensenbrenner’s role reveals: Those responsible for the creation of a monster are also responsible for keeping the beast under control.
Sensenbrenner was one of the original authors of the Patriot Act. That law, created amid panic following the 9/11 terror attacks, opened the door for many of the surveillance abuses that the government carries out today. Specifically, the law contains some of the key legal justifications that supporters of the National Security Agency’s embattled surveillance techniques reference in efforts to stifle questions about the Constitutionality of the agency’s actions.
Sensenbrenner recently told The Hill that much of the NSA’s sweeping data collection was green-lighted following the reauthorization of the Patriot Act in 2006. This was about the same time the lawmaker was stepping down from his position as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.
Section 215 of the original Patriot Act, Sensenbrenner explained, allows only information “relevant” to terrorism. But lawmakers, either unconcerned with privacy or over-concerned with locating terror in every nook and cranny of society, allowed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to expand NSA’s collection authority to all digital communication.
“I don’t think the oversight was vigorously done by the Judiciary Committee,” Sensenbrenner told the newspaper. “When I was running the Judiciary Committee, it was being vigorously done.”
The lawmaker is currently backing the USA Freedom Act, which would place major limitations on government surveillance power, including a provision to put an end to the NSA calls program.
Meanwhile, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) has presented opposing legislation in the form of a bill that would codify the most overreaching NSA activities while providing for modest transparency requirements.
Sensenbrenner told The Hill that the Senator’s bill is a joke, amounting essentially to: “If you like your NSA, you can keep it.”
Clapper also noted that, if Congress doesn’t take steps to quell the NSA’s power now, time will provide a victory for opponents of government surveillance as intelligence agency’s may lose even legitimate terror-fighting tools entirely following votes to reauthorize the Patriot Act in 2015 and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act in 2017. Public displeasure would likely condemn any politician voting in favor.