Category Archives: national security

Sarah Palin claims Barack Obama would ‘pal around with terrorists’

Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin speaks to an enthusiastic crowd of more than 8,000 in Carson.
John McCain’s running mate questions the Democrat’s ties to William Ayers during a rally in Carson. The Republican running mate also visits Costa Mesa, and is expected to appear today in Burlingame.
By Robin Abcarian, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
October 5, 2008
You can’t say she didn’t warn them.

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin introduced herself to the nation with a now-famous joke about lipstick being the only difference between a certain dog breed and a hockey mom. On Saturday, the Republican vice presidential nominee unleashed her inner pit bull, accusing Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama of being someone who would “pal around with terrorists.”

Her accusation — made before an overflow crowd of more than 8,000 at Home Depot Center’s tennis stadium in Carson, and earlier in the day at a Denver fundraiser — signaled an increasingly abrasive stance toward Obama on behalf of her running mate, Republican nominee John McCain.

In Carson, Palin signaled her intentions early on in her 23-minute speech.

“One of my campaign staff said as I was walking out here, ‘OK, the heels are on, the gloves are off,’ ” she said.

The “terrorists” to whom Palin was referring is William Ayers, founder of the 1960s radical group Weather Underground, who is now an education professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago and an acquaintance of Obama.

Palin began the attack with a wry observation about her disastrous Katie Couric interview — she appeared to draw a blank when asked which newspapers and magazines she reads. Palin, who later told Fox News that she reads the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, among other publications, said she was annoyed by Couric’s question.

Clearly buoyed by a well-received performance against her Democratic opponent, Sen. Joe Biden, in their only debate Thursday, Palin apologized for what she described as her “impatient” response to Couric.

“Evidently there’s been a lot of interest in what I read lately,” she said. “I was reading today a copy of the New York Times. And I was really interested to read in there about Barack Obama’s friends from Chicago. Turns out one of his earliest supporters is a man who, according to the New York Times, was a domestic terrorist, that, quote, ‘launched a campaign of bombings that would target the Pentagon and the United States Capitol.’ ”

The New York Times article, an investigation published Friday into whether Obama had a relationship with Ayers, concluded that the men were never close and that Obama has denounced Ayers’ radical past, which occurred when Obama was a child. The article also said Obama “has played down his contacts with” Ayers.

“This is not a man who sees America as you and I see America,” Palin said of Obama. “We see America as a force for good in this world. We see America as a force for exceptionalism. . . . Our opponents see America as imperfect enough to pal around with terrorists who would bomb their own country.”

The Obama campaign responded forcefully. “Gov. Palin’s comments, while offensive, are not surprising, given the McCain campaign’s statement this morning that they would be launching Swift Boat-like attacks in hopes of deflecting attention from the nation’s economic ills,” said spokesman Hari Sevugan.

“In fact, the very newspaper story Gov. Palin cited in hurling her shameless attack made clear that Sen. Obama is not close to Bill Ayers, much less ‘pals,’ and that he has strongly condemned the despicable acts Ayers committed 40 years ago, when Obama was 8. What’s clear is that John McCain and Sarah Palin would rather spend their time tearing down Barack Obama than laying out a plan to build up our economy.”

Republicans have long been expected to attack Obama on the issue. In August a major fundraiser for McCain spent $2.8 million on an ad by the American Issues Project that questioned Obama’s relationship with Ayers.

(The donor, Texas billionaire Harold Simmons, helped fund Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the group that damaged John F. Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign when it called his Navy service into question.)

The anti-Obama ad aired in Ohio and Michigan in the summer. Last week, the McCain campaign said it would pull out of Michigan, a tacit admission that it expected Obama to carry the state. Palin, who did not know the campaign pulled out of Michigan until she read about it Friday, according to McCain aides, implied Saturday in Denver that she regretted the decision.

“Well, as I said the other day, I would sure love to get to run to Michigan and make sure that Michigan knows we haven’t given up there,” Palin said as she left a diner after visiting with soldiers’ mothers. “We care much about Michigan and every other state.”

California is a reliably Democratic state in the presidential race — yet it also is a reliable source of cash for Republicans. After the Carson rally Saturday, Palin attended a fundraiser in Costa Mesa.

Today she is scheduled to headline a fundraiser in Burlingame, after which she is expected to leave for Florida. McCain, meanwhile, will take time off to prepare for his second debate with Obama, on Tuesday.

In Carson, Palin was interrupted numerous times by protesters, who were in turn shouted down by the crowd. She said that her father, Chuck Heath, was born in North Hollywood and that her grandfather was a Los Angeles photographer who specialized in shooting boxers. “I learned a few points about fighting from him,” she said.

Many people in the Carson crowd compared Palin favorably with Ronald Reagan.

“What’s wonderful about Sarah is that she’s liberated without being liberal,” said LaDell Jorgensen, 42, who drove from San Clemente for the rally. “She really connects with the old Ronnie Reagan patriotic people who love America.”

Paul Nissan, 56, of Culver City, said it gets kind of lonely being a Republican on the Westside of Los Angeles.

“What’s been set in motion with her makes it seem like California can get in the mix,” he said. “It’s encouraging for those of us out here in Reagan Country.”

Nissan’s friend, Jeanne Tanigawa, 57, said she was a McCain supporter even before he chose Palin.

“She’s like the cherry on top,” Tanigawa said.

Neither Nissan nor Tanigawa was bothered by Palin’s claim that Obama “would pal around with terrorists.”

“I’m aware of the background there,” Nissan said. “I think it’s down to where we’ve got to be blunt about associations and values. The ideological differences are so stark.”

robin.abcarian@latimes.com

Muslim MP becomes justice minister

Shahid Malik promoted as part of cabinet reshuffle

Britain’s first Muslim minister, Shahid Malik, has been promoted to the department of justice as part of Gordon Brown’s cabinet reshuffle.

The Dewsbury MP, who is currently a minister for international development, said he hoped to make Britain “a more just society” in his new role as a minister in the department for justice.

“While I have truly loved my international role working to deliver justice for the poorest around the world, I’m now relishing the opportunity to make Britain an even fairer and more just society for all its citizens,” he said.

As an MP, Malik gained experience of violent youth crime in Britain when a teenager was murdered by a gang of young people in his constituency in May this year.

After the killing, the MP, who lives just a few minutes walk from the scene of the attack, called for “a change in society”, warning that too many young people were adopting a culture where violence was an accepted part of life.

In another government move, Tom Harris, transport minister, has been sacked. The Glasgow South MP said: “Obviously I’m disappointed; I really enjoyed being a minister. But I was always realistic – ministerial jobs come and go, but the role of an MP is more important than any other. And of course I will continue to support the government from the backbenches.”

The finishing touches to the government reshuffle are being announced over the weekend. The posts of immigration minister and police minister at the Home Office have yet to be filled.

A number of senior ministers have today been speaking out in support of Peter Mandelson, who has been brought back to the cabinet as business secretary.

Ed Miliband, who was appointed to the new post of Energy and Climate Change Secretary in yesterday’s reshuffle, said Mandelson would make the government “stronger”.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme he said: “Peter Mandelson has people who like him and people who don’t like him, but even his critics would accept that this is someone of immense talent and someone of even greater experience now that he has been the EU Trade Commissioner for three years.”

Ed Balls, the schools secretary, described Mandelson’s appointment as “the right thing to do”.

Anti-White Attacks in Yorkshire: Gangs of Asian Youths Terrorise Pensioners

 

Gangs of Asian youths are tormenting elderly and disabled people in Staincliffe, Yorkshire, with foul-mouthed racist abuse, according to local newspaper The Press.
Residents living in a cul-de-sac on the edge of Staincliffe Estate say they are at the end of their tether after months of abuse.
The youths, aged from about 15 upwards, start congregating in Manor Way, close to Manorfields Infants School, from 4.10pm and hang around for hours on end, often up to midnight.
The yobs hurl abuse at passers-by, spitting racist comments at the elderly residents – all of whom are in their 70s and 80s.
The gang also makes lewd suggestions to girls and young women and on Saturday mocked a disabled man and threatened to tip him out of his wheelchair. In the past street signs have been pulled down and bins overturned. Cars have also been vandalised.
Police have been repeatedly called out but residents say nothing gets done. Now the residents, most of whom are too afraid to speak out publicly, are fighting back.
Residents’ spokesman Tony Gott, 71, said old people shouldn’t have to put up with the abuse.
“It has gone too far,” he said. “People are at the end of their tether and don’t know where to turn.”
“No one should have to live their lives in fear like this and when we go out to ask these youths to move on all we get is abuse.”
“They called me a ?fat, white bastard’ and the other day I was showered with a pile of bricks.”
“We had the police up here the other day and they spoke to this gang but they denied everything and the police said there was nothing they could do.”
“The police say ?we’ve taken their names’ but all that is a slap on the wrist. It doesn’t stop them.”
Retired builder Mr Gott, who has four sons, 11 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, has lived in the street for almost 15 years.
On Saturday teatime Mr Gott heard the youths hurling abuse at a disabled man in a wheelchair who lives further down the estate.
“They were wanting to have a fight with him so I went out and told them to stop picking on people in wheelchairs.”
“All I got was abuse and that it was nothing to do with me. They threatened to turn the wheelchair over.”
“The police think we are exaggerating but we are not. We are all poorly people up here and two of the residents have cancer. We just can’t go to bed and have a good night’s sleep anymore.”
The cul-de-sac is also a magnet for drug dealers and users who lurk in dark corners behind Manorfields school but it is the gangs that make residents most afraid.
“I think there should be a curfew to get them off the streets,” said Mr Gott. “Something has to be done.”
Insp Neil Money, of the Batley Neighbourhood Policing Team, said “We are working very closely with local schools, mosques, shopkeepers and our partner agencies in order to ensure that the quality of life for residents is improved.”
Something tells us they are not addressing the real cause of the problem.

Dillion M134 Gatling Gun

FBI might use profiling in terror investigations

Critics worry the change would single out Muslims, Arabs or other groups

Attorney General Michael Mukasey talks at a roundtable discussion with federal, state and local law enforcement leaders in New Orleans in this May file photo.

 

WASHINGTON – The Justice Department is considering letting the FBI investigate Americans without any evidence of wrongdoing, relying instead on a terrorist profile that could single out Muslims, Arabs or other racial and ethnic groups.

Law enforcement officials say the proposed policy would help them do exactly what Congress demanded after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks: Root out terrorists before they strike.

Although President Bush has disavowed targeting suspects based on their race or ethnicity, the new rules would allow the FBI to consider those factors among a number of traits that could trigger a national security investigation.

Currently, FBI agents need specific reasons — like evidence or allegations that a law probably has been violated — to investigate U.S. citizens and legal residents. The new policy, law enforcement officials told The Associated Press, would let agents open preliminary terrorism investigations after mining public records and intelligence to build a profile of traits that, taken together, were deemed suspicious.

Among the factors that could make someone subject of an investigation is travel to regions of the world known for terrorist activity, access to weapons or military training, along with the person’s race or ethnicity.

Change not yet final
More than a half-dozen senior FBI, Justice Department and other U.S. intelligence officials familiar with the new policy agreed to discuss it only on condition of anonymity, either because they were not allowed to speak publicly or because the change is not yet final.

The change, which is expected later this summer, is part of an update of Justice Department policies known as the attorney general guidelines. They are being overhauled amid the FBI’s transition from a traditional crime-fighting agency to one whose top mission is to protect America from terrorist attacks.

“We don’t know what we don’t know. And the object is to cut down on that,” said one FBI official who defended the plans.

Another official, while also defending the proposed guidelines, raised concerns about criticism during the presidential election year over what he called “the P word” — profiling.

If adopted, the guidelines would be put in place in the final months of a presidential administration that has been dogged by criticism that its counterterror programs trample privacy rights and civil liberties.

Critics say the presumption of innocence is lost in the proposal. The FBI will be allowed to begin investigations simply “by assuming that everyone’s a suspect, and then you weed out the innocent,” said Caroline Fredrickson of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Attorney General Michael Mukasey acknowledged the overhaul was under way in early June, saying the guidelines sought to ensure regulations for FBI terror investigations don’t conflict with ones governing criminal probes. He would not give any details.

“It’s necessary to put in place regulations that will allow the FBI to transform itself … into an intelligence gathering organization in addition to just a crime solving organization,” Mukasey told reporters.

Agents could ask open-ended questions
The changes would allow FBI agents to ask open-ended questions about activities of Muslim- or Arab-Americans, or investigate them if their jobs and backgrounds match trends that analysts deem suspect.

FBI agents would not be allowed to eavesdrop on phone calls or dig deeply into personal data — such as the content of phone or e-mail records or bank statements — until a full investigation was opened.

The guidelines focus on the FBI’s domestic operations and run about 40 pages long, several officials said. They do not specifically spell out what traits the FBI should use in building profiles.

One senior Justice Department official said agents have been allowed since 2003 to build “threat assessments” of Americans based on public records and information from informants. Such assessments could be used to open a preliminary investigation, the official said.

However, another official said the 2003 authorities are limited, tightly monitored by FBI headquarters in Washington and, overall, confusing to agents about how or when they can be used.

Justice spokesman Brian Roehrkasse said the guidelines are part of a “harmonizing” process that will not give the FBI any more authority than it already has. He and two other senior Justice officials would not deny the changes as they were described to AP by others familiar with the guidelines.

“Since we are still in the process of drafting the guidelines, we are unable to comment any further about timing or the specific outcome of the review,” Roehrkasse said in a statement. “It is important to note, however, that nothing in the attorney general’s guidelines can authorize what is prohibited by any statute or by the Constitution.”

Privacy concerns
Although the guidelines do not require congressional approval, House members recently sought to limit such profiling by rejecting an $11 million request for the FBI’s security assessment center. Lawmakers wrote it that was unclear how the FBI could compile suspect profiles “in such a way as to avoid needless intrusions into the privacy of innocent citizens” and without wasting time and money chasing down false leads.

The denial of funding could limit the FBI’s use of profiles, or “predictive models and patterns of behavior” as the government prefers to describe the data-mining results, but would not change the guidelines authorizing them. The guidelines would remain in effect until a new attorney general decided to change them.

Courts across the country have overturned criminal convictions when defendants showed they were targeted based on race. Racial profiling generally is considered a civil rights violation, and former Attorney General John Ashcroft condemned it in March 2001 as an “unconstitutional deprivation of equal protection under our Constitution.”

Mohametan-Arab Slave Traders

Mohametan-Arab Trans Saharan Negro slave trade worse than White Christian Europe and America’s [TransAtlantic]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMGjJJhHvqY&NR=1

Sudan – where the Arab pop meets the African pop – Arabs are predominantly nomadic so they tend to roam…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGdpwrqH7Jo

Mauritania, a Muslim nation in N Africa, just passed anti slave laws (they’ve been holding black African slaves for over 1400 years in various parts of the Middle East and Africa (Muslims since the seventh century). And liberals have the gall to blame the English and English descended Americans, among other European Christian societies, for the horrors of slavery! Good God.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vZIUR0kSG8

Critique of O’Reilly’s Article – Oil Price Economics

Bill O’Reilly of Fox News fame states in a recent article that energy independence is a national security issue. With that subject I agree, however, it is the predicate of his argument – namely, that big oil interests (e.g., petrol corporations and OPEC) are responsible for high gas prices – with which I take exception. O’Reilly’s role as a television news anchor notwithstanding, sensationalist rhetoric dodging the point at issue by Red Herring which points to the symptoms of the problem rather than the cause is naive at best and irresponsible at worst.

The US consumer is at fault here, not Iran or the mullahs, for high and rising oil prices. If household balance sheets were in order, our external debt position would not be where it is today. Moreover, if households collectively exercised prudence with regard to their political decisions surrounding the government budget (the other constituent part of our ‘twin deficits’), and specifically regarding our entitlements crises (e.g., Medicare and Social Security), by electing officials who would put an end to the abuse of unaccountable government spending facilitated via the laundering effect of statist welfare mechanisms or by simply voting away these monstrosities via referendum, our spending power, hence the price of goods such as oil, would be much different.

The rationale to back the premise that household profligacy leads to higher prices is thus: the market is more or less efficient in that investors, traders, merchants, and the like do not want to put themselves at more risk than necessary to make a living. Hence, there are limits to supply and demand, limits facilitated by the price mechanism.

(Disclaimer:  If you wish to skip the wonkery, pass by this paragraph and you won’t lose any meaning behind my point.) The elasticity of demand for and supply of goods determines what degree supply and demand changes affect the [equilibrium, or market clearing] price. To be sure, the elasticity of demand for oil increases as the price rises as a percentage of household income. However, conjoined with other factors such as necessity and lack of proper substitutes, the relative inelasticity of demand for oil leads to consumption patterns which do harm to household balance sheets in the aggregate. Thus spending, investment, production, and employment growth in the economy is duly constrained. On the supply side, elasticity is affected by, among other things, the existence of raw materials (e.g., crude), production spare capacity (e.g., OPEC’s ability to put more petroleum onto the market), the length of the production process (e.g., refining Canadian tar sands) coupled with factor immobility and time (e.g., drilling and exploration).    

American money is worth less than it used to be due to the monetary approach to the balance of payments whereby, according to Krugman and Obstfeld, “An increase in the supply of domestic currency bonds that the private sector must hold raises the risk premium on domestic currency assets,” (524, International Economics Theory and Policy). In other words, our trade deficit is financed, indirectly, via US government treasuries, among other securities. And the more financing activity we pursue (e.g., via household debt) the higher the risk premium we have tacked on to the price of our money. Therefore, purchasing power is directly linked to our spending activities – i.e., there is a causal link between debt and inflation.

The argument can also be made that the US is exporting inflation from wars in the Mid-East as financing overseas adventures puts a strain on government coffers. That oil prices are blowback of government overextension. Yes, that point is well received, however, government defense appropriations still do not make up nearly the proportion of the budget as entitlements (e.g., war = 20% while SS and Medicare = 60%). Moreover, estimates project that 2/3 of our economic growth has been consumption based. This suggests that the impact from government spending on war has had concomitant effects in the domestic economy (on the demand side), which have led to the impacts we now face in terms of our purchasing power [parity] reflected in higher prices.

The strength of the dollar, essentially, is determined by, among other things, our capital position (e.g., net assets or deficits) and future income earning potential coupled with past performance (e.g., market returns) and overall risk (e.g., default rates). When investors, traders, merchants, foreign sovereign wealth holders, etc. look at the US and its indefinitely increasing entitlements overhang (e.g., $42 Trillion Social Security and Medicare debt projected over the next 75 years) coupled with its increasingly stagnant economic growth (e.g., due to normal business cycle fluctuations), lending to decadent and irresponsible Americans looks less than appealing.

The meaning of our present condition lies much deeper than the vacuous notions propagated by populist demagogues of price manipulation for ‘windfall profits.’ The cost of oil is a proxy for a downgrade in [worldwide] investment opinions of the United States and these opinions reside in and are buttressed by rational economic expectations.