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Stern language from a cross president

Mark Mardell | 00:18 UK time, Wednesday, 6 January 2010

After President Obama's statement, one network pundit described him as "smouldering".

That rather summons images of a windswept Heathcliff, but he was certainly stern and cross.

We are used to politicians sliding around the blame game, happy to point fingers at their political opponents, but often unwilling to own up that Government has failed.

True, the president was very far from saying that he personally had made a mess of it, but look at his language:

"Our intelligence community failed to connect these dots... that's not acceptable and I will not tolerate it... it was a failure to integrate and understand the intelligence."

The president doesn't do anger easily, indeed was criticised for failing to emote fury after the plot itself, but it can't have been a comfortable meeting.

He was apparently blunter than in front of the cameras. One news agency quotes him as saying "it was a screw up, and we only just dodged the bullet".

But one of the reasons senior politicians don't often blame the people who work for them is that they are aware it could end in tears.

I am told that some in the CIA are feeling rather mistreated and unloved by this administration and, if not actually mutinous, are pretty disgruntled.

It is a dangerous business for governments to annoy the police or the military, and I guess the same goes for spies.

Comments

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  • 1. At 00:47am on 06 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    ". . .some in the CIA are feeling rather mistreated and unloved"

    Sauce for the goose?

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  • 2. At 01:00am on 06 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    The best thing the CIA and State Department personnel should do is recognize that they dropped the ball and that further improvements are needed to preclude another 9/11. They have nobody to blame for the dissatisfaction shown by the Administration but themselves.

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  • 3. At 01:08am on 06 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    "Our intelligence community failed to connect these dots... that's not acceptable and I will not tolerate it... it was a failure to integrate and understand the intelligence."
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    And then he orders separate lines for the muslim terror suspects coming to usa...Even bush couldnt acheive this when he tried to profile muslims a few yrs ago...So much for talking to enemies if cubans are put on terror suspect lists....And only a few weeks ago people gave him nobel prize for peace....to motivate him...I guess those people did not actually study closely the pavlov's conditioning experiment, the timing of reward is central to producing the desired result...

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  • 4. At 01:17am on 06 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    According to some people there are too many US intelligence agencies and coordination of their their activities is poor, which accounts for their many failures.


    Fortunately there are quite a few Islamic organizations which seem to coordinate their activities pretty well, which accounts for many of their successes:

    Abu Sayyaf, Aden-Abyan Islamic Army, Adolat, Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya, Armed Islamic Group, Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, Ansar al-Islam, Al- Qaeda, Asbat al-Ansar, Eastern Turkestan Islamic Movement, Hamas, Harakat ul-Mujahidin, Hezbollah, Hizbul Mujahideen, Islamic Movement of Central Asia, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, , Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan, Lashkar-e-Toiba,Turkish Islamic Jihad, Quds, etc.

    No wonder then that they are much more popular in some quarters than the American outfits.

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  • 5. At 01:23am on 06 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    the president had to provide this lip service because he and his CIA regularly blame intelligence services of muslim countries, for example ISI and that of saudi arabia for not helping the CIA...I am sure he must have already had to hear from muslim countries heads of state when he complains that they dont help his men enough " Sir look at the performance of your own agents, a well built good looking young man just waltzed his way into american airliner and your men couldnt even recognize him"....Too late, its been confirmed that cia is as incompitent as it was before...when it comes to real detective work, its great in covert and all the dirty works...

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  • 6. At 01:30am on 06 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    The best thing the CIA and State Department personnel should do is recognize that they dropped the ball and that further improvements are needed to preclude another 9/11. They have nobody to blame for the dissatisfaction shown by the Administration but themselves.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I dont know why but CIA over the past years is acting more and more like Mossad of israel...I think they get their training from Mossad...the job of Mossad is not only to do the spying and covert works but also from time to time allow a terrorist attack to happen, to show that the threat is still there....Obama can pretend that his spies are incometent, but there is a fair possiblity that someone just conviently looked the other way..

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  • 7. At 01:37am on 06 Jan 2010, itcounts wrote:

    Obama to CIA 'You darn well better do everything it takes to protect us, but keep in mind we'll sue you personally if you try to use tactics that frighten the poor terrorists" (or maybe that only applied to the Bush era incident-free period on US soil after 2001)

    No wonder the terrorists are emboldened and probably having a good laugh.

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  • 8. At 01:59am on 06 Jan 2010, U14283552 wrote:

    It does seem like everyone is angry with the CIA.
    The public, the President. Mr Mardel says
    "I am told that some in the CIA are feeling rather mistreated and unloved by this administration and, if not actually mutinous, are pretty disgruntled."
    This seems the most pertinent part of this post. People even with the best intentions let their own preferences get in the way of judgement. If there is a pretty disgruntled employee or two it would seem possible that the mistake was made because of a, just to be reasonable and give the benefit of the doubt, subconscious reaction to information. The reaction being to file this away and not bother because "they can't be bothered to support us". Something that in hind sight the person will probably be thinking "Hell why did I do that?"

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  • 9. At 01:59am on 06 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    "It is a dangerous business for governments to annoy the police or the military, and I guess the same goes for spies."

    It is, isn't it? Perhaps more so when a country is pretty well equally divided into opposite politically active and ever more acrimonious camps.

    And when, presumably, no boss can be thrown to the lions because it would immediately bring about yet more bitter, partisan and long hearings on the new nominees' taxes, attitude to pets/children/wives/ethnic minorities, number of (or lack of) medals. . .during which time there would be no direction at all. (Not to say there has necessarily been enough at is it is.)

    I read that Obama 'won't tolerate people forming a circle and pointing fingers', but if no-one will take responsibility for what really does seem a terribly messy conglomeration, I wouldn't be surprised to see them all forming a circular firing squad.

    The stupid thing about all this, is that it is the targets of bombs in other countries on the other side of the world to whom protection needs to be offered more than to Americans at home, and that doesn't seem to under even momentary consideration as an 'intelligence failure'.

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  • 10. At 02:09am on 06 Jan 2010, american grizzly wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 11. At 02:21am on 06 Jan 2010, Crackedmirror wrote:

    President Obama was cross indeed. Anyone in the same position would be.But after all, we cannot expect all the happiness and anger to be written in the face as the head of a country.
    Whether CIA staff are "mistreated or unloved" or not,the general public just hope all the intelligent agencies can be accountable and really do their utmost to make the people safe and secure.

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  • 12. At 02:38am on 06 Jan 2010, U14283552 wrote:

    10 AmericanGrizzly.
    No religion is open to interpretation. Even if the rules say there are no rules, this is not up to interpretation. A religion is based on our notion of an idea, of a thought. Even if that though is as easy to get as" I can't figure out how this all started so there must be a God" . Some are more specific than others about those rules but they all have something that determines them to be a religion rather than a way of life. Your way of life can be a religion it is for most. Look at atheists they still set rules, rules that come from somewhere, from within themselves, but they have their own rules. all religions from the most personal to the most public have rules.

    And they are very rarely, it seems, open to interpretation.

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  • 13. At 02:44am on 06 Jan 2010, Jumper wrote:

    The day President Obama spoke about the Christmas bombing attempt, within hours the CIA was telling the U.S. press that it wasn't at fault claiming the CIA had done it's job. The President was trying to marshal everyone in the same direction. The CIA was more interested keeping its image polished than in helping the President create a unified outlook and effort. There are times to say, "It wasn't me," and there are times to keep your mouth shut and let the boss lead. That was a time for the CIA to keep its mouth shut.

    It should surprise no one that the President aimed a pointed scolding at the CIA since they were either inaccurate or lying in the first instance and when the facts were known, the CIA was found to have been professionally failed.

    The CIA employees are feeling mistreated? Unloved? Just how many times must our nation be embarrassed by "intelligence failures" of the CIA? At this point, they're beneath contempt.

    The question now is whether the CIA has the integrity and character to quickly fix their problems. Rule one is you don't delude yourself, whether you're trying to survive in the Arctic or trying to survive in a swamp of spies. If you do, either you or those depending on you are going to die. That's why those CIA officers died last week. Delusion.

    What should fire up everyone's sustained vigilance is al Qeada's patience.

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  • 14. At 02:46am on 06 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Just as I don't understand what US policies/activities in the Middle East have to do with a rise of Islamic terorrism directed against such countries as China, India, Indonesia and Russia, I fail to comprehend what CIA had to do with a fact that Schiphol Airport didn't use their [milimeter wave]body scanners which would most certainly detect PETN charge despite it having been molded to the crotch of the Nigerian bomber wannabe.

    According to Schiphol security officials they didn't turn on the hardware because they didn't want to encounter wrath of EU leaders who were vehemently opposed to their usage citing "right to privacy", etc.

    BTW Schiphol has begun using those scanners now, fearing multimillion $ lawsuits which might be brought by families of potential terrorism's victims in the future.

    And I hear that Heathrow got religion too, for similar reasons.

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  • 15. At 02:49am on 06 Jan 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    "I am told that some in the CIA are feeling rather mistreated and unloved by this administration and, if not actually mutinous, are pretty disgruntled."

    The Obama administration has already done irreparable damage to the American intelligence community through his persecution of government employees who were doing their jobs legally according to the government lawyers themselves during the Bush administration. President Obama has no one but himself to blame for the result of the havoc he and his administration have created in less than one year. The decision to publically persecute and prosecute agents who were involved in the capture, interrogation, and detainment of enemy combatants and other enemies of the United States during the Bush administration has had a devastating and chilling effect on all of them. It is small wonder that agents are now more worried about "going too far" in the performance of their jobs than not far enough. If they are not getting the job done, it may be because they are afraid to. And for what? To please American left wing and worldwide public opinion. That seems to be more important than the security of the American people now.

    America, you voted for this man, you elected him, now learn to live with him. If you don't like him, vote him out in the next election...or find a reason he isn't performing his job according to the law and impeach him. The buck stops with HIM.

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  • 16. At 02:55am on 06 Jan 2010, bepa wrote:

    Dick Cheney has also been undermining with speeches what Obama does or says.

    Imo the US has not done a thorough investigation into the torture allegations because of CIA involvement and the involvement of Cheney's office in the White House. Those people can still create problems. Cheney has left behind some people in the government who still are working for him imo.

    Obama has so much to deal with now ..he can not have the luxury to deal with Cheney and his followers...

    The US desperately needs Muslims to work with it to stop al Qaeda.

    The drones can only be used if there are spies ( Muslims) on the ground who will give information about where al Qaeda 's leaders are.

    Imo the people who have been in the CIA for a long time were picked because of ideology and blinded by their ideology they have stopped themselves from accurately assessing the situation.

    The new people in the CIA...are too new to know how to develop and use spies. People who are spies can never be trusted...

    Why the CIA missed seeing the coming fall of the Soviet Union is somewhat a mystery. Anyone who went to the Soviet Union saw the deteriorating buildings and older women doing construction work. It was a third world nation with a veneer of educated people and with nuclear weapons....

    .............

    It all seemed so simple not so long ago...with elected representatives and a view of a democratic state where people voted for their leader..and now what exactly is America? Is it being run as an oligarchy of unseen people? and Obama has to work with these people to get things done for ordinary Americans?

    Why can't Americans have good health care? Every other western nation has health care for all their citizens. That failure indicates to me more than any other single issue that America is a failed state. The government has been unable to protect ordinary Americans from rapacious corporations.

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  • 17. At 02:56am on 06 Jan 2010, itcounts wrote:

    It is really difficult to trust most of what is told us anymore as this is a very corrupt and lying bunch leading the way over here. There are witnesses who have interesting things to say about how the Nigerian got on the plane without even a passport, and that is totally ignored and we are distracted by issues of watch lists and no-fly lists, and the CIA or TSA not doing their job. It all starts to feel like nothing that comes out of this administration has any real truth to it.

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  • 18. At 03:03am on 06 Jan 2010, dennisjunior1 wrote:

    Mark Mardell---I am glad that the President Obama is using stern language on this case.....

    -Dennis Junior

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  • 19. At 03:14am on 06 Jan 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 20. At 03:23am on 06 Jan 2010, wolfvorkian wrote:

    The Obama administration has already done irreparable damage to the American intelligence community through his persecution of government employees who were doing their jobs legally according to the government lawyers themselves during the Bush administration.

    Perhaps but the intelligence community has done far more damage to themselves by always being wrong. Billions of bucks blown and "curveball" can con them.More black humor with the accompanying giggles.

    On the domestic front, it took the FBI 17 years to catch the Unibomber and then only after his brother snitched him out.

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  • 21. At 03:53am on 06 Jan 2010, bepa wrote:

    Marcus

    Haven't you damaged America enough?

    How many more Americans must die in war for you to be satisfied? The drones save American lives.


    You have old fashioned and out moded ways of dealing with terrorist groups...They have no nation. You are causing a problem with advocating old worn out strategies..Strategies developed for WWII...but I doubt any nation would be made stronger by the way you create alienation with an arrogant nationalism.

    We need Muslims to work with us..That is so obvious ...Its as obvious as one and one are two...
    We need ordinary Pakistanis to want America to be on Pakistani soil to fight the Taliban and al Qaeda

    We need Europe...alongside us. Your posts are so bad that sometimes I wonder if you are here to cause trouble for the US


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  • 22. At 03:55am on 06 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    14. powermeerkat:

    Look, forget about making cheap points about EU 'political correctness'. Funny how Americans keep going on about individuals' rights and privacy but then sneer the second other countries express concerns about those same rights being infringed, isn't it? Or are happy to ride roughshod over others' rights and laws and customs.

    "Ben Wallace, who used to work at defence firm QinetiQ, one of the companies making the [full body scanner] technology, said the technology was not a "big silver bullet". Mr Wallace said the scanners would probably not have detected the failed Detroit plane plot of Christmas Day." [BBC]

    See also this article for the technologies that might be more effective and less intrusive.

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  • 23. At 04:26am on 06 Jan 2010, bepa wrote:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northwest_Airlines_Flight_253

    "Reports also indicated the U.S. had received intelligence regarding a planned attack by a Yemeni-based Nigerian man."

    Read between the lines...intelligence means CIA

    Those are the spies that are giving warnings... they are on the ground and they are Muslims or know the language of the area..and they are warning us when attacks will occur. Someone or some people are on the ground in Yemen giving warnings...probably by intercepting messages.

    #17 itcounts...Here is the name of the person giving that account..

    "A fellow passenger, Kurt Haskell, later said that Abdulmutallab, with the aid of a well-dressed man, had boarded the flight without a passport. The other man, according to Haskell, claimed Abdulmutallab was Sudanese and asked for him to be allowed to board, saying "We do this all the time".[6] However, Dutch authorities denied the report, saying that Abdulmutallab had presented a valid Nigerian passport containing a current U.S. tourist visa.[7] Also, in later detailing a catalog of "systemic" security failures, the Obama administration included the failure to revoke Abdulmutallab's visa, granted in 2008 and valid for two years, but did not allude to any failure to ensure he had a passport.[8][9]"

    "The FBI and the Dutch military police are also following up on statements by fellow passengers Kurt and Lori Haskell that an accomplice may have helped Abdulmutallab board the plane in Amsterdam, attempting to negotiate with airline officials to get Abdulmutallab on the plane without presenting a passport.[141][142][143][144][145]"

    Are people aware of the Dutch passenger Jasper Schuinga...he was very active in stopping this terrorist attempt

    This is where the failure occurred:

    "His father made a report to two CIA officers at the U.S. Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria, on November 19[59][91] regarding his son's "extreme religious views", and told the embassy that Abdulmutallab might be in Yemen.[29][92][69][67] Acting on the report, the suspect's name was added in November 2009 to the US's 550,000-name Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment, a database of the U.S. National Counterterrorism Center. It was not added, however, to the FBI's 400,000-name Terrorist Screening Database, the terror watch list that feeds both the 14,000-name Secondary Screening Selectee list and the US's 4,000-name No Fly List.[93] Nor was his U.S. visa revoked.[67]"

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  • 24. At 04:31am on 06 Jan 2010, bepa wrote:

    #22 squirrelist

    " Funny how Americans keep going on about individuals' rights and privacy but then sneer the second other countries express concerns about those same rights being infringed, isn't it?"

    These people are unusual. There are many of them here but they do not represent America. It is some sort of skewed sample of America.

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  • 25. At 04:40am on 06 Jan 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 26. At 04:44am on 06 Jan 2010, cliveeta wrote:

    Failure. This means that most of the 'heavy-handed' anti terrorism laws of the last 9 years have been mostly a waste of time, money and effort.

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  • 27. At 04:44am on 06 Jan 2010, bepa wrote:

    #22 Squirrelist

    You might be interested in this video about change blindness

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38XO7ac9eSs&feature=PlayList&p=67DEE36116B0FB1A&index=0&playnext=1

    People do not see what is around them.

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  • 28. At 05:01am on 06 Jan 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    "Failure. This means that most of the 'heavy-handed' anti terrorism laws of the last 9 years have been mostly a waste of time, money and effort."

    They didn't go nearly far enough. That was necessary but not sufficient to win the war. Much greater boldness in seeking out and destroying the enemy is required. You don't let him go only to find out that he's back on the battlefield again to fight you another day. You try him before a military tribunal, you convict him, you execute him. Meanwhile you kill and capture more of them. When the world learns that to fight America is sure death for no possible gain or advantage, people with think long and hard before they join some lunatic jihad. The most powerful weapon we have against those who would do us harm is to instill fear itself in them. Fight fire with fire, terror with terror.

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  • 29. At 05:08am on 06 Jan 2010, bepa wrote:

    marcus

    Americans are not going to enlist to fight your wars.
    75% can't enlist. They are too fat.

    There is no money for all of this military build up you want. There isn't the money to buy all the mercenaries.
    Its not possible.
    You better start thinking about how to mend bridges.

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  • 30. At 05:11am on 06 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    25. At 04:40am on 06 Jan 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    "BeepaBeepa, the drones I was referring to were not the ones that fly. I was talking about neutered Moslem women who look more like zombies in those body bags than like living human beings."

    Will the moderators please explain to someone in authority why those two sentences are not comprehended under the description "offensive language"? Especially when it is a 'refinement' of a contrived insult to a specific poster made earlier at 19?

    Or are we to be assailed for months again with the childish playground insults of a five year old in a constant tantrum?

    And don't anyone tell me to hit the 'complain button'. Doing that hasn't stopped this in two years.

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  • 31. At 05:18am on 06 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    26. At 04:44am on 06 Jan 2010, cliveeta wrote:

    "Failure. This means that most of the 'heavy-handed' anti terrorism laws of the last 9 years have been mostly a waste of time, money and effort."

    Oh, I don't know; after all that you get to blame the Dutch, the British, the Nigerians and the Yemenis. And the Cubans. (Why the Cubans, I can't think. But I suppose that's just like kicking the cat.)

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  • 32. At 05:18am on 06 Jan 2010, U14283552 wrote:

    25" I was talking about neutered Moslem women who look more like zombies in those body bags than like living human beings."

    "other wise objectionable"

    I just joined this site. I read the rules "are racist ,sexist," "abusive and otherwise objectionable" . This post missed on homophobic and and sexually explicit but otherwise seems to pass the muster . Yet they do not exercise their reserved right to remove it.


    I would suggest anyone that made such comments might well be thought of as neutered .

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  • 33. At 05:21am on 06 Jan 2010, bepa wrote:

    Marcus.

    Wake up. The military is stretched thin. They are pushed to their limits

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/military/2009-02-09-obesity_N.htm

    Pentagon reports U.S. troop obesity doubles since 2003

    WASHINGTON — The number of troops diagnosed as overweight or obese has more than doubled since the start of the Iraq war, yet another example of stress and strains of continuing combat deployments, according to a recent Pentagon study.

    skip

    "Stress and return from deployment were the most frequently cited reasons" for gaining weight, the study said. The largest increase in diagnoses of overweight and obese troops came in the last five years, the report said.

    From 1998 to 2002, the number of servicemembers diagnosed as overweight remained steady at about one or two out of 100. But those numbers increased after 2003, according to the study, and today nearly one in 20 are diagnosed as clinically overweight.

    There may be even more overweight troops than the report shows, Kilpatrick said, because the study includes only servicemembers diagnosed as overweight during a visit with a doctor. The actual percentage of troops who are found to be overweight during fitness trials could be higher, he said.

    The weight-gain trend is among many strains shown within the military after six years of war and back-to-back deployments. They include steadily rising suicides and divorce rates among soldiers and Marines and increased prescription drug use in the Army."

    ........................

    While we have all these people who love war... in theory,
    the reality is that Americans do not want war when they experience it.

    America will turn isolationist if pushed with a weak economy and over use of the military.

    ............................................................................................

    Give Americans a health care system for ALL Americans !!!!

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  • 34. At 05:23am on 06 Jan 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    BeepaBeepa;

    "There is no money for all of this military build up you want."

    What buildup? We already have the most powerful most lavishly equipped and trained military in the history of the world. We don't need a buildup. We need to start using our assets effectively to fight a large war, not to build nations. Let the UN go in and do that after the havoc we wreck and clean it up...if they can find someone else willing to pay for it.

    "You better start thinking about how to mend bridges."

    I just knew you'd get around to talking about surrender sooner or later. Left wingers always do. If America had been populated with people of your mind 233 years ago, we'd still be a colony of Britain sipping tea every afternoon at 4PM on the dot and you'd have to curtsey to the Queen of England.

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  • 35. At 05:24am on 06 Jan 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 36. At 05:32am on 06 Jan 2010, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    They work for him, don't they?

    Or don't they?

    The life and purpose of bureaucracies have nothing to do with the mission statement. Their sole focus is feeding themselves. A properly developed bureaucracy can generate an infinite amount of busywork simply by subdividing its subject matter into finer and finer details, ad infinitum, as the saying goes.

    Real leadership pulls the beast's head out of its own darkness and compels its attention to a purpose outside itself. So long as its attention is on the mission and not on its own interests the lack of self consciousness can produce wonderful momentum, productive of wonderful things.

    Now Mr. Obama will have his try.

    KScurmudgeon
    like I said, Byzantinist

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  • 37. At 05:34am on 06 Jan 2010, Eric Beck wrote:

    You know, I am tired of hearing about the frail emotions of the CIA. Every time anyone levels even the most legitimate criticism at these guys, we hear about their hurt nad resentment. What are they? A bunch of babies? The agency's history is filled with victories and missteps. You gotta take responsibility for both...

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  • 38. At 05:34am on 06 Jan 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    BeepaBeepa, we spend about 500 billion dollars a year on our military. I read somewhere that's as much as the next 28 nations combined. Are you telling me we can't find enough toops to fight the enemy? Then get them out of the places they don't belong. Defending Europe from...nothing. Keeping China and Japan from going at each other. Saving South Korea who wants to be protected but doesn't want to do anything about it themselves, just criticize us. Get them out of all the places they are not defending us and put them where they are needed...by us, not someone else.

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  • 39. At 05:36am on 06 Jan 2010, bepa wrote:

    marcus

    You are completely unrealistic and living in a fantasy world.

    We can not afford this

    http://costofwar.com/

    and continue to deny Americans health care
    This is not sustainable. Our economy is not strong enough..We no longer have the manufacturing base. Our economy is based now on consumerism.

    http://www.nationalpriorities.org/world_military_spending
    World Military Spending

    US 48%
    NATO allies 23%
    rest of world 29%

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  • 40. At 05:41am on 06 Jan 2010, U14283552 wrote:

    There I was thinking the link to this blog would be to an BBC site.It seems I have found the KKK instead.

    19 25 35 would seem to be more acceptable there.


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  • 41. At 05:49am on 06 Jan 2010, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    25. At 04:40am on 06 Jan 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:
    "what we lack is the will. If we are defeated, that alone will be our undoing. "
    ___________________________________
    Exactly our fatal flaw, and the reason our enemies are laughing up their sleeves at us everywhere.

    Prominent among them are the barons of the American Health Industry: we must control and reduce the size of that cancerous growth on our economy or die, but we are not willing to take away or reduce anyone's income, profits, and growth.

    Financial Barons get a slap on the hand and a fat roll in their back pocket, not because it is the appropriate response, but because we haven't the nerve to put back the bridle and bit and teach them to wear them. I guess the ride was such a thrill we can't imagine refusing to take it again.

    Karzai is now a part of our machine: the money flows through him, doesn't it? But then, so was Saddam.

    We are fools riding on a wave of foam, bragging about its gleaming brightness.

    KScurmudgeon, curmudgeonly

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  • 42. At 05:50am on 06 Jan 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    BeepaBeepa;

    "We can not afford this"

    We can't afford not to. Not if we are going to survive. At what point shoule the US react? At what point do we take off the velvet gloves and start using the steel fist? Bush and the Republicans answered for his mistakes in the last election. Soon it will be Obama's and the Democrats' turn. A government's number one obligation and priority is the physical protection of its own citizens on its own soil. More than welfare payouts, more than medical care, more then feeding the starving, more than bank bail outs, more than jobs, more than anything else. If it cannot do that, nothing else matters. Republicans despite their own incompetence warned us about Obama's inexperience, unsuitability, and inadequacy to handle that responsibility. Hillary Clinton gave America the same warning during the campaign. America ignored that warning at its own peril.

    Eric Beak;

    We're not talking about frail emotions. We're talking about the Attorney General and the DOJ investigating intelligence agents with a view towards prosecuting them for war crimes during the time they were doing their jobs and their patriotic duty after having been told by the government's own lawyers that what they were doing was legal. Now you have them thinking about their own security before the security of the rest of us. If the worst happens, there is no doubt in my mind that the calls for impeachment will come from both sides of the Congressional aisle.

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  • 43. At 05:50am on 06 Jan 2010, bepa wrote:

    Some people say there are people in the CIA who are dangerous individuals. Some are scholarly types like college profs..but some might be dangerous

    Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA
    ~ Tim Weiner

    http://www.amazon.com/Legacy-Ashes-History-Tim-Weiner/dp/038551445X

    "Is the Central Intelligence Agency a bulwark of freedom against dangerous foes, or a malevolent conspiracy to spread American imperialism? A little of both, according to this absorbing study, but, the author concludes, it is mainly a reservoir of incompetence and delusions that serves no one's interests well."

    Average Customer Review
    3.7 out of 5 stars (163 customer reviews)

    or there is this book

    Ghost: Confessions of a Counterterrorism Agent [BARGAIN PRICE]
    ~ Fred Burton

    http://www.amazon.com/Ghost-Confessions-Counterterrorism-Fred-Burton/dp/B002U0KO54/ref=pd_cp_b_1#

    reviewer
    "Burton gives you the point of view of a working professional field agent, dedicated and patriotic, doing work that Hollywood thinks is like Jack Bauer but really resembles that of an unusually committed and hard-core local cop or criminal investigator. Burton puts the lie to the idea that effective work against Al Qaeda et al. is anything other than good police work. If you think the military should be the first line of defense against AQ et al., read Burton for the fuller picture. To beat the terrorists, we need guys like Fred Burton too."

    Average Customer Review
    4.4 out of 5 stars






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  • 44. At 06:01am on 06 Jan 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    BeepaBeepa;

    "Is the Central Intelligence Agency a bulwark of freedom against dangerous foes, or a malevolent conspiracy to spread American imperialism?"

    Right now it probably more resembles a group of angry frightened people who feel they've been sold out, stabbed in the back, betrayed by President Obama, his advisors, and his Attorney General. The Administration's policies regarding national security have been a disaster. He knows it, he admits it. Too bad his top advisor Janet Napolitano doesn't also. Getting rid of her should be job one. A new Attorney General would be another step in the right direction. And the President had better stop listening to the extreme leftists in his own party if he wants to make it to have a shot at round two. At the rate he's going, he may be KO'd before the bell rings for the end of round one.

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  • 45. At 06:02am on 06 Jan 2010, bepa wrote:

    No one except a deranged individual would think water boarding was anything but torture.

    Everyone knows its torture...

    There are reports that approximately 100 innocent people were picked up and tortured to death.
    Someday their stories will be told. Maybe not today but eventually the truth will be known.

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  • 46. At 06:05am on 06 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    35.MarcusAureliusII:

    I do not engage with vampires. Don't bother ever addressing me on this blog; I will not reply to you.

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  • 47. At 06:16am on 06 Jan 2010, bepa wrote:

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

  • 48. At 06:21am on 06 Jan 2010, Eric Beck wrote:

    MarcusAureliusII:

    "We're not talking about frail emotions. We're talking about the Attorney General and the DOJ investigating intelligence agents with a view towards prosecuting them for war crimes during the time they were doing their jobs and their patriotic duty after having been told by the government's own lawyers that what they were doing was legal."

    The CIA is not peopled with children incapable of ascertaining, on their own, the legal implications of their actions. You are suggesting that they simply operate on a "rubber stamp" and that simply isn't true. "...government's own lawyers..." is beyond vague, to the point of, and I sincerely do not mean to offend, meaninglessness. The CIA is perfectly capable of understanding whether they are breaking the law or not, and as well, recognizing a political agenda in the law's interpretation. The excuse of merely "following orders" was discredited long ago, most notoriously here in the U.S., in the My Lai Massacre trials. You could say the same thing about Iran-Contra, where men like Ollie North knowingly broke our nations laws on orders from Reagan. That scandal was a bonafide disgrace.

    This blind allegiance we Americans have toward our military and intelligence agencies is extremely dangerous. Eisenhower warned us about it - interestingly, as he was LEAVING office - and the very next president, who locked horns with the CIA over Bay of Pigs, was assasinated.

    I have no sympathy for the CIA. Nor they for me. They are professionals who must act coldly and competently. Anything else is dereliction of duty and they must be held accountable.

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  • 49. At 06:41am on 06 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    45. At 06:02am on 06 Jan 2010, bepa wrote:

    "There are reports that approximately 100 innocent people were picked up and tortured to death.
    Someday their stories will be told."

    1,245 CIA flights to (or from) 'Black sites' known; but these are only those known to have refuelled in Europe, I think. Known CIA 'Black' prison sites so far: Poland, Bosnia, Rumania (specially for Marcus), Algeria, Lithuania (only just discovered), Jordan, Egypt, Afghanistan. Believed to have been some in Africa. A few more may have turned up, I haven't been keeping an eye open for them for a while.

    Obviously, we have no way of knowing how many people ended up in these 'Black prisons', or for how long, or how many died, but from detainees who have been released it is clear that torture was commonplace. And in many, if not all, of the 'black prisons' CIA personnel were present. How many assisted in torture, of course, is unknown. But given what we know of detainees from Guantanamo, it would be likely that many did. 100 deaths could well be a serious underestimate.

    We won'tknow many of their stories; at least not until CIA records (if there are any, or if they haven't been destroyed) are opened up; or, more likely until some CIA employee has an attack of conscience or remorse. Or, just possibly, if at some point a British MI5 officer is charged and sent for trial. (There is a police investigation that may have that result.)

    (Ignore MAII when he starts screaming about perfidious Albion's typical betrayal . . .)



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  • 50. At 07:00am on 06 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    49.

    There is of course, one way of finding out about all that. Since, according to a Rasmussen poll over the New Year said a majority of Americans still approved of torture, Blackwater (or Xe as they are now called) could be employed to pick up a few hundred C IA agents and waterboard them. That, according to MAII and his ilk, should elicit the truth in no time.

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  • 51. At 07:10am on 06 Jan 2010, wolfvorkian wrote:

    WASHINGTON — Before detonating a suicide bomb in Afghanistan last week, a Jordanian militant was considered by American spy agencies to be the most promising informant in years about the whereabouts of Al Qaeda’s top leaders, including Ayman al-Zawahri, the terrorist group’s second-ranking operative.

    Hey Marcus!

    Here is how slick and bad your rambos are.

    http://tinyurl.com/yl2vw3x

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  • 52. At 07:14am on 06 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    I mentioned this a long time ago, but I think it bears repeating.

    'Extraordinary Rendition' is a particularly cynical show of black humour (and the pun is intentional) by whoever came up with it.

    'Rendition' was the word used during slavery in the USA for returning escaped slaves to their owners.

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  • 53. At 07:17am on 06 Jan 2010, bepa wrote:

    #49

    squirrelist

    As horrible as this all is..I think the world is in some ways becoming a better place. These kinds of events were once commonplace but now we recognize them as wrong and we have some documentation about them.

    I think information about the torture and more photos of torture are being kept from the news now because the government doesn't want to inflame an already serious situation and create more anger towards the US. Meanwhile we have some people who are trying to create as much prejudice against Muslims as possible...and to push the US further into war.

    Its my opinion that most Americans simply do not know enough factual information ..and I think they purposefully do not want to know. They feel impotent and many don't vote. its easier not to know...but the US could easily go into isolationism again... Many just do not want to deal with the complexities of a very confusing world.

    Usually we have about 50% of Americans voting. The 2008 election had a very high voter turnout with 63% of eligible voters coming out to vote.

    good night




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  • 54. At 07:30am on 06 Jan 2010, bepa wrote:

    squirrelist

    There is some disputing about the Rasmussen polls....but the polls themselves appear to be accurate...

    How trustworthy this all is..is anybody's guess...

    http://rawstory.com/2009/12/rasmussen-58-underwear-bomber-waterboarded/

    Liberal blogs have been skeptical all year about Rasmussen polls which show President Obama with an approval rating far lower than any other polling organization, and polling analyst Nate Silver in particular has recently subjected Rasmussen to fierce mockery. This latest poll is likely to only increase the controversy.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Rasmussen#Polling

    However, the Center for Public Integrity listed his firm as having been paid $95,500 by the Republican National Committee and $45,500 by the George W. Bush presidential campaign in 2003-4. He has had at least one article published by the Democratic Leadership Council, a group of centrist Democrats whose goal is to make the "Democratic party more moderate, rather than more liberal.

    But in the early days of his polling firm, when it was named Rasmussen Research, Rasmussan advocated for conservative views. For a short time around the 2000 elections Scott Rasmussen wrote a column for WorldNetDaily, which describes itself as an "Independent conservative news website with an emphasis on aggressive investigative reporting".

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  • 55. At 07:30am on 06 Jan 2010, clamdip lobster claws wrote:

    They say that the underpants bomber is a false flag operation involving the CIA,MOSSAD and RAW. It'd be interesting to find out more about the Danish man, Jasper Schuinga; One corporation has already made 165 million from the sale of full body scanners which they knew about 6 months prior. It could be another scam just like the war to get money from the public.

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  • 56. At 07:44am on 06 Jan 2010, clamdip lobster claws wrote:

    And furthermore, nobody finds it the least bit strange that Abdulmutalab was known to British and American agents and not placed on a no fly list?
    They always cry ignorance when these incidents occur. Seems a lot like one too many to me. I can't believe that our agencies could be that derelict in their duties....Oh never mind, yes they can!

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  • 57. At 08:18am on 06 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    55. At 07:30am on 06 Jan 2010, clamdip lobster claws

    I don't much care for conspiracy theories, but I would rather like to know why the stories still say he boarded the plane at Lagos after arriving from the Yemen, when the Nigerian Transport Minister insisted in a BBC interview he had transited through to the flight to Amsterdam and was actually only in the airport at Lagos for 30 minutes.

    And I keep puzzling over this 'syringe' he was said to have used to attempt to detonate the bomb. That should have shown up easily somewhere: I flew very recently and they are definitely suspect objects you are required to show. After all, very few people even have a legitimate medical reason for carrying one, and a young apparently healthy-looking man would not be one of them.

    However, the problem is that I just don't trust the accuracy of any reports that come via the American media. They all too often present hearsay, guesses or speculation as though it's established fact, and it can be weeks, months or never before one finds out it wasn't, so for example I'm quite willing to assume the syringe never existed.

    Apart from that, I've been irritated by the general assumption that he would have killed 300 people; I know nothing about explosives, but I would have thought it quite as likely he would have simply blown himself in half. To be honest, I doubt if anyone cared whether it worked or not; if it did, he was expendable anyway, as so many of these suicide bombers seem to be considered, and you got an effect; if it didn't, he was expendable, and you still scared people . .

    I do wonder why a man who fired five rounds from a shotgun (and was killed by 81rounds in return) hasn't caused just as much fright. If police in London fired that many shots to disable one man in a public place, I would be getting very twitchy every time I saw an armed policeman.

    I'd meant to track how many people in the US died like this, but I forgot. Been a lot more than have been killed on planes in the US or anywhere else, anyway.

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  • 58. At 08:51am on 06 Jan 2010, wcorey wrote:

    Bear in mind that "the intelligence community" that failed to connect the dots on the attempted Christmas aircraft bomber is the same bunch of people who told George Bush that Iraq definitely had weapons of mass destruction.

    The American intelligence community failed to foresee the collapse of European communism. The Clinton administration failed or rather refused to get Bin Laden when it had the chance.

    And, now the Obama Administration and the Democrat Party leaders in Congress want Americans to believe the government knows what to do better than the voters do.

    The big mistake the voters make is to elect and re-elect the corrupt politicians responsible for the mess we're in now.

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  • 59. At 09:02am on 06 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    56. At 07:44am on 06 Jan 2010, clamdip lobster claws wrote:

    "And furthermore, nobody finds it the least bit strange that Abdulmutalab was known to British and American agents and not placed on a no fly list?"

    Well, he was "known" to the Brits because he'd been President of a University Islamic Society which had heard from 'radical' speakers. I knew a journalist (not actually a political one) who was one of those rare creatures, a card-carrying member of the CPGB and actually had an account at the London branch of the Moscow Narodny Bank, into which I paid the rent for his flat when I lived there for 6 months, so then, I was quite possibly "known" to the British intelligence services too. And I hope they didn't waste a lot of time on me. I led a rather boring life then. . .

    Then the bomber was refused a visa, but because he claimed to be studying at one of these 'bogus' colleges, a not uncommon ploy to gain entry to Britain.

    None of that says "This guy is going to blow people up". If he'd got the British visa, would he have not become a suicide bomber? Or would he have tried to blow up a plane over London? I hope the FBI asks. . .

    What it does all say to someone, but obviously didn't, is "have a closer look at this guy if he uses his US visa, because we've been told he's been up to something dodgy once already."

    That is all that's necessary really. Or it ought to be. but obviously what General Flynn called the 'intelligence digital junkheap' doesn't just apply to Afghanistan, but the whole bloated US 'security' system as well.

    I do hope those little terminals UK immigration officers have aren't junk too. Even if next time I fly they take me aside and want to know why I once paid money into the Moscow Narodny Bank every month, and do I by any chance happen to have any polonium about my person?

    (Oh. That can't be why they made me take my Hush Puppy shoes off last time and touch me up--I mean pat me down--can it? Nah. Surely not.)

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  • 60. At 09:32am on 06 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    That last reminded me. How on earth can any state sensibly issue anybody with a passport that says "Joan Rosenberg AKA Joan Rivers"?

    No wonder there's confusion.

    I doubt very much that when I drop in on the UK Passport Agency later this year to renew mine they're going to let me be "Squirrelist AKA ThePseudonymIsometimesUseProfessionally". (Sorry that's a bit clumsy, but you get the idea.) "Yes, sir, my mum named me after a Kalashnikov". . .well, maybe not.

    Might give it a whirl though. Could get to take two pieces of cabin baggage on the plane; and keep an empty seat next to me. Two meals. . .gets better and better.

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  • 61. At 10:14am on 06 Jan 2010, D R Murrell wrote:

    So the CIA are upset that the nasty President said they were a bit rubbish ah didums. I thought these were meant to hardened agents trained to tackle spies, terrorist and other threats to national security, rather have their bottom lips quiver when someone says that they dropped the ball!

    I do not go in for conspiracy theories but this failed attack seems almost opportune, the US gets to push its allies into using technology they might have otherwise have avoided (not Brown of course who also is able to push things through that some people disagreed with). It also gets to add to its list countries that get even more checks, seems a bit harsh on Nigeria and Cuba but hey one whole terrorist came from Nigeria and everyone knows the Cuban’s are nasty (ignoring the fact that they haven’t done anything since the 60’s and if they are financing terrorism the US sanctions are a bit pants).

    I can’t imagine that the US Administration of the malcontents in the CIA allowed the attack to happen, after all the failed attempt did Obama no favours and just made the CIA look rubbish, the poor picked on darlings.

    Marcus – Why do you hate the USA so much? No one who really loved their country would advocate its suicide as much as you do. The USA a country in massive debt, caused in part by two large conflicts and a spending dependence on the military, should increase its debt by expanding these conflicts and possibly starting even more!?! Not only that they should ignore the Geneva Conventions (of which they were a key signatory and instigator) and kill every last enemy they find, irrespective of whether that ‘enemy’ is a combatant or just some innocent bystander who just happens to live in that region? What do you think would happen? The USA is not seen in a great light already, its military are seen as gung-ho as it is, turning them into psychopathic killers who destroy everything in their path would only destroy America. Your allies would evaporate in days, not even your lap dog the UK could stick with you. Every single citizen in Afghanistan and Iraq would become your enemy and these countries would become rallying points for those who really hated the USA and those that do hate you would increase tenfold. You are advocating proving those Jihadists who call the USA the Great Satan right.

    The only logical conclusion is either you don’t really mean what you say and you are only stirring up trouble, or you have some real problems.

    Oh and what you said about women in burkas is offensive. While I am not a fan of this style of clothing, I would never think to make the sweeping generalised insult about the women who wear them that you seem to think is acceptable. You should be ashamed of yourself, it is telling that you obviously are not.

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  • 62. At 10:43am on 06 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    61. At 10:14am on 06 Jan 2010, D R Murrell wrote:

    "Oh and what you [MarcusAureliusII] said about women in burkas is offensive."

    Four against one, so far.

    Hint.

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  • 63. At 10:48am on 06 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    60 drm
    Good post.


    Regarding our offender-in-residence you write
    "The only logical conclusion is either you don’t really mean what you say and you are only stirring up trouble, or you have some real problems."


    While both are likely, I think a good new years resolution for all of us must be "I resolve not to feed the trolls".

    I know it's tempting, but it's what they want - to waste your time arguing with fantasists and loonies.

    However I'm saddened that our philosopher-emperor has regressed to his former state of aggression. I really thought I detected a mellowing of the character ... and even some humour towards the end of 2009.

    Finally, I'm with Squirrelist and others on the subject of letting all but the most offensive posts stand - they say much about the contributor and the validity of their comments. Trick is not to waste time responding.

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  • 64. At 10:50am on 06 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    The Irish failed to detect explosives planted by the Slovaks for flight security tests purposes.


    French police cannot find some of the explosives they've planted themselves for the same purpose.

    And all major airports are now installing ASAP scanners and and other devices which, according to the PC crowd, not only violate passengers privacy but on top of that are not reliable.

    Fancy that :-)

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  • 65. At 10:51am on 06 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    That is actually more than 50 per cent of the contributors here in agreement since that comment appeared (excluding the person it was originally aimed at.)

    Hint.

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  • 66. At 10:52am on 06 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    58 wcorey
    "Bear in mind that "the intelligence community" that failed to connect the dots on the attempted Christmas aircraft bomber is the same bunch of people who told George Bush that Iraq definitely had weapons of mass destruction."

    So they can find things that aren't there, but can't find things that are there.

    ____________________________

    "The big mistake the voters make is to elect and re-elect the corrupt politicians responsible for the mess we're in now."


    While I agree with your statement, I am wondering how many uncorrupt politicians were running for office .... and if any, who they were.

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  • 67. At 10:55am on 06 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    This is taken from the rasmussen link posted by bepa at 54

    "Hard-line sentiments were also reflected in the answers to questions about airport security -- 54% would like to see the United States take control of boarding procedures at foreign airports"

    Given the problems the US has with sifting and using its intelligence, wouldn't it be more logical to let foreign security look after boarding procedures at American airports!

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  • 68. At 11:04am on 06 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    Clamdip & Squirrelist

    My personal jury is out on the conspiracy theory. While I'm happy to believe almost anything of the military-industrial complex in its goal of perpetual fear and war, and selling of new technology (the scanners), using a foreign flight to the US would leave too much risk of it being discovered early by old-school security techniques.

    I'm interested in this mystery dane who saved the day .... CIA plant to ensure the whole thing didn't go badly wrong .... who knows?

    Either way we've got to deal with a whole lot more security, and presumably we'll be paying for it through increases in airport duties passed on to us through ticket increases. Oh good.

    Wait, I've got it.
    It would be cheaper to put all passengers in orange govt-issue jumpsuits for the flight, and then give them free clothes and luggage when they arrive.
    When you leave, you give back the clothes, they are laundered, and then given to the next arrivee.

    Only then will I feel safe.

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  • 69. At 11:19am on 06 Jan 2010, Leo_Naphta wrote:

    Marcus, when you post something like this:

    -----------------------

    "They didn't go nearly far enough. That was necessary but not sufficient to win the war. Much greater boldness in seeking out and destroying the enemy is required. You don't let him go only to find out that he's back on the battlefield again to fight you another day. You try him before a military tribunal, you convict him, you execute him. Meanwhile you kill and capture more of them. When the world learns that to fight America is sure death for no possible gain or advantage, people with think long and hard before they join some lunatic jihad. The most powerful weapon we have against those who would do us harm is to instill fear itself in them. Fight fire with fire, terror with terror."

    ------------

    What are you thinking? It didn't work for the French in Algeria, it didn't work for the Russians in Afghanistan. Why would such a tactic suddenly work for the USA?

    You think the American army can do better than Jacques Massu did in Algiers? I know Americans have this tendency to stereotype the French, but be real for a change.

    Actually, I'd recommend everybody here to go and see Pontecorvo's "The Battle for Algiers". It's actually quite relevant today. You can check the trailer on youtube, if you want to see what it's about. There's a reason they screened it at the Pentagon in 2003.

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  • 70. At 11:25am on 06 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    64. powermeerkat wrote:
    "The Irish failed to detect explosives planted by the Slovaks for flight security tests purposes."


    Since the flight left from Bratislava, I would be more worried about the failure of the Slovak security people to find the explosive (hidden by the other Slovak security people) before it got on the plane.

    Another question worth asking might be
    "Since they planted 8 explosives, and only 7 were found .... why did they wait so long before calling the Irish police?"

    Or
    "Is it any way acceptable to plant real explosives on innocent passengers to test security measures?"

    And
    "Are any other countries known to have done this?"

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  • 71. At 11:33am on 06 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    re 70 - I can answer the last of my own questions ....

    The Japanese did it with 5oz of cannabis in 2008..... and the doggie didn't find it .... and someone got a nice / scary surprise when they got home!

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7419969.stm


    At least the Japanese had a regulation (not followed in this example) that a training suitcase not belonging to a real passenger should be used.

    Doh! Really! It doesn't take a genius to think of these things, does it?

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  • 72. At 11:37am on 06 Jan 2010, Kit Green wrote:

    MarcusAureliusII
    "..think long and hard before they join some lunatic jihad."

    You must know that the jihadists are no more lunatic than the extreme end of the anti abortionists and fundamental creationists in the USA.
    All nation states require their enemies and sometimes have to promote them as such to keep support going for ever more stringent controls.

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  • 73. At 11:44am on 06 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    I am still waiting from an explanation from anyone here, including Hamas, Hezbollah, Taliban and Quds aficionados, why do we witness a growing number of terrorist attacks conducted by Islamist outfits against such countries as China, India, Indonesia and Russia.

    Are those countries promoting, supporting, etc., U.S. foreign policy?
    And are their security and intelligence agencies merely fronts for CIA?

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  • 74. At 11:44am on 06 Jan 2010, arclightt wrote:

    All: The President's statements show me what I would expect to find from almost any person in this country or any other, in almost any period of history: someone who really doesn't understand how intelligence work is conducted, or how dirty a game it is, or how flawed the outcome can be.

    1. It makes most of us very, very uncomfortable to realize that there is an area of our national life where we pay people to (at the very least) misrepresent, lie, steal, and cheat on our behalf. We have the delusion that somehow or other folks can be "nice" while they do this. This is nonsense. Anyone who has spent any time reading anything about real intelligence work (as opposed to the adventures of James Bond--sorry, UK friends!)knows that it's based in almost every case on using the avarice, lust, and pride of people against them for the benefit of a foreign entity. It's a dirty business even if all we are doing is gathering intelligence. It's a fair question that has been often asked whether or not we should be doing this, if we believe in the things our Constitution states; the unfair and sad but accurate answer is that as long as there is evil in the world, we are going to have to continue to visit this corner of the Valley of the Shadow of Death.

    2. Even after we get past the dirty aspect of this business, the other sad fact is that we are dealing with folks who are just as capable of deception and just as capable of appealing to OUR avarice, lust, and pride (especially that last one) as we are. We gather lots and lots of loose facts, and we then try to assemble them into some type of semi-coherent picture. Unfortunately, that picture is guaranteed to be warped to some extent by the efforts of our adversaries to pull OUR strings while we are trying to pull THEIRS. It's not like a jigsaw puzzle, where there are 500 pieces that if assembled correctly form one and only one possible picture. It's like selecting 100 jigsaw puzzles of 500 pieces each (with the pieces all cut on the same tool so the pieces from different puzzles really can be fitted together), throwing all the pieces together, and then asking someone to come up with ONE PICTURE. The picture that the person will eventually arrive at will be the result of decisions taken early in the assembly process; the selection or de-selection of a given piece may make a huge difference in what picture eventually emerges.

    Intelligence is bad enough in a perfect world. Unfortunately, in this country's real world intelligence products are fed to a political process that is dominated by partisans of one stripe or another ready to sacrifice the world in order to see "their side" win, to satisfy a population that insanely thinks that because they are paying for intelligence that they should be able to expect a perfect outcome.

    Should we look for ways to improve? Of course. Maybe, however, we should also be grateful for the successes we have enjoyed, and be thankful for the folks willing to walk the dirty side of the street in order to give them to us.

    Good morning from the Beltway!

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  • 75. At 11:52am on 06 Jan 2010, Kit Green wrote:

    73. At 11:44am on 06 Jan 2010, powermeerkat

    There are many ways of looking at these attacks:
    1)They are often against westerners in these countries
    2)Designed to bully governments not to support USA war on terror
    3)Designed to bully governments to support USA (conspiracy theory!)
    4)Old fashioned local power struggles
    etc. etc.

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  • 76. At 12:04pm on 06 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    75 kit and 73 meerkat

    Also Russia and China have their own domestic policy issues regarding their muslim populations ....

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  • 77. At 12:11pm on 06 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #75

    Excuuuuuse me, but are Islamist terrorist attacks in China, India, Indonesia, Russia, etc., directed at westerners? :-)

    And since when regimes in Beijing and Moscow have been supporting U.S. war on terror?

    Or have become likely to be bullied into supporting USA?

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  • 78. At 12:12pm on 06 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 6, colonelartist

    "Obama can pretend that his spies are incometent, but there is a fair possiblity that someone just conviently looked the other way.."

    I doubt it. National security has improved tremendously since 9/11, but it is far from being 100% effective and it will never be as long as humans are involved in its implementation.

    Ref 3

    "Even bush couldnt acheive this when he tried to profile muslims a few yrs ago..."

    American right wing claims of appeasement and incompetence notwithstanding, the truth is that President Obama is as determined as every former Presidents to defend our national security, which is his sworn duty.

    I question the logic of our actions and deplore the logic of some, not only because of moral considerations but because they often promote or influence the hatred that is evident throughout the Islamic world towards the West, however, that doesn't mean we shouldn't take measures to preclude or minimize the probability of terrorist attacks against our country and our interests.

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  • 79. At 12:17pm on 06 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    75. Kit Green/76 RomeStu

    You fell for that, didn't you? The Meerkitty'll be calling the pair of you 'terrorist supporters' or something for ever now, just like MagicK does.

    Actually, his question has been answered on another thread on this blog, but I doubt if he'll bother to look for it, or would credit it for one second anyway--it won't suit--so I ain't gonna help him find it.

    (Sorry, but 75 isn't really right, btw.)

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  • 80. At 12:21pm on 06 Jan 2010, Captain Kephart wrote:

    Mark, I assume President Obama is familair with the work of a prominent US Intelligence expert - Gregory Treverton of RAND? Treverton's review of the weaknesses of the 9/11 Commision's Report and of the systemic reasons for the failure of US Intelligence are authoritative, correct, and apparently largely unheeded (see Intelligence for an Age of Terror, 2009 and Reshaping National Intelligence for an Age of Information, 2003). Maybe you can bring this material to the President's attention?

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  • 81. At 12:26pm on 06 Jan 2010, D R Murrell wrote:

    Powermeerkat – Sorry old been but your not being logical here, firstly Hamas and Hezbollah are not responsible for any of these attacks, not unless Israel has moved without me knowing.

    Secondly to cover your countries:

    China – These attacks are being carried out by Muslim separatists (though according to China one’s with links to Al Qaeda, good to see we are trusting the Chinese intelligence service these days). These separatists feel that their culture and religion is under attack from the central Chinese authority. I suppose accepting this we can see that those pesky Buddhist terrorists have been active recently attacking the poor Chinese across the Tibetan borders.

    India – The attacks appear to have been instigated abroad, possibly in response to India’s support of the US, possibly to stoke up tension with Pakistan. Internal Muslim terrorism, according to Indian security forces, is rather rare and they are as concerned with Sikhist extremism and Hindu nationalism, both of which have carried out attacks in India since 2008.

    Russia – Like China most of Muslim threat is actually from separatists who happen to be Muslim, especially Chechnya and its supporters.

    Indonesia – There you have me don’t know enough about the Indonesian situation to know who carried out what and why.

    So of your 4, 2 are internal issues involving separatists whose major religion just happens to be Islam. 1 appears to be external agitators who may well be at least partially targeting the country because of its overt support of the USA. As for the last I don’t know, but I would suspect that there are other reasons.

    BTW I hope I can respond since I am not actually an Islamic aficionado!

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  • 82. At 12:29pm on 06 Jan 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #54
    bepa wrote:
    squirrelist

    There is some disputing about the Rasmussen polls....but the polls themselves appear to be accurate...

    How trustworthy this all is..is anybody's guess...

    http://rawstory.com/2009/12/rasmussen-58-underwear-bomber-waterboarded/

    Liberal blogs have been skeptical all year about Rasmussen polls which show President Obama with an approval rating far lower than any other polling organization, and polling analyst Nate Silver in particular has recently subjected Rasmussen to fierce mockery. This latest poll is likely to only increase the controversy
    ____________________

    Considering that Rasmussen predicted trends correctly for 2006 and 2008 with great acuracy, it is typical attack the messenger mode for liberal blogs.

    Sorry but he predicted VA, NJ correctly

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  • 83. At 12:32pm on 06 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 69, Leo_Naphta

    "Why would such a tactic suddenly work for the USA?"

    Obviously, our slash and burn strategy has not worked during the past 8 years in Afghanistan, and I doubt it will produce the results we expect during the next 8 or 80 years.

    Instead of looking at our crusades in Afghanistan and Iraq as righteous endeavors designed to bring freedom and democracy to the local population we should consider the indigenous population feels about them. My guess is that most of the people that are resisting our presence in Afghanistan are fighting us because they want to regain their sovereignty, because our presence in their country is offensive to them and because of the disgust they have for Western values and our way of life.

    I suspect there are not too many Afghans, Iraqis or Middle Eastern people that consider our Western soldiers white knights intent on liberating them from themselves and their culture. In all likelihood, they see us as Western infidels occupying their homeland and are using the same tactics to expel us from their country that they did when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan.

    Sadly, learning from history and long term planning have never been our greatest attributes...

    The key to mitigate acts of terrorism is to focus strictly on Al Qaeda using spies, end oour military presence in the region, and end our overt socio-political and religious influence and activities in the Muslim world.


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  • 84. At 12:34pm on 06 Jan 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    What can you expect from an administration so indifferent to America's security that it won't protect the borders, treats the war terrorists are waging against us like it was merely a group of criminals, treats its intelligence agents like they are criminals and can't even keep uninvited people from crashing a party at the White House? This is supposed to stop al Qaeda from boarding and blowing up planes and so much more of America that is vulnerable? You can't have it both ways. Either the nation is serious about its national security or it suffers what inevitably will be a successful string of terroirst attacks. So far President Obama has not been serious about it. He should start being angry with himself, he is where the root cause of the problem lies. Time to stop wasting America's time and energy on meaningless nonsense like global warming, the Palestinian Israeli conflict, and health care reform. America has far more pressing business to attend to first. If he can't handle it, he should step down. His useless rant won't solve anything. If and when a successful attack does occur, it will not only be the end of his presidency, it may be the end of our form of government. The next one will be far more malovalent, far more indifferent to the sensibilities and rights of anyone or anything perceived as a threat.

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  • 85. At 12:37pm on 06 Jan 2010, Kit Green wrote:

    77. At 12:11pm on 06 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:
    Re #75

    Excuuuuuse me, but are Islamist terrorist attacks in China, India, Indonesia, Russia, etc., directed at westerners? :-)
    And since when regimes in Beijing and Moscow have been supporting U.S. war on terror?

    -------------------------------------------
    My point was that there are many scenarios. Some attacks are directed at westerners, as in the Bali bar bomb or attacks on embassies etc., many others are local issues as in Russia and China.
    I am sure there are networks that connect the perpetrators.
    I do not deny that there is terrorism! I do support action to resolve these problems but at the same time am aware of all states' desire to have more and more controls over everything they possibly can (The Road to Serfdom by F.A. Hayek).

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  • 86. At 12:38pm on 06 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re#79

    If you can predict so well what somebody will do, perhaps you should help enforce security at some major airport?

    Particularly since the article you recommended speaks very highly of passenger profiling as na effective deterrent. :-)

    BTW. Explosive residue detectors are not new; nor are they highly reliable. Reapers (Predator-2) seem to be much more effective.

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  • 87. At 12:42pm on 06 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    73. powermeerkat:

    Let me guess.

    It's a conspiracy to impose a New World Islamic Order and a Worldwide Caliphate because Islam condones no other belief, agnosticism or atheism, holds all non-Muslims should be killed if not converted, by force if necessary, and is intolerant of any form of government except that of the Ummah through the imposition of Sharia law.

    Do I get a prize? I'd like one of those 500g dairy milk chocolate hazelnut bars, please.

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  • 88. At 12:48pm on 06 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    81. D R Murrell:

    Nope, don't think that's the answer Meerkitty's looking for either.

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  • 89. At 12:52pm on 06 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    79 squirrelist

    So much for my New year Resolution.....


    With willpower like that I might as well smoke a fag, have a gin, eat some chocolate and never exercise again and just be done with it!

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  • 90. At 12:56pm on 06 Jan 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Squirrelbrain;

    "Do I get a prize? I'd like one of those 500g dairy milk chocolate hazelnut bars, please."

    Yes, definitely the bar with the nuts in it. Knowing you you'll probably bury it for a rainy day.

    Hey speaking of precipitation, getting any snow in England? Global warming hitting hard there? Wonder if Europe will be the new location of the polar ice cap.

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  • 91. At 1:05pm on 06 Jan 2010, PartTimeDon wrote:

    Ref 84. MA2
    "treats the war terrorists are waging against us like it was merely a group of criminals..."
    ________
    Go on then. I'll bite. Where is the dividing line is between an act of terrorism and a crime?
    If a man takes a gun to work and attacks his colleages, is that a crime or a terrorist act. Would it be an act of terrorism if he was a muslim but a crime if he was not? (Anyone who answers yes to that should be ashamed).
    Does terrorism have to have political motives? Does that make ACORN a terrorist organisation? How about Dick Cheney for his role in the Valerie Plame scandal?
    Terrorists are criminals. Calling this a war on terrorism was initially a bad example of the Bush administration's bombastic rhetoric and then became a cynical excuse to circumvent the law. The latter resulted in such attrocities as Guantanamo and rendition. It has acted as a recruitment tool for terrorist organisations in a way that they could only have dreamed of. Refusing to call this a war is a start in walking back some of the mistakes that lead us to where we are now.

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  • 92. At 1:06pm on 06 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 77, powermeerkat

    "Excuuuuuse me, but are Islamist terrorist attacks in China, India, Indonesia, Russia, etc., directed at westerners? :-)"

    Governments throughout the world understand that in this day and age the best way to impose totalitarian principles and use repressive tactics on opponents is to call them terrorists. Considering the focus of our foreign policy since 9/11 , how can we criticize the repressive activities of the Chinese and Russian governments against opponents labeled as members of Al Qaeda affiliates?

    It takes two to tango...


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  • 93. At 1:08pm on 06 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    89. RomeStu:

    Just don't go chatting to any vampires, or you'll never recover.

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  • 94. At 1:16pm on 06 Jan 2010, carolinalady wrote:

    I have two problems with this discussion: the first is that Al-Quaeda doesn't really need to take down an airplane or kill anyone -- all they have to do is get some hapless dork with explosive in his tidy whities onto a US-bound flight and claim credit for the attempt. Then they sit back and enjoy the show as we chase our tails, plugging that particular "security breach" or "breech," as the case may be. They did it with the shoes and with liquid items and now they think we're going to stop wearing underwear in response.

    My second problem is this: the terrorists have already won if they make us so afraid that we change all our lives and behavior and laws to protect ourselves from what amounts to a group of fanatics with AK-47's...despite whatever "24," Dick Cheney and FOX News imagine.

    I refuse to fear. I refuse to allow these monsters to run MY life!

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  • 95. At 1:16pm on 06 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 87, squirrelist

    "It's a conspiracy to impose a New World Islamic Order and a Worldwide Caliphate because Islam condones no other belief, agnosticism or atheism, holds all non-Muslims should be killed if not converted, by force if necessary, and is intolerant of any form of government except that of the Ummah through the imposition of Sharia law."

    I would not be surprised if my old Jesuit teachers are getting ready to sue for plagiarism! There is, certainly, enough evidence to support legal action on the basis of precedent...

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  • 96. At 1:17pm on 06 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Sorry, squirrelist, but sweets are not good for ya. Acorn[s] perhaps?

    I could bring you a bottle of bourbon, but how can I possibly get it on board with all those security restrictions?

    Oh, I know, I can simply buy it at an authorized airport duty free shop. :-)



    P.S. Since someone mentioned Tibet in reaction to my post about Islamist terrorist attacks in China...

    Yes, isn't it strange that no Buddhist has ever blown up a plane or even attempted to blow up one?

    BTW. Never heard about any Zoroastrian terrorists, either. Even in Iran.

    Strange.

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  • 97. At 1:25pm on 06 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    89. At 12:52pm on 06 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:
    79 squirrelist

    So much for my New year Resolution.....

    Mine is in Post 46, but the subject hasn't seen it yet, obviously.

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  • 98. At 1:30pm on 06 Jan 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    FullTimeDonaldDuck;

    "Where is the dividing line is between an act of terrorism and a crime?"

    "Does terrorism have to have political motives?"

    Oh you are more goose than duck. War is an organized effort to overthrow the government by violent means. Crimes may be acts of passion, revenge, personal opportunism such as for financial gain but even the worst drug cartels do not want to see the overthrow of the US government nor a change to our form of government through force. They'd just like it to be a little more accomodating to their lust for financial profits. Al Qaeda and its affiliates on the other hand seek to replace our entire society based on their notions of Islam. They will stop at nothing to achieve it. That is war of the worst kind and one we ignore or underestimate with great peril to ourselves.

    "Does that make ACORN a terrorist organisation?"

    No, they do not advocate violence even if they would like to remake America into a socialist society.

    "How about Dick Cheney for his role in the Valerie Plame scandal?"

    No, that doesn't meet the test either. The government cannot overthrow itself. It may have been a crime though.

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  • 99. At 1:32pm on 06 Jan 2010, PartTimeDon wrote:

    If the original Star Wars had been written in the last 5 years rather than in the late 70s/early 80s, the Jedi would have been labelled by the empire as terrorists rather than rebels.
    Kind of like the Taleban I suppose.

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  • 100. At 1:33pm on 06 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    95. At 1:16pm on 06 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    "I would not be surprised if my old Jesuit teachers are getting ready to sue for plagiarism!"

    No, no, must be out of copyright by now, surely. (Looks nervously over shoulder at House Rules.)

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  • 101. At 1:35pm on 06 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #$81

    D R Murrell, I would have never mistaken you for a Islamic aficionado.

    Actually I don't even think that traditional Islam believers would consitute a terrorist threat.

    It's just those fanatical converts (some blond blue-eyed young Germans among them) to its most radical and violent branch, which unfortunately seems to become dominant these days, which are the problem.

    And I doubt that even CIA admitting to having organized Crusades would appease the lot enough to let us, infidels, be; not beheaded.

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  • 102. At 1:36pm on 06 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 96, powermeerkat

    "P.S. Since someone mentioned Tibet in reaction to my post about Islamist terrorist attacks in China...

    Yes, isn't it strange that no Buddhist has ever blown up a plane or even attempted to blow up one?"

    I didn't mention Tibet in my earlier post, but since I did mention repressive tactics used by the Chinese and Russian governments against opponents I guess that's close enough.

    No, I don't recall Buddhists blowing up airplanes, but I do recall Timothy McVeigh, a protestant, blowing up a building in Oklahoma City and Luis Posada Carriles, a Catholic, blowing up a Cuban passenger airliner...

    The truth is that increased political and social awareness, instant dissemination of information, a tendency to emulate or condone violent acts, the availability of weapons, and an increased knowledge of effective ways to inflict pain on enemies - real or perceived - have emboldened the most radical elements in our societies and allow them to carry out massive lethal attacks that would have been unthinkable a few decades ago.

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  • 103. At 1:40pm on 06 Jan 2010, D R Murrell wrote:

    Powermeerkat – Ah so you only agree with the Chinese authorities so far then, because they do view the Tibetans as having terrorists. Also the some of the recent upset occurred in China proper rather than the occupied territories (strange how some people moan about the illegal occupation of Tibet, but think that Gaza & West Bank are ok).

    Good one, you chose a minor religion to back up your point, I guess since you knew you couldn’t choose Christianity, Hinduism or Sikhism or historically Judaism. You might have chosen Jainism as an example of a non-Muslim religion that does not have a terrorist element (that is members who don’t have terrorist claims laid upon them). It really is a shame that over one sixth of the planet’s populations are either terrorists or terrorists in waiting, well a shame if you cannot accept that a tiny minority of believers in the world’s second largest religion are terrorists, a religion growing in some of the most disenfranchised and poor parts of the global population. Hmm poor, disenfranchised, seeing non-believers living rich and decedent lifestyles I wonder why some of these people get upset?

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  • 104. At 1:41pm on 06 Jan 2010, PartTimeDon wrote:

    Ref #98 MA2
    Temper temper...
    "War is an organized effort to overthrow the government by violent means."
    ____________________________________
    I get that, so which government are we trying to overthrow in the war on terror then? Or if we've already won twice then why are we still fighting?
    Besides, that is irrelevant. I asked about the difference between crime and terrorism.

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  • 105. At 1:44pm on 06 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #80 " Hey speaking of precipitation, getting any snow in England? Global warming hitting hard there? Wonder if Europe will be the new location of the polar ice cap."



    I hope that our British cousins will be pleased to know that CIA has decided to make some of its info and technical assets (inc. recon sat data) available to the climatologists, and that they welcomed the news.

    Although, it seems that at least some of the British posters would doubt any information coming from CIA.

    Even if it confirmed a hypothesis of man-made global warming. :-)

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  • 106. At 1:50pm on 06 Jan 2010, Simon21 wrote:

    101. At 1:35pm on 06 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:
    Re #$81

    D R Murrell, I would have never mistaken you for a Islamic aficionado."


    Whatgever that may be.

    Better than an anti-semetic-islamophobe anyway

    Actually I don't even think that traditional Islam believers would consitute a terrorist threat."


    And what is a "traditional Islamic beleiver" as opposed to a non-traditional? Or innovative, brand new?

    "It's just those fanatical converts (some blond blue-eyed young Germans among them) to its most radical and violent branch, which unfortunately seems to become dominant these days, which are the problem."

    Dominant? How? Like the KKK dominated the US pehaps?. There are 1 billion moslems in the world in every country, of every colour and language.

    Are they dominated by a few crazies?

    Only in the fevered imagiantion of a yank looking for a new bogeyman.

    And I doubt that even CIA admitting to having organized Crusades would appease the lot enough to let us, infidels, be; not beheaded.

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  • 107. At 1:50pm on 06 Jan 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    FullTimeDonaldDuck;

    I left out that in terroris the violent means are directed principally at non combatant civilians. It may seem like a fine point to you but when we kill civilians in combat against the enemy they are unintended victims inadvertently killed in pursuit of military targets. When terrorist kill civilians, it is the civilians who were the targets themselves. When our own troops do this instead of pursuing military targets, we call it a war crime. What do you call it when others do it to us as in the case of al Qaeda blowing up office buildings and crashing civilian airplanes?

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  • 108. At 1:55pm on 06 Jan 2010, Simon21 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 109. At 1:58pm on 06 Jan 2010, D R Murrell wrote:

    Powermeerkat – I apologise I may have jumped the gun in my last response.

    Marcus – So your advocating indiscriminate war on US enemies would be supporting terrorism. You have said that the US military should not be concerned with delicacies like civilian populations, the enemy is the enemy after all. Tut tut I didn’t think good Americans approved of terrorists these days!

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  • 110. At 2:00pm on 06 Jan 2010, Simon21 wrote:

    96. At 1:17pm on 06 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:
    Sorry, squirrelist, but sweets are not good for ya. Acorn[s] perhaps?

    I could bring you a bottle of bourbon, but how can I possibly get it on board with all those security restrictions?"


    Give it to the Pilot, apparently US pilots like a few drinks, one of tehm is having an "extended stay" in the UK on account.

    "P.S. Since someone mentioned Tibet in reaction to my post about Islamist terrorist attacks in China...

    Yes, isn't it strange that no Buddhist has ever blown up a plane or even attempted to blow up one?"


    Isn't it strange you do not know that they have? There have been plenty of buddhist terrorists.

    "BTW. Never heard about any Zoroastrian terrorists, either. Even in Iran."


    But you have had a very limited ediucation so that is not surprising.


    There have been plenty of Zorastrian (Parsee) terrroists according to the Iranian governemnt.

    Like to try again?


    Fish in a barrel

    Strange.

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  • 111. At 2:12pm on 06 Jan 2010, PartTimeDon wrote:

    Ref #107 MA2
    "What do you call it when others do it to us as in the case of al Qaeda blowing up office buildings and crashing civilian airplanes?"
    _______________
    I call that an act of terrorism which I regard as a crime.

    "It may seem like a fine point to you but when we kill civilians in combat against the enemy they are unintended victims inadvertently killed in pursuit of military targets. When terrorist kill civilians, it is the civilians who were the targets themselves. When our own troops do this instead of pursuing military targets, we call it a war crime."
    __________________________
    I actually agree with all of this, but it doesn't answer the original question. I'll make it easier on you and give the question some focus...
    What is the difference between a criminal act of violence (for example Columbine) and an act of terrorism?
    Also, seeing as you brought it up, what is the difference between an act of terrorism and a war crime?

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  • 112. At 2:14pm on 06 Jan 2010, Simon21 wrote:

    107. At 1:50pm on 06 Jan 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:
    FullTimeDonaldDuck;

    I left out that in terroris the violent means are directed principally at non combatant civilians. It may seem like a fine point to you but when we kill civilians in combat against the enemy they are unintended victims inadvertently killed in pursuit of military targets."


    Wow Maurcus speaks English.


    Here's some more. Yes it is a fine point also an irrelelvant one. A terrorist act is defined as one that is supposed to spread terror (hence the word).

    Terrorising civilians is an age old military tactic. In Vietnam the US did it on a regular basis. The IDF does it now, so does the Pakistani Army, the UK army in Iraq and Afghanistan, Russia in Chechnya.

    And of course the military kill civilians with impunity if it suits the military purpose.

    Always have, always will.

    "When terrorist kill civilians, it is the civilians who were the targets themselves. When our own troops do this instead of pursuing military targets, we call it a war crime. What do you call it when others do it to us as in the case of al Qaeda blowing up office buildings and crashing civilian airplanes?"


    They call it payback for helping Israelies butcher/starve Palestinian children, for paying and helping state terrorists in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria etc to kill and torture innocent people.

    Don't know what they call it in Roumania

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  • 113. At 2:23pm on 06 Jan 2010, Simon21 wrote:

    105. At 1:44pm on 06 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:
    Re #80 " Hey speaking of precipitation, getting any snow in England? Global warming hitting hard there? Wonder if Europe will be the new location of the polar ice cap."


    Isn't that Canada and the Northern US? Which is always covered by snow and bears.


    "I hope that our British cousins will be pleased to know that CIA has decided to make some of its info and technical assets (inc. recon sat data) available to the climatologists, and that they welcomed the news."


    They would have taken it in the same way as the Iron Duke (look this up) responded when asked what he learned from serving under the D of York (not the one NY is named after, much later).

    "Although, it seems that at least some of the British posters would doubt any information coming from CIA."


    Hmmm one or two Americans, including the President, seem to be a little sceptical as well.

    Can't think why

    Even if it confirmed a hypothesis of man-made global warming. :-)

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  • 114. At 2:29pm on 06 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #103

    I am afraid I have to correct your belief that most recent social unrests (riots, etc.) took place in "China proper".


    They occurred In PRC-occupied E. TURKESTAN (Xingjiang) and its population (Uighurs) is TURKIC. It is no more part of "China proper"
    than Tibet is.

    On the other hand Russia's Far East (specifically Primorski i Khabarovski Krai) is nothing more than Russian-occupied Manchuria.

    Just as Sakhalin and Kuril Islands are simply Russian-occupied Japan. :-)

    P.S. I don't see 1 billion Muslims around the world standing up to an allegedly small fanatical and violent minority.

    Now, could it be that they tacitly agree with those fanatics, or that, horrible dictu, they simply know that those murderous thugs are much more numerous and influential in their midst that we are lead to believe, and are simply scared?

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  • 115. At 2:29pm on 06 Jan 2010, crash wrote:

    The president is trying to prosecute members of the cia then expects then runs around the world apologising for US behaviour.He has taken every step to make us look weak,what does he think is going to happen ?

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  • 116. At 2:31pm on 06 Jan 2010, Simon21 wrote:

    111. At 2:12pm on 06 Jan 2010, PartTimeDon wrote:

    "I actually agree with all of this, but it doesn't answer the original question. I'll make it easier on you and give the question some focus...
    What is the difference between a criminal act of violence (for example Columbine) and an act of terrorism?
    Also, seeing as you brought it up, what is the difference between an act of terrorism and a war crime?"


    Since terrorism became a political word it lost all meaning. It means exactly nothing.

    Stalin said many of his victims were "terrorists", China does the same today.

    Orwell was very clear - when a word becomes politicised it loses all real meaning.

    A Palestinian who throws a stone at an Israeli soldier is a terrrorist an Israeli officer who helps shoot an unarmed schoolgirl in the back whileshe is on the ground is "defending his country".


    Remeber Corporal Jones in Dads army? "When the fuzzie wuzzies (Sudanese) won sir it was an orrible massacre, when we won it was a glorious victory."

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  • 117. At 2:41pm on 06 Jan 2010, Simon21 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 118. At 2:41pm on 06 Jan 2010, Philly-Mom wrote:

    Dang... I sit down at my computer and there's a 108 posts? Ya'll are hot on this. I find that amusing.

    Of course Obama's pissed off! We have too many security holes in the states, terrorism is too easy to pull off, and our terrorist specialists are probably more effective at picking out nice suits than they are at actually keeping us safe! Too often, our CIA, FBI & Military Intel folks rely on security through intimidation instead of actual smrtness. Duh.

    Once upon a time, Street Cops could walk the streets and keep them safe with a badge and a club. Now, they need guns and Kevlar vests. We are seeing this happen at a national/international level. The Old Dark Suit, she ain't what she used to be. Bummer, ain't it?

    But wait! There's More! Our Corporate Technology / Global Intel are generations ahead of our Government IT & Security, but they're out for money rather than 'civil service'. Lovely. DC now finds itself 'bringing knives to a gun fight'. The game has changed and playing 'Spy vs. Spy' only works so long. Oops.

    BUT - I think that our FBI/State/Local Police have been starting to communicate, investigate and incarcerate with more intelligence lately.
    -- So I'm optimistic. With any luck, the CIA/FBI/Pentagon boys will realize they're on the same team. Go Eagles.

    Now... if only we could get the Central & Military Intelligence Groups to talk to each other. Heh..

    Get it? It's a joke... "Military"... "Intelligence"...
    Heh heh, it's an Oxymoron! Heh heh!
    Yuk Yuk! "Congressional Meeting!" HA! That's as oxymoronic as "Absentee Voting!"
    Ha Ha Haa!! How about "Bureaucratic Efficiency," or "Peace Force" or "State-Of The-Union," "Income Tax," "Smart Bomb," "War on Terror"!!! Ha Ha Haa!!! Funny! I crack me up!

    ahem. Sorry. I haven't had my coffee yet.

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  • 119. At 2:51pm on 06 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    I don't have a problem with using semantics to define policies and actions, but why is it that our presence and activities in foreign lands are legitimized under the pretense of "war" and retaliation or resistance by the indigenous population are considered acts of terrorism?

    To me, war means an armed conflict between nations or states carried on by military forces, either aggressively or in self defence, and often motivated by the need to advance socio-political and economic interests. Is it fair to assume that those who do not have the means or capabilities to resist our military incursions with a formal army are to be considered terrorists? Are the pseudo uniforms (often limited to oversized sun glasses) worn by the Blackwater USA mercenaries enough to justify and legitimize their actions?

    Should we assume that only those with the financial means - and a divine mythical blessing - can destroy apartment buildings, schools and hospitals with bombs and missiles legally and with impunity, and that those who wrap themselves with explosives to retaliate against our presence and resist the expansion of our global interests are to be regarded as evil?

    We were not attacked by a country or state on 9/11, we were attacked by a terrorist group composed, primarily, of Saudi nationals. In retaliation we invaded Afghanistan and Iraq, deposed their government, put puppets in power that do not enjoy the support of the citizens of those countries, destroyed the incipient infrastructure in those countries, precipitated massive migrations, demonized their culture, and have carried out acts of extreme violence against the indigenous population.

    If our goal is to create and sustain a climate of instability, we are doing a wonderful job and there should be no problems justifying our "defense" budgets and our foreign policy, but if the goal is to reduce the probability or frequency of terrorism and re-establish global harmony and cooperation the strategy initiated by the Bush Administration, and enthusiastically embraced and expanded by the Obama Administration, are the last thing we should be doing.

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  • 120. At 2:54pm on 06 Jan 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 121. At 2:56pm on 06 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 80

    "Hey speaking of precipitation, getting any snow in England? Global warming hitting hard there? Wonder if Europe will be the new location of the polar ice cap."

    I don't know about England or Europe, but it has been unusually cold in Florida for several days...

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  • 122. At 2:58pm on 06 Jan 2010, U14283552 wrote:

    500 billion and there's no money to save a few kids from premature death?
    This is not the mark of civilisation.

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  • 123. At 3:01pm on 06 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 115, Crash (Magic?)

    President Obama has not gone around the world apologizing for our actions and has done nothing to undermine the effectiveness of our intelligence agencies. In fact, he has replaced the ambivalence of the Bush Administration with a greater focus on Al Qaeda, the terrorist group that attacked us on 9/11 and that remains intent on a sequel.

    Whether or not his approach results in national security improvements is another matter, and only time will tell, but focusing on real Vs imaginary or convenient enemies is definitely worth a try.

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  • 124. At 3:06pm on 06 Jan 2010, U14283552 wrote:

    63 StuRome.

    It seems that some of the trash was taken out last night.Not a moment too soon either.
    There is another thing that can be done to trolls.
    They can be put on poles. Not Polish people but the ones favoured by Vlad the Impaler.
    For that to happen we need a virtual mob with pitchforks, but I suspect on reading back that would be a waste of time.

    You ask " Or
    "Is it any way acceptable to plant real explosives on innocent passengers to test security measures?""

    Of course it is acceptable, they should also try the same test with weapons grade plutonium.

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  • 125. At 3:09pm on 06 Jan 2010, Simon21 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 126. At 3:10pm on 06 Jan 2010, D R Murrell wrote:

    Powermeerkat – I am slightly confused here Xingjiang has been occupied since 1955 and China from the Qing dynasty have a historical claim on Xingjiang. The Chinese authorities say that there are a number of Muslim terrorist groups, who have explosives and is claimed tried to bomb a plane, though others say that they are simply separatist groups trying to gain their rightful independence. From your post I got the impression you had some sympathy for these separatists, comparing it to Tibet.

    Gaza and the West Bank has been occupied since 1967 and the Israelis have a historical/religious claim on the land. The Israeli authorities say there are a number of Muslim terrorist groups, who have explosives and have tried to bomb planes, though others say that they are simply separatist groups trying to gain their rightful independence. From your posts I know you have no sympathy for these separatists, indeed expect non-Palestinian Muslims to condemn them outright.

    You see I don’t get the discrepancy, if anything Xingjiang has a lesser claim, the PRC walked into the region without any resistance, while Gaza & the West Bank are spoils of war.

    Are you a Christian? If so can I have your unequivable condemnation of ETA, whose membership is Christian, as well the IRA and UDA?

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  • 127. At 3:24pm on 06 Jan 2010, D R Murrell wrote:

    Marcus “What do you think twenty thousand thermonuclear weapons targeted at the USSR's empire and China were if not terrorism. We targeted nearly two bilion people to be killed in the first few hours of a war, almost all of them civilians. There was very little dissent in the US or in Europe for that strategy. And why? Because everyone knew it was the only strategy that would work to prevent the world from becoming slaves of the Soviet empire. Liberty or death, that was the choice. You've heard of Patrick Henry who first popularized that phrase. He was an American patriot born in Britain. The last time he was on British soil he was fleeing just one step ahead of King George III's henchmen who would have killed him if they could have caught him.”

    So you do support terrorism and terrorists!!!! Watch out old bean Homeland Security could be knocking on your caravan door any day now.

    By the way when did Virginia stop being in Britain, when did the USA nick that large chunk of land? Patrick Henry was born in 1736 in Studley, Hanover County, Virginia. He made is famous speech while elected to the House of Burgesses, the legislative of the Virginia colony. He was according the biography I read ever in Britain, let alone running away from the King George’s henchmen, as he lived pretty much his whole life in Virginia, which unless I am gravely mistaken is on the North American continent.

    He was also firmly against that document you hold so dear, the Constitution, voting against it. As he is one of the USA’s Founding Fathers it is a bit of a shame that an American can get so much wrong about him. I thought they taught American history in schools!

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  • 128. At 3:26pm on 06 Jan 2010, Simon21 wrote:

    114. At 2:29pm on 06 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:
    Re #103

    I am afraid I have to correct your belief that most recent social unrests (riots, etc.) took place in "China proper"."


    They occurred In PRC-occupied E. TURKESTAN (Xingjiang) and its population (Uighurs) is TURKIC. It is no more part of "China proper"
    than Tibet is."


    They are part of China. Like Texas is part of the US.

    On the other hand Russia's Far East (specifically Primorski i Khabarovski Krai) is nothing more than Russian-occupied Manchuria.


    And Californais is US occupied Mexico?

    Just as Sakhalin and Kuril Islands are simply Russian-occupied Japan. :-)"


    And the US is US-occupied Britain? XXXX

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    P.S. I don't see 1 billion Muslims around the world standing up to an allegedly small fanatical and violent minority."


    Hmm blaming a whole group of co-religionists for the faults of a few?

    Which Geramn leader did this again?

    Now, could it be that they tacitly agree with those fanatics, or that, horrible dictu, they simply know that those murderous thugs are much more numerous and influential in their midst that we are lead to believe, and are simply scared?"

    Or could it be that you have a thing about a semetic religion and beleive they are all mysteriously involved together?

    What could be teh answer?

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  • 129. At 3:27pm on 06 Jan 2010, Rob Drake wrote:



    Remember the Statues of the Buddha? Just to remind you:


    -----------------------------

    The News, March 13, 2001


    ISLAMABAD: The destruction of the two massive Buddha statues in Bamiyan was completed on Thursday and Friday with dynamite, an official source in Islamabad confirmed on Monday.

    "The plan of demolition by dynamite, established in advance, was implemented on the 8th and 9th (of March)," said the source, who asked not to be named. "There is nothing except a few pieces of the Buddhas, left clinging to the cliff," he said.

    "This crime against culture was committed while all the world's voices were raised to prevent it. The Taliban paid no attention to the unprecedented international protests, nor of the conflicting views expressed by the highest religious authorities of Islam," Matsuura said.

    The delegation, including Egypt's top religious leader, Mufti Sheikh Nasr Farid Wassel and two top scholars, Sheikh Yusef al-Qaradawi and Mohammad al-Rawi, returned empty-handed from Afghanistan on Monday.


    ----------------------------------------------------


    It's fairly clear that the Islamist's and their destructive maddness go beyond America, Israel and all the usual excuses that are employed (by all sides) to try to explain this maddness. These Excuses are used mainly to recruit other Muslims to their side and to provide Liberals in the West with the empty hope that these people can somehow be reasoned with.

    I'm all for reaching out to the Muslim world but we should be in no doubt that there are many Muslims thoughout the world who want nothing else but to consign the non-Muslim world to the same pile of rubble that was once a statue of the Buddha.



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  • 130. At 3:27pm on 06 Jan 2010, Leo_Naphta wrote:

    Tsh, again Marcus ignores my reply. If I recall right, last time I called him out on it, he mentioned my posts were boring - I know, facts, what a bore -.

    Here's an interesting parallell to think about.
    France used to justify their war in Algeria because they were defending the values of humanism and enlightment against people ( a minority, they said ) that wanted to do away with them. Human righs were also a very big part of the discours. Protecting the Algerians from themselves, if you will.

    Now, doesn't that sound just a bit like the way we are handling Afghanistan right now?

    Bonus fact, Massu used to say that the torture used by French soldiers against FLN suspects, wasn't all that bad. In fact, he had tried it on himself and everything.

    Who does that sound like?

    I'm not saying that it's an identical conflict, but we might just learn a few things.

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  • 131. At 3:30pm on 06 Jan 2010, Simon21 wrote:

    126. At 3:10pm on 06 Jan 2010, D R Murrell wrote:
    Powermeerkat – I am slightly confused here Xingjiang has been occupied since 1955 and China from the Qing dynasty have a historical claim on Xingjiang. The Chinese authorities say that there are a number of Muslim terrorist groups, who have explosives and is claimed tried to bomb a plane, though others say that they are simply separatist groups trying to gain their rightful independence. From your post I got the impression you had some sympathy for these separatists, comparing it to Tibet.

    Gaza and the West Bank has been occupied since 1967 and the Israelis have a historical/religious claim on the land. The Israeli authorities say there are a number of Muslim terrorist groups, who have explosives and have tried to bomb planes, though others say that they are simply separatist groups trying to gain their rightful independence. From your posts I know you have no sympathy for these separatists, indeed expect non-Palestinian Muslims to condemn them outright.

    You see I don’t get the discrepancy, if anything Xingjiang has a lesser claim, the PRC walked into the region without any resistance, while Gaza & the West Bank are spoils of war.

    Are you a Christian? If so can I have your unequivable condemnation of ETA, whose membership is Christian, as well the IRA and UDA?"


    Please do not ask this poster questions about other countries. They ar enot his speciality.

    What "china proper" is (as opposed to China improper?) is is an open question.


    Living as he does in a country carved from a vareity of other powers he is hardly in a position to lecture others.

    The Native Americans have one of two views on taking land and improper behaviour.

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  • 132. At 3:34pm on 06 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    Obama to CIA 'You darn well better do everything it takes to protect us, but keep in mind we'll sue you personally if you try to use tactics that frighten the poor terrorists" (or maybe that only applied to the Bush era incident-free period on US soil after 2001)

    No wonder the terrorists are emboldened and probably having a good laugh.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    People should hear how obama orders pakistani government to do errands for him...If he used half of how that language with CIA, the agency would get rid of him...

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  • 133. At 3:36pm on 06 Jan 2010, Belvita Jacobs wrote:

    This situation is certainly more than a bit ironic. After 8 years of the War On Terror, we can't intercept a terrorist about whom at least a fair amount of intelligence exists beforehand. Before 9/11, the Central Intelligence Agency was the organization whose primary purpose was, among other things, to coordinate the various intelligence agencies of the U. S. Government. Following 9/11, we were told that it was no longer up to the job - it was unable to "connect the dots" - and we therefore needed a Director of National Intelligence to supervise the CIA's coordination. So we now have yet another layer of massively intrusive, expensive, and insufferable bureaucracy on top of the many extant layers, and still we are unable to "connect the dots." To add insult to injury, somehow this terrorist wasn't placed on the No Fly list while countless ordinary Americans have been included on the list for no discernable - and certainly no disclosable - reason, and are only able to have their names removed after the most prolonged acrobatic feats. Are we actually fighting a War On Terror? What is the real purpose of this so-called War? Is to to simply to accustom us to tighter domestic social controls while the actual terrorists go about their business unmolested? If so, they could not have designed a better system to accomplish that goal.

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  • 134. At 3:39pm on 06 Jan 2010, Simon21 wrote:

    127. At 3:24pm on 06 Jan 2010, D R Murrell wrote:
    "He was also firmly against that document you hold so dear, the Constitution, voting against it. As he is one of the USA’s Founding Fathers it is a bit of a shame that an American can get so much wrong about him. I thought they taught American history in schools!"


    I am afraid this posters knowledge of history of the US is very limited (his knowledge of Roumanian history might be better).

    But this is not surprising. It is widely known that history is a very neglected subject in the US. Alistair Cook, a fanatical USophile claimed t it was taught very badly whenever it was.

    I would also include geography (political and physical) with that.

    We have one US poster here who has invented a new country called "China proper".


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  • 135. At 3:41pm on 06 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    The americans particuallry and westerners generally have always been segregatists...their solution to every challange is to segregate others...example the wall that segrated berliners, the wall that segrgates palestinians, cities in iraq have been walled into shia , sunni and etc etc, after occupation, the same in afghanistan, pathans segregated and now the same thing at their airports...Making citizens of 14 countries go to the pornographic booths is not going to stop terrorism on the planes...But its going to give a perfect excuse and justifcation to the attitude of segregation which flourishes in the minds of westerners..

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  • 136. At 3:43pm on 06 Jan 2010, Simon21 wrote:

    "130. At 3:27pm on 06 Jan 2010, Leo_Naphta wrote:
    Tsh, again Marcus ignores my reply. If I recall right, last time I called him out on it, he mentioned my posts were boring - I know, facts, what a bore -.

    Here's an interesting parallell to think about.
    France used to justify their war in Algeria because they were defending the values of humanism and enlightment against people ( a minority, they said ) that wanted to do away with them. Human righs were also a very big part of the discours. Protecting the Algerians from themselves, if you will."


    The Spanish, when they began the genocidal conquest of New Spain claimed they were doing it to spread the light of the Gospel, when the slave trade started some claimed it was good for the slaves as they would encounter Christianity.

    Hitler claimed Barbarossa was a crusade against godless Bolshevism.

    Who cares what murderous conquerors claim?

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  • 137. At 3:47pm on 06 Jan 2010, PartTimeDon wrote:

    Ref #120 MA2
    "That is why America hasn't won a war since WWII except for Serbia and Granada. The war in Korea was called "a police action." Sixty years later, countless billions of dollars later, and countless Americans who served there later North Korea is as great a threat as it's ever been. Had we fought WWII with your mentality we would have lost. It is time for American leaders to stop thinking about the rest of the world and focus exclusively on what is best for America. It is time for American leaders including the military to disabuse themselves of the absurd notion that you win wars by winning hearts and minds Kumbaya Kumbaya, but instead finding and killing the enemy with great efficiency and certainty. That is the only method that has been proven to work."
    ___________________________________-
    YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE HAAAAAAAAWWWWWWW!!! I got me a gun and I'm a gonna go and shoot someone with it!!!!
    Hearts and minds is about making sure you can go after the bad guys and kill them without creating more of them. How many heads do you have to cut off this hydra?
    Also, what wars do you think the US has missed out on since 1945? Lemme guess, you'd have invaded the USSR. Remember that if it hadn't been for Pearl harbour, you'd have happily sat back and let the Nazi win.

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  • 138. At 3:49pm on 06 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 134, Simon

    "It is widely known that history is a very neglected subject in the US. Alistair Cook, a fanatical USophile claimed t it was taught very badly whenever it was.

    I would also include geography (political and physical) with that."

    I hate to admit it, but you are absolutely right. In my opinion, that is one of the main reasons for the xenophobia that is evident in our country, and our irrational fears of anything foreign. Obviously, it also facilitates the work of those intent on adventurism and expansionism.

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  • 139. At 3:51pm on 06 Jan 2010, D R Murrell wrote:

    Simon – To be fair I was the one that said China proper first to differentiate it from Tibet, as some consider Tibet to still be a different country just one forcibly occupied. Sloppy posting on my side, for which I apologise.

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  • 140. At 3:53pm on 06 Jan 2010, Philly-Mom wrote:

    BTW: I found this an unpleasantly ominous end note --
    "I am told that some in the CIA are feeling rather mistreated and unloved by this administration and, if not actually mutinous, are pretty disgruntled. It is a dangerous business for governments to annoy the police or the military, and I guess the same goes for spies."
    -- Mr. Mark

    Meh.
    Did ya'll realize that the FBI tapped Martin Luther King's phone? They were tracking him and a bunch of other Civil Rights Activists all through the 60's. Folks wanted our Gov to shut MLK down, but he only ever broke the rules that weren't fair. Misdemeanors, mostly. All those hotel wire taps and all he ever did was call his wife. Poor agents must've had a nice boring time of it.

    Of course... MLK still got shot. Just like MX. And JFK. Well, Thank God we have such a competent Secret Service. *bangs-head-on-desk*

    ___________
    94. At 1:16pm on 06 Jan 2010, carolinalady wrote:

    "I refuse to fear. I refuse to allow these monsters to run MY life!"

    Preach it, honey. Terrorism is designed to instill fear.
    Fear is the Mind-Killer. It leads to the Dark Side. Be not Afraid.

    Enjoy some Carolina BBQ! I love NCarolina BBQ. Vinegar & Brown Sugar. And Cheerwine. Good stuff. Old Uncle Bud used to live by Grandfather Mountain. Grilled for us every time we visited. (Texas BBQ is too sweet for my taste. Dallas loves their cows and molasses, but all that fat & oil is bad for the heart.)
    _______________

    BTW: While everyone is fighting forgotten wars and hashing out the truth and fiction of Climate Change, I would like to point out a simple fact:

    Spies are sexy.

    IOW: The dog is wagging. Even Communism is a Red Herring.
    [This post is in code and will self-destruct in three... two...]

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  • 141. At 3:53pm on 06 Jan 2010, U14284230 wrote:

    127 DRM

    "Gaza and the West Bank has been occupied since 1967 and the Israelis have a historical/religious claim on the land. "
    LOL didn't some pedant say that it would be foolish to drive policy on a work of fiction?

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  • 142. At 3:57pm on 06 Jan 2010, SONICBOOMER wrote:

    If some find the rantings of a certain member here offensive, why dignify with a reply, or even trawl through the posts of a clearly frightened person?
    I don't need to go to a sewer to know it stinks.

    To the subject, it seems, from what we know so far, that the terrorist on the A330 aircraft had been attempting to detonate his device without success, in the lavs.
    Returning to his seat, when by now the aircraft was at a lower altitude which would have reduced the effects of explosive decompression, attempting again to detonate before being overpowered.

    The lapses that allowed him on board were major ones, however the fact that whoever sent him could only get a potentially explosive device on board by using what seems a very uncertain method of bomb making, the terrorist himself being inexperienced, probably incompetent, seems to indicate that current measures have already severely limited the options for those trying to blow up aircraft.

    More worrying is that it seems also that one of the major problems that allowed Sept 11th to happen, is still in place, this being the sheer range of different US agencies tasked with intel/counter terrorism, who have issues with communicating with each other.
    If anything, the post Sept 11th set up is even more complex and crowded.

    This year marks the 40th anniversary of what was, prior to 2001, the iconic image of terrorism against air transport, the blowing up of hijacked US, UK, Swiss airliners at Dawson's Field in Jordan.
    Since then it's only escalated, worth remembering though that the attempt to smuggle liquid bombs on US airliners out of Heathrow in 2006, (those involved now serving very long prison sentences), was a copy of a similar attempt to do the same out of the Phillipines in 1996. Before Bush, before Blair, before Iraq.
    I mentioned in a previous post the attempt to crash an airliner on Paris in 1994 too.

    That's not to say that some of the policies of the last decade did not encourage more of the same, even many in the counter terrorism community think so.
    But terrorism was not invented in Sept 2001, that was just an ambitious plot (not as ambitious as the original 10-12 'Planes Operation' though), that got lucky, due in part to the problems of US intelligence gathering and more to the point, processing what information they had.

    It does look like chemical sniffers, once perfected, are an answer.
    But, with body scanners, they are not THE answer.
    Because there is no technical silver bullet.

    I completely agree with Carolinalady in post 94, whether the terrorists achieve their aims, whoever they are, is far more down to us, all of us, than any government, any agency, certainly any military.
    .

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  • 143. At 3:59pm on 06 Jan 2010, U14284230 wrote:

    It seems a good time to link to an explanation that was posted not long ago that would explain why maybe Islamic people are somewhat dissatisfied with the service provided so far.

    There are a host of right wing religious zealots of american persuasion that get away with a crusade. One in particular is mentioned in the following comment.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/a_damning_view_of_us_intellige.html#P90576456

    well said that pirate

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  • 144. At 4:02pm on 06 Jan 2010, U14284230 wrote:

    philly mom. "spies are sexy" oh dear. Some spies are sexy. they are in films. I did meet a rather cute Russian honeypot once. but most are just guys in big coats trying to keep warm .

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  • 145. At 4:11pm on 06 Jan 2010, Simon21 wrote:

    139. At 3:51pm on 06 Jan 2010, D R Murrell wrote:
    Simon – To be fair I was the one that said China proper first to differentiate it from Tibet, as some consider Tibet to still be a different country just one forcibly occupied. Sloppy posting on my side, for which I apologise."

    None needed.

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  • 146. At 4:13pm on 06 Jan 2010, U14284230 wrote:

    "don't need to go to a sewer to know it stinks."
    sonic boomer. some have been trying to flush this system for some time. We obviously didn't realise it is a septic system and requires some rotting to work. Apparently. I thought it may have been more modern than that.

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  • 147. At 4:17pm on 06 Jan 2010, Leo_Naphta wrote:

    # 136, Simon 21:

    "Who cares what murderous conquerors claim?"

    Did you actually read my post, or did you just sort of skim it? Because I don't think you actually got what I was trying to convey there. Furthermore, you do realize I'm talking about the Algerian war of 1954 - 1962, and not the Algerian conquest of 1830, right? The Algerian war was slightly more complex then just a 'conquer or kill them all' affair.Try to 'connect the dots'.

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  • 148. At 4:22pm on 06 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    Try to 'connect the dots'.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Go easy on the phrase "connect the dots" or else everyone would connect the dots and finally realise that all of us are actually monkeys...Now, you wouldnt like to be linked to a monkey, would you?

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  • 149. At 4:25pm on 06 Jan 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    squirrelist (#52) "'Rendition' was the word used during slavery in the USA for returning escaped slaves to their owners."

    The term is much older than that. "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's ... " (Mark 12:13-17)

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  • 150. At 4:26pm on 06 Jan 2010, Simon21 wrote:

    # 136, Simon 21:

    "Who cares what murderous conquerors claim?"

    Did you actually read my post, or did you just sort of skim it? Because I don't think you actually got what I was trying to convey there. Furthermore, you do realize I'm talking about the Algerian war of 1954 - 1962, and not the Algerian conquest of 1830, right? The Algerian war was slightly more complex then just a 'conquer or kill them all' affair.Try to 'connect the dots'. "


    I am perfectly aware of what you were referring too.

    The point I was making, and thought you were, was that brutal power politics uses any excuse as justification.

    Pious claims are made for Afghanistan (whereas what is really happening is a desperate desire not to lose face)and were made for the "civilising" French mission in Algeria.

    In neither case (or many others) can such claims be taken at face value.

    No vengeful legionary in Algiers or US "interogator" at Abu Ghraib or Bagram is going to say they torture to subjugate and terrorise.



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  • 151. At 4:34pm on 06 Jan 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    Philly-Mom (#140) "Well, Thank God we have such a competent Secret Service."

    Security procedures are much more rigorous now. No president has ridden in an open car since 1963.

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  • 152. At 4:42pm on 06 Jan 2010, Simon21 wrote:

    149. At 4:25pm on 06 Jan 2010, GH1618 wrote:
    squirrelist (#52) "'Rendition' was the word used during slavery in the USA for returning escaped slaves to their owners."

    The term is much older than that. "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's ... " (Mark 12:13-17)"


    No.

    Render means to return or give up (or boil down). Rendition is a word derived from render, but does not mean the same thing. Rendition is a process whreby someone is forcibly exiled to some country where the returnee victim is bound to be punished or tortured. Ther is a clear implication of coercion.

    Returning a miss adressed article in the mail, or forwarding it to another address is not "rendition" - though you may be "rendering up" the article to its previous owner.

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  • 153. At 5:01pm on 06 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    Returning a miss adressed article in the mail, or forwarding it to another address is not "rendition"
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    its the context that gives the true meaning to the word...

    One surrenders to ones enemy, and one surrenders to one's lover....the meaning is different because the context is different..But i think one has to also know the cultural meaning of the word...the way its use, and sometimes a neutral word can be used in a negative context...like what the jews in israel do to neutralize their occupation...To anyone who doesnt know the origin of the word, redition the word will always have be associated with the redition secret flights of cia...

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  • 154. At 5:09pm on 06 Jan 2010, U14284230 wrote:

    "115. At 2:29pm on 06 Jan 2010, crash wrote:
    The president is trying to prosecute members of the cia then expects then runs around the world apologising for US behaviour.He has taken every step to make us look weak,what does he think is going to happen"

    I think they gave up worrying too much when we screwed up even bigger than our initial invasion of Afghanistan.
    We left a half finished job to a few stretched out soldiers so we could head off to the next great oil project (Afghanistan was a pipe line not a well) and created the impression that we were just a bit over enthusiastic.
    But not enthusiastic enough.
    So they saw the huge mistake that we made in not sending enough troops after the onslaught (yes derived I bet but I'm no linguini from slaughter ) to secure the peace. and then they saw we were not really capable of resisting an insurgency.
    Our cards and weaknesses were laid out on the table. our bluff was called and we really are in a pickle now.
    But it was not Obama that made us look weak. The previous administration can take FULL credit where it is due.

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  • 155. At 5:09pm on 06 Jan 2010, Jupiter wrote:

    135 colonelartist,

    How about segregation in Islamic countries, Sunni/Shia/Ahmadis etc. Look at how blacks are treated in Islam. Ever look at the black population in your country? They are slaves from Islamic regimes.

    Look at the recent killing of Shia in your country, courtesy of TTP( and Lashkar-e-Janghvi which has full support of ISI). At least the alleged segregation by US does not kill them.

    What about ISI supported Jundallah which aims to kill Shias as well.

    --

    But your reputation as being hypocrite is clear from the following. You reminded us that the Swiss of supported fascists, after recent minaret ban. Now the Swiss did not ban Mosques(they did not ban any religion either), just minarets, which represent more of Arab culture. (BBC moderators: I am just quoting colonel's post on BBC which was not removed)


    Now the Masters Saudi Arabia do not even allow practice of any other religion than Islam, forget about Churches, temples etc. They can't construct them(Churches) in any style. I guess using your logic the Saudis should be ????. (I can call Swiss names but not Saudis, I can be banned, they belong to sacred religion)

    Now colonel you can criticize Saudi Arabia (find the right word) and Allah will still provide you with 72.

    -----

    colonel: A retired and old person like you should not get involved in these arguments here, in your part of the world blood pressure(BP) is fatal.

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  • 156. At 5:11pm on 06 Jan 2010, Leo_Naphta wrote:

    Simon,

    I did partially mean that excuses are made at every turn, but I do think there is a need to examine the ideological discourse. I don't believe that any but the most cynical/pragmatist leaders actually operate completely from such a viewpoint. Ideology does play a big part, but it shows how incredibly frail it is, and how easily it gets twisted for a 'bigger purpose'. Frantz Fanon famously pointed to the French actions in Algeria as showing the bankruptcy of humanism and the Enlightenment. Afghanistan might just become such a galvanizing moment, if it's not handled right – which it isn't right now- .

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  • 157. At 5:15pm on 06 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    To D R Murrell re Uighuria...


    I'm glad the usage of 'proper' adjective got clarified.


    Also, I didn't say that Xinjiang is occupied, and didn't say Xinjiang it not a part of PRC.

    I simply pointed out that East Turkestan was not only an independent country, but also an independent STATE.

    With distict Turkic population, language, tradition and culture quite similar to those of other Central Asia's Turkic nations, such as Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, etc.

    It has been invaded and brutally occupied by Peoples Republic of China, just like Tibet.

    So yes, Xinjiang province (as communist regime in Beijing calls historic Uighuria) is a part of PRC ( although probably not for very long), but E. Turkestan is not a part of China.

    Just like Uighurs are not a Chinese minority (they are distinctly different people - also visually), although they are 2nd class citizens of Han-dominated PRC.

    Similarly Caucasus is not a part of Russia proper; nor are indigenous peoples of that region (Balkars, Chechens, Dagestanis, Ingush, Kabardyn, etc.)similar to their occupiers - Russians. In anything.

    And that administratively they are currently a part of Russian Federation?

    Let me remind you that Ukrainians and Belorussians, peoples much closer related to Russians (both ethnically and lingustically) have been deprived of independence for (roughly) 70 years. But now not only have they got their countries back but obtained statehood as well.

    That Poland has been wiped off from from the world map -actually that expression reminds me a much more recent 'declaration of intent' by the current president of Iran- for more than twice that long.

    And so what (human misery aside)?

    USSR is no more; neither is Yugoslavia. [PRC is still there.]

    Many maps had to be redrawn in the last 20 years.

    I'm sure in 20 years a few will have to be redrawn again.

    Some in the Far East. Perhaps some also in the Middle East.

    BTW. Beijing could never prove that bone fide terrorist acts have ever been committed by Uighurs. Just like Tehran ayatollahs could never prove that any acts of terrorism have been committed by Iranian protesters.
    [although there's plenty of evidence of state terrorism in current Iran]

    And there is strong evidence that that at least some of terrorist attacks ascribed by Kremlin to Chechens, have actually been conducted by Russian special services which were supposed to combat terrorism. :)

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  • 158. At 5:18pm on 06 Jan 2010, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    Few understand the extent of the bureaucracies. They are large and not unsimilar to having Afghan War Lords. The CIA, NSA, State Dept and other initial agencies and military all protect their own information. But when you think about all the possible ways someone could get by all this it is remarkable that things don't blow up every day. Political purposes require that Republicans be outraged, mainly because they are slugs with short memories and would rather lie than be truthful about almost anything. The media will run this story into the ground and keep it alive as long as it will sell commericals or keep viewers and twist it to serve those purposes. People drink and drive every day and kill people and we do not make great efforts to stop that. Workers die all over China because of no enforcement of labor laws or health regulations and nothing is done. We tend to pick and choose what grabs our interest even when it is an abberation. The exception becomes the rule because politics and the media want it to be so. In a world gone mad people do crazy things. Being as governments are generally wasteful and inefficient and corrupt, they have done a pretty good job with this issue. Luckily for everyone, most terrorist are ignorant people without abilities to match their fanatical beliefs.

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  • 159. At 5:28pm on 06 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    Similarly Caucasus is not a part of Russia proper; nor are indigenous peoples of that region (Balkars, Chechens, Dagestanis, Ingush, Kabardyn, etc.)similar to their occupiers - Russians. In anything.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    We had a saying, which has now become latent because its of no use anymore...That, the next biggest threat, with next i mean, next after the mongols, would come from the the west as in europe and usa even when soviet union had those central states under its union and had occupied afghanistan...because of chechens and dagestanis are always considered the guardians against the russians...whether true or not, our saying says that no one has ever or will ever be able to tame these people...there was only one person who managed to do this and the like of that person is not going to be ever born again...Guess who that person was?

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  • 160. At 5:31pm on 06 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    #$142 Sonicboomer wrote:

    "This year marks the 40th anniversary of what was, prior to 2001, the iconic image of terrorism against air transport, the blowing up of hijacked US, UK, Swiss airliners at Dawson's Field in Jordan."



    I also seem to recall frequent hijackings to Lebanon after which TWA passengers began to claim that its acronym stood for Travel With Amal.
    [Not that PanAm fared much better then]

    I forgot what was an excuse then for all those terrorist acts.

    Crusades?

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  • 161. At 5:32pm on 06 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    colonel: A retired and old person like you should not get involved in these arguments here, in your part of the world blood pressure(BP) is fatal.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Does my title say, retd colonelartist?

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  • 162. At 5:37pm on 06 Jan 2010, U14284230 wrote:

    Meow

    "just like Tehran ayatollahs could never prove that any acts of terrorism have been committed by Iranian protesters."

    look here is the problem.
    the protesters in Iran are not proven to have committed any terrorist acts.
    but it seems to be the intention of the writer to suggest that iran has not been attacked by terrorists.

    I suspect that might be misleading.

    Not to say they might not have real issues with Tehran but to say they are there.

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  • 163. At 5:38pm on 06 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    The president is trying to prosecute members of the cia then expects then runs around the world apologising for US behaviour.He has taken every step to make us look weak,what does he think is going to happen"
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Remind me, but did not your president collectively pardon the cia, not very long time ago? Sometimes he pardons, sometimes he threatens, what is he, a passive aggressive? a psychopath? or an alcoholic abusive father who showers with love and pardons his children one moment and then punish them the next...or is he someone who just wants to show who is in control....which again is a negative trait...

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  • 164. At 5:47pm on 06 Jan 2010, U14284230 wrote:

    160
    You post reminds me of this uncharacteristically jolly smiths song


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9AlH2oYedfk&feature=fvw

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  • 165. At 5:49pm on 06 Jan 2010, Jupiter wrote:

    161. Does my title say, retd colonelartist?

    --------------


    It does not, but we both know it's true.

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  • 166. At 5:50pm on 06 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    152. At 4:42pm on 06 Jan 2010, Simon21 wrote:

    "No"

    OH?

    "Rendition [obs.] The surrender of a place, position, garrison (17C); the surrender of a person (1860, Encyclopaedia Britannica: the rendition of slaves by the Northern United States; 1864, Sala, Daily Tel. 13 Sept. 'Mr Seward can scarcely place any obstacles in the way of the rendition of this man.')"

    [Oxford English Dictionary.]

    (Both you and the Colonel (who really should be more careful of what 'authorities' he copies for his 'effects') should look it up. I did American history at school; and quite a bit on the slave trade and slavery, and when I first heard that phrase 'extraordinary rendition' it nagged at me for ages, because it seemed oddly familiar. Then it clicked one night when I and friends were discussing it. They didn't believe anyone in a 2Oth century American administration would dare revive a phrase with such overtones either at first, just like the pair of you, and were shocked. Except that obviously, whoever it was relied on people having forgotten this usage, and equally obviously they were right, weren't they?)

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  • 167. At 6:17pm on 06 Jan 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    I doubt if anyone "relied on people having forgotten" the usage referring to the return of slaves. That usage does not make the term inappropriate. It's a perfectly good, neutral term (with "extraordinary") to distinguish the practice from "ordinary" rendition which, these days, is generally called "extradition."

    Some people get worked up about terminology, calling terms such as this "euphemisms." What they want instead is a term which puts a spin on it in their preferred direction. We all know what it means in current usage and I'm comfortable with the terminology, if not always the practice.

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  • 168. At 6:35pm on 06 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #164

    Thanks, that was a pretty nice rendition. :-)

    BTW. Rendition also means motion in which all particles of a body move with the same velocity along parallel paths.

    I wonder whether that PETN-equipped Nigerian graduate of the LUC's engineering department knew that.

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  • 169. At 6:38pm on 06 Jan 2010, tigerlily wrote:

    166 squirrelist -

    I believe Simon21 was agreeing with you.
    #152 - "Rendition is a process whereby someone is forcibly exiled to some country where the returnee victim is bound to be punished or tortured. There is a clear implication of coercion."

    The "No" was to GH1618 "Render (un)to Caesar..."

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  • 170. At 6:53pm on 06 Jan 2010, SONICBOOMER wrote:

    160, Israel-Palestine, that is bring worldwide attention to the plight of those affected.
    Notable they avoided killing the passengers/crew, not that this would last, by 1972 attacks at Lod Airport (Israel) and of course, the 1972 Olympics.
    But they used civil aviation-in an era of genuine national airlines, from the start for maximum publicity.

    The 1985 TWA hijacking was, if I recall, done by a splinter group.

    (Which Monty Python had parodied so well with the 'Judean People's Front' in the sublime 'Life Of Brian'.
    Last year, finally a UK movie to match the humour and satirical power of that Python classic, 'In The Loop', about lies and muddle headed spin leading to a US/UK Mid East intervention.
    Though for those sensitive to such things, rather strong language-to the point of almost being performance art.

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  • 171. At 6:56pm on 06 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    169. At 6:38pm on 06 Jan 2010, tigerlily wrote:

    "I believe Simon21 was agreeing with you.. .The "No" was to GH1618 "Render (un)to Caesar..."

    Oh. Sorry to Simon then.

    (But if people can't get the hang of naming or at least numbering the post they're quoting. . .)

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  • 172. At 7:04pm on 06 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    167. At 6:17pm on 06 Jan 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    :"We all know what it means in current usage and I'm comfortable with the terminology, if not always the practice."

    What's known as "having your cake and eating it." I (and the people I was with that night, one of whom was a senior (British) officer) were, and are, not comfortable with either. Words are seldom chosen for this sort of thing simply by accident. Especially when the usage has been obsolete for over a century.

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  • 173. At 7:07pm on 06 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    This year marks the 40th anniversary of what was, prior to 2001, the iconic image of terrorism against air transport, the blowing up of hijacked US, UK, Swiss airliners at Dawson's Field in Jordan."



    I also seem to recall frequent hijackings to Lebanon after which TWA passengers began to claim that its acronym stood for Travel With Amal.
    [Not that PanAm fared much better then]

    I forgot what was an excuse then for all those terrorist acts.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Why dont we all kill two birds with one arrow or stone or bullet, end air travel altogher and go back to the old ways of travel...this way no terrorism , and also save the envirnment..

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  • 174. At 7:11pm on 06 Jan 2010, U14283552 wrote:

    168 that's alright DJ

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  • 175. At 7:13pm on 06 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    You know what americans should do instead of their daily anti islam excerisizes; they should make a glossary book of all the the key terms coined by their leaders and the media over the past 9 yrs...

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  • 176. At 7:17pm on 06 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    colonel: A retired and old person like you should not get involved in these arguments here, in your part of the world blood pressure(BP) is fatal.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    And i am not old, the age is just streched..

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  • 177. At 06:12am on 07 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #170, Sonicboomer responding to my #160 post re TWA hijackings...

    [one of the main reasons of TWA's eventual financial collapse]


    In 1969, TWA Flight 840 from Rome to Athens was hijacked and forcibly diverted to Damascus. Nobody was injured, but the aircraft's nose was blown up.

    In 1970, TWA Flight 741 was hijacked after taking off from Frankfurt am Main, Germany, to New York. It was taken to Dawson's Field in Jordan with two other hijacked aircraft. All three aircraft were empty of passengers and crew before being destroyed. A fourth aircraft that landed in Cairo, Egypt, suffered a similar fate.

    In 1974, TWA Flight 841 from Tel Aviv to New York City crashed shortly after takeoff from Athens enroute to Rome after a bomb believed to have been in the cargo hold exploded, killing all 88 onboard.

    In 1985, TWA Flight 847 from Athens to Rome was hijacked first to Beirut, then to Algiers, back to Beirut, back to Algiers, and finally back to Beirut.

    In 1986, TWA Flight 840 was attacked with an on-board bomb causing four Americans (including a nine-month-old infant) to be ejected to their deaths. Five others on the aircraft were injured as the cabin experienced a rapid decompression.


    P.S. Popular Front for Liberation of Judea hasn't been created yet
    [other than by Monty Python].

    But since, as Newton has established, "every action..." :-)


    As for "colonel"s suggestion that we should simply give up flying and return to "old ways of travel", I recall at least one terrorist atack in which explosives have been attached to a camel [sic].

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  • 178. At 07:29am on 07 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    177. At 06:12am on 07 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "P.S. Popular Front for Liberation of Judea hasn't been created yet"

    Not by that name, exactly, no, but. . .

    Someone blew up a camel? What had they got the hump about? (Memo to self: check timetable for the Eurostar and the TGV's, cancel that booking on the camel train.)

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  • 179. At 07:52am on 07 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #178

    Nope, they DELIVERED explosives to the crowded market on a camel, who became merely one of the victims of the horrific explosion.

    P.S. While checking Eurostar scehdule check also this report:


    At least six Coptic Christians and a security official have been killed in a drive-by shooting outside a church in southern Egypt, officials say.

    The shooting came as worshippers left the church in Naj Hammadi after a midnight mass on Coptic Christmas Eve. [BBC World Service]

    A camel driver, you think?

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  • 180. At 09:49am on 07 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    179. At 07:52am on 07 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #178

    "Nope, they DELIVERED explosives to the crowded market on a camel"

    People use whatever method is least likely to be noticed. It depends where they are. You cannot ban or constantly search any mode of transport, any dress, any accessory because somewhere, someone, once put a bomb in it. A transistor radio (it'd be an iPod); Coke cans; briefcases. Cars and vans, of course. We know these from the IRA. They used bicycles in Vietnam; the London Tube bombers used backpacks: looking exactly the same as half the commuters on the underground do. And wore jeans.

    We're constantly reminded to beware of 'suspicious packages'; but to beware of 'suspicious people' or 'suspicious clothes' is the way to paranoia. If everyone went around swimming trunks or bikinis, a bomber would find some way.

    Now I don't like the burkha or chador either--and nor do any of my female Moslem friends. One is quite capable of delivering outspoken feminist lectures, quoting the Q'ran at length in Arabic, to women who do wear it. But that is because we do not feel sure that it is always a free choice. If you live in a city often visited by Saudis or people from some of the Gulf States, you tend to be suspicious about the degree of coercion.

    But quite a few of the older women where I live wear the chador. I was on a bus the day another bombing attempt was made, sitting next to one, and she tapped me on the arm and insisted on giving me an orange from her shopping bag. I couldn't think why--but later, when I heard the news I realised she knew, probably like everyone else on the bus, and I was the only one who didn't, probably. I don't like oranges much, but I'm glad I accepted, and even more glad I could say 'thankyou' in Arabic. She looked just like my granny, too. . .

    I don't want stigmatisation and discrimination to mean, another day, a Muslim woman who looks like my granny will not to want to smile at me and offer me an orange because she fears I will be scared it's poisoned or she has a bomb in her shopping bag.

    (And I know what it can mean. I know exactly what happened to a girl who lost an eye and was otherwise injured by a car bomb and even Marcus would be shocked if I were to describe it; and I was uncomfortably close to an IRA bomb myself once. Though I was only blown off my feet--so I staggered against a wall and then sat down on the pavement suddenly and painfully--and very confused and stone deaf for almost a week. But I didn't avoid people with Irish accents. . .)

    But enough of that.

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  • 181. At 1:37pm on 07 Jan 2010, shiveringofforgottenenemies wrote:

    Obama angry? Baloney, it's just acting, part of the theatre he presents to dazzle the American public. Look at me, I am an angry Obama, see, I am not smiling!

    The Christmas bombing is an opportunity for Obama to fund more Federal security, to turn Homeland Security into a GESTAPO, a state politzei! By all means, let's create another SUPER-AGENCY, to co-ordinate intelligence sharing, let's have a Visa-czar! American's can sleep safely in their beds if they don't mind the sound of jackboots on the stairs!

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  • 182. At 3:37pm on 07 Jan 2010, Tom Degan wrote:

    "As I watched the events of the last few days, it is clear once again that President Obama is trying to pretend we are not at war. He seems to think that if he has a low-key response to [the attempt to blow up an airliner] that we won't be at war."

    Richard B. Cheney

    GOOD NEWS! Someday Dick Cheney is going to go away, I promise you that. Is that the best argument du jour he can come up with regarding Obama - that he does not express sufficient emotion or anger? That he is too cerebral. Isn't that what we want in a president? In this way he is much like Jack Kennedy. The angriest statement JFK ever made while president was when he lashed out at "the utter contempt" of the executives at U.S. Steel toward the American people. But even in this instance, Kennedy's tone was measured and restrained. He was not a man given to freaking out. Seriously, would we like a repeat of the shoot-from-the-hip, cowboy idiocy of the Bush/Cheney years? Look at all the good that did us. Obama's seeming, contemplative demeanor is one of the things about the man that reassures me. Call it a silly quirk in my psychological make up, but I like my presidents to think things through. What can I tell you, I'm kind of funny that way.

    http://www.tomdegan.blogspot.com

    Tom Degan
    Goshen, NY

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  • 183. At 3:49pm on 07 Jan 2010, Isenhorn wrote:

    181. At 1:37pm on 07 Jan 2010, shiveringofforgottenenemies wrote:

    'The Christmas bombing is an opportunity for Obama to fund more Federal security, to turn Homeland Security into a GESTAPO, a state politzei! By all means, let's create another SUPER-AGENCY, to co-ordinate intelligence sharing, let's have a Visa-czar! American's can sleep safely in their beds if they don't mind the sound of jackboots on the stairs!'


    Very true. I remember when the idea of the ‘nude’ scanners at the airports was first mentioned in UK, there was a big public outcry about the possible invasion of privacy they would represent. At least that is what the most recommended posts on the HYS of this site tended to suggest.
    What is interesting however, is that after the ‘crotch bomber’ was apprehended a lot of people do not seem to mind anymore the introduction of the scanners- ITV showed an interview with passengers at an UK airport and of the people shown nobody was against them.

    Call me a conspiracy theorist if you wish, however I find it particularly interesting that the failed bombing so conveniently fits into the picture and the scanners are firmly on their way in. Convenient, because it looked scary and convincing yet hiding stuff in your pants while going true security is nothing new. It has happened before- there have been people hiding drugs, knifes, even snakes in their underwear. Yet they have been captured. Now we are supposed to believe that there is no other way of detecting such people, save the over-hyped scanners. This story only shows that the way to sell unpopular decisions nowadays is to sprinkle them with the spice of ‘Islamic terrorism threat’ and the public will gobble them without even flinching.

    Just remember this episode when the next terrorist is captured because he did not have biometric passport! As they say in the newspapers- you heard it here first.

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  • 184. At 4:03pm on 07 Jan 2010, U14284230 wrote:

    180
    Well said that squirrelist.

    And that Tom.

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  • 185. At 4:16pm on 07 Jan 2010, U14284230 wrote:

    isenhorn

    " Call me a conspiracy theorist if you wish, however I find it particularly interesting that the failed bombing so conveniently fits into the picture and the scanners are firmly on their way in. "

    Oh YEA.

    " biometric pass port"

    I heard that from a guy that was pushing for it years ago.
    but lets stop and think. how many could biometrics be used to kill in the future.
    Just imagine how much easier the Gestapo's searches would have been .
    The problem with Biometrics is real.
    Was the Biometric component of the new pass ports removed for Europeans and others wanting to come to the USA.
    That would have set a system up that required those wishing to come to the states to be bio'd. But not americans.

    Scanner sales up and same with Biometric data systems.
    will the americans demand that others be victims of Big brother in order to get to visit the USA and then complain that we have too much interference from our Government and no rights because they bio data us and watch for bombs with cameras.

    ?

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  • 186. At 4:25pm on 07 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    'The Christmas bombing
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    And what I want to know is why people call have nicked named this as christmas bombing? A day before most people were lecturing about how politically inncorrect it was to call these holidays as christmas holidays and how they greeted each other by saying happy holidays, and all of a sudden, it has become "christmas bombing"...

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  • 187. At 4:37pm on 07 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    We know that it was CIA that created tsunami off Sumatra while testing underwater top secret HAARP weapon.

    We know that it was CIA/FBI which blew WTC towers.

    We know that al-Qaida does not exist.

    And that USAF holds UFO crews in Area51 since Roswell days.

    And that Americans have never landed on the Moon.

    How do we know that?

    Why? Those voices in our heads told us that.

    And since we know that be are being spied on by nefarious US agencies we wear those tin-foil caps on our empty sculls in order not to be indoctrinated.

    Like those people who laugh at us and call ambulances to take us away, haha. Like they took Napoleon XIV.

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  • 188. At 4:40pm on 07 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re#186

    You're right. The terrroist attack on Copts in Egypt occured on their Christmas.

    Northwest plane was to be blown up to smitherins during Holiday Season.

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  • 189. At 4:53pm on 07 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    Why? Those voices in our heads told us that.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    No, you were told by your leaders via your media, its your leaders that hear voices in their heads...when they generously tell you that, "they believe...WMD of Iraq, that they believe that getting rid of saddam was good, that they believe that iran is going to develop weapons and then strech their believe a little more and tell you that its going to wipe israel out of Atlas...and when they believe that treating citizens of 14 countries a terrorist suspect will make you safe in usa...This means by the way, that no usa citizen should travel to those 14 countries as you dont know when or where or who would attack you...However, I sincerely hope that the governments of 14 countries also demand that americans coming to these countries should also must go throught the pornographic booths..

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  • 190. At 5:05pm on 07 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    The church's Bishop Kirollos said there had been threats in the days leading up to the Christmas Eve service - a reason he decided to end his Mass an hour earlier than normal.

    "For days, I had expected something to happen on Christmas Eve," he told the Associated Press. [...]

    Coptic Christians - who make up 10% of Egypt's 80 million population - have complained of harassment and discrimination.

    Some Copts argue that previous attacks on them have gone unpunished or have resulted in light sentences.

    Most Christians in Egypt are Copts - Christians descended from the ancient Egyptians. [BBC World Service]

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  • 191. At 5:08pm on 07 Jan 2010, U14284230 wrote:

    lol meow never agreed with any of those conspiracies.
    I can see the other. But I did not say I believe it.
    I said it is there to be considered.
    They all are.

    The reaction is in favour of those industries.
    Just as in the UK cameras appeared everywhere (most are private not the gov) when a certain generation were told "we'll stop these unruly thugs" by putting cameras on the high street.
    the press fed the frenzy and the people got more and more pictures taken.

    Here the press scream on about a FAILED attempt.
    luck yes but luck is all we need after all that is how we are going to save the planet,RIGHT?

    Either way I would say that the idea is a conspiracy theory and agreed quite loudly (in bloggy way ) with that.

    But you fail to address the point that America required others to give biometric data. not their own.
    That was the GW plan.
    Unconstitutional for Americans but OK for everyone else.
    And that was REAL unpopular.

    Or that americans complain that the UK is all big brother while trying to demand they go further. These scanners. The best thing they are going to do is stop more people smuggling exotic animals in their trousers.
    That's a good thing as far as I'm concerned. But the joke that they will stop terrorism is sad.
    We can stop all planes being hijacked. They will still attack.If we do not address the real problem. World Poverty and the racial hatred we promote on a daily basis. It is evident to all every day in the press here in the states.


    Them scanners, imagine, the exhibitionists will be standing in line to do it again and again.


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  • 192. At 5:14pm on 07 Jan 2010, U14284230 wrote:


    http://www.ips.gov.uk/cps/rde/xchg/ips_live/hs.xsl/36.htm

    "photographic standards announced by the Identity and Passport Service in August 2004 and fully implemented in September 2005, are designed to ensure that photographs submitted with passport applications are suitable for biometrically enabled passports...........

    Glasses can often show reflection or glare from flash, and the frames can obscure the facial features we need to capture. This can cause problems when trying to capture the biometric. We strongly recommend that customers wearing glasses are asked to remove them to ensure that we are able to obtain an accurate biometric"

    Biometric is the future. but some will say i am a conspiracy theory ist.

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  • 193. At 5:19pm on 07 Jan 2010, U14284230 wrote:

    http://news.cnet.com/Accenture-lands-Homeland-Security-deal/2100-1029_3-5223851.html

    but not americans

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  • 194. At 5:25pm on 07 Jan 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    The CIA needs to do their best, but even they aren't perfect.

    President Obama is playing the blame game and instead of trying to boost the CIA, he is bringing them down. It does not make him look good.

    So why didn't the terrorist succeed? I believe that the Christmas flight surviving was a miracle and an act of God. The terrorists may have Allah, but we have God on our side. God Bless America and her Allies.

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  • 195. At 5:47pm on 07 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    God Bless America and her Allies.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I think you should vote for G-d to be your president...

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  • 196. At 5:47pm on 07 Jan 2010, U14284230 wrote:

    someone's going to try and say that world poverty is nt an issue. that terrorists seem to comprise the wealthy.
    but this seems to me bull.
    Sure there are some rich backgrounds. Budda was rich. he gave it all up.
    Do people think a rich person could not feel sympathy for the poor?
    they do. and there in lies a problem.
    watching a BBC interview with a ex bodyguard of Bin laden the guard mentions Bin helping change the dressings on a wound.
    That seems HUMAN, Sorry to say it here with You all. But it is not something I can imagine bush or Tony (especially) doing.
    maybe he saw the poverty and destruction and fought against it.
    We know Us leaving Afghanistan high and dry was a mistake.
    Islamic terrorist appeaser I may be but the reality MAy be that he is nice to his troops and has seen that rich daddy was not helping the people.
    maybe he is a commie;)


    Rich people can be radicalised by poverty.
    It happens.
    most of the local foot soldiers and suicide bombers do not have huge wealth though.

    Then again we come back to there are different causes out there.
    Some fight for Palestine to have freedom.
    Some for Afghanistan to have freedom.

    But I bet they all fight (even if only in their own heads) for an end to poverty.
    Just like americans think they do.

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  • 197. At 5:49pm on 07 Jan 2010, U14284230 wrote:

    194
    "So why didn't the terrorist succeed? I believe that the Christmas flight surviving was a miracle and an act of God. The terrorists may have Allah, but we have God on our side. God Bless America and her Allies."


    TELL ME WE DON"T HAVE OUR OWN RELIGIOUS EXTREMISTS NOW!

    Well done lucy another 10 guys just signed up for a suicide vest.

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  • 198. At 5:49pm on 07 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    194 lucy
    "I believe that the Christmas flight surviving was a miracle and an act of God. The terrorists may have Allah, but we have God on our side. God Bless America and her Allies."


    What you "believe" is up to you .... and if it helps you get through the day then so much the better. Obviously on Christmas Day your god was having a better day than their allah! Where was god on 9/11? Taking a shower!

    (Before the wrath of .... descends upon me, I am simply pointing out the fatuousness of Lucy's words - I really don't care who you all believe in. If I was to choose a random deity though, it would probably be Dionysius - great parties!)

    Also Lucy, you should be aware that "God" and "Allah" are the same deity worshipped in different ways by different groups of people who both claim he blesses them.

    Does that seem rational to you?

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  • 199. At 7:53pm on 07 Jan 2010, U14283552 wrote:

    198 RomeStu.

    I find that people who claim "My God is better than your God" have little room for manoeuvring. Indeed they often seem to be the same sort of person that would claim"Islam has no room for interpretation" (despite scores of religious text trying to interpret the word of Allah) .
    Or that "Muslims are all terrorists" or is it "All terrorists are muslims"
    I forget which one is in favour these days. Either way they are both incorrect statements.
    In fact this could be the holy trinity of lies that have perpetuated the present day situation we find ourselves in.
    "Islam has no room for interpretation""Muslims are all terrorists""All terrorists are muslims"Amen.

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  • 200. At 7:54pm on 07 Jan 2010, U14283552 wrote:

    And by the way.
    As to logic " If the world isn't flat how come I don't fall off."

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  • 201. At 8:14pm on 07 Jan 2010, Deekoo wrote:

    Marcus (comment 15): How exactly is Obama persecuting the CIA for 'doing their job'? In every public statement on the matter I've seen, he's insisted that our government's operatives must not be prosecuted for obeying legal orders, that it's reasonable for our government's operatives to believe that orders received from the President are legal, and that he opposes any prosecution of high-ranking Bush administration officials on the grounds that that would be inappropriately divisive. When it comes to actual Senate votes, he even voted to grant retroactive immunity to government operatives who broke the law if the President had asked them to break said law.

    The Democrats - the VOTERS, that is - want to see torturers prosecuted. Most of the higher ranking Democratic Party politicians give every indication that they want to see the matter quietly swept under the rug and are quite happy with the notion that the Presidency is above the law.

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  • 202. At 8:18pm on 07 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    194. At 5:25pm on 07 Jan 2010, LucyIllinois wrote:

    "So why didn't the terrorist succeed? I believe that the Christmas flight surviving was a miracle and an act of God."

    Well, if it was a miracle, he'll be made a saint by the Pope after he's been executed, then.

    I fear it was more down to incompetent design or construction.

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  • 203. At 8:23pm on 07 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    I see that a man who stripped naked to run near the White House has been arrested and sent for psychitriac examination on the grounds he is probably mentally ill.

    Seems to me to be proof of sanity. In the circumstances, who would want to risk dying near the White House in a hail of bullets because they thought you had a suspicious package in your running shorts?

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  • 204. At 8:23pm on 07 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    As to logic " If the world isn't flat how come I don't fall off."
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    I am afraid of chruch of england, so in advance I apologize for any anti.christianity in my post...I think the reason you dont fall is that the christian G-d, not Allah, is like an octopus with billions and trillions and many more trillions of invisible, very light weight tenticles like anchors which hold the living things as well as non living things of this planet by their shoulders so that they dont fall off..

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  • 205. At 8:46pm on 07 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    203 squirrel

    This isn't VIZ comic you know.

    That's enough with the "suspicious package in your shorts" gags.

    Fnurr Fnurrr

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  • 206. At 8:51pm on 07 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    its pathetic to recall, but since I have great recallic memory, but when sept 11 of 2001 happened, the vast majority of muslims objected to ben laden's taking revenge on the civilians of usa for what its government does to muslim countries...And now, in the year of your lord jesus christ 2010, obama conviently has taken revenge on the civilian population of 13 countries for what one guy did, and the response from american is next to nothing...

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  • 207. At 9:03pm on 07 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    204. colonelartist wrote:
    "As to logic " If the world isn't flat how come I don't fall off."
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    I am afraid of chruch of england, so in advance I apologize for any anti.christianity in my post...I think the reason you dont fall is that the christian G-d, not Allah, is like an octopus with billions and trillions and many more trillions of invisible, very light weight tenticles like anchors which hold the living things as well as non living things of this planet by their shoulders so that they dont fall off.."


    That's a great theory!
    I'd actually heard before that gravity didn't exist, but god loved everyone so much that he kept a hand on them to stop them from spinning off the world into space .... even the ones who didn't believe in him (nice guy!).

    Then again if he'd been more of an engineer, he'd have made gravity and taken a break!


    But one thing puzzles me ....


    .... you're afraid of the church of england??????

    The church of England ..... it's not the Spanish Inquisition you know!

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  • 208. At 9:18pm on 07 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    205. At 8:46pm on 07 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    "203 squirrel This isn't VIZ comic you know."

    May not be VIZ, but it can certainly be comic. . .(and I'm not referring to our little session earlier).

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  • 209. At 9:24pm on 07 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    208

    And the latest comedy is the revelation that "We really, really were concentrating! Honest! We were going to interview the underpants bomber when he arrived in Detroit."

    Which piece?

    Or have they come up with 'ouijaboarding' now?

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  • 210. At 9:24pm on 07 Jan 2010, seanspa wrote:

    That rowan williams is a bit scary.

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  • 211. At 9:27pm on 07 Jan 2010, dipconsult wrote:

    President Obama in his statement said only one thing about diminishing the motivation of would be terrorists (including suicide bombers) - that he would be closing Guantanamo as promised.

    But the most important and urgent way to undercut the appeal of "jihadism" is to resolve the Israel/Palestine running sore on international affairs for decades. Obama has tried but the Israel lobby and the pro-Israel media are too powerful for Congress to support the President. The supposed coming of a unified European foreign policy could give critical support to the US in demanding the cessation of settlement expansion.

    No settlement of Israel/Palestine - no way of avoiding the "clash of civilisations" that Al Qaeda and Co are so successfully promoting. And no way that most Muslims can come out for peceful resolution of the present conflict.

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  • 212. At 9:31pm on 07 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    210. seanspa wrote:
    "That rowan williams is a bit scary."


    Absolutely.
    I'm always very wary of religious believers with large beards!

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  • 213. At 9:33pm on 07 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #202 "I fear it was more down to incompetent design or construction."


    And not to the fact that he was a graduate of LUC's engineering department? :-)

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  • 214. At 9:38pm on 07 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    210. At 9:24pm on 07 Jan 2010, seanspa wrote:

    That rowan williams is a bit scary.

    Because he's got a beard?

    (Oh. Have I got this the wrong way round possibly? Call it military-artistic confusion.)

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  • 215. At 9:40pm on 07 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    212. RomeStu

    I think our co-ordination's gone off a bit . . .sorry.

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  • 216. At 9:41pm on 07 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    But the most important and urgent way to undercut the appeal of "jihadism"
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    There is no such thing as jihadism, its a slur...used ignorantly by the leaders to the homeless...

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  • 217. At 9:45pm on 07 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    President Obama in his statement said only one thing about diminishing the motivation of would be terrorists (including suicide bombers) - that he would be closing Guantanamo as promised.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    a small epicenter of sexual abuse established in 2001 is giving tough time to your president and do you think he can close the work of 60 yrs of jews within 8 yrs?

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  • 218. At 9:49pm on 07 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    216. At 9:41pm on 07 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    "There is no such thing as jihadism, its a slur...used ignorantly by the leaders to the homeless...":

    I thought you were on a mission to explain, not of pedantry. I presume you know as well as I do there is a concept known as 'jihad'.

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  • 219. At 10:30pm on 07 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    I thought you were on a mission to explain, not of pedantry. I presume you know as well as I do there is a concept known as 'jihad'.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    And its not an ism...its just jihad...a concept in islamism or islam...to call it an ism is like calling crussades crussadism or elections in democracy as electionism, where every other principle of democracy is ignonred and electionism is emphasized...the slur word jihadism is derived from the slur jihadists...If jihadism or jihadist would have been a word in islamic history or religon, we would have been using it for 15 00 yrs...this word emerged first in india, and then took momentum after sept 11 of 2001.

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  • 220. At 10:35pm on 07 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    From another BBC report
    "Mr Abdulmutallab's name was on a US database of about 550,000 suspected terrorists.

    However, it was not on a list that would have subjected him to additional security screening or kept him from boarding the flight from Amsterdam to Detroit."

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8447346.stm


    I am confused.
    There is a list of over half a million "suspected terrorists". It seems that being suspected is not enough to require additional security screening.

    What I wonder is the intermediate stage between being a suspected terrorist and being an actual terrorist (which one would hope does require additional screening, if not arrest) ?

    They can't be very certain of their suspicions, can they?

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  • 221. At 10:46pm on 07 Jan 2010, seanspa wrote:

    #220, the difference in the lists seems to be that if you are one one then you are stopped before you fly and if on the other they intend to stop you after you fly. But I agree, what is it that gets you from one to the other?

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  • 222. At 10:47pm on 07 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    According to an afhani human right organization, in 2009 the war claimed 3 children every day...so much for their education and better life...I must remind the mods to kindly look at my post 219...they have looked at it enough, or the moderators have also installed a pornographic look alike kind of booth in their moderation room where every post of the non westerner has to go through....

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  • 223. At 10:52pm on 07 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    But I agree, what is it that gets you from one to the other?
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    G-d's miracle.

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  • 224. At 10:58pm on 07 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    I am confused.
    There is a list of over half a million "suspected terrorists". It seems that being suspected is not enough to require additional security screening.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Allow me, its very simple..when they want someone's status to be changed or when they want to create some hoopla, they pick one or two person from the suspected list, send their own agents disguised as supporters of terrorism, offering to provide them tools of terrorism, then start the 24 hour survellance as the agent finalise the date, time of the target, and then at this point they change the status to the "actual terrorist"...But sometimes the suspected terrorist makes his own moves, this is where the inteligence agency fail and this is how the "christmas bomber surfaced"..

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  • 225. At 11:00pm on 07 Jan 2010, seanspa wrote:

    I must admit that I only skimmed through the report, it was hard going to my easy bored mind. I could not see why he was on the initial list in the first place, nor what should trigger movement to the no-fly list. Surely it must be there, else what is the point of the review. Anyone spotted it yet?

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  • 226. At 11:02pm on 07 Jan 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    RomeStu (#220) (quoting the BBC) "Mr Abdulmutallab's name was on a US database of about 550,000 suspected terrorists."

    That statement was made by a reporter. You shouldn't take such statements so literally. Reporters write misleading things all the time. Abdulmutallab was on a watch list, but was not identified as a known terrorist.

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  • 227. At 11:05pm on 07 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    221 seanspa
    "....and if on the other they intend to stop you after you fly."


    Can anyone else see a gaping hole in the logic of that system for dealing with suspected terrorists?

    Once they stop you after you flew they could ask you ....."did you try to blow up the plane?"

    "YES" - see we were right to be suspicious. You're nicked. (or whatever the US equivalent is)

    "NO" - sorry to have bothered you Sir/Madam. Have a nice day.


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  • 228. At 11:09pm on 07 Jan 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    Here's a link to a report from Time which clarifies the "watch lists" somewhat.

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  • 229. At 11:14pm on 07 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    a watch list, but was not identified as a known terrorist.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The watch list is where the americans supply the terrorists...there is a demand for catching the terrorists and the american agencies supply those terrorists by inciting some....the supply and demand...the american's consumption when it comes to terrorists is getting more and more...

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  • 230. At 11:16pm on 07 Jan 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    It's easy to make fun of officialdom when it operates with less than perfect efficiency and accuracy. No doubt if it were a film with Michael Caine as a government agent charged with tracking down the nefarious airplane bomber, instead of real life, it would have been handled better.

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  • 231. At 11:20pm on 07 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    Here's a link to a report from Time which clarifies the "watch lists" somewhat.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    i still belive that they wanted him to go to usa and then they would have kept an eye on him and eventually captured him...And i am sure that they werent anticipating that he would try anything of this sort on an incoming flight to usa..they have divided that list into various age groups, he comes in a group which is given a very hard time both while applying for visa, and at the immigration...

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  • 232. At 11:25pm on 07 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    It's easy to make fun of officialdom when it operates with less than perfect efficiency and accuracy.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    My rule is not to make fun of ready made, born funny things officaldom...the art is to make fun of perfect and efficient people..

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  • 233. At 11:30pm on 07 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    No doubt if it were a film with Michael Caine as a government agent charged with tracking down the nefarious airplane bomber, instead of real life, it would have been handled better.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Or if it had been leslie Nielsem charged with the same thing, he too would have tracked the airplane christmas bomber but would not have handled better than Micheal Caine...

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  • 234. At 00:05am on 08 Jan 2010, seanspa wrote:

    #233, what are you suggesting about canadians?

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  • 235. At 00:06am on 08 Jan 2010, parityisbetterthancharity wrote:

    200. At 7:54pm on 07 Jan 2010, easytarget wrote:

    "And by the way.
    As to logic " If the world isn't flat how come I don't fall off.""

    Oh, but the world is flat. By the same measuring stick that orthodontists use when they make kids' teeth straight;)



    (No, no, I'm not part of the Flat Earth Society. No need to get worried.)

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  • 236. At 00:36am on 08 Jan 2010, U14273708 wrote:

    Surveillance Society monitoring everyday life: the walls have ears and the hills have eyes, but who’s got the brain?
    All Along The Watchtower (*)
    (*)=Jimi Hendrix
    Such surveillance also reinforces divisions by sorting people into social categories. The issues spill over narrow policy and legal boundaries to generate responses at several levels including local consumer groups, internet activism, and international social movements.
    The only way to defeat terrorism is to kill the terrorists (e.g. sri lanka after 25 years civil war)… most Road Block’s (*) and security checks knock off at home time

    (*)=Sammy Dread

    most profiling is just ignorant sterotyping
    eg black or
    long hair or
    look like a palestinian colour

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  • 237. At 01:27am on 08 Jan 2010, McJakome wrote:

    68. At 11:04am on 06 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:
    Clamdip & Squirrelist

    "I'm interested in this mystery dane who saved the day .... CIA plant to ensure the whole thing didn't go badly wrong .... who knows?"

    A Dane? I must have misssed the rewrite of the news, I thought it was a "Fliegende Hollander" so when did you detect "something rotten in the state of Denmark?"

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  • 238. At 01:47am on 08 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    227. At 11:05pm on 07 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    "Can anyone else see a gaping hole in the logic of that system for dealing with suspected terrorists?"

    Now you mention it. . .

    It's the same logic that had passengers on flights shortly after that incident ordered to stay in their seats, not to move, and keep their hands in view at all times >for the last hour of the flight.

    I've always wondered about the so-called 'No Fly List'. S'pose that means people on that don't get a seat on the plane unless they wear trekkies?

    Remember Cat Stevens, the well-known singer, sorry, likely terrorist bomber? Who lives not that far from me in London? Doesn't look like the criteria from transferring names from one list to another are up to much either.

    But that's not what it's about anyway; it's always been PR: "Look how we are keeping track of dodgy people, it's really good, we've already found half a million bad guys!"

    I'd like to know how many people on the 'no fly' list have been found either with a bomb or planning to use one. I have a suspicion I wouldn't need to exercise my braincells very hard to guess the answer. . .)

    Anyway, the problem is solved. It appears the perfectly logical plan is to amalgamate all these lists that obviously aren't much use in to one big list.

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  • 239. At 02:01am on 08 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    236. sofa king:

    "most profiling is just ignorant sterotyping
    eg black or
    long hair or
    look like a palestinian colour"


    Much more subtle than that; and you forgot 'look Islamic'.

    I heard a security 'expert' in profiling explain that the pants bomber (pun alert!) should have been spotted because someone said they'd seen him 'rubbing his forehead and looking nervous'.

    Given the bloody RyanAir checkin shambles at Stansted, that was me, too, as I realised a) I wasn't going to have time to queue at a bureau de change and b) the rate they were going, I was barely going to make it to the departure gate before it closed, even though I'd arrived, quite calm and unflustered, 1 1/2 hours before the departure time.

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  • 240. At 02:11am on 08 Jan 2010, McJakome wrote:

    119. At 2:51pm on 06 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:
    "I don't have a problem with using semantics to define policies and actions, but why is it that our presence and activities in foreign lands are legitimized under the pretense of "war" and retaliation or resistance by the indigenous population are considered acts of terrorism?"

    While I agree with much of this post, and others pointing out that the "terrorists" are reacting against our presence in their territory, I have a serious problem with many such posts.

    If the Taleban had not hosted and supported Al Qaida, we would not have attacked them and would not be there today. If we had not been attacked from Afghanistan [making action against the Taleban legitimate self-defense] The town idiot of Crawford would not have had that excuse [however weak] to bolster arguments for invading Iraq. Had Al Qaida not attacked an American warship in Yemen and not attacked US embassies in Kenya, those paranoid personalities in DC might have had less fuel for their lurid imaginations.

    I am now trying to reach a decision about AlQuaida. Are they evil geniuses who planned the whole thing as a trap for the intellectually challenged Neocon administration, or is there a more likely conspiracy theory to chew on?

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  • 241. At 02:34am on 08 Jan 2010, U14284230 wrote:

    209. At 9:24pm on 07 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:
    208

    And the latest comedy is the revelation that "We really, really were concentrating! Honest! We were going to interview the underpants bomber when he arrived in Detroit."

    Which piece?

    Or have they come up with 'ouijaboarding' now?

    "http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/all_over_bar_a_lot_of_shouting.html#P

    "Did they want him in the USA so they could have him. Did they underestimate the time frame the bomber was working in and were they trying to get him here.

    Conspiracy theory maybe but to blindly say "no can't be" doesn't make it so"

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  • 242. At 03:09am on 08 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    240. At 02:11am on 08 Jan 2010, JMM wrote:

    Actually, strictly speaking, you were not "attacked from Afghanistan", but from within the USA. Those who acted as pilots didn't take flying lessons there either; nor buy their aircraft manuals in Kabul, and most were Saudis.

    And many Al Quaeda camps must have been known and identifiable; people had been writing about them, visiting them, and even interviewing (or seeing anyway, he wasn't very approachable it seems) bin Laden in them for years. But it was a good excuse to try to 'erase' the evidence of a cockup. The Taleban hadn't been supposed to take over Afghanistan after the CIA used them and many others to get the Russians out.

    (And while I'm at it, at the time the had nothing whatsoever to do with Saddam Hussein or Iraq, or Iran, for that matter either.)

    All this has been said before, but every time the American public is presented with 'Al Quaeda' as though it's a combination of the Communist International, the Red Army and the armed forces of the 'New World Order'.

    And Obama's just done it again.

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  • 243. At 04:49am on 08 Jan 2010, clamdip lobster claws wrote:

    Romestu,
    Sorry but you're wrong about the old fashioned techniques. If you only knew.

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  • 244. At 05:32am on 08 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    226. At 11:02pm on 07 Jan 2010, GH1618 wrote:
    RomeStu (#220) (quoting the BBC) "Mr Abdulmutallab's name was on a US database of about 550,000 suspected terrorists."

    That statement was made by a reporter. You shouldn't take such statements so literally. Reporters write misleading things all the time. Abdulmutallab was on a watch list, but was not identified as a known terrorist.

    See the official preliminary report.

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  • 245. At 06:12am on 08 Jan 2010, clamdip lobster claws wrote:

    JMM,
    Funny you mention that because about 7 months before 911 I overheard a man tell his business associate that "they" were trying to come up with a trillion dollars to implode the economy. The man was on the board of Silicon Graphics. If you google Silicon Graphics and CIA, a name comes up. Some Buddhist, I think. The company could be a front. A secretary who worked for a lawyer from Beverly Hills heard a similiar story about 911. The man told her how it would happen in graphic detail. Everyone is so quick to denounce you as a conspiracy theorist because the reality is so unbelievable and difficult to accept but it's true. It blows your mind so much you wish you never knew.

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  • 246. At 06:35am on 08 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    BBC has reported that Mr. Abdulmuallab's name hasn't shown up on a State Department's terrorist list because it was "missspelled".

    Yep, "miSSSpelled".

    Well, seems, nobody's perfect. ;-)


    P.S. Three churches have been attacked in Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur, ahead of planned protests by the followers of the "religion of peace".

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  • 247. At 08:19am on 08 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    239 squirrel
    "Given the bloody RyanAir checkin shambles at Stansted, that was me, too"


    It seems from Michael O'Leary's latest press conference in Germany that Ryanair's services are going to improve somewhat ..... at least in the proposed new First Class long haul ....

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfIY24BErBE


    ..... listen to the whole thing ....

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  • 248. At 08:56am on 08 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    246. powermeerkat:

    I have a slight suspicion I'm in the firing line here. . .But I've never worked for the Beeb, honest! However, I just happen to have a copy of this email:

    "From the sub-editors' doghouse, er, desk:

    'Missspelling'? That's because we had off-the record information the person originally responsible was female and unmarried."

    Yes, looking at it from most angles, I reckon that gets us off the hook. Well done! [Chief Sub's note, not to be emailed.]







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  • 249. At 09:06am on 08 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    247. RomeStu

    That's what I like about RyanAir. Class.

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  • 250. At 5:44pm on 08 Jan 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    squirrelist (#244), thanks for the link to the report, but it is so long that I am not sure exactly what your point is (you having not said). As I understand the matter, there was sufficient information in the "watchosphere" that Abdulmutallab should have been placed on a list used by US agencies which would have put him under greater scrutiny, but that this was not done. Is that your understanding?

    My point in my comment to RomeStu was merely that a brief remark by a reporter (see post #226) can be misleading, so should not be taken as a complete and accurate representation of the facts of the matter. Do you not agree with this?

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  • 251. At 6:15pm on 08 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re RyanAir...

    Does anybody know whether that classy outfit has started to charge for the use of the plane toilet as mr. Ryan said it would?

    And whether they, BA or anybody else in UK is seriously considering introducing a surcharge for overweighed passengers?

    [I won't ask whether one could subtract a weight of the carried bomb from the total 'cause I've promised squirrelist not to joke about weighty matters]

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  • 252. At 7:30pm on 08 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    251. powermeerkat:

    1) No, they haven't. (Too much scornful laughter. For the time being.)

    2) Don't think so.

    3) RipOffAir would almost certainly charge a passenger their excess baggage fee (£20/20 Euros per kilo!!!!!) for every kg of 'excess bomb' weight, knowing them.

    (I can't imagine what other 'extras' they'd introduce on a transatlantic flight to make their pofit on a 10 euro fare, but I can guarantee the sales talk will never stop for 6 hours. Probably try to sell home bomb-sniffing kits at 200 dollars each or something. And that very few passengers will be able to get a return fare at anything like the same price. . .And play their horrid fanfare announcing smugly they are the only airline that is never late. That's because they allow two hours for a flight that can actually take half that, or even less if the wind's in the right direction. A transatlantic flight with them to Miami will probably land you in Cuba, inflation of large tyre, paddle, and navigation chart to Florida not included.)

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  • 253. At 7:33pm on 08 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    250. At 5:44pm on 08 Jan 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    squirrelist (#244), thanks for the link to the report, but it is so long that I am not sure exactly what your point is

    It's 9 pages. And the database he was placed on is in there.

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  • 254. At 8:48pm on 08 Jan 2010, cgould wrote:

    What is the CIA? From what I understand a blank charter was developed in about 1947 for a taxpayer funded organization entrusted with the task of promoting free market commercialism for the benefit of the U.S. taxpayer.
    While I accept that selling drugs is a free market commercial activity,it is at a huge social cost to the end user yet I have not read any reports of CIA funded sustainable productive alternative crops in Afgahnistan or Columbia.George Bush declared war on drug users yet left those, who shift tons of product through holes in security to the streets of America and Europe, in business to prop up the sharemarket.
    In the wake of the war on Vietnam the Golden Triangles opium production mushroomed.The same occured in the war on Afgahnistan in the 80's with opium production multiplying exponentially.
    So now random citizens are having their emotional tranquility shattered by drones firing missiles into their village.Why is a government policy to murder murderers creating enemies for the American people by blowing up peasants?
    Destabiliztion programs are so 1980's.
    What is the goal of the Presidency in Afgahnistan?
    How fit will the infrastructure of the country be improved by the time the troops return home?
    The CIA gets millions of dollars every year from the Howard Hughes drill bit royalties so it would be nice to see investment in water and electricity and roading,positive contributions to heal the murderous hate produced by murder.
    Some news of positive moves would be appreciated.
    Every drone that kills is creating propaganda for the drama queen extremists.
    Is this a consequence or intention?
    Investment in Infrastructure ia an improvement on investment in arms.
    Auditors were unleashed in Kabul, Afgahnistan and they were amazed at the amount spent on arms compared to food.Adjustments were made and there was a party with enough food for everyone to eat and the whole town awoke with a hangover in the morning.
    All for the price of one drone aircraft.

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  • 255. At 01:33am on 09 Jan 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    squirrelist (#253) "It's 9 pages. And the database he was placed on is in there."

    Yes, but you still haven't stated your point, or responded to either question I posed in my post #250.

    Nevertheless, it is better to read the official report than merely press accounts.

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