Dick Morris shows his “police state” colors on the Peter Schiff Radio Show “All high school students should be drug tested”
During a brief radio interview on Monday, conservative political commentator and frequent Fox News guest Dick Morris said he strongly opposed Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul due to the congressman’s stance against the drug war and war on terrorism.
“I think he’s horrific,” Morris told Peter Schiff, who was an economic adviser to Ron Paul’s 2008 presidential campaign. “He wants us to end the war on drugs. He wants us to end the war on terror.”
Rep Paul, who describes himself as a libertarian, drew thunderous applause for bashing the Patriot Act, US aid to foreign nations, and US military bases overseas during his speech at the 2011 Conservative Political Action Conference in February.
Unlike the vast majority of his Republican colleagues, Rep. Paul has been a vocal opponent of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well a supporter of drug legalization.
“We should drug test every high school student,” Morris continued. “We should drug test everybody that gets a student loan. Anybody that’s using drugs should not get a government student loan.”
After Schiff questioned drug testing students and began talking about eliminating student loans, Morris told him to “talk to yourself for the next 15 minutes” and hung up.
“What kind of police state does Dick Morris want to turn this country into?” Schiff pondered after Morris hung up on him. “It’s really not a war on drugs, it’s war on civil liberties.”
The comments by Morris were not the first time conservatives have lashed out at Rep. Paul for his anti-war views.
The group Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) announced in February that Rep. Paul would be expelled from the group’s National Advisory Board because of his “delusional and disturbing alliance with the fringe Anti-War movement.”
“It is a sad day in American history when a one-time conservative-libertarian stalwart has fallen more out of touch with America’s needs for national security than the current feeble and appeasing administration,” YAF’s Senior National Director Jordan Marks said.
By Andy Greenberg – Forbes
Giving Transportation Security Administration agents a peek under your clothes may soon be a practice that goes well beyond airport checkpoints. Newly uncovered documents show that as early as 2006, the Department of Homeland Security has been planning pilot programs to deploy mobile scanning units that can be set up at public events and in train stations, along with mobile x-ray vans capable of scanning pedestrians on city streets.
The non-profit Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) on Wednesday published documents it obtained from the Department of Homeland Security showing that from 2006 to 2008 the agency planned a study of of new anti-terrorism technologies that EPIC believes raise serious privacy concerns. The projects range from what the DHS describes as “a walk through x-ray screening system that could be deployed at entrances to special events or other points of interest” to “covert inspection of moving subjects” employing the same backscatter imaging technology currently used in American airports.
The 173-page collection of contracts and reports, acquired through a Freedom of Information Act request, includes contracts with Siemens Corporations, Northeastern University, and Rapiscan Systems. The study was expected to cost more than $3.5 million.
One project allocated to Northeastern University and Siemens would mount backscatter x-ray scanners and video cameras on roving vans, along with other cameras on buildings and utility poles, to monitor groups of pedestrians and assess what they carried. In another program, the researchers were asked to develop a system of long range x-ray scanning to determine what metal objects an individual might have on his or her body at distances up to thirty feet.
“This would allow them to take these technologies out of the airport and into other contexts like public streets, special events and ground transit,” says Ginger McCall, an attorney with EPIC. “It’s a clear violation of the fourth amendment that’s very invasive, not necessarily effective, and poses all the same radiation risks as the airport scans.”
Tip helped head off potentially devastating series of plane explosions
WASHINGTON — A Saudi tip about a possible al-Qaida effort to bring down airplanes was relayed to U.S. authorities in early October, nearly three weeks before the group’s Yemen affiliate tried to ship mail bombs to the U.S. in cargo planes, U.S. intelligence officials said Friday.
The Saudi intelligence tip helped to head off what could have been a devastating series of plane explosions. Western officials credit the Saudis with playing a crucial role in finding two mail bombs recovered last week in Dubai and Britain before they reached the U.S.
On Friday, the Yemen-based al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility for sending the two bombs and threatened more attacks on civilian and cargo planes. The group also said it had a role in the crash of a UPS cargo plane in Dubai in September, but investigators so far have insisted an accident was at fault.
Saudis warned U.S. 3 weeks before attack Updated 75 minutes ago 11/6/2010 4:58:12 AM +00:00 A Saudi tip about a possible al-Qaida effort to bring down airplanes was relayed to U.S. authorities nearly three weeks before a Yemen group tried to ship mail bombs, officials say. Full story
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The Saudi tip in October contained no mention of cargo planes, or any details of the plot carried out last week, said U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss classified matters. But they said it gave the U.S. and other Western officials enough of a warning to know what to look for when another Saudi tip arrived last week.
A CIA spokesman Friday night cited several allies that have provided key intelligence about terrorist activities.
“Over the past several months, we received intelligence — which was shared across our government — from our foreign partners about threats from AQAP and other terrorist groups,” said CIA spokesman George Little. “The United States receives this kind of information from other governments on a regular basis, as you would expect. Last week, we received specific intelligence that allowed the United States and our allies to disrupt the cargo plot. Our actions were swift and aggressive.”
Another U.S. official said the Yemeni terror group’s interest in plane attacks has been apparent since its failed Christmas Day attempt last year to bring down a Detroit-bound plane with explosives hidden in the underwear of a suicide bomber. Both the Christmas Day attack and the mail bombs sent last week used a powerful industrial explosive PETN, and the AQAP’s top bomb maker is considered a top suspect in both attempts.
But although the tip relayed in October did raise alarms about a plane attack, it did not mention cargo planes or where the plot might originate or even who the attackers might be, the official said.
U.S. intelligence had been monitoring steady intelligence on a possible attack such as this since early September, one U.S. official has said. And in late September, authorities also intercepted a group of packages shipped to Chicago which in retrospect is now seen as a likely test run by the terror group to gauge the logistics of shipping bombs by air to the U.S.
The report on the Saudi tip in October was first reported Friday by The New York Times and the German news magazine Der Spiegel.
On Friday, AQAP said it would continue to strike American and Western interests and specifically said it would target civilian and cargo aircraft.
“We have struck three blows at your airplanes in a single year,” the group said in a message posted on a militant website. “And God willing, we will continue to strike our blows against American interests and the interests of America’s allies.”
The authenticity of Friday’s claim could not be immediately verified. A U.S. intelligence official said authorities are not surprised to see this claim now.
Authorities in the U.S. and the UAE have said the Sept. 3 crash of the UPS plane in Dubai shortly after takeoff was caused by an onboard fire, but investigators are taking another loStart Slide Show with PicLens Lite
Published on 10-22-2010
Source: Washington’s Blog
Everyone knows that only Muslim-lovers and left-wing peaceniks want to stop the wars in Afghanistan and other Muslim countries, that terrorism is caused by Muslim ideology, and that we’re fighting them “over there” so we don’t have to fight them here.
In fact, as University of Chicago professor Robert A. Pape – who specializes in international security affairs – points out:
Extensive research into the causes of suicide terrorism proves Islam isn’t to blame — the root of the problem is foreign military occupations.
Wait, what? That can’t be right!
But as Pape explains:
Each month, there are more suicide terrorists trying to kill Americans and their allies in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other Muslim countries than in all the years before 2001 combined.
New research provides strong evidence that suicide terrorism such as that of 9/11 is particularly sensitive to foreign military occupation, and not Islamic fundamentalism or any ideology independent of this crucial circumstance. Although this pattern began to emerge in the 1980s and 1990s, a wealth of new data presents a powerful picture.More than 95 percent of all suicide attacks are in response to foreign occupation, according to extensive research [co-authored by James K. Feldman - former professor of decision analysis and economics at the Air Force Institute of Technology and the School of Advanced Airpower Studies] that we conducted at the University of Chicago’s Project on Security and Terrorism, where we examined every one of the over 2,200 suicide attacks across the world from 1980 to the present day. As the United States has occupied Afghanistan and Iraq, which have a combined population of about 60 million, total suicide attacks worldwide have risen dramatically — from about 300 from 1980 to 2003, to 1,800 from 2004 to 2009. Further, over 90 percent of suicide attacks worldwide are now anti-American. The vast majority of suicide terrorists hail from the local region threatened by foreign troops, which is why 90 percent of suicide attackers in Afghanistan are Afghans.
Israelis have their own narrative about terrorism, which holds that Arab fanatics seek to destroy the Jewish state because of what it is, not what it does. But since Israel withdrew its army from Lebanon in May 2000, there has not been a single Lebanese suicide attack. Similarly, since Israel withdrew from Gaza and large parts of the West Bank, Palestinian suicide attacks are down over 90 percent.
Some have disputed the causal link between foreign occupation and suicide terrorism, pointing out that some occupations by foreign powers have not resulted in suicide bombings — for example, critics often cite post-World War II Japan and Germany. Our research provides sufficient evidence to address these criticisms by outlining the two factors that determine the likelihood of suicide terrorism being employed against an occupying force.
The first factor is social distance between the occupier and occupied. The wider the social distance, the more the occupied community may fear losing its way of life. Although other differences may matter, research shows that resistance to occupations is especially likely to escalate to suicide terrorism when there is a difference between the predominant religion of the occupier and the predominant religion of the occupied.
Religious difference matters not because some religions are predisposed to suicide attacks. Indeed, there are religious differences even in purely secular suicide attack campaigns, such as the LTTE (Hindu) against the Sinhalese (Buddhists).
Rather, religious difference matters because it enables terrorist leaders to claim that the occupier is motivated by a religious agenda that can scare both secular and religious members of a local community — this is why Osama bin Laden never misses an opportunity to describe U.S. occupiers as “crusaders” motivated by a Christian agenda to convert Muslims, steal their resources, and change the local population’s way of life.
The second factor is prior rebellion. Suicide terrorism is typically a strategy of last resort, often used by weak actors when other, non-suicidal methods of resistance to occupation fail. This is why we see suicide attack campaigns so often evolve from ordinary terrorist or guerrilla campaigns, as in the cases of Israel and Palestine, the Kurdish rebellion in Turkey, or the LTTE in Sri Lanka.
One of the most important findings from our research is that empowering local groups can reduce suicide terrorism. In Iraq, the surge’s success was not the result of increased U.S. military control of Anbar province, but the empowerment of Sunni tribes, commonly called the Anbar Awakening, which enabled Iraqis to provide for their own security. On the other hand, taking power away from local groups can escalate suicide terrorism. In Afghanistan, U.S. and Western forces began to exert more control over the country’s Pashtun regions starting in early 2006, and suicide attacks dramatically escalated from this point on.
The first step is recognizing that occupations in the Muslim world don’t make Americans any safer — in fact, they are at the heart of the problem.
But surely Pape and his team of University of Chicago researchers are wrong. Surely other security experts disagree, right?
The top security experts – conservative hawks and liberal doves alike – agree that waging war in the Middle East weakens national security and creates increases terrorism. See this, this, this, this, this and this.
As one of the top counter-terrorism experts (the former number 2 counter-terrorism expert at the State Department) told me, starting wars against states which do not pose an imminent threat to America’s national security increases the threat of terrorism because:
One of the principal causes of terrorism is injuries to people and families.
(Take another look at the painting above).
And its not only war in general as an abstract concept. The methods we’re using to wage war are increasing terrorism.
As one example, torture reduces our national security and creates new terrorists.
Unfortunately, we are continuing to indiscriminately kill civilians using drone strikes, and we are continuing to torture innocent people (see this, this and this).
This is not a question of being a “Muslim-sympathizer”. I am not a Muslim (personally, I and the rest of my family go to Church, albeit a non-dogmatic one). This isn’t about religion at all.
Its all about being practical in protecting our national security.
It might feel good to have guns a blazing. But unfortunately, instead of doing what will protect us, we keep shooting ourselves in the foot.
And in doing so, we are bankrupting our country.
Published on 03-22-2010
Source: PAK Observer
Washington—CIA Chief Leon Panetta has said the US counter terrorism polices in Pakistan are legal and highly effective and that he is acutely aware of the gravity of some of the decisions thrust upon him.
In an interview Wednesday at CIA headquarters, Panetta refused to directly address the matter of Predator strikes, in keeping with the agency’s long-standing practice of shielding its actions in Pakistan from public view.
“Any time you make decisions on life and death, I don’t take that lightly. That’s a serious decision,” he said. “And yet, I also feel very comfortable with making those decisions because I know I’m dealing with people who threaten the safety of this country and are prepared to attack us at any moment.”
Panetta had personally authorized the Drone strike that killed Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud at his fatiehr in law’s home on August 5, 2009, according to a senior intelligence official who described the sequence of events.
Since 2009, as many as 666 terrorism suspects, including at least 20 senior figures, have been killed by missiles fired from unmanned aircraft flying over Pakistan, according to figures compiled by the New America Foundation as of mid-March. According to the foundation, 177 civilians may also have been killed in the airstrikes since 2009.
Intelligence officials say their count of noncombatants killed is much lower and noted that on Aug. 5 only Mehsud and his wife were killed, despite reports that other family members and bodyguards died in the attack.
Panetta authorizes every strike, sometimes reversing his decision or reauthorizing a target if the situation on the ground changes, according to current and former senior intelligence officials.
After weathering a number of storms on Capitol Hill, including a face-off with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after the California Democrat accused the CIA of lying, Panetta has studiously cultivated his old colleagues, holding informal get-togethers with the Senate and House intelligence committees.
Another former senior intelligence official, who served under Bush, commends Panetta for his aggression but noted that the current successes are built upon agreements made with Pakistan in the final year of the previous administration. The Obama administration has “been operating along the same continuum,” the former official said.
In the interview, Panetta said he recognized that the administration’s strategy entailed risk. “You can’t just conduct the kind of aggressive operations we are conducting against the enemy and not expect that they are not going to try to retaliate,” he said. —INP
Flight 253 passenger: Sharp-dressed man aided terror suspect Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab onto plane without passport
December 26, 2009, 2:22PM
|First-hand account you want to share? Email us with your story and proof of your flight at firstname.lastname@example.org.|
About an hour after landing, Haskell said he saw another man being taken into custody. But a spokeswoman from the FBI in Detroit said Mutallab was the only person taken into custody.Start Slide Show with PicLens Lite
Pyramids of Control
December 28, 2009
|We can be pretty sure that this new technology will be implemented, pronto, with its full capability, and with no choice to opt-out: mission accomplished.|
The holiday season has greeted us with “Terr’ists” who prefer their underwear to their shoes (and they need well-dressed escorts when they forget their passport). It would all seem ridiculous if it hadn’t already caused a dramatic increase in airport security, as people are now being told to show up 4 hours in advance for international flights. This is a rather large problem. For those in the business of creating problems, though, this was a well-chosen stratagem for eliciting the all-important reaction; is there ever a more stressful time or event than Christmas travel? So, as dot connectors, we need to look at what solutions are being offered for this problem. Enter stage left (and right): Tyranny.
1. The new 3D body scanning device that makes us all more naked than naked was met with faux consternation when it was first revealed. It was, naturally, played down. But we can be pretty sure that this new technology will be implemented, pronto, with its full capability, and with no choice to opt-out: mission accomplished.
2. Prisoner training. After the hassle of actually getting to, and getting on the plane, it will literally be prison-like conditions once aboard. No electronic devices or hand-held items (books), and no bathroom breaks for the last hour of the flight. As DHS Secretary Napolitano stated on the TSA website:
Passengers flying from international locations to U.S. destinations may notice additional security measures in place. These measures are designed to be unpredictable, so passengers should not expect to see the same thing everywhere. Due to the busy holiday travel season, both domestic and international travelers should allot extra time for check-in.
3. The Patriot Act: As of December 16, the renewal of the Patriot Act in its present form was still being disputed, delayed, and debated. Pretty sure it will be sailing through, with even more draconian measures attached: mission accomplished.
4. Expanding the war (s). Yemen? Who knew? Well now the world knows that it is near Pakistan, Afghanistan . . . heck, it’s in the Middle East — TERRORISTS — BOMBS AWAY! No Congress, no discussion needed: mission accomplished.
5. The African connection. They have been working on Africom legitimacy for a while. Underwear bombers from Nigeria with connections to Yemen (and born in England?): mission accomplished.
6. (More) Military presence on American soil. Let it not be said that there isn’t freedom somewhere in America — you just have to be part of NORTHCOM or INTERPOL. Total freedom to investigate, abuse, arrest, and never to be questioned about it: mission accomplished.
7. Keeping Americans at home, while discouraging inbound tourists. In a November 14th article titled, “International Tourism Decline on the Upswing, if America Doesn’t Sabotage the Recovery,” we can read a call to action in this interesting choice of words — if you are standing at the top of the pyramid. The last thing that people who are trying to consolidate power, and siphon as much money from bottom to top, would want is a recovery in the real economy. Additionally, the fear of travel reinforces U.S. isolationism. The ultimate effect? Dependence on the government for both security and financial aid: mission accomplished.
8. Overall security must be increased. Although Janet Napolitano almost unforgivably forgot her script, she is back on track the day after and in lockstep with security apparatchiks everywhere — current security measures are never enough, more must be done: mission accomplished.
So, if all it takes is Terror to create Tyranny, then the words of the Underpants Bomber seem to ring true for 2010: There is more to come.Start Slide Show with PicLens Lite
HONOLULU — President Obama emerged from Hawaiian seclusion on Monday to try to quell gathering criticism of his administration’s handling of the thwarted Christmas Day bombing of an American airliner as a branch of Al Qaeda claimed responsibility.
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab
Images of the bomb that was smuggled onto the Northwest Airlines flight last week.
“We will not rest until we find all who were involved and hold them accountable,” Mr. Obama told reporters during a break in his 10-day holiday vacation. “This was a serious reminder of the dangers that we face and the nature of those who threaten our homeland.”
He added that he had ordered reviews of the air navigation screening system and the terrorist watch list system. “The American people should be assured that we are doing everything in our power to keep you and your family safe and secure during this busy holiday season,” he said.
The president spoke after the branch of Al Qaeda in Yemen and Saudi Arabia claimed responsibility for the attempted attack and said it was in retaliation for recent American-backed attacks on its members in Yemen, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which tracks militant Islamist Web sites.
In a statement issued on jihadist forums, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula boasted the success of the “Nigerian brother” in breaking through security barriers and of its own explosives technology, SITE reported. Federal authorities say Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a 23-year-old Nigerian, tried to set off explosives aboard a trans-Atlantic Northwest Airlines flight approaching Detroit on Friday.
The Qaeda branch blamed a technical fault for the low-power detonation, according to SITE. The group has mounted attacks within Yemen and Saudi Arabia, and in 2004 it captured and beheaded a 49-year-old American engineer working in Riyadh, Paul M. Johnson Jr.
Government terror experts said the Qaeda claim was apparently legitimate.
“The statement is certainly credible,” one government official said, “and it reflects this group’s growing desire to strike beyond the Arabian peninsula.”
Mr. Abdulmutallab has told federal authorities that he received training and materials from a bomb expert in Yemen associated with Al Qaeda.
The government of Yemen said in a statement on Monday that Mr. Abdulmutallab had been in Yemen this year from early August to early December “after obtaining a visa to study Arabic at a language institute.”
The statement, issued by the Yemeni embassy in Washington, said Mr. Abdulmutallab had a valid United States visa and other foreign visas. “There was nothing suspicious about his intentions to visit Yemen, especially considering he had also visited the U.S. in the past,” the statement said.
Questions about how Mr. Abdulmutallab slipped through the aviation security system have been compounded by the Obama administration’s assertion over the weekend that “the system worked,” a judgment it reversed Monday.
Just hours before the president’s appearance — his first public remarks since arriving in Hawaii on Thursday — Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano recalibrated the assessment she and another top official had offered on Sunday. Speaking on NBC’s “Today” show, Ms. Napolitano said her remark had been taken out of context and that the thwarted bombing in fact represented a failure of the nation’s aviation security system.
“Our system did not work in this instance,” she said. “No one is happy or satisfied with that. An extensive review is under way.”
Until now, Mr. Obama had tried to strike a balance between signaling that he is on top of the situation and not drawing more attention to it than it already was generating. Each day since Friday, his staff accompanying him here in his home state put out statements indicating that the president was holding conference calls and requesting action of government agencies. But he declined for three days to address it in public himself, cognizant perhaps of warnings by some terrorism experts against elevating such incidents and by extension their authors.
Yet the visual contrasts have been jarring. Pictures of passengers enduring tougher security screening at the airport were juxtaposed against images of the president soaking in the sun and surf of this tropical getaway. Appearing at a Marine base near the Kailua beachfront house he has rented, Mr. Obama on Monday praised the “quick and heroic actions of passengers and crew” but made no attempt to defend the security system that allowed the suspect onto the plane with explosives in the first place.
Beyond the reviews, he pledged unspecified action against any groups that were involved. “We will continue to use every element of our national power to disrupt, to dismantle and defeat the violent extremists who threaten us, whether they are from Afghanistan or Pakistan, Yemen or Somalia, or anywhere they are plotting attacks against the U.S. homeland,” Mr. Obama said.Start Slide Show with PicLens Lite